Chocolate is one of the most beloved food in the world. It is sweet, creamy, and has a crunch. Your bunny would love to eat it.
Bunnies do not know what is good and bad for them. As grazing animals, they will munch on anything that comes their way. Chocolate is not suitable for your rabbit due to its components. So, what to do if your rabbit eats chocolate?
If you notice that your rabbit has eaten a small piece of chocolate, you should treat it as an emergency. Since it contains caffeine and theobromine, chocolate is poisonous for your rabbit and can be fatal if not removed from your bunny. It would be best if you do not take any risks and immediately contact your vet for a health check.
People link chocolate with bunnies often. The most famous bunny with a chocolate relationship is Easter Bunny. Plus, many companies make chocolate bunnies as a treat.
It makes less sense as chocolate is toxic for all animals, especially fragile creatures like rabbits. Scroll more to learn about why chocolate is bad for your precious rabbit!
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Why is Chocolate Toxic for Rabbits?
Chocolate contains an element called theobromine. The cocoa plant makes chocolate, which contains caffeine as theobromine. Caffeine is excellent for people. It helps us feel awake, energetic, productive, and motivated. However, animals do not need external caffeine to feel awake.
Caffeine or theobromine harms rabbits. They are tiny and fragile creatures, so their organs cannot sustain chocolate. The caffeine in the chocolate puts stress on your rabbit’s heart. It makes it beat faster. If your rabbit overeats chocolate, it can cause your poor rabbit’s heart to explode.
Furthermore, chocolate has a high sugar and fat content. A rabbit’s digestive system cannot break down complex food groups like sugar and fats. It causes them to suffer from digestive issues like diarrhea and GI stasis.
Something that triggers a person’s happy hormone can also induce anxiety and stress in a rabbit. Chocolate is bad for all animals, and you should never feed it to your pets.
Effects of Chocolate on Your Precious Rabbit
Chocolate is poisonous to your pet because it contains theobromine and caffeine, both of which are from the methylxanthine family. These components affect the nervous system and cause the cardiovascular and digestive systems to work in overdrive.
People can eat multiple bars of chocolate without any issues. However, due to their small size and fragile bodies, bunnies would have trouble even if they ate a small piece of this delicious sweet bar. Here are a few health concerns your rabbit will have to face if it eats chocolate:
It Makes Your Precious Rabbit’s Heart Race
A rabbit’s heart beats faster than people’s. On a typical day, your furry friend’s heart beats 150 times per minute in resting condition. On the other hand, when your bunny is anxious or afraid, its heart rate will increase to 300 beats per minute.
When your cute pet eats chocolate or any other food containing theobromine or caffeine, its resting heart rate goes to 310 beats per minute. Bunnies have sensitive hearts and cannot bear so much pressure and stress. If not taken care of, your rabbit’s heart can explode due to beating too fast.
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Chocolate’s harmful contents can cause irregularities in your rabbit’s heart rhythm. Arrhythmias can mean many things for your poor pet. It is a broad umbrella that includes fast beats, slow beats, skipped beats, etc.
Put a stethoscope on your rabbit’s chest and listen to its heart. If you notice any irregularities in your bunny’s heartbeat, the chocolate has started working, and you need to get to the vet immediately.
Increased Calcium Levels
Chocolate can increase your rabbit’s calcium levels. Bunnies require specific amounts of minerals and vitamins.
Any more than the required amount and your precious furry friend’s body starts reacting adversely. Increased calcium levels can cause kidney and bladder stones in your rabbit. Your bunny can also suffer from skeletal muscle issues such as seizures.
A rabbit’s sensitive digestive system cannot efficiently break down theobromine and caffeine. It gives the toxic elements loads of time to reach the rabbit’s bloodstream and wreak havoc.
Your bunny’s blood absorbs these toxic components, leading to multiple organ failures and death.
What Should You Do If Your Furry Rabbit Eats Chocolate?
Suppose your precious bunny rabbit has eaten chocolate. Your first thought would be to wait for the symptoms to show. Do not do this. Waiting for your rabbit to exhibit poisoning symptoms will not be wise, as you will give the chocolate time to make your bunny sick.
Contact your vet as soon as you notice your bunny has gotten in touch with chocolate. It can take 6 to 12 hours to show the symptoms, but by then, it will be too late, and your bunny will be in pain.
The quickest symptom of chocolate poisoning is diarrhea. The toxicity has started to affect your precious pet when you see your bunny passing watery stool.
Book an appointment with your vet immediately. Note the time when your bunny ate the chocolate and possibly the amount of chocolate consumed. Your vet needs to know this information to form the best-suited recovery plan for your rabbit.
When other animals have ingested poison, the vet induces vomiting to take the toxin out of their system as much as possible. Rabbits cannot vomit. The only way your vet will be able to clean your bunny’s stomach is by artificial means. In addition, your rabbit’s doctor will likely give your bunny some medication to recover from the traumatic event.
Nonetheless, it is best to take your rabbit to the vet even if it does not show poisoning symptoms. The longer you wait, the more it lessens your rabbit’s chance of survival.
Other Foods To Avoid When Feeding Your Rabbit
Chocolate is not the only food that is toxic for your rabbit. As herbivores, bunnies can only eat plants. However, only some plants agree with your rabbit’s sensitive digestive tract and fragile bodily functions.
Processed and frozen foods are a big no when feeding your precious furry friend. Bunnies will only eat fresh and clean vegetables, hay, fruits, flowers, and pellets.
Rabbits are little snobs and will wiggle their tails in disapproval if you try to give them anything that is not fresh. Plus, processed food will upset your poor rabbit’s stomach and cause it to suffer from diarrhea and GI stasis.
Here is a list of common foods that people mistake as bunny-approved but you should never give to cute rabbits:
- Peanut butter
- Iceberg lettuce
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Safe Foods for Your Precious Little Bunny
It is saddening that the food that brings us happiness can cause so much pain to your cute little furry bunny. Do not frown because there are plenty of vegetables, fruits, and herbs your bunny can enjoy and get benefits.
Here are a bunch of foods that are safe for your bunny rabbit to eat in moderate amounts:
- Brussel sprouts
- Romaine Lettuce
When feeding your rabbit anything other than hay, remember to measure it against your bunny’s weight. Give greens, fruits, flowers, or herbs to your rabbit as treats.
It is best to feed your rabbit one or two teaspoons of a veggie or fruit for 2lbs of its weight once a week in a meal. Furthermore, only make hay the central portion of your rabbit’s daily diet.
Only feed your bunny unlimited hay with other foods as side dishes to add variety to your pet’s meals.
If you mistakenly overfeed your rabbit any veggies or fruits, contact your vet and let him know. Too much food, other than hay, harms your rabbit’s gut and can cause severe health issues. Your rabbit gets emotionally disturbed when it gets physically sick. So, be careful.
Chocolate is your rabbit’s worst enemy. Avoid giving it to your rabbit at all costs. If your rabbit accidentally eats some chocolate, take it to the vet’s clinic immediately.
Do not wait for your bunny to show symptoms, as it can take a while for the toxins to react with your bunny’s body. As a pet owner, you are to take care of your pet. Bunnies are voiceless, innocent, and helpless creatures that depend on their pet parents for emotional and physical well-being.
Be careful about your rabbit’s feeding habits, and give it loads of love, attention, and care. Raising a rabbit is a big responsibility. Prepare before you get a bunny, and everything shall go smoothly.