What happens if a rabbit eats dog food

Last Updated on June 22, 2023 by Admin

If both your dog and rabbit are free-roam pets, you might have noticed that it’s pretty easy for one animal to access the other food bowl. This is especially true with bunnies simply because they are natural foragers who aren’t picky eaters. In other words, they often nibble at anything edible that’s accessible. The main question however is, what happens if a rabbit eats dog food? Keep reading to find out the answer and much more on this topic.

Is it safe for rabbits to eat dog food?

The short answer is no. Rabbits should never eat dog food simply because each species has different dietary needs. Bunnies are herbivorous animals that feed on plant material while dogs are carnivores that mainly feed on fat, carbohydrates, and proteins. In addition, a rabbit’s digestive system lacks the proper enzymes to digest dog food.

The fat and carbohydrates in dog food may lead to rabbit obesity when consumed in excess. On top of that, high protein levels are also the leading cause of kidney problems. Dog food is also unfit for rabbit consumption since it usually contains excess levels of calcium which tend to cause urinary tract infections. Lastly, a rabbit’s teeth unlike dogs, aren’t designed to tear down animal flesh but rather grind plant material. Therefore, the latter’s diet is definitely going to cause dental issues such as overgrown teeth or tooth misalignment. This is mainly because a dog’s food won’t properly wear down your bunny’s teeth.

What happens if a rabbit eats dog food

My rabbit just ate dog food, what should I do?

If you suspect your rabbit has eaten excessive dog food, then it’s always advisable taking them to the veterinarian as soon as possible. However, if they only munched on a small amount of dog food, closely monitor their behavior for the next couple of days. Are they eating or drinking well? Have their energy levels changed? Is their poop or urine abnormal? If you find anything unusual with your pet’s behavior or health, then see a vet. However, if it’s been over 24 hours and your rabbits seem to go about their business, then no need for alarm.

How do I prevent my rabbits from eating dog food?

If your bunny occasionally or often eats your dog’s food, then the best solution is to keep it out of your rabbit’s reach. Another good idea is to lock your rabbit in its cage when your dog is eating. This shouldn’t be tough on your free roam bunny assuming dogs only eat twice per day. Alternatively, you might as well feed your dogs with wet or canned food as opposed to kibble or dry foods, in your rabbit’s presence. Bunnies normally want nothing to do with canned or wet dog food.


Can rabbits eat any other pet food?

No, you shouldn’t feed your rabbits any other pet food. A healthy rabbit’s diet should mainly consist of fresh hay and veggies. They should also be substituted with pellets, in addition to fruits as treats. Anything other than that isn’t recommended for rabbits. Below are some of the popular miniature pets and why it isn’t advisable to feed your bunnies their diet.

  • Chinchilla

The main reason why rabbits can’t eat chinchilla food basically boils down to the low protein content contained in their food. In other words, a bunny that only eats chinchilla food may end up being protein deficient in the long run.


  • Gerbil

A gerbil diet isn’t recommended for rabbits due to the nutritional imbalance their food contains. A rabbit that eats gerbil food may therefore end up with a bloated stomach or suffer from diarrhea.


  • Guinea pigs

Although guinea pigs’ and rabbit diets are slightly similar in terms of nutritional value, they only differ in quantity. If you intend to feed your bunny food meant for guinea pigs, we recommend doing so occasionally. Remember that a healthy rabbit diet should mainly consist of hay and be substituted with veggies, unlike a guinea pigs diet that needs fewer amounts of the two.


  • Hamsters

Hamster food provides no nutritional value for rabbits and is therefore not ideal for your bunny. On top of that, hamsters are omnivores while rabbits are herbivores with sensitive stomachs. To put things into perspective, if a rabbit were to eat anything regularly other than hay, veggies, and a small number of pellets and fruits, they’ll eventually fall ill.



What happens if a rabbit eats dog food? Excessive consumption often leads to gastrointestinal stasis which can be fatal if left untreated. For the sake of your rabbit’s health, it’s always advisable to stick to a high-fiber diet. Restrict them from accessing dog food by all means necessary.



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