Rabbit Mag

Can Rabbits Eat Cheese? – Everything You Need to Know

Cheese is a dairy product that some cats, dogs and other animals eat as a treat or snack.

You might be tempted to give your bunny a piece of cheese too, but before you do this, it is important to know if a rabbit can eat cheese. One reason why someone may ask this question is because they notice another animal eating cheese and wondering if rabbits also eat this food.

Another reason maybe because the owner has given their rabbit some cheese by accident and now wonder if it will harm their pet in any way. Whatever reason you have for wanting to know whether or not bunnies can eat cheese – we hope that our article will help shed some light on what types of cheeses are for rabbits to ingest – and which are not.

can rabbits eat cheese?

No, cheese can be very harmful for rabbits and should be completely avoided

That being said, it is important for you to remember that cheese is very high in fat and protein. This means that it should not be given to your bunny as a regular part of their diet plan. Additionally, the majority of cheeses contain lactose which may also be harmful to your rabbit if eaten on a regular basis (the exception would be hard cheeses like Parmesan or Romano).

Cheese is often found in the house because it is common for owners to give it out as treats during special occasions like Easter. As mentioned above, however, this food should only be given on rare occasions due to its potential negative effects on some rabbits. It can make them sick; moreover, giving them too much cheese can result in obesity.

Why is eating cheese bad for rabbits?

Although some pet owners give their bunnies a bit of cheese and find that they enjoy it, there are many reasons why you should never allow your rabbit to eat this dairy product. First and foremost, it is high in fat which means that if eaten on a regular basis, it could contribute to obesity. Obesity has been known to shorten the lifespan of rabbits by up to six years! Therefore, giving them too much cheese may not be good for them in the long term. Moreover, the calcium content of cheese is extremely high – even more than milk (which can also potentially lead to health problems). Interestingly enough; however, hard cheeses like Parmesan or Romano have a much lower calcium content.

Cheese contains lactose

Lactose (the sugar in milk and other dairy products) is present in many but not all types of cheese. Unfortunately; however, even if the cheese you’re giving your bunny doesn’t explicitly contain lactose it may still aggravate their digestive system due to the high fat and protein content which can lead to GI problems (like diarrhea).

Of course, every bunny is different and they each have their own unique set of dietary needs – however, most bunnies are unable to properly digest dairy products like cheese and milk. Cheese also has an extremely high protein content so giving it out on a regular basis may upset the balance of amino acids in your bunny’s diet plan.

Cheese is too high in fat

Protein plays an important role in building and maintaining lean body mass while also promoting physiological processes such as immunity and blood clotting.o acids that help build and maintain lean body mass. Cheese, unfortunately is a dairy product high in protein and fat – two things rabbits should avoid when given a choice.

Cheese is too high in proteins

In addition to the calcium content, cheese contains sodium which means that it can contribute to an excess of electrolytes in your bunny’s system if eaten on a regular basis. Finally, cheese does not have any fiber so it will not provide your bunny with many of the same benefits they would get from hay (including proper digestion).

Can Cheese Kill a Bunny?

Yes, cheese can kill a bunny. In fact, just one ounce of cheese could potentially cause your rabbits death! This may sound a little bit dramatic, but it is true. Again, the problem with giving your rabbit any type of dairy product on a regular basis is that it will upset their dietary balance and in some cases this imbalance may be severe enough to result in death.

Please note: this does not mean that if you give your bunny some brie they are going to die. However, the more cheeses you give them on a daily or weekly basis can be quite harmful – particularly if huge quantities are given out at once (like an entire block of cheddar).

What are the problems caused by eating cheese to rabbits Health?

Cheese is high in calcium and protein, which can upset the balance of amino acids. It is also high in fat, sodium and lactose.

Cheese can cause gastrointestinal (GI) problems such as diarrhea and gas as well as more serious issues like the formation of milk curds (aka bezoars), an accumulation of undigested materials that form a mass blocking or partially obstructing something; most often the intestines . A rabbit who has eaten too much cheese (or any other type of dairy for that matter) and experiences GI symptoms including:

loose stool/diarrhea, increased stool production, decreased appetite, weight loss, lack of energy, anemia, swollen or bloated stomach

should be evaluated by a rabbit-savvy veterinarian for medical treatment.

What Are Some Healthy Alternatives To Cheese In A Rabbit’s Diet?

Hay (grass, alfalfa, timothy), grass clippings, veggies (leafy greens like romaine and spinach; roots like carrot, parsnip and sweet potato), fruit (bananas are often enjoyed by many bunnies!), browse (fallen branches/leaves that are safe to eat) or commercial rabbit food containing hay listed as the number one ingredient.

Cheese is high in sodium which can cause an excess of electrolytes in your bunny’s system if eaten on a regular basis.

Help – my bunny ate some cheese! What should I do?

The first thing you should do is to consult a rabbit-savvy veterinarian for medical treatment.

It is important to note that not all cheeses are going to be harmful, and in fact some rabbits may actually enjoy cheddar cheese every now and then, but it is important to limit their intake of dairy products so as not to upset their dietary balance.

If your bunny eats too much calcium from the cheese they may get an improper balance of other essential nutrients such as phosphorus. This can result in calcium deficiencies which cause health issues like tooth resorption/cavities, metabolic bone disease (including arthritis), poor growth, fractures or broken bones when jumping or landing, organ calcification and more. Over time these conditions will become increasingly severe and may result in:

kidney problems, bladder stones, bladder cancer and sometimes even death.

How Much Cheese Can A Rabbit Eat?

Rabbits are not able to digest milk or milk products due to the lack of lactase enzyme which breaks down lactose.

Adult rabbits should be fed a maximum of 1 ounce (30ml) of cheese daily, and should never be given as a replacement for hay and food.

If your bunny is eating commercial rabbit food : hay and/or pellets your bunny can eat up to one teaspoon per five pounds of body weight every day. This is assuming they also have access to grass, plants and safe wood chews as well as other veggies and some fruit on occasion.

Note: if you do give any type of dairy product to your bunnies it is likely because you want them to enjoy what you are eating, not because they need it.

If you are looking for ways to supplement their diet with calcium, many vegetables are high in calcium and should be limited to twice a week.

frequently asked questions

Can rabbits eat cheese slices?

Cheese slices contain added chemicals, colors and preservatives which can be bad for rabbits’ health.

Can a rabbit eat cheese cubes?

Cheese cubes contain added chemicals, colors and preservatives which can be bad for rabbits’ health.

Can cheese make my rabbit sick?

Rabbits can develop symptoms of (GI) problems such as diarrhea and gas as well as more serious issues like the formation of milk curds within the stomach which can form a mass blocking or partially obstructing something; most often the intestines.

Can baby rabbits eat cheese?

Baby rabbits should not be given any dairy products because of their natural lactose intolerance.

Can I occasionally give my rabbits some cheese?

Occasional use of small amounts of cheese as a treat is okay; though you should avoid feeding them too much or feed them any type of dairy on a regular basis.

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