Do You Want To Share Your Favorite Food With Your Fluffy Best Friend? In This Article We Are Going To Answer A Very Important Question – Can Bunnies Eat Chocolate Safely?
We all enjoy giving our pets something new and different to eat.
But not everything that is good for us is good for our pets.
Especially when it comes to candy.
Whether we’re deliberately offering our rabbits a treat, or they’ve eaten something accidentally, it’s hard to know what’s safe.
And a lot of the time, human food is not healthy for bunnies.
Chocolate is a sweet treat derived from cocoa beans. People have been making and eating different varieties of chocolate for hundreds of years.
This candy has a rich history in many cultures, and plenty of us would count it among our favorite foods.
So, chocolate is consumed and enjoyed by most people, but can bunnies eat chocolate?
Can bunnies eat chocolate?
The all important question is ‘Can rabbits eat chocolate’.
Rabbits cannot eat chocolate safely.
Your bun has a completely different digestive system, which has evolved to subsist on grass and hay.
There are substances in chocolate that your buns stomach just isn’t built to handle.
The Easter bunny might bring us chocolate, but real bunnies cant deal with it.
While it’s a safe treat for humans, rabbits and chocolate don’t have nearly as good a relationship.
Your rabbit should not be consuming any chocolate at all.
In fact, if you catch your bunny eating chocolate you should treat it as an emergency.
Chocolate is a real health risk for a lot of pets, not just rabbits. This delicious candy is seriously dangerous to most of the animals we live with.
So, if it’s that harmful, is chocolate poisonous to rabbits?
Is chocolate poisonous to rabbits?
Chocolate is unfortunately quite a potent rabbit poison.
This is because chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine.
These chemicals can do serious damage to your rabbit.
Bunnies that have consumed chocolate can overheat, experience heart attacks, and even suffer respiratory failure.
Can bunnies eat chocolate? No they can’t!
Theobromine and caffeine are both methylxanthines, and affect rabbits in very similar ways.
Methylxanthines are toxic to rabbits, they’re not adapted to them in any way. There’s much more theobromine than caffeine in chocolate, but still enough caffeine to add to the negative effects.
Just how much chocolate it takes to put a rabbits life in danger can depend on it’s weight.
Less than 1oz of milk chocolate chocolate could prove fatal to a 6 pound rabbit. This small amount may be eaten quickly if left out around your bunny.
Not all chocolate is equal, when it comes to methylxanthine content.
Dark chocolate can contain three times the theobromine and caffeine of milk chocolate, making it much more dangerous.
This doesn’t make milk or even white chocolate comparatively safe, but it does make dark chocolate a real risk indeed.
Is chocolate bad for rabbits?
Needless to say, chocolate is absolutely bad for rabbits. You should go to any lengths necessary to keep your bun away from this dangerous food item.
Chocolate is a man made food, so there’s no reason to expect rabbits would deal with it well.
There are a lot of things we eat regularly that our pets just can’t handle. As we’ve mentioned rabbits subsist on a diet of mainly hay, so their digestive systems are very different to ours.
There is a possibility that a very small amount of chocolate would be fine. But I don’t know why you would want to chance it. Even very low levels of theobromine administered over long periods have cause death in tests.
My answer to the question ‘can rabbits have chocolate’ is a firm no.
So, if despite your best efforts you end up in the worst possible scenario ‘My rabbit ate chocolate’ ,what do you do?
My rabbit ate chocolate – what shall I do?
What if you didn’t know the answer to can bunnies eat chocolate was no until after you’d fed him some?
If you see your rabbit eating chocolate, don’t delay. Do not assume your bunny will be fine just because they don’t display any symptoms.
If your rabbit ate chocolate it may take 6-12 hours for clinical signs to develop, but they could also come on much quicker.
The first obvious signs of poisoning are usually vomiting and diarrhea. If you can get your rabbit to a vet before symptoms appear, he’ll have a greater chance of recovery.
Once the chocolate is in your rabbit’s system they’ll need veterinary attention as soon as possible. Any delay could be the difference between life and death for your bun.
Get to the vet!
Your vet may be able to counteract the toxic effects of the theobromine and caffeine.
Making sure your rabbit has sufficient fluids in the interim can also help with poisoning. Water will help your bun to flush out some of the dangerous chemicals.
Chocolate poisoning in rabbits is treated in the same way as with most other animals. The vet will first treat any serious symptoms, like seizures and cardiac arrhythmia.
Once the rabbit is stable your vet will try to clear your rabbit of the methylxanthines and it may be quite a while until your rabbit is healthy again.
It’s better to be safe than sorry.
The best case scenario is one where you prevent your rabbit from eating chocolate in the first place. If your bunny ate chocolate make you sure you get it to a vet as soon as possible.
Can rabbits eat chocolate?
Once more just to make sure?
Can bunnies eat chocolate? No, they cant!
Rabbits cannot eat chocolate. If you’re wondering ‘is chocolate bad for rabbits’ the answer is a definite yes.
You should always check before you feed your rabbit something unusual. Anything other than hay is a departure from your furry friends normal diet.
The ASPCA’s animal poison control center receives 39 calls about chocolate poisoning a day.
Most of these are dog owners, but thankfully bunnies aren’t as prone to eating everything in sight as dogs.
If you find yourself in the worst case; ‘my bunny ate chocolate’ scenario, make sure you get in touch with your vet.
Bunnies and chocolate just don’t mix.
Methylxanthines Bertil B. Fredholm
Lewis’ dictionary of toxicology Page 214 R A Lewis
Toxic effects of theobromine on mature and immature male rabbits M G Soffieti, C Nebbia,F Valenza, S Amedeo, G Re
Chocolate S. M. Galway Brant
Chocolate in mesoamerica C. L. Mcneil