Can Rabbits Eat Chocolate
Can Rabbits Eat Chocolate

As a vet, I’ve seen many rabbit pet lovers who give their bunnies some chocolates. The sweetness of Chocolate makes them think it must be a good snack for their bunnies.

But Can Rabbit Eat Chocolate? You’re also unsure of the answers. Does Chocolate hurt your rabbits? Let’s find out.  In this article, I will explain everything about Chocolate and its effects on your rabbits.

What You Need to Know about Chocolate

According to Wikipedia, Chocolate is a food obtained from roasted cocoa (Theobroma cacao seed kernel). It’s available in different forms either as a liquid, paste, or solid.

Chocolate is of two different types, dark and milk chocolate.

The main difference between these two is the amount of Cacao seed (Cocoa) they contain. Milk chocolate contains about 10-50% of Cocoa, sugar, milk, and cocoa butter.

Dark Chocolate has 50-90% of Cocoa, sugar, Cocoa butter, and other ingredients.

Further details from Wikipedia reveals that Chocolate has:

  • Calories: 540k 
  • Carbohydrates: 59.8g 
  • Sugar: 51.5g 
  • Dietary fibre: 3.4g 
  • Fat: 29.7 
  • Protein: 7.6g 
  • Traces of vitamin, A, B, C, E, K and thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate 
  • Caffeine: 20mg 
  • Cholesterol: 25mg 
  • Theobromine: 205 mg 
  • Water: 1.5g 
  • 189 mg of calcium, 2.4mg of iron, 56 mg of magnesium, 372 mg of potassium.
  • Little amounts of manganese, sodium, and zinc

Such complex nutrients in one snack! Imagine how it settles in the digestive tract of your furry friends. It is also discovered that during growth, chocolate plants take in lead from environmental pollution. Dark chocolate has high amounts of lead components as much as 20%!

Can Rabbits Eat Chocolate?

Can Rabbits Eat Chocolate

Chocolate is made for human consumption. It’s part of what we consume every day either directly or as a mixture. The rich nutrients and sweetness of the chocolate make it a good choice for Us.

In a bid to show love to pet rabbits, most parents serve chocolates as special treats to their bunnies. Don’t get me wrong!  Showing love to your little friends is awesome. But not with chocolates, please!  The fact that your rabbits love chocolate doesn’t mean you should give it to them.

Rabbits cannot eat chocolate because it is not made for their consumption. You will hurt your bunnies if you feed them to them. Chocolate is made up of two major substances, Caffeine and Theobromine. These two substances are very toxic for rabbits. Just like I said, Chocolate absorbs Lead during growth. This metal substance has fatal effects on rabbits.  It hurts the bones, kidneys, and bones of our rabbits. It also affects neurobehavioral development.

That implies that despite the sweetness of chocolate, It’s not edible for your rabbits. Just looking at the nutritional components of chocolate, you will discover that the digestive system cannot break down these complexes.  The major foods of rabbits are grasses and veggies.

Do Rabbits Love Chocolate?

Firstly, you need to know that your rabbits are not picky eaters, they can eat anything you serve them. If you give them harmful substances like corn or chicken feed, they will surely eat it. Your rabbit can’t select the specific food it wants. This means that rabbits love chocolate and they will eat chocolate if you give it to them.

Rabbits love sweet and crunchy snacks! You should know better from your experiences with them. They can’t differentiate between what’s good for them and what’s not. It’s your responsibility as a good parent to pick the best food for your beloved bunnies.

What are the Health Problems Caused by Feeding Chocolate to Your Rabbits?

You are indirectly exposing your rabbit to serious health issues if you continue feeding chocolate to them.  Here are the health problems your rabbits may face if you allow your rabbits to eat chocolate.

  • Obesity

Too much sugar content in a particular feed can lead to being overweight in rabbits, otherwise called Obesity. Chocolate has high sugar content and can lead to obesity.

The best way to know if your rabbit is becoming obese is to always watch over their weight. Obesity can be fatal in very severe cases! As it is associated with other health issues like high blood pressure and diabetes. To avoid this, stay clear of chocolate.

  • Diarrhea

Even as a human, too much chocolate intake can cause diarrhea. This is not different in rabbits! A large intake of chocolate can also cause diarrhea in rabbits. Diarrhea may be fatal if it is ignored. If you notice signs of diarrhea in your rabbits, take them to your vet as soon as possible.

Frequent pooping and watery droppings are all signs of diarrhea. Diarrhea is energy-draining and can make your rabbits lose pounds of weight. Do not serve chocolates to your rabbits if you want to avoid these!

Gastrointestinal Stasis

Chocolates can upset the digestive tract of your little friend. Their system is already built to digest foods that are rich in fiber. The substances in chocolate can lead to the abnormal growth of bacteria in the gut. And can even lead to blockage in the gastrointestinal system. Signs like bloating, body discomforts, loss of appetite, and difficulty in stooling are often associated with these. Take your little friend to a clinic for immediate treatment if you notice these signs.

Brain Disorder and Seizure

Intake of chocolates can cause brain disorders and malfunction of the nervous system. It can even cause seizures. The rabbit may become unconscious all of a sudden! Also, If you notice your rabbits often tremble, It might be a result of the chocolate they ate. This brain disorder can be traced to the lead content of chocolates. Remember that chocolate plants absorb lead from pollution in the surrounding.

  • Kidney Disease

Chocolate has a high amount of mineral salts like calcium, sodium, and magnesium. You should know better from the nutrient profile I showed you earlier. These minerals form a complex known as oxalates when taken in. These oxalates may clump and form stony masses. This is capable of blocking the urinary tract of your rabbits, leading to kidney stones. Take your bunny to a vet if you notice any signs of it.

How Much Chocolate Can Affect My Rabbit?

rabbit food
Rabbit Food

A tiny amount of dark chocolate can pose a danger to your rabbit’s health. However, small amounts of white chocolate might not cause something significant to your rabbit. 

An ounce of chocolate can cause harm to your 5-6 pound rabbit, so the best and safe practice is to keep chocolate away from them.

Nonetheless, the effect of chocolate on your rabbit depends on the rabbit’s weight. A large rabbit can still survive on a tiny amount of chocolate.

What Are The Alternative Feeds to Chocolate?

Here are the alternative feeds you can get for your rabbits for optimum growth and health.

Kaytee Timothy Complete

Kaytee Timothy Complete is a complete Rabbit Food that meets the nutritional requirements of your rabbit. It is made up of Timothy hay and serves as the best fiber source for your bunnies. 

You should consider getting a pack of Kaytee Timothy Complete for your rabbit to aid its digestion. It also supplies your rabbit with the required micro and macronutrients It needs.

Vitakraft Premium Timothy

Vitakraft Premium Timothy is specially made for your bunny. It consists of hay which is the top-needed diet for your bun. It is also made up of the required amounts of fiber, vitamins, and proteins your rabbit wants. Vitakraft Premium keeps your rabbit in good health.

Brown’s Tropical Natural

Brown’s Tropical Natural is formulated to provide maximum digestion aids for your rabbits.  It also provides enough fiber needed by your bunny. 

This feed is very easy to chew and hence helps the dental development of your rabbits.

It is made to supply all the required vitamins.

Purina Complete Rabbit Feed

If you are looking for low-budget food for your pets. You should consider this feed. Its low cost makes it one of the best feeds for your rabbit. Whether your rabbit is a young or an adult fellow, this feed suits all ages and life stages of your rabbit. 

Rabbit Hole Hay Ultra Premium

Rabbit Hay Ultra is known for its quality over the years. It’s very rich in fiber, protein, Calcium, fat, and calories. It’s suitable for bunnies under 6 months. Rabbit Hay Ultra also promotes the dental well-being of your bunnies.

What Can I Do If My Rabbit Mistakenly Eats Chocolate?

The mistake is inevitable, your rabbit can eat chocolate by mistake especially if you are a chocolate lover. Your bunny can feed on that chocolate leftover you dropped in the waste bin. 

However, there are two ways you can save your rabbit if it mistakenly eats chocolate. Out of these two, Option, 1 is highly advisable.

Visit Your Veterinarian

If you suspect your rabbit ate chocolate, the best action is to visit your veterinarian for better treatment of your rabbit.

This is What the Vet Does

Unlike dogs and other pet animals, rabbits can’t vomit which makes it impossible for them to vomit the chocolate they ate. However, The Vet uses a special medical tool called a “Stomach tube” to flush the rabbit’s stomach. 

This process is however a stressful and costly one, and that’s why you need to prevent it from happening in the first place. The vet will also check the sugar content in the rabbit by conducting a blood test.

Do It Yourself

In case you can’t visit a vet or your vet is not available at the moment, you can also consider doing it yourself.

This is What You Will Do

Keep watching its behavior and interaction with the environment. Let Your rabbit remove the chocolate through their poop since it can’t vomit it. Give them plenty of water to make the pooping and urination process easier. Ensure you are careful next time. Put away all chocolate bits from the reach of your rabbits.

Frequently Asked Questions Related To Can Rabbits Eat Chocolate

Can My Rabbit Eat White Chocolate?

White Chocolate is also bad for your rabbits and you must not give it to them.  Though a tiny amount of white chocolate might not cause any significant problem for the rabbit, it’s still not a valid excuse to feed it to them.

Can My Rabbit Eat Dark Chocolate?

Dark Chocolate is a harmful chocolate to the rabbit. a tiny amount of it can cause serious issues to the rabbit.

Can Rabbits Eat Chocolate – Conclusion

Your rabbits should not be given chocolate as it is toxic to their health. Although rabbits may love the sweet taste of chocolate. You need to understand that rabbits cannot differentiate between what is good and bad for their health. 

Chocolate contains caffeine, theobromine, and lead which are harmful substances to your bunnies. You must also keep a keen eye on your rabbits’ feed. If your rabbits mistakenly eat chocolate, the best option is to visit your veterinarian. Note that, Unlike Dogs and other pet animals, Rabbits can’t vomit which makes it impossible for them to vomit the chocolate they ate.

About the Author

Dr Jan Pol

Founder & Author

Dr. Pol has written several best-selling books. Namely: Never turn back on an Angus cow—my life as a country vet, tales from his illustrious, a memoir that recruits amusing, incredible 45+ year veterinary career and often poignant. He has also launched several animal food products. Especially for dogs, cats, horses, chickens, goats, and rabbits. He started in December 2019 and has launched more over the years. In 2013, Dr. Pol was awarded an honorary doctorate of public service by Central Michigan University.

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