Can rabbits eat oats?—Have you ever wondered that question in your mind? The answer is yes; rabbits can eat oats. Trying new things to add to our diet excites or sometimes scares us. And that goes the same with our fluffy friends.
The pleasure of having a pet is not always fun; it comes with a responsibility to maintain their healthy well-being. This includes their habitat, exercise, and of course, their food.
Having to eat the same food every day is tiresome. Some may get used to it but changing up things a bit couldn’t do any harm. But before doing so, consulting your veterinarian is the right way of changing things up.
Well, how about introducing a new food—oats to your rabbit’s diet? Oats are not in the list of toxic food for rabbits, so it should be alright to feed them, right? Let’s find out!
What Are Oats?
Oats have been known to be available for animals only at first. Then they were introduced as poor people’s food or for cattle and horses’ because they were cheap, yet nutritious.
Due to their high fiber content, they then became famous as a ground for a healthy breakfast. Why so? Oats contain high values of calorific protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins.
This gluten-free whole grain snack is not only loaded with fiber but also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals (like iron, copper, manganese, zinc, and phosphorus) your bunny’s body needs.
Oats or oatmeal came from oat grains of cereal grass. They have to be processed or cooked first for humans to eat, but they can be fed raw to the animals. Players or athletes widely eat oatmeals as part of their hearty breakfast because they are loaded with vitamins and nutrients.
Is It Safe For Rabbits?
Can rabbits eat oats? Yes, they sure can. It is like the same other hays that they eat. Always remember that your bunny depends on high-fiber and low-calorie diets. Hays and some green leafy foods with fresh, clean water are necessary for their diet.
Some animals like dogs have indigestion when given oats as their food. But rabbits and dogs have different digestive capabilities. It is safe for rabbits to eat as long as it is raw oats we are talking about. Well, some are feeding them cooked, but be sure and check the portions your bunny eats; too much can be harmful to them.
Just make sure not to make it a regular habit or add it to their regular diet as it will have some adverse effects on your bunny’s health. Oatmeal is not a good option for your bunny’s diet. But there are times that your rabbit can benefit from eating it.
In these particular cases, it is best to consult your veterinarian first.
Which Parts Of The Oats To Feed Rabbits?
Generally, there are two parts of the oat plant in which you can feed your bunnies. It is the oat grains and the hay.
#1. Oat grains
The oat seed of the plant is the most commonly used part when processing oats. This part contains most nutrients found in oats.
Bunnies can eat the whole plant, including the hay. About 85% of a rabbit’s diet should be hay because fiber is necessary for your rabbit’s diet. The fresh green ones are the most suitable kind to feed them together with other green veggies.
Some bunnies prefer the heads to the stalks but eat the stems too. However, the hay can be ordinary hay-like any other but is more beneficial for the nutrients it possesses.
They can be an option to aid indigestion and prevent GI stasis too.
Benefits Of Oats To Bunnies
Rabbits need to have a balanced diet to stay healthy. Being an herbivore, only plants are recommended to be fed to maintain their metabolism.
It is not all harm as oats were first known to be an animal’s food from a long time ago. Wild rabbits might have eaten them too, but what could probably benefit rabbits when eating these oats?
One of the mains benefits of feeding oats to your fluffy friends is weight gain. Oats having high-calorie content can aid your bunny’s calorie shortage in just a short period.
Rescue organizations often feed cooked oatmeals to bunnies underweight to bring back their weight into normal conditions. Unlike the cereals that we usually eat that contain a lot of sugar, oatmeals are easy to digest and helps your bunny’s insulin levels to rise.
Thus weight gain is achieved while avoiding the risk of having diabetes, making them perfect for your underweight bunnies. Well, either you or your bunny.
Some Risks To Consider
Oats can be detrimental to your pet. The following are the risks of feeding rabbits oats:
Due to their high carbohydrate content, oats may overload your rabbit’s digestive system and cause enteritis. Having a lot of oats eaten may also cause obesity for rabbits.
Oats have a low amount of indigestible fiber; it plays a significant role in a bunny’s diet by promoting gut motility, although high intake can potentially cause cecalcolic motility and GI stasis.
Obesity and more
As mentioned above, having your bunnies overeat could lead to other diseases instead of aiding their body. In feeding oats to your bunny, make it as a treat rather than a meal substitute.
The typical amount your bunny can take is with every 2 pounds of the bunny’s weight is equal to 1 teaspoon of oats once in a while.
Remember that a healthy rabbit having an average weight doesn’t need to gain more. So you should avoid feeding them oats ultimately. Overfeeding them may cause obesity and can physically affect your bunny’s performance.
Can rabbits eat oats? Yes, rabbits can eat oats, but because they can doesn’t mean they must. As much as we love to eat oats as a part of our daily hearty breakfast, we should consider some things before feeding these foods to our fluffy friends.
Yes, you can feed oats to your bunnies but be careful; these benefits come with equal risks. You should start giving them a little amount when introducing new food to your bunnies and see how their tummy reacts to it.
Consulting your veterinarian is still the best option for you in these exceptional cases. Perhaps, if you think your bunny is underweight, try giving oats to them. But consider the risks and conditions first before just giving it to them.
We hope for your bunny’s healthy living and enjoy the life of a pet owner. Have a good day!