Can Rabbits Eat Lentils? What you need to know.

Categorized as Bunny Diet Tagged

Last Updated on July 24, 2022 by Rei Garnet

Quick Facts About Lentils:

  • Scientific name – Lens culinaris
  • Also known as – dal, legume, pigeon pea, bean, and dahl.
  • Origin – Mediterranean
  • Most commonly found in – Canada

While feeding small amounts of cooked or uncooked lentils to rabbits is not harmful, feeding them large amounts of lentils could lead to digestive distress like diarrhea and GI stasis.

100 grams of uncooked lentils contains 63 grams of carbs, which is 23% starch.

Rabbits should limit themselves to 0–138 grams of starch per day, meaning rabbits can be fine with or without any starch in their diet.

Feeding starchy foods like lentils to your rabbits would do more harm than good.

You should focus on feeding your rabbits high-quality hay instead.

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

Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain the different risks and alternatives to lentils:

Risk of overfeeding lentils to rabbits.

A handful of uncooked lentils

Lentils is high in carbs and low in fiber, which is the opposite of what a rabbit’s diet should consist off.

Feeding it to your rabbits carries a certain risk when fed in large amounts because rabbits have difficulty digesting it.

Here are some of the risks associated with feeding your rabbits large amounts of lentils:

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 lentils would check those two boxes I mentioned.

Gastrointestinal Stasis

Gastrointestinal stasis is also possible when a rabbit is fed large amounts of lentils, which are high in carbs and starch.

GI stasis happens when the balance of bacteria in your rabbit’s gut is disrupted due to a high-carb, low-fiber diet.

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.

Obesity

Obesity in rabbits is also possible when fed large amounts of starchy food.

Rabbits that are confined in cages all day without exercise and fed large amounts of high-carb, low-fiber diets are the most susceptible to obesity.

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Should you panic if your rabbit eats a little bit of lentils?

No, as long as your rabbit is eating the right kind of diet and you are not giving them a bowl of lentils to feed on, they should be fine.

Feeding a lot of hay would help prevent any digestive problems that might occur if your rabbit accidentally ate a little bit of lentils.

What to do if your rabbit ate lentils?

Observe their behavior and poop for any changes.

You should also feed them a lot of hay.

If you do notice any changes in their poop, take them to a veterinarian.

Conclusion

A rabbit eating small amounts of lentils is not a concern as long as the rabbit is on a fiber-rich diet.

Just make sure that you monitor their stool for any changes both in consistency and size.

Rabbits that are fed large amounts of lentils could experience digestive distress like GI stasis and diarrhea.

It could also lead to obesity, especially in 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.

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (September 16, 2022) Can Rabbits Eat Lentils? What you need to know.. Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/can-rabbits-eat-lentils/.
"Can Rabbits Eat Lentils? What you need to know.." Bunny Horde - September 16, 2022, https://bunnyhorde.com/can-rabbits-eat-lentils/

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By Rei Garnet

I’ve loved and cared for rabbits since I was 9 years old, and I’m here to share my passion for rabbits. My objective is to help rabbit owners give their rabbits the best life possible.