baked bread breakfast buns

Can Rabbits Eat Bread? (The Risks, Do's, And Don'ts)

Posted by Rita on 30 August 2023

As a rabbit owner, I understand the temptation to offer human food like bread to your rabbit. They are amazingly good beggars, and you might be tempted to give in and feed your bunny a piece of your sandwich. Before you do, though, ask yourself: Can a rabbit eat bread?

Rabbits can technically eat bread, but it's not recommended or good for them. Bread lacks the necessary nutrients that rabbits need to stay healthy. Rabbits require a diet high in fiber and low in simple carbohydrates. Bread is high in simple carbohydrates and low in fiber, which makes it an unsuitable and even dangerous food for rabbits.

In this blog, we'll explore why bread isn't the best choice for bunnies despite seeming like a harmless treat. Keep reading to learn more about what happens if bunnies eat bread.

A loaf of bread (not for bunnies)

Can Rabbits Eat Bread?

Bunnies should not be eating bread. While bread is not toxic to rabbits, it is not a suitable meal for them to eat regularly and may cause severe health issues.

Bread is a processed food that contains simple carbohydrates and lacks the necessary fiber and protein that rabbits need to maintain a healthy digestive system. Bunnies require a diet that is high in fiber and low in carbohydrates.

Bread also contains salt and sugar, further compromising your rabbit's digestive system. For this reason, it's best to stick to feeding your pet rabbit hay, veggies, and fruits high in complex carbohydrates like fiber.

Whole Wheat Bread vs. White Bread

Whole wheat bread is typically considered healthier than white bread because it contains more fiber and nutrients. However, even wholemeal bread is not suitable for rabbits to eat.

White bread, on the other hand, is highly processed and contains very little nutritional value. It is high in simple carbohydrates and sugars, which can cause weight gain and digestive issues in rabbits.

Stale Bread and Toasted Bread: Safe or Unsafe?

Stale and toasted bread may seem like good options for your rabbit because they are harder and less likely to be choking hazards. I would still not recommend these bread types.

Firstly, I would not let rabbits eat stale bread because stale bread can be a breeding ground for mold, which can be toxic to rabbits.

On the other hand, toasted bread is not a potentially toxic food item like stale bread, but it still contains the same high amounts of simple carbohydrates and sugars as fresh bread.

rabbit eating lettuce instead of bread

Potential Health Risks Of Feeding Bread to Rabbits

As rabbit owners, we always want the best for our bunnies, and it's important to acknowledge that feeding bread to rabbits can pose potential health risks. Bunnies have a delicate digestive system. Feeding them bread can cause digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

Other issues you may encounter include obesity, which can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease and arthritis.

Dental problems and digestive tract issues are also not off the cards. Rabbits that consume a lot of sugar and soft foods are also at risk of developing diabetes, overgrown teeth, and even gastrointestinal stasis (GI stasis).

However, if you can't resist your begging bunny, feed bread made from whole grains that are low in salt. Make sure you give it in very small quantities as a treat no more than once a month. It's important to avoid bread that contains added sugars, salt, or other harmful ingredients.

The Impact Of Bread On A Rabbit's Teeth

Rabbits have continuously growing teeth and must chew on fibrous foods to wear them down to a manageable size. When your bunnies eat bread, it can negatively affect their teeth.

When rabbits eat bread low in fiber and high in sugar, it can lead to dental problems such as overgrown teeth and decay. Bread tends to stick to rabbits' teeth and can cause plaque buildup. This can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental issues.

Moreover, the high carbohydrate content in bread can cause obesity in rabbits. If a rabbit is overweight, it can put additional stress on their teeth, making them more susceptible to dental problems.

It is important to note that not all bread is created equal. Some types of bread, such as whole grain bread, may be healthier for rabbits than others. However, even whole-grain bread should be given in moderation and as a treat rather than a staple in their diet. Too much bread does a lot more harm than fresh fruit treats.

Bread affects rabbit teeth

Alternative Foods to Bread for Rabbits

As we have seen, eating bread is not ideal for rabbits due to its lack of nutritional value and potential to cause digestive problems. Fortunately, plenty of alternative food items can provide rabbits with the necessary nutrients to maintain a healthy diet.

First and foremost, fresh water should always be available to rabbits. Water is essential for maintaining proper hydration and digestive function. It is recommended to provide a water bottle or dish that is cleaned and refilled daily.

Regarding meals, rabbits require a diet that is high in fiber. Grass hay is an excellent source of fiber and can be given to rabbits in unlimited quantities. Vegetables and leafy greens, such as beet greens and kale, are also great sources of fiber and can be given as supplemental food items as recommended.

Other foods that bunnies can consume include dandelion greens, parsley, cilantro, and basil. These can be given as a treat or mixed into their regular diet.

When it comes to rabbit treats, it is important to choose ones that are specifically designed for rabbits and do not contain added sugars or artificial flavors. Some rabbit treats include Timothy hay cubes, dried fruits, fresh fruits, alfalfa hay, and vegetables.

Understanding A Rabbit's Diet

Understanding what foods are good for bunnies and what are toxic for rabbits is key to a healthy bunny. Rabbits are herbivores, which means they mainly consume plants. A bunny's diet should consist of fresh vegetables, leafy green vegetables, fresh hay, rabbit pellets, and fresh fruits. These meal items provide essential nutrients for a rabbit's health.

Vegetables and other plants are an important part of a rabbit's diet. They provide essential vitamins and minerals necessary for a rabbit's overall health. Some of the best vegetables for rabbits include romaine lettuce, kale, broccoli, and watercress. It is important to introduce new vegetables slowly to avoid digestive upset.

High-fiber foods are also essential for a rabbit's health. Rabbits require a diet that is high in fiber to maintain proper digestion. Hay is an excellent fiber source and should always be available to your rabbit. Rabbit pellets are also a good source of fiber and help to keep their teeth healthy, but should not be the only thing in a rabbit's diet.

While providing your rabbit with a balanced and healthy diet is important, some harmful foods should be avoided. Letting rabbits eat bread, for example, can cause many health problems. It has a high sugar content, which can cause weight gain and digestive health problems in bunnies.

alternative greens for rabbits

Special Considerations For Different Types Of Rabbits

When it comes to feeding bunnies, it's important to remember that different rabbits may have different nutritional needs. Here are some special considerations to keep in mind:

Pet Rabbits

Pet rabbits have different nutritional needs than wild bunnies, so it's important to ensure they get the right food. Rabbits should be fed according to their age. Here's a quick breakdown:

Adult Rabbits

An adult rabbit should be fed a diet containing various foods such as hay, vegetables, leafy greens, rabbit pellets, and fruits.

You can feed an adult rabbit bread, but only one very tiny piece, no more than once a month. However, I would suggest sticking to safer treats like bananas or guava.

Baby Rabbits

Baby rabbits have a very simple diet high in fiber and protein. Good food for babies includes unlimited hay and high-protein rabbit pellets. You can also feed them alfalfa hay for extra protein and fiber.

Stay away from vegetables, fruit, and, of course, bread when feeding baby bunnies. They have very sensitive digestive systems, and the wrong food can kill them. Once they grow into adult rabbits, you can include these items in their diet slowly.

baby bunnies should not eat bread

Wild Rabbits

Wild rabbits eat various foods in their natural environment. Feeding these furry hoppers is not recommended if you can avoid it. Wild bunnies can take care of themselves in most cases and are better left be.

If you need to feed a wild bunny, read up on what it needs and get more information from wildlife rehab centers and rabbit-savvy vets before doing anything.

Consequences of Inappropriate Feeding

Many rabbit owners make the mistake of giving in to begging without considering the consequences of letting rabbits eat bread and other inappropriate snacks.

A bunny has a delicate digestive system, and feeding it foods not part of its natural diet can cause digestive problems such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Here are some of the consequences of feeding bunnies inappropriate meals:

  • Dental decay: This usually happens due to the high sugar content in the bunny's diet.

  • Overgrown teeth: Feeding hay reduces the risk of overgrown teeth. If a bunny's diet lacks fiber, you must have a vet check your bunny's teeth regularly.

  • Bloating and gas: This happens if food passes through the digestive tract too slowly. More fiber in the diet usually solves this problem.

  • Diarrhea can happen when the mucus membranes are irritated by preservatives and sugar. Fiber is usually recommended to bulk up the poop.

  • Gastrointestinal stasis (GI stasis): When the guts stop moving, the rabbit's system comes to a standstill. This can be fatal and should be treated immediately. Signs of stasis include the absence of poop, very small poops, and refusal to eat.

  • Obesity and arthritis: When a bunny gains too much weight, it puts more strain on the organs and joints, leading to heart failure and arthritis.

  • Diabetes: Feeding a high-sugar diet can increase the chances of your bunny developing diabetes.

  • Urine scalding and flystrike: Obese bunnies can't groom themselves properly. This leads to urine scalding, which in turn attacks flies. Maggots that hatch from fly eggs will eat your bunny's flesh, causing horrible open wounds and infections.

whole wheat organic bread


In conclusion, while pet rabbits can technically eat bread, making it a regular part of their diet is not recommended. Bread can cause digestive problems for rabbits due to their delicate digestive system. It can lead to bloating, gas, and diarrhea, as well as obesity and dental problems due to its high simple carbohydrate content.

As a responsible rabbit owner, it is important to prioritize a high-fiber diet for your furry friend. This means focusing on complex carbohydrates in vegetables and hay, which provide nutrients and fiber to keep your rabbit healthy. Consult a veterinarian for specific dietary guidance tailored to your rabbit's needs and health issues.

In summary, while bread may seem harmless to feed your rabbit, it is best to avoid it altogether. Stick to a balanced diet of vegetables, pellets, and hay, and consult with a veterinarian for any questions or concerns regarding your rabbit's diet. By prioritizing your rabbit's health and well-being, you can ensure your furry friend's happy and healthy life alongside other animals in your home.

Key Takeaways

  • Bread is not recommended for rabbits due to its lack of necessary nutrients.

  • Offering bread to bunnies can cause potential health risks and damage their teeth.

  • It's important to understand a rabbit's dietary needs and offer alternative foods that are safe and healthy for them.

Frequently Asked Questions

bread alternative, greens as rabbit food

What human food can rabbits eat?

Bunnies can only consume fruits and vegetables eaten by humans in their raw form. The sensitive digestive systems of bunnies prevent them from eating cooked or canned human food and meat. Some meals humans can share with bunnies include carrots, apples, strawberries, and kale.

What can rabbits eat daily?

Rabbits should have access to fresh hay and water at all times. They can also be fed a small amount of pellets daily, but choosing high-quality pellets specifically formulated for bunnies is important. Additionally, bunnies should have a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits in their diet.

What not to feed rabbits?

There are several foods that bunnies should avoid. These include chocolate, avocado, nuts, seeds, and anything high in sugar or salt. Additionally, bunnies should not be fed any plants from the nightshade family, such as tomato plants and potato plants, as they are toxic to rabbits.

Can bread kill rabbits?

While bread is not toxic to rabbits, it's not recommended to feed it to them regularly. Bread lacks the essential nutrients that rabbits need to thrive and can cause digestive problems such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea. In severe cases, it could lead to death due to dehydration and GI stasis.

Is it okay for rabbits to eat bread every day?

No, bunnies should not eat bread every day. As mentioned earlier, bread lacks the necessary nutrients, and a rabbit struggles to digest it properly. Sticking to a diet of hay, pellets, fresh vegetables, and fruits is best.

What are some safe foods for rabbits to eat?

Some safe things to feed bunnies include leafy greens such as kale and spinach, carrot tops, apples, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, and romaine lettuce. Introducing new foods slowly and in small amounts is important to avoid upsetting their stomachs.


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