Can Rabbits Eat Ice Cream?

Categorized as Bunny Diet
A bowl of ice cream. Can rabbits eat ice cream

Last Updated on November 18, 2021 by Rei

While ice cream is not poisonous to rabbits, feeding them large amounts of ice cream could lead to digestive distress like diarrhea, and GI stasis because rabbits don’t tolerate dairy products well.

Ice cream is mostly made out of milk and some kind of flavoring such as fruits. While fruits are okay to be fed to rabbits, dairy products would likely give your rabbit some kind of digestive problem.

If you notice any changes in your rabbit’s stool, both in size and consistency, immediately bring your rabbit to a veterinarian.

Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more detail why rabbits can eat ice cream:

Risk of overfeeding ice cream to rabbits.

Dairy products like ice cream should not be fed to rabbits intentionally. They carry certain risks when fed in large amounts because rabbits’ digestive system is not really designed to digest dairy as they get older.

Here are some of the risks associated when you feed your rabbits large amounts of ice cream :

Diarrhea

Diarrhea in rabbits is often caused by the wrong diet or when their diet is changed too fast. Feeding your rabbit large amounts of ice cream would check those two boxes I mentioned. Not to mention rabbits develop lactose intolerance as they get older.

Gastrointestinal Stasis

Gastrointestinal stasis is also possible when a rabbit is fed large amounts of ice cream, which is high in sugar.

GI stasis happens when the balance of bacteria in your rabbit’s gut is disrupted. This disruption would cause painful gas that would eventually lead to organ failure and death if not treated immediately.

The signs of GI stasis are:

  • Depressed
  • Hunched posture
  • Bruxism
  • Decreased appetite/anorexia

If you notice any of these signs, immediately bring your rabbit to a veterinarian.

Dental problems

Due to high amounts of sugar in ice cream, feeding them to rabbits could cause damage to your rabbit’s delicate teeth and gums. Dental damage in rabbits is extremely serious. A rabbit that’s in pain due to dental damage would refuse to eat or only eat a little.

A rabbit that’s refusing to eat would eventually develop some kind of digestive problems like GI stasis because rabbits need to constantly eat for their gut to function properly.

Healthy alternative to ice cream as treats.

If you planning on giving your rabbits ice cream as treats, these alternatives are much healthier:

Here are some alternatives that you can give to your rabbits one to two times per week as a treat:

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Should you panic if your rabbit ate a drop of ice cream?

While ice cream is not recommended for rabbits, it’s still not toxic. It’s just that ice creams are too high in sugar and dairy products are not digested well by rabbits.

Just feed them a lot of hay if you are worried. The extra fiber would likely fix the problem on its own.

What to do if your rabbit ate ice cream?

Observe their behavior and poop for any changes. You should also feed them a lot of hay. The extra fiber would help balance their gut flora. If you notice any changes in their poop or behavior, consult a veterinarian immediately.

Conclusion

A rabbit that’s fed large amounts of dairy/sugary products like ice creams could lead to digestive distress like GI stasis, soft uneaten cecotropes, dental problems, and diarrhea. It could also lead to obesity, especially to rabbits who are confined in small cages all day without access to regular exercise.

If your rabbit is exhibiting signs of digestive distress, immediately bring them to a veterinarian.