While peanut butter may be a delicious snack for us, it’s not safe for rabbits to eat. Peanut butter contains a large amount of fat and sugar which bunnies are unable to digest properly, leading to GI pain.
We all enjoy eating peanut butter, whether it’s spread on a toast with jelly or added to your cooking. But most of the time, human foods aren’t suitable for pets.
So, the question arises- do rabbits like peanut butter and is it safe for consumption? That’s what we’re going to answer in this article, along with whether or not you should panic if your rabbit has eaten a little peanut butter accidentally. If you want to learn more keep on reading!
Do Rabbits Like Peanut Butter?
Onto the main question- do rabbits like peanut butter? Well, whether a rabbit likes to eat peanut butter or not depends on him. Some rabbits are more curious and like to try new stuff, while others are more reluctant and picky eaters.
However, you should never feed your rabbit peanut butter, even if he’s got an affinity for its nutty flavor. Rabbits are incapable of digesting rich foods like peanut butter, and eating it can cause stomach or abdominal blockage and pain.
Do Rabbits Like Peanuts?
Okay, since peanut butter is a processed food with added oil and sugar, you may be wondering whether or not you can feed your rabbit the nut in its natural form.
Unfortunately, raw peanuts are just as bad as peanut butter for rabbits, if not more. They add little to no nutritional value to your bunny’s meals, are difficult to digest, and can even become a choking hazard. Peanuts can easily obstruct the air passage and lead to choking and gasping.
As for peanut shells, rabbits usually avoid eating those as they don’t prefer the flavor. And even if they do, the shells contain a ridiculously high fiber content, which is just as bad and leads to gastrointestinal distress and constipation. This can be noticed by hard and inconsistent stools.
And if you’re wondering will peanut butter attract rabbits outdoors- it won’t, and neither will raw peanuts or peanut shells. Wild rabbits aren’t used to eating these and they won’t be attracted.
Peanut Butter Nutritional Facts & Profile
Looking at a commercial peanut butter’s nutritional profile can be a great way to understand why rabbits shouldn’t have peanut butter.
|Nutrition||Quantity per 100g||Daily Requirement In Rabbits|
|Energy||590 Kcal||950 Kcal|
|Protein||22-25 grams.||12-17 grams.|
|Carbohydrates||20-23 grams.||Less than 20 grams.|
|Fat||50 grams.||2.5-5 grams.|
|Fibre||5 grams.||15-25 grams.|
|Sodium||426 mg.||100 mg.|
|Vitamins||A,C,D absent. Vitamin E = 9.1 g. Vitamin B = 78 mg.||1000-1200 IU for Vitamin A, 80-100 IU for Vitamin D.|
This table proves that peanut butter is a bad food for rabbits. A single scoop of peanut butter contains more calories and the nutritional profile is highly unbalanced, which can lead to health complications.
5 Reasons Why Rabbits Shouldn’t Have Peanut Butter
High in Fat
First and foremost, peanut butter is extremely rich in fat content- something rabbits don’t need. Over 50% of peanut butter is fat, making it an unsuitable choice for bunnies to have. Rabbits thrive off grasses and high fibre vegetables which have a very small fat content. Pellets and commercial food designed for rabbits has a low quantity of fat too.
This is true of wild rabbits as well. They rarely eat fatty foods, so their digestive system can’t cope with a large quantity of fat.
As you can deduce from the nutritional value table we mentioned above, a small portion of peanut butter contains a high number of calories. If you feed your rabbit just 15g of peanut butter, you’re giving them 85-90 calories, maybe even more. Like humans, rabbits need to watch their weight and eat a certain number of calories daily.
|Weight in lbs||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10-12|
As 80% of a rabbit’s total calorie intake should constitute of pellets, hay, and grass while an additional 10-15% should comprise of vegetables, there aren’t enough calories to spare eating dense and calorie-rich snacks like peanut butter.
High in Sugar
Another major reason to discourage your pet from eating peanut butter is that it’s high in sugar (carbohydrates). Rabbits have evolved to eat a high-fiber diet with low-energy and low-carb content, which mostly constitutes of hay and grass.
Rabbits have a specialized pouch in their digestive tract called the cecum. There’s an abundance of normal bacterial flora there that’s responsible for breaking down all the cellulose fiber.
When rabbits eat peanut butter or similar foods with a lot of simple sugar, the additional carbs create an imbalance which disrupts the activity of the normal flora in the cecum. This leads to poopy butt syndrome- a problem where your rabbit’s poop gets mushy and sticks onto their behind.
Mushy poop is in turn an indicator of cecal dysbiosis, a harmful condition that causes severe indigestion. It’s fatal if left untreated or if the rabbit is continuously given simple and refined sugars.
High in Salt
Peanut butter also has an excessive quantity of salt or sodium that rabbits don’t need. Adding a high level of salt in the rabbit’s diet means he will have to drink a lot of water to rehydrate and urinate frequently. This puts major stress on the kidneys. As rabbit kidneys are already prone to failure, it’s best to avoid foods that contain high amounts of salt.
Other Harmful Components
Peanut butter doesn’t have many other harmful components, but it is lacking in several important nutrients that rabbits need, namely fiber, vitamin A, vitamin D, etc. To compensate, you’ll need to add other various other foods in the bunny’s diet, all of which have their own calorie and sugar content. This leads to obesity.
Can You Add Peanut Butter To Other Foods For Rabbits?
It’s advised not to add peanut butter to other foods either. Pet rabbits should have a diet of simple pellets or grass and veggies only. The main problem with peanut butter is the high fat and calorie content, so even if you mix it with other foods, you’re still putting your rabbit at the risk of significant weight gain and gastrointestinal issues.
What To Do If Your Rabbit Eats Peanut Butter?
Whether you had fed your rabbit peanut butter before hopping onto the internet to read this article or your bunny ingested peanut butter accidentally, don’t panic. Peanut butter is bad for rabbits when it’s fed often, whether as an appreciation treat or a staple part of the regular diet.
If your rabbit accidentally eats a bit of peanut butter once, it’s nothing to worry about. In the worst-case scenario, your rabbit will experience some abdominal pain due to indigestion.
It’s somewhat difficult to determine whether or not your rabbit is suffering from abdominal pain as they’re excellent at hiding signs of discomfort. Look for teeth grinding (bruxism) or if the rabbit is constantly sitting in a hunched posture. Rabbits also press their abdomen against the floor if they’re feeling uncomfortable. These are early signs.
While visiting the vet is important, there are some measures you can take to keep your rabbit comfortable at home. Feed your bunny green leafy veggies like spinach. Rehydrate him and keep him active. Have your rabbit take small amounts of fresh and natural fruit juices for replenishing the stamina.
Other than that, nurse your rabbit by keeping him a little warm and giving soft belly massages. Bunnies love these and they relieve a lot of pain.
If the pain gets worse, your rabbit may begin to lose appetite and won’t pass stools properly. If that happens, you need to visit the vet immediately. They’ll start the treatment necessary to save your rabbit’s life.
Can Rabbits Eat Nuts?
As rabbits are strictly herbivorous, they aren’t accustomed to eating fruits, nuts, and other sugary foods. All nuts are rich in carbohydrates and fats, making them bad for rabbits. Even low-carb nuts like almonds are rich in fats, which disrupt digestion.
Occasionally, you can give your rabbit a nibble of pistachios or hazelnut if he really likes them, but all nuts should generally be avoided.
Other Safe Treats For Rabbits?
It’s important to get safe rabbit treats for a variety of reasons. You may feel the need to reward your rabbit in some way. Maybe your rabbit has stopped eating the same food as they’re bored now. Some people also look for treats to attract wild rabbits to their yard.
But do wild rabbits like peanut butter? The answer is again, no. No nuts are a staple part of a rabbit’s diet. If you want wild rabbits to visit your garden, try planting veggies like carrots and lettuce.
Safe treats for rabbits also include fresh fruits like bananas, apples, dried pineapples, grapes, and blueberries. All of these are sugary, but generally contain less amount of sugar than peanut butter, and are very low in fat. Still, you should only feed these in small quantities.
As for store-bought treats, there are some great options in the market for even the pickiest eaters. Kaytee Timothy Apple Biscuits, Wild Harvest Treats, and Oxbow Simple Animal Treats.
Conclusion – Do Rabbits Like Peanut Butter?
Rabbits shouldn’t have peanuts, peanut butter, or other nut products. These are rich in simple carbs and fats while being low in fiber- the polar opposite of what rabbits need in their diet. If rabbits have peanut butter often, they will get indigestion, gut diseases, and abdominal pain.
So, do rabbits like peanut butter? Mostly yes, but it depends on whether or not your bunny enjoys this treat. But can rabbits have peanut butter? No, peanut butter has too much fat and sugar, and there are better alternatives to reward as treats.
We hope this thorough guide helped you learn about feeding your rabbit peanut butter as well as the problems associated with it. If you have any questions or opinions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.