Rabbits have sensitive digestive systems. That is why they require special care when it comes to their diet. But what about rice cakes? Rice is a staple in many cultures, but can rabbits eat rice cakes?
Rice cakes are not suitable for rabbits. It is high in calories and filled with carbohydrates. Moreover, it lacks fiber, which is an essential component of a rabbit’s diet. Therefore, you should avoid giving your rabbit rice and rice cakes.
A rabbit’s diet should be high in fiber. Their weak digestive system might not be able to handle rice regularly. You can give your pet rabbits much alternative and readily available food.
Can Rabbits Eat Rice Cakes?
Rice cakes are not safe for your rabbits. Rice and rice cakes have low fiber and high starch in them. It can lead to intestinal and gut issues. In a worst-case scenario, your rabbit might even die.
The problem is more than just rice and rice cakes. Any type of food high in carbs is not suitable for rabbits. And you should avoid giving your bunnies such food.
The thing that some rabbit owners get wrong is that when they see their pets happily eat rice, they assume it is okay. But even though your rabbit might eat rice, it is not good for them.
Tiny nibbles of rice cakes are fine, though. But then again, I would be cautious. Rice and similar food are unhealthy for rabbits. Moreover, you would not even want to give your bunnies rice once you know what it does to them.
How Does Rice Affect Rabbits?
Rabbits are natural herbivores. Their diet would consist of hay, vegetables, and fruits in nature. Moreover, they also need to maintain their digestive health.
Regularly giving rabbits rice cakes can harm their gut. Moreover, rice does not have proper nutrients which help rabbits grow. Also, overeating rice can affect your rabbit’s digestive health.
Their little stomachs are bad at breaking it down properly. However, the biggest problem with giving your rabbits rice and rice cakes is the need for more fiber.
Rice does not have fiber. It is filled with carbs and has high caloric content as well. As a result, your rabbit’s insulin levels may spike up. Eating rice also puts a lot of pressure on their organs when they digest it.
All these might be too much to handle. Rabbits are known to have poor digestive systems. And if you overload them with foods like rice, you will strain it too much.
What Health Issues Can Rice and Rice Cakes Cause for Your Rabbits?
Eating rice regularly can have some severe adverse health effects on your pet rabbit. Here are the common medical problems they might suffer:
Rice has very little nutritional value. But, at the same time, it is high in calories. Therefore, regularly giving your pet rabbit rice can increase its weight and cause obesity.
And I am sure you know why that is a bad thing. Obesity brings more related health problems down the line. It prevents your rabbit from living a healthy and happy life.
Speaking of your rabbits leading a happy life, you might also want to get a buddy for them. Rabbits can die of loneliness. They are very social animals and are known to grieve when they lose a companion.
Eating rice can cause gastrointestinal problems for rabbits, such as bloating. In addition, it can cause your rabbit to be very uncomfortable. Rabbits can also face bowel movement-related problems when overeating rice.
Some rabbits can suffer from pain and cramps. One sign of this is if your rabbit is less active than it usually is. For example, your rabbit might not want to move around too much.
Rabbits are very active. They can jump very high. So, if your bunnies are not moving too much, it might be a sign of cramps.
On the other end, rabbits can also become very restless. They might be skittish, hyperactive, and have trouble sleeping.
Another issue with giving rabbits rice and other similar foods is urinary discomfort. You might need to take your rabbit to a veterinarian in that case.
Are Rice Cakes Poisonous for Rabbits?
Even though I highly discourage giving your rabbits rice or rice cakes at all times, it is not poisonous, per se. For example, chocolate is toxic to rabbits.
Meaning they might die. With this one, rabbits are teaming up with dogs – dogs also cannot eat chocolate.
Although it is not poisonous, rice is not part of a natural diet for rabbits. They might not instantly die when having rice, but their health can suffer. In simple words, rice is simply not suitable food for rabbits.
What is a Rabbit’s Natural Diet
Alright, so by now, you know a rabbit should not eat rice that often. So, what should you feed it? Knowing a rabbit’s natural diet will help you craft the perfect diet plan. Here is what you should be giving your rabbits to eat:
Hay and lots of it. Rabbits require a high-fiber diet to stay healthy. In addition, since they have unique digestive systems, hay is the best for them. Therefore, hay should be your rabbit’s primary food.
Good news, your rabbit will love fruits as much as you do. Well, assuming you like fruits too. Anyway, rabbits should have fresh fruits once or twice a week.
The best way is to introduce it slowly into their diet. Do not exclusively feed fruits abruptly. I cannot stress that their digestive system is a bit weak. Popular fruits you can give your rabbit are:
Remember to remove the seeds if you give your rabbits fruits like apples or cherries.
Vegetables should be given to your rabbit once or twice a week, just like fruits. Similarly, introduce veggies into their diet gradually. If you want to provide them with veggies regularly, limit it to only 2 cups daily.
Vegetables like potatoes, beans, corn, nuts, or some seeds should be avoided. Your rabbit will have difficulty digesting it. Here is a list of safe options to give your rabbits:
- Bok choy
- Bell peppers
- Broccoli leaves
- Broccoli stems
Apart from vegetables, herbs and lettuce is a rabbit’s favorite. You could give your furball popular herbs like:
- Red leaf
By now, you might be wondering where the pellets are. I saved it for last. Yes, you can give your rabbit pellets. Pellets are convenient and great for introducing specific nutrition into a rabbit’s diet.
But do not be too generous with these. Average adult rabbits need only a quarter cup daily. In addition, you can give rabbits Timothy hay pellets.
On the other hand, younger rabbits can have alfalfa pellets. The ones with high fiber are the best for them. As a general rule of thumb, always read the ingredient lists since choosing the right pellets is important.
If you are unsure about what to feed your rabbits, talk to a veterinarian. They can give you a good diet plan. Another thing is, and this goes without saying, to ensure your rabbit has access to fresh, clean water at all times.
What Food Should You Not Give Rabbits?
Knowing what not to feed rabbits will help you be on the safe side. You should avoid all kinds of human threats. As I said, their digestive system will not be able to handle it. Here are other foods to avoid:
- Beet greens
- Mustard greens
- All kinds of corn treats
Can I give my rabbits stuffed rice?
Stuffed rice is not suitable for rabbits. It has very nutritional value and poses the same problems as regular rice.
Will rabbits die if they eat rice?
Your rabbits will not instantly die from eating rice. But it does not add much nutritional value to their diet. Moreover, they might face health problems if they keep eating rice.
How will I know if my rabbits are bloated?
There are some clear signs you can look for to tell whether a rabbit is bloated or not. Common ones are distended abdomens, lower appetite, decreased activity, and fewer bathroom breaks.
Rice and rice cakes are not the best food for rabbits. They are not poisonous, but eating them regularly can cause problems for your pet. Moreover, there is no specific reason to give your rabbits rice cakes since they are not that nutritious.
It might seem like rabbits are pretty high-maintenance. However, that is not the case. They have a sensitive digestive system. So you just need to be mindful of what you feed them.