Can Rabbits Eat Toast? What you need to know.

Categorized as Bunny Diet Tagged

Last Updated on April 23, 2022 by Rei Garnet

While a pet rabbit accidentally eating a small amount of toast is not dangerous, it should still be avoided.

Toast is mostly made out of starch and complex carbohydrates, both of which are bad for rabbits if fed in large amounts.

Rabbit’s digestive system cannot process starch and carbs well, which could lead to digestive issues like GI stasis, diarrhea, and uneaten caecotrophs.

Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more detail why toast should not be fed to rabbits:

Risk of overfeeding toast to rabbits.

A rabbit about to eat a toast.

As I said earlier, rabbits are bad at digesting starch and complex carbs, which could lead to all kinds of digestive distress if fed in large amounts.

Here are some of the possible problems you might encounter when feeding large amounts of toast to your rabbits:

Diarrhea

Diarrhea in rabbits mainly happens when they are fed the wrong diet.

The majority of your rabbit’s diet should be high in fiber (hay) and low in carbs and starch.

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

Untreated diarrhea is dangerous and often fatal, especially to young rabbits.

Gastrointestinal Stasis

Feeding your rabbit large amounts of toast (low fiber and high in starch) could lead to an imbalance of pH in your rabbit’s gut, causing an upset in the bacteria living there.

That, in turn, produces painful gas that would eventually lead to your rabbit developing a condition called GI stasis, which could lead to organ failure and death if not treated.

Uneaten caecotrophs

Uneaten caecotrophs happen when the consistency of the caecotrophs is so soft that instead of your rabbit eating them, they often become entangled in your rabbit’s fur instead.

It’s often hard to differentiate between caecotrophs and diarrhea.

Most of the time, when a rabbit owner notices that their rabbit’s bottom is full of poop, they always assume that diarrhea is the culprit.

You would know the difference between the two by looking at your rabbit’s litter box if there are any hard poop pellets in there.

If your rabbit has diarrhea, all you will see is soft or no stool at all.

Uneaten caecotrophs are most commonly caused by a change in diet, lack of fiber, and obesity.

Obesity

Overfeeding the wrong diet can also lead to obesity. 

Rabbits that are caged all day and fed a diet that’s high in starch and carbs are the most prone.

Healthy alternative to toast

Two rabbits eating vegetables together.

The best diet for rabbits is the one that mimics what they eat in the wild.

Their main diet should be 80% hay, 10%–15% veggies, and 5% pellets.

If you’re planning on giving toast as a treat to your rabbits, try one of these alternatives instead:

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Welcome to Bunnyhorde

Just make sure that you limit giving treats to 2 times per week, and the amount should be based on your rabbit’s body weight:

Rabbit’s weight based on breedAllowed sugary treats
Small breed (1.1–3.5 pounds)1 teaspoon
Medium breed (6 to 10 pounds)1-2 tablespoon
Large breed ( 9 and 12 pounds)2-3 tablespoon
Source: Patry, Karen, et al. The Rabbit-Raising Problem Solver: Your Questions Answered about Housing, Feeding, Behavior, Health Care, Breeding, and Kindling. Storey Publishing, 2014.

Conclusion

Rabbits’ digestive systems are not made to digest large amounts of starch and complex carbohydrates.

That’s why feeding large amounts of toast or bread to rabbits is bad because it could lead to conditions like diarrhea, GI stasis, uneaten caecotrophs, and obesity.

But if your rabbit accidentally ate a bit of toast, just observe their stool for any changes and feed them large amounts of fiber (hay).

If you’re planning on giving your rabbit toast as a treat, a much healthier alternative would be fruits like bananas, strawberries, grapes, etc.

Just make sure that you limit giving your rabbit sugary treats to two times a week.

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (May 2, 2022) Can Rabbits Eat Toast? What you need to know.. Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/can-rabbits-eat-toast/.
"Can Rabbits Eat Toast? What you need to know.." Bunny Horde - May 2, 2022, https://bunnyhorde.com/can-rabbits-eat-toast/

Sources and further reading

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.