The rabbit is one of the most popular pets after dogs and cats. As adorable as they are playful, rabbits are popular with children and parents alike. However, the rabbit is a rodent and it fulfills its role well since it gnaws at anything it finds. This habit comes from the fact that he needs to keep his teeth working all the time. What can you feed a rabbit? What foods should you avoid? Answers!
Like every animal, the rabbit has specific dietary needs. This herbivore feeds on hay, plants, grasses, leaves, flowers and even buds. Although it is a rodent, the rabbit does not feed on seeds. It needs phosphorus, magnesium and calcium.
Very nutritious, hay represents the majority of the diet. It consists of meadow hay from grasses and legumes. Alfalfa hay is recommended for young rabbits because it contains all the nutrients essential for its growth. In addition to hay, you can feed your rabbit fresh grass. Finally, the granules can supplement meals from time to time. You should know that not all foods are good for the rabbit. Some are toxic and potentially dangerous.
The 10 dangerous foods for rabbits
Chocolate is a food we love, but it is also a very dangerous food for pets. It should not be given to dogs, cats or even rabbits. Why ? Because foods made with chocolate and therefore cocoa contain a toxic substance called theobromine.
If you have children, you need to be vigilant. Indeed, toddlers love to give their pets sweets. But rabbits cannot eat cakes, sweets or even pastries. These delicacies are toxic to them. Their sugar content is high and can be the cause of disorders of the intestinal flora. Too much sugar even causes infections that can be fatal.
3. Tea and coffee
We grant you, giving tea or coffee to a rabbit is not frequent and fortunately. These drinks that we enjoy for breakfast and during the day are dangerous for rabbits. Both caffeine and theine harm your rodent’s digestive system. Choose water! To be healthy, rabbits should drink between 50 to 150 ml per kg per day.
4. Dairy products
Whether it is milk, cheese or yogurt, the rabbit does not consume dairy products. These are highly toxic and can cause serious rheumatoid damage and digestive disorders.
The rabbit can eat vegetables such as carrots, celery, zucchini, salads or even radishes. But not all vegetables are good for our rodents. Here are some examples.
- The turnip is indigestible, the rabbit can eat the leaves but not the bulb.
- Leeks, like fungi, cause anemia by lowering the number of red blood cells.
- Peas are dangerous for the liver of the rabbit.
- Garlic and onion cause poisoning and anemia.
- Cabbages cause intestinal bloating and digestive problems.
Because they are too high in starch, potatoes are not recommended for rabbits. They can even be toxic. Like the sweet potato, it causes serious digestive problems. Germs can even be fatal for rabbits.
It is possible to give pieces of apple, pear or apricot to a rabbit, but be careful! The animal does not support too much sugar. Also, you should ban very ripe fruits or bananas. Rhubarb and avocado are also to be avoided because they contain toxic substances that will have serious repercussions on the health of your animal.
Too rich in carbohydrates, corn cannot be part of the rabbit’s diet. Consumed in too much quantity, it is even fatal. Indeed, in addition to causing liver and digestive disorders, corn ferments in the stomach of the rabbit.
9. Green plants
It is quite possible to give fresh grass or aromatic herbs to a rabbit. This one loves parsley, chives and even basil. But beware ! Laurel, ferns, ivy or even certain flowers such as lily of the valley and poppies are to be avoided. Pay close attention to your indoor plants too!
You might think that the rabbit is enjoying a piece of bread. But this is not the case. The herbivorous rodent cannot stand wheat. It is therefore forbidden to give him rusks, cereals or more simply dry bread.
How to recognize food poisoning in rabbits?
Because he was free in your home or because your child gave him, your rabbit ate dangerous or poisonous food. Some signs are clear. Here are the ones that should alert you.
- Loss of balance
- Muscle contractions
How to react ? You just have to take your animal to the vet immediately so that he can auscultate him and try to save him. The faster the treatment, the higher the chances of survival.
Indeed, depending on the food ingested, the rabbit may suffer from poisoning, liver failure, pulmonary disorders, cardiac disorders or even nervous disorders. It should be noted that if your rabbit’s condition is too serious, the veterinarian will suggest that you euthanize the animal. It is the same if the consequences are too important. It is therefore essential to monitor your diet!