Granola is mostly made from whole oats, nuts and seeds, sweeteners (sugar, honey, etc.), and dried fruits. All of these should not be given to rabbits in any amount, intentionally.
Rabbits that are fed large amounts of high-sugar foods like granola are at risk of developing digestive problems like diarrhea, GI stasis, soft uneaten cecotropes, and dental damage.
If you notice any changes in your rabbit’s stool, both in size and consistency, immediately bring your rabbit to a veterinarian.
Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain why rabbits can’t eat granola:
Risk of overfeeding granola to rabbits.
Oats, sugar, nuts, and dried fruits being the main ingredients of most granola, carry a certain risk when fed in large amounts.
Rabbits have difficulty digesting these ingredients.
Here are some of the risks associated with feeding your rabbits large amounts of granola:
Diarrhea in rabbits is often caused by the wrong diet or when the diet is changed too fast.
Feeding your rabbit large amounts of granola would check those two boxes I mentioned.
Gastrointestinal stasis is also possible when a rabbit is fed large amounts of granola, which is high in carbs and starch.
GI stasis happens when the balance of bacteria in your rabbit’s gut is disrupted due to a high-carb, low-fiber diet.
This disruption would cause painful gas that would eventually lead to organ failure and death if not treated immediately.
The signs of GI stasis are:
- Hunched posture
- Decreased appetite/anorexia
If you notice any of these signs, immediately bring your rabbit to a veterinarian.
Obesity in rabbits is also possible when fed large amounts of sugary food.
Rabbits that are confined in cages all day without exercise and fed large amounts of high-carb, low-fiber diets are the most susceptible to obesity.
Soft uneaten cecotropes are also possible when rabbits are eating large amounts of granola instead of hay.
This could lead to softer cecotropes due to the lack of fiber in your rabbit’s diet.
Due to the high amounts of sugar in granola, feeding it to rabbits could cause damage to your rabbit’s delicate teeth and gums.
Dental damage in rabbits is extremely serious.
A rabbit that’s in pain due to dental damage would refuse to eat or only eat a little.
A rabbit that’s refusing to eat would eventually develop some kind of digestive problem like GI stasis.
Rabbits need to constantly eat for their gut to function properly.
A healthy alternative to granola as a treat.
If you’re planning on giving your rabbits granola as treats, these alternatives are much healthier.
Here are some alternatives that you can give to your rabbits one to two times per week as a treat:
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Should you panic if your rabbit eats a bit of granola?
No, as long as your rabbit is eating the right kind of diet and you are not giving them a bowl of granola to snack on, they should be fine.
Feeding a lot of hay would help prevent any digestive problems that might occur if your rabbit accidentally ate a little bit of granola.
What to do if your rabbit ate granola?
Observe their behavior and poop for any changes.
You should also feed them a lot of hay.
If you do notice any changes in their poop, take them to a veterinarian.
A rabbit eating small amounts of granola is not a concern as long as the rabbit is on a fiber-rich diet.
Just make sure that you monitor their stool for any changes both in consistency and size.
A rabbit that’s fed large amounts of corn, like granola, could experience digestive distress like GI stasis and diarrhea.
It could also lead to obesity, especially in rabbits who are confined in small cages all day without access to regular exercise.
If your rabbit is exhibiting signs of digestive distress, immediately bring them to a veterinarian.