Last Updated on October 11, 2022 by Rei Garnet
While peanut butter is not poisonous to rabbits, feeding them large amounts of peanut butter could lead to digestive distress like diarrhea, and GI stasis because rabbits don’t tolerate fatty food well.
Peanut butter is mostly made out of ground peanuts, sugar, salt, and oil(fat). All of which are not recommended to be given to rabbits in any amount intentionally.
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’t eat peanut butter:
Risk of overfeeding peanut butter to rabbits.
Fatty, oily, and salty products like peanut butter 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 large amounts of fatty foods like peanut butter.
Here are some of the risks associated when you feed your rabbits large amounts of peanut butter :
Diarrhea in rabbits is often caused by the wrong diet or when their diet is changed too fast. Feeding your rabbit large amounts of peanut butter would check those two boxes I mentioned.
Gastrointestinal stasis is also possible when a rabbit is fed large amounts of peanut butter, which is high in fat. GI stasis mainly happens when a rabbit is fed a low-fiber diet.
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:
- Hunched posture
- Decreased appetite/anorexia
If you notice any of these signs, immediately bring your rabbit to a veterinarian.
Soft uneaten cecotropes are also possible when rabbits are eating large amounts of peanut butter instead of hay. This could lead to softer cecotropes due to the lack of fiber in your rabbit’s diet.
Healthy alternative to peanut butter as treats.
If you planning on giving your rabbits peanut butter 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 bit of peanut butter?
While peanut butter is not recommended for rabbits, it’s still not toxic. It’s just that peanut butter is too high in oil, sugar, and salt, all of which 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 peanut butter?
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.
A rabbit that’s fed large amounts of oily, sugary, and salty products like peanut butter could lead to digestive distress like GI stasis, soft uneaten cecotropes, 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.
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