Can rabbits drink milk?

Last Updated on May 23, 2023 by Admin

One of the questions often asked when it comes to potable or non-potable liquids is, can rabbits drink milk? To be precise, can they drink cow milk? The short answer is no. Both adult and young bunnies alike are lactose intolerant and drinking milk will have adverse effects on their digestive system. In this article, we’ll look into this topic in depth as well as suitable alternatives other than cow milk.


The Risks associated with rabbits drinking milk

One of the reasons why cow milk is bad for your bunny is mainly because its stomach lacks the necessary enzymes needed to break down lactose. As a result, failure to break down the sugar contained in cow milk (lactose) often leads to bloating, diarrhea, or gastrointestinal stasis. It’s worth pointing out that these symptoms may lead to severe complications if left untreated.

What to do when your rabbit sips milk accidentally

In case your bunny has drunk milk by accident, provide them with plenty of fresh drinking water to dilute the lactose content. On top of that, to be safe, also monitor your rabbit’s poop. If they don’t poop within the next 12 hours or produce watery /soft pellet poop, then a visit to the veterinarian is always recommended.

What rabbits can drink instead of milk?

Besides water, other alternative drinks for rabbits include lukewarm unsweetened herbal tea, free of caffeine, tea leaves, or any additives. Chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, oregano, peppermint, and rosemary.

Flavored water especially from apple or carrot juice is another drink to give your bunny. Just add a little bit of the flavoring water to your rabbit’s water bowl for them to occasionally drink.


The other liquid bunnies can drink is goat milk, preferably from the Meyenburg breed. This is mainly because it’s low on protein, lactose, and fat, which in turn makes it easier for your rabbit to digest.

Lastly, the other drink rabbits can have, more so when caring for newly born orphans is a Kitten milk replacer. KMR is rich in essential nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, fat, carbohydrates, and probiotics a young bunny needs. It’s worth mentioning that the formula is not in the baby cats’ section but rather the rabbits. This is simply because their young ones are also called kittens.

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