Rabbits make for incredibly fun pets, and they are great to have around in your house. However, you should know that rabbits require a considerable amount of care, and more importantly, you will have to make sure that you keep them contained.
If you allow your rabbits to run free in your yard, it won’t take long before they end up burrowing through the entire garden or backyard and eat up all of your lovely plants.
But as long as you keep them carefully caged and only allow them to roam about in your room, you don’t have much to worry about. In fact, rabbits make for incredibly cute pets, and you are going to have a lot of fun with these animals. But, like all other pets, you need to be particularly careful about what you feed a rabbit.
In the wild, rabbits are generally grazing creatures and they wander over large parts of the land. In fact, they spend a great deal of their day simply eating and wandering about. In fact, rabbits can eat virtually anything that they can get their grubby little paws on. Anything you put in front of them, they will try to eat.
More importantly, you should know that rabbits are not particularly conscious about what they are eating, and you also need to know that there is a vast difference between their digestive system and that of other animals that exist within the same ecosystem.
Therefore, when you are about to bring a rabbit home to be a pet in your house, you need to understand a few things regarding the food that you can give them, and the food you need to avoid. Many people look for convenient foods that they can feed a rabbit to maintain its health, especially those that aren’t hard to source as well.
The question is: can you feed rice to a rabbit? Rice is a staple in most diets around the world, and many people often think that putting a bit of it in a rabbit’s food bowl won’t be a problem.
Rabbits usually eat all kinds of vegetables, so it only stands to reason that a bit of rice shouldn’t be a problem.
Should You Feed Rice to a Rabbit?
The answer to that, however, is a resounding no. Think of rice as slow poison for your animal; it may not have an immediate impact, and the severity of the effects usually differs from one rabbit to another, but it will eventually create a host of problems for your rabbit, and could eventually lead to death.
Your rabbit is likely to face a plethora of problems, including excessive diarrhea and acidity, and it is going to become much weaker progressively over the passage of time.
Why Shouldn’t You Feed Rice to a Rabbit?
Rice is eaten by people virtually all over the globe. It is heavily farmed, and different varieties are available in the market for you to choose from.
Twenty-eight percent of carbohydrates are found in rice, and 68% of it is water, with just 3% protein, fats, and vitamins. As you can imagine, rice isn’t really good for humans, since it basically just gives you the feeling of being full and doesn’t do much else.
However, while it might be perfectly safe for humans and many other animals, rabbits don’t do well with rice. Many people are often confused about why they shouldn’t feed rice to a rabbit, especially when you consider that it’s quite inexpensive and also relatively healthy.
The answer lies in the nutrient makeup of rice. The amount of carbohydrates in rice is incredibly high, and it’s much more than a rabbit is capable of eating safely. Carbs are needed by all living beings, but only to a certain extent.
The excessive amount of carbs that are found in rice are definitely not good for the rabbit’s digestive system, and the animal is absolutely not aware of its digestive system and the foods that can have a negative impact on its digestive system.
Let’s take a look at some of the things that happen when the rabbit starts eating excessive amounts of rice:
- The excess amount of carbs end up jamming their lungs, and this creates serious breathing issues for the animal, especially those rabbits that are still relatively young.
- Their appetite decreases sharply, and the rabbits begin to suffer from acidity. This can eventually lead to intestinal ulcers and could lead to a myriad of other problems.
- The rabbits begin to feel dizzy and you will notice their movements becoming more and more lethargic.
- Your rabbit might start vomiting from time to time.
- They may start to suffer from tummy ache or stomach bloating.
As you can imagine, these problems can turn fatal quite quickly, and you will probably find yourself rushing to the vet with your pet if you are lucky. In most cases, rabbits are simply not able to bear the heavy diet, and end up falling sick and eventually die.
Essentially, you need to avoid giving the rabbit any kind of rice or grains that are high in carbohydrates.
What Are the Symptoms If Too Much Is Given?
When it comes to rice, even the smallest quantity is too much for your rabbit. There are a few symptoms that indicate that your rabbit has had a bit too much, and these could quickly escalate into serious problems. Some of the major symptoms include:
- The rabbit stops eating for upwards of 72 hours. Even when it finds a bit of grass, the rabbit doesn’t want to eat.
- The rabbit stops defecating or urinating for a period of up to 72 hours.
- The rabbit seems restless or in discomfort, and overall levels of activity decrease.
- You can smell something terrible from the rabbit’s mouth or teeth.
- Unusual urine or feces: if the urine is too watery or if it contains an excess amount of mucus or is an abnormal color, you might want to take your pet for a check-up.
- The rabbit’s movements become abnormal, or it stops moving around as much.
These are just some of the major symptoms that indicate something is seriously wrong with your rabbit. You need to take these signs seriously, and it’s important that you take your rabbit to a vet right away.
Remember, it’s unlikely that you will see all of these symptoms right away, but some will show up within a few days. Eventually, your pet is going to start suffering from a series of gastrointestinal problems.
What Can You Do to Get Rid of These Problems?
For starters, the first thing that you need to do is stop feeding rice to your pet. You have to make sure that you cut rice from its intake, and also reduce excess carbs from the animal’s diet.
If you have accidentally fed rice to your pet, it is important that you first cut that out of their diet, and then replace it with hay and grass.
Rabbits love eating grass and hay, and you need to make it an important part of their diet. More importantly, you need to integrate foods that are rich in fiber in your pet’s diet too. Avoid giving anything that could be heavy for your pet, as it could have a dire impact on its health.
With time, you will notice an improvement in your pet’s health. However, if the symptoms persist and there is no improvement in its overall condition, you need to take it to the vet right away.
As mentioned, rice can prove to be quite harmful for your pet, so you need to consider the possibility of taking it to the vet.
What’s the Ideal Diet?
Rabbits eat a lot, but they primarily eat grass and hay. That’s their ideal diet in nature, but now, there are quite a few options available to you.
For starters, you don’t have to worry about only feeding your pet grass and hay. There are now rabbit kibble and pellets available in the market, which are incredibly convenient and provide all of the nutrients that the animal requires.
It’s a fantastic choice for people who don’t want to worry about buying grass or hay every other time. It won’t take long before your pet becomes absolutely comfortable with eating these pellets. Rabbits also love eating lettuce, though you shouldn’t base your pet’s entire diet on lettuce.
Ideally, you should opt for dark and leafy vegetables that are actually suitable for the pet. Always remember that when introducing a new vegetable to your pet, you should do it as gradually as possible. Don’t immediately integrate these foods into your pet’s diet, as it can backfire.
You can occasionally add in a little bit of certain herbs like rosemary, as long as you don’t feed too much.
Of course, as you might know, rabbits love eating carrots, so you might want to give them a few carrots during the course of the day as well. As long as you are able to control the animal’s diet and make sure it gets enough physical exercise, it is going to remain healthy!
Can Rabbits Eat Sweet Potato? (plus other things to feed them instead).
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard. I also like photographing wild birds, especially birds of prey.