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Can Rabbits Eat Chocolate? [What Every Owners NEEDS To Know]

As a rabbit owner, you may be wondering if rabbits can eat chocolate. Is it safe or even healthy for them to do so? I decided to research the topic. Find everything you need to know here.

So, can rabbits eat chocolate? Rabbits must not eat chocolate, even in small amounts. If your rabbit does eat chocolate, even accidentally, treat it as an emergency. Chocolate naturally contains caffeine and theobromine, two substances that can prove toxic to a rabbit, even in low doses.

Let us now take a closer look at the topic, answering some of the most common questions which you may have around rabbits and this food.

Is Chocolate Toxic To Rabbits?

Your rabbit’s digestive system has evolved to allow optimal digestion of its main source of nutrients: grass and hay.

In short, your bunny’s stomach cannot digest the chemicals such as caffeine and theobromine which are methylxanthines and can cause a whole host of nasty symptoms that may prove fatal to your pet.

However, levels of the chemical substances vary between different types of chocolate, so don’t panic!

The best thing you can do is monitor your rabbit for symptoms, keep them hydrated and contact your vet for further guidance.  

You should look for symptoms that include: increased heart rate, dehydration, seizures and arrythmias. These symptoms occur due to the methylxanthines in chocolate stimulating your rabbit’s nervous system.

It is important therefore, to keep your bunny hydrated if you suspect that they have ingested chocolate and keep a close eye on them.

Do remember though, even if your rabbit isn’t displaying any symptoms, it is better to be safe than sorry – seek advice from your vet.

The Easter bunny may love chocolate – but it is in no way healthy for your pet!

Rabbit Eating

What To Do If Your Rabbit Has Eaten Some Chocolate

First and foremost, if your bunny has eaten some chocolate, stay calm! The bond you have with your pet means that they can pick up on how you are feeling. Staying calm will make you rabbit less stressed while you deal with the situation.

It is always recommended that you contact your vet if you suspect that your bunny has eaten some chocolate. They can offer expert advice and guidance as to the next steps you should take and may ask you some questions to ascertain the next course of action.

It is always recommended that you contact your vet if you suspect that your bunny has eaten some chocolate. They can offer expert advice and guidance as to the next steps you should take and may ask you some questions to ascertain the next course of action.

Whilst seeking advice, it is also vital that you keep an eye on your rabbit: monitoring their behaviour, whether or not they are eating or drinking, if they have urinated or pooped and whether or not their heart is beating faster than normal.

The observations you make during this time are likely to be able to help you answer questions for your vet.

Keeping your pet hydrated is also important if you think that they may have eaten some chocolate as water can help to flush any of the harmful chemicals out of their system.

Questions that your vet may ask include: how much chocolate was ingested by your rabbit, when did it happen, have you noticed any symptoms and what type of chocolate was it.

Be totally honest with your answers, the vet will not judge you, they want to help you rabbit as much as you do.

Keep in mind that it may take up to 12 hours for symptoms to develop if your rabbit has eaten some chocolate.

How Much Chocolate Will Kill A Rabbit?

If you still have concerns about how much chocolate your rabbit has eaten and if it will do them any harm: here is the information to consider.  

The amount of chocolate that would prove fatal to a rabbit depends on a multitude of different factors including the weight of the rabbit, type of chocolate eaten and the metabolic rate of the rabbit.

Typically speaking, the toxic dose of Theobromine (and caffeine) for pets is 100-200mg/kg. This is refuted by the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) who have noted problems at doses much lower than this.

As little as 1oz of chocolate might prove fatal to a rabbit weighing less than 5 pounds. Hence why chocolate should be avoided at all costs.

It should be noted that different types of chocolate contain different levels of the potentially fatal theobromine for your rabbit.

Typically, white and milk chocolate have less of the chemical in them whereas dark chocolate can sometimes contain up to three times the amount.

That being said, it is better to avoid any chocolate when it comes to the health and wellbeing of your pet rabbit.

Other Foods You Shouldn’t Feed A Rabbit

Whilst on the topic, there are a few other foods that you should avoid feeding your bunny. Remember, your rabbit’s digestive system has developed in order to digest its primary food source of grass and hay. Your bunny’s stomach will not be able to digest foods such as:

  • Bread,
  • Cereals,
  • Peanut butter,
  • Iceberg lettuce,
  • Potatoes and surprisingly,
  • Cauliflower.

Foods that are considered a healthy part of our diet aren’t always a safe option for your pet.

Alternative Treats For Rabbits

We love our pet rabbits, and want to show them this all the time! Treats are a great way to show love and build a trusting bond with your pet rabbit so you may be looking for some tasty treats that you rabbit will love!

It’s the same principle for humans as it is for rabbits when it comes to treats: these should be enjoyed in moderation. Treats should not make up the bulk of you rabbit’s diet however, can be used to supplement in moderation.

The best treats for you rabbit are ones that deliver added health benefits.

Bunnies love carrots! Cliché, but true. As well as being a delicious treat for your rabbit, the hard texture of carrots can help keep your pet’s teeth in good condition.

Curly kale, apples, bananas and oranges can also be given as a treat to your rabbit. Again, these should be in moderation, so only give your rabbit small amounts of these. The vitamins and minerals in these tasty treats can help to keep your rabbit healthy.

Whilst chocolate cannot be consumed by your bunny, we have found some of the best rated treats for your furry friend!

Vitakraft Rabbit Sticks from Amazon come in three different flavours including popcorn and provide essential vitamins for your rabbit as well as hours of chewing fun on the wooden stick after the treat has been enjoyed.

A healthy and delicious treat for you rabbit – what could be better?!

Conclusion

In summary, it is not safe for rabbits to eat chocolate. Your rabbit will be able to get all the nutrients that they need to stay healthy from a diet of grass and hay.

Remember, if your rabbit has eaten some chocolate or you suspect they have, monitor them closely, keep them hydrated and do not hesitate to seek advice from your vet.

Rabbits are wonderful and rewarding pets, if you want to treat them, always check that what you are going to give them is safe and only ever give treats in moderation.