Last Updated on November 16, 2021 by Rei
While it’s true that marshmallows are not toxic to rabbits, you should still avoid giving your rabbits one because it’s too high in sugar. Rabbits that are fed large amounts of sugar are at risk of developing digestive problems like diarrhea and GI stasis.
Marshmallows are mostly made out of sugar, corn syrup, and gelatin, plus some air. All of which are not recommended to be fed to rabbits in large amounts.
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 the different risks and alternatives to marshmallows:
Risk of overfeeding marshmallows to rabbits.
Sugar, being the main ingredient of most marshmallows, carries a certain risk when fed in large amounts because rabbits have difficulty digesting it.
Here are some of the risks associated when you feed your rabbits large amounts of marshmallows:
Diarrhea in rabbits is often caused by the wrong diet or when their diet is changed too fast. Feeding your rabbit large amounts of marshmallows would check those two boxes I mentioned.
Gastrointestinal stasis is also possible when a rabbit is fed large amounts of marshmallows, 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:
- Hunched posture
- Decreased appetite/anorexia
If you notice any of these signs, immediately bring your rabbit to a veterinarian.
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 diet are the most susceptible to obesity.
Healthy alternative to marshmallows as treats.
If you planning on giving your bunnies marshmallows 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:
- Apple (remove seeds)
- Cherries (remove seeds)
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Should you panic if your rabbit ate a little amount of marshmallows?
No. As long as your rabbit is eating the right kind of diet and you are not giving them a ton of marshmallows to snack on, then your rabbit should be fine.
Feeding a lot of hay would help prevent any digestive problems that might occur if your rabbit accidentally bites marshmallows.
What to do if your rabbit ate marshmallows?
A rabbit eating small amounts of marshmallows 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.
A rabbit that’s fed large amounts of high sugar foods like marshmallows could lead to digestive distress like GI stasis 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.