You should not feed chips to your rabbit. These snacks are high in carbohydrates, sugars, and salts that can make your rabbit sick. Stick to the basics and give them their favorite food: fruits and vegetables!
Potato chips, tortilla chips, salty chips…yummmm!
Chips are a popular snack for humans, but can they be fed to your rabbit? The simple answer is no. You should avoid feeding your rabbits anything corn and potato based. These ingredients are unhealthy for rabbits and are (unfortunately) the main ingredient in most chips.
Below, we’ll explain in more detail why you shouldn’t feed chips to your rabbit and discuss some healthier snacking alternatives.
What You'll Learn
- 1 Why Chips Are Not Healthy For Rabbits
- 2 Can Rabbits Get Sick From Eating Chips?
- 3 Instead of Chips, Give Your Rabbit These Treats
- 4 Stick To The Script and Forget The Chips!
Why Chips Are Not Healthy For Rabbits
Eating one or two chips won’t hurt your rabbit, but there’s no point in feeding them any. The first reason is that chips are generally unhealthy, even to humans!
Most chips contain the following:
Potatoes are not poisonous to your rabbit, but contain elements that could lead to severe illnesses, such as Solanine and Starch.
Solanine is a toxin in potatoes’ skins, leaves, and sprouts. It is not poisonous, but if consumed in large amounts, it can lead to diarrhea, lethargy, respiratory problems, lack of appetite, and strange behavior. This is known as solanine toxicity and needs to be treated immediately.
Starches are full of carbohydrates, and while a healthy diet has a balance of carbohydrates, starches are too much for a rabbit’s digestive system.
When excess starch is consumed, it can cause something known as “poopy butt syndrome” or cecal dysbiosis, constipation, GI stasis, obesity, and lethargy.
Salts and Seasonings
Most chips are high in salts and contain a variety of seasonings. Too much salt can lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and even death.
Corn contains polysaccharides, which rabbits cannot digest. Rabbits can only digest cellulose and pectin, so giving them corn may lead to digestive issues or blockages, diarrhea, and constipation.
Corn is also high in carbohydrates, just like potatoes. Eating in excess may cause an imbalance and lead to GI stasis, constipation, cecal dysbiosis, and lethargy.
Corn often is exposed to pesticides/mycotoxins caused by microscopic fungi. If your rabbit consumes these mycotoxins, it might contract mycotoxicosis, a gateway to GI stasis and liver or kidney failure.
Low Nutritional Value
Chips also have a low nutritional value, as they are a processed food and are very low in fiber. Eating these snacks can cause digestion and gastrointestinal issues. Rabbits need a well-balanced, plant-based diet, so it’s best to stick to snacks high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Can Rabbits Get Sick From Eating Chips?
If your rabbit eats something that is typically not in their diet (such as chips), it is important to watch them vigilantly for any unusual behavior or symptoms of illness.
Your rabbit may be sick if they show the following symptoms:
- Changes in Appetite
- Changes in Behavior
If you suspect your rabbit is sick from something they ate, it is best to feed them fresh vegetables or herbs until you can take them to the vet.
Instead of Chips, Give Your Rabbit These Treats
A rabbit needs a healthy diet that keeps its digestive system balanced. Here are some rabbit-friendly foods that will keep your pet happy and healthy!
Most rabbits love Timothy Hay. It is full of nutrients and fiber, creating a perfect snack!
When picking pellets for your rabbit, check the fiber, fat, and protein content. Pellets should contain at least 20% fiber, less than 3% fat, and 12-14% protein.
Broccoli (Including Leaves)
As a special treat, broccoli can be given to your rabbit. Although, keep in mind that it may cause gas.
Kale is full of vitamins and is incredibly healthy! However, kale can cause a tummy ache in rabbits, so you should introduce it slowly and give it in small amounts.
Every part of the parsley plant can be given to your rabbit as a safe snack.
Dark Leaf Lettuce
These leaves have more nutritional value than other lettuce. Give it to your rabbit as a healthy snack full of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants.
Like any other leafy green, basil is an excellent food for rabbits. However, you should rotate it out every few days so they don’t overeat.
Apples and Bananas
These fruits are high in sugar and should only be fed to your rabbit in small amounts. If you want to spoil your rabbit with these delicacies, be sure to do it only once or twice a week.
Carrots and Carrot Tops
Although most people believe carrots are a typical treat for rabbits, they should only be given to them in small amounts. Carrots contain a lot of sugar and calcium, which could upset your rabbit’s stomach.
Grapes and Strawberries
Grapes and strawberries are the perfect treats for your rabbit’s sweet tooth. Still, just like any sugary food, it is best to monitor how much they eat and give small portions throughout the week.
These are special snacks made from timothy hay. You can buy them on amazon or at any pet store. They are high in fiber and contain many nutrients, creating a healthy treat for your rabbit.
If your rabbit is reluctant to eat ordinary Timothy Hay, you could try Barley Biscuits! These are organic treats. You can give 1 or 2 to your rabbit daily.
You can spoil your rabbit and show them you love them by maintaining a healthy diet. Keep it simple and stick to the basics. If you buy treats, ensure they do not have nuts, seeds, or dried fruits.
Stick To The Script and Forget The Chips!
A happy bunny is a healthy bunny! Chips and processed food are high in starches and sugars, leading to serious health problems. If you want to show your rabbit some love, provide a healthy, balanced diet full of vegetables, herbs, hay, and fruits!