Can rabbits eat bread?
so, there are 2 questions,
01# Can rabbits eat bread?
The answer is – ‘Yes’ they can.
02# Can their bodies take bread?
The answer is – ‘No’ it cannot.
Bunnies are grazing creatures that are they spend a good portion of their day -basically eating. They will eat any food item that is edible they find in front of them. They would not understand which one is good for them or which one is not. If a piece of bread is given to them, they will definitely eat it. But the big question arises -‘if bread is suitable for their body?’ That will be a complete ‘no’ ‘no’.
Bunnies are used to eating natural food materials like- grass and hay. Artificial food like bread will cause trouble for their digestive system. They might eat it, they might enjoy it, but it will create complications for their body that they are unaware of.
What Wild Rabbits Eat?
Ok, note before the awareness of giving bread to your rabbit, you must know what rabbits eat generally.
It’s been a while they are caged, but naturally, they are found in different suitable geographic locations, roaming around in nature, where they have been for ages. They have been eating roughly monotonous food (which is basically plants) for this time being, so the system of digestion that they have, become as structural as their previous foods.
That’s why; the system of their body rejects certain foods. For this reason, it is necessary that your pet rabbit’s diet chart with the natural ones. Otherwise, it will directly have an impact on its health.
Rabbits are those animals that live on herbs. So, they try to find herbs, vegetables or fruits while staying in the wild. Though bread is made from plant-based products, its nutrient components differ from what a rabbit can digest. The result in rejecting bread from a rabbit’s dietary list.
What a Rabbit Stomach Can Digest and Cannot Digest?
As humans, we have a digestive system that allows us to intake varieties of food to our heart’s content. But rabbits are different from us as their digestive system is not the same as ours. Rabbit’s digestive system can only process cellulose, which indicates green leafy vegetables and a restricted selection of fruits. While they have these fiber matters, their organ called Cecum works for fermentation and digestion. This process is for gaining several vitamins and nutritions.
Unlike other herbivores, rabbits have found how to meet all of their nutritional requirements by eating those foods particularly high in fiber and much lower in all other energy content. Rabbit’s body depends on fibrous food. Items that are rich in starch and complex carbohydrates are definitely out of their food list.
If a rabbit can’t digest starch then it will ferment and may face various health problems. This is why, bread should not be given to rabbits as they contain starch and complex carbohydrates, which a rabbit struggles to digest.
Rabbits have a reconciled digestive system that functions to help digest a huge amount of cellulose that they eat. It is limited to plant-based nutrients. They cannot digest starch and carbohydrates. For this reason, they experience problems like indigestion and pain in the intestinal tract while eating bread.
Bread is liked by everyone because of its taste. The bunnies are no exception. But this taste comes at the price of the sugar it contains. Bread carries such amount of sugar which is a problem for the digestion of rabbits.
Surely rabbits eat sweet vegetables and fruits occasionally which contain a good amount of sugar, but they are plant-based and natural. Moreover, as per their natural diet system, they take very low sugar in amount. For that, the rabbit’s body normally is not capable to take that excessive amount of sugar that they get eating bread.
Brown bread might be made out of whole grains and healthy ingredients, and may seem healthy, but not for bunnies. They provide a just calorie that makes the bunnies’ fatso. I am not saying bread is a poison. But for a bunny, it can be sometimes if you give them often bread.
As rabbits cannot digest starch, the intake of such food containing starch and carbohydrates causes serious health deterioration. The undigested starch ferments in their stomach and causes diarrhea. Due to diarrhea, excess dehydration occurs and eventually death. In some cases, bread might expand in the digestive tract and block their system. For saving the rabbit it would require surgery to remove the bread.
Bread is full of calories and starchy carbohydrates which is not necessary for a rabbit’s diet, yet relatively low in the fiber for rabbits becoming healthy
Rabbits love nibbling on things being unaware that it is unhealthy for them. That’s why even though a bunny might like to eat bread but thinking about its health bread should be avoided.
Bread as a treat:
The question arises; ‘bread cannot be added in the regular diet of rabbits, but can bread be given as treats?’ The answer is ‘Yes’. Rabbits can eat bread but those should not be given more than a rare piece. Bread might not hurt a rabbit in little amounts, but it, without doubt, is not a suitable option for them.
While it is possibly acceptable to provide rabbits with bread infrequently as a treat, the portions need to be diminutive including having a focus on what kind of bread is being fed. White bread is strictly avoided considering the health of the pet. White bread is very starchy and high in complex carbohydrates which are very harmful to the rabbit’s health.
Rabbits can become pampered in a much easy way and as a result, might reject to take their usual foods anticipating that they will be given more exciting treats like bread. When they are begging for food it might be too tempting to give them anything. But if as treat has to be given, the safest options are small amounts of high-fiber riched fruits such as berries or apples.
However, if you want to treat your bunny for its good behavior or for doing something good and you do not have anything with you on that instant; give a very tiny piece of wheat bread, toasted bread or wholemeal bread, if you really have to.
Nevertheless, it’s important to put the health of your rabbit first and make sure not to feed them anything that may harm them.
What if You Already Fed Your Rabbit With Bread?
If you have fed your rabbit with bread regularly as its daily food, it is recommended to stop feeding it with bread any further for the above-mentioned risks. It will be sensible not to share the regular foods, what we humans normally eat, like bread, with rabbits.
Considering the health hazards they might face, precautions must be taken to keep the rabbits out of the reach from such food items and eating them. Rabbits being unaware and not understanding the threat might eat big chunks of food like bread. This can cause serious trouble for their bodies.
If such accidents happen, first check how many portions of the bread did it eat and keep an eye on your rabbit cautiously for the next 24 hours for digestive issues. If the rabbit has diarrhea, notice if it is drinking water as before not. when diarrhea goes away, observe until they get back eating and drinking, and do their usual activities normally. In case, if the rabbit does not recover within 24 hours, it is to be taken to the vet instantly.
From all the information above, it can be stated that bread are potentially harmful to bunnies’ health. Little more than a constrained portion might deter the physical condition of rabbits instantly.
The natural diet of rabbits contains grass, hay, leafy plants and such other natural items. Grass makes up about 80-90% of a rabbit’s diet. It gives them the fundamental nutrients that their body needs. Their body is designed to only digest plant fibers, which is beneficial for them.
If you want your rabbit to live a healthy life, try to avoid all artificial foods like bread and others. It is better to follow their natural diet.