Have you ever wanted to share some chocolate with your bunny? Many people love to give their pets a taste of their favorite snacks, but it’s important to check what is and is not safe before you do this, or you might hurt your rabbit.
Chocolate is something you should NEVER give to a rabbit, because it contains toxic substances and could really harm your rabbit, even in relatively small amounts. Never allow your rabbit to eat chocolate, and don’t leave it lying around your rabbit’s pen either.
Do Rabbits Like Chocolate?
It is certainly possible that your rabbit will eat chocolate if you give it the opportunity to do so, which is an important issue to be aware of. Although rabbits sometimes have a sense of what they should and should not eat, some rabbits will try to eat chocolate because it smells interesting and tastes sweet.
It is up to you to keep chocolate away from your rabbit, rather than to trust your rabbit not to eat chocolate. Many rabbits are attracted to sugar, even though it isn’t good for them, so be careful about this.
Why Is Chocolate Bad For Rabbits?
There are many reasons that chocolate is unsafe for rabbits to eat; it is an unsuitable food in almost every way. Chocolate is often full of sugar, which rabbits struggle to digest and which can lead to obesity.
More importantly, chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, and these are both methylxanthines that can result in all kinds of problems. They will stimulate the nervous system and can cause seizures and arrhythmias, speeding your rabbit’s heart up dangerously.
In serious cases, this could lead to a heart attack. It may also cause respiratory failure or overheating. If you think your rabbit has eaten chocolate, you must get it to a vet swiftly, even if it is not yet showing any symptoms of being ill.
Apart from the more serious reasons not to give rabbits chocolate, it is too soft to be a very good food option. Rabbits need foods that are fibrous and will help to grind their teeth down, and chocolate is crumbly and will often simply melt.
Don’t let your rabbit eat chocolate, no matter how much it likes it. This could kill it very easily.
What Should I Do If My Rabbit Has Eaten Chocolate?
Accidents happen sometimes and even if you know your rabbit shouldn’t have chocolate, you might have accidentally left a bar lying around at some time or another. If this happens and you find your rabbit eating it, remove the chocolate immediately.
Get as much chocolate as you can out of your rabbit’s mouth and then give it some clean, fresh water to help it stay hydrated and encourage it to flush its system out. Next, you should call a vet, even if your rabbit is not showing signs of poisoning.
Book an appointment to get your rabbit checked over as soon as possible. Your vet will hopefully be able to help deal with any issues that arise.
In the meantime, look out for any symptoms of poisoning and keep your rabbit calm if possible. Place it back in its cage and consider covering the cage (or some of the cage) with a blanket.
This will block out some of the light and should help your rabbit to stay calm, which may help to reduce the risk of heart attacks. While you wait to take it to the vet, sit and observe your rabbit so that you can report any symptoms like quick breathing, fast heartbeat, and difficulty pooping to the vet. This may help them deal with the effects of the chocolate.
The vet should be able to get your rabbit stable if it is having seizures or heart issues. Once this has been done, they can try to flush the methylxanthines out of the rabbit’s system. Often, your rabbit will need to stay in the vet’s care for some time, until it has regained its strength.
How Much Chocolate Is Dangerous For A Rabbit?
Chocolate can be dangerous in surprisingly small quantities, so you should not assume that your rabbit will be okay because it has only eaten a small amount of chocolate. If your rabbit weighs six pounds, even an ounce of milk chocolate could be extremely harmful.
It’s really important to keep all chocolate away from your bunny at all times, even in tiny amounts. Wash your hands before handling your rabbit if you have been eating chocolate so that you don’t transfer any to its fur.
Although trace amounts are unlikely to be harmful, it’s still better not to let it ingest any. Don’t allow it to lick your fingers if you have been eating chocolate.
Is White Chocolate Safe For Rabbits?
No, white chocolate is not safe for rabbits. It lacks some of the compounds that make milk chocolate dangerous, but it is still very high in sugar and not healthy. It could cause stomach cramps and digestion problems, and it contributes to obesity.
Is Dark Chocolate Safe For Rabbits?
You might think that dark chocolate would be healthier, but it is actually more dangerous because it contains more caffeine and more theobromine, often in significant quantities. Some dark chocolate can contain three times as much caffeine and theobromine.
While humans can benefit from eating dark chocolate and it does have less sugar in it, it certainly isn’t a safe option for a rabbit.
Chocolate is not a safe food to give to a rabbit, and if you have chocolate in your house, you should make absolutely sure it is kept out of your rabbit’s reach. Never leave bars of chocolate lying around, and store it in cupboards that are not within reach of your rabbit, in case a cupboard door accidentally gets left open.
If you find that your rabbit has consumed chocolate, make sure you contact a vet promptly, because chocolate is highly toxic to rabbits.