Can Bunnies Eat Dog Food?

If you have both a bunny and a dog, you might be tempted to give them the same food to save time and energy while shopping. But can bunnies eat dog food, and if not, what are the consequences? Let’s find out.

No, rabbits should not eat dog or cat food, as these are not their natural diet and can result in severe problems for your pet. However, many people still wonder if you should be feeding your rabbit, cat, or dog food. This question usually surfaces in the rabbit’s diet discussion. Let us dig into the matter and look at the other aspects of the topic.

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Differences Between Bunny Food and Dog Food

Before answering this question, you first need to understand the difference between the two types of food – cat food vs. dog food? There are some prominent differences between these two types of diets for rabbits.

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Nutritional Content

The main difference is the nutrient supply. Both cats and dogs have primarily proteins, fat, carbohydrates, and moisture content in their food. Rabbit food consists more of fiber, and carbohydrates, with a lot of vitamins and minerals. 


The second difference is the ingredients. Dog food does not contain carbohydrates such as flour, wheat, corn, green leafy vegetables. Neither does it have a lot of hay that can provide fiber. These ingredients are very important in a rabbit diet. Dog food tends to contain artificial dyes and chemicals.

Herbivore vs Carnivore

Rabbits are 100% pure herbivores, and therefore dog foods that have any meat in them are a strict no no. Dog food often consists of meat, chicken, beef and other meat products.

Can Bunnies Be Given Cat Or Dog Food?

No, they should not be given dog or cat food for any reason.

As you can see, both diets are pretty different, and cat or dog food for rabbits should never be an alternative to the natural diet. It’s only an option when you run out of your pet’s food supply or if you want to try an alternative food in case your rabbit does not like its regular diet.

However, if you want to know whether a rabbit can eat cat or dog food, we recommend that you avoid it at all costs.

If your rabbit is not eating all its food supply, this could indicate a problem with the diet and could lead to health problems. Cat or dog food should never be an alternative to regular food supply as they contain fewer nutrients than rabbits require.

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What Happens When A Rabbit Eats Dog Food?

Constipation, bloating, and even poisoning.

When a rabbit eats dog food, they mostly experience digestive issues. This is because dog food often contains too much protein, whereas a rabbit’s diet should consist of hay, vegetables, and other high-fiber foods. 

Too many proteins can cause constipation and bloating for the rabbit or even poisoning if it exceeds the nutritional intake of the bunny. And although rancid meat is not harmful to rabbits in their natural habitat (a desert), it could be deadly in other areas where there are no hay bales or bunny-safe plants nearby to feed on.

What Can I Feed My Rabbit If I Run Out Of Food?

Lots of hay and green vegetables.

If you’re running out of food for your bunny and can’t get to the pet store, you can feed them different vegetables, fruits, and herbs that are safe for bunnies. You should limit how many things they eat at one time so they don’t become sick.

Some good options are carrots, celery, kale leaves, spinach leaves (don’t feed them anything in the cabbage family), bananas, or apples. But be careful; some of these items can make an upset stomach. If you provide these foods, you should frequently change the bedding to a fresh/new one.

If your bunny becomes sick, do not try to force it to eat any of these items. They may become nauseated and vomit, leading to dehydration since their GI tract is compromised. So before you go out and buy more food for your bunny, make sure it is safe.

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Can Rabbits Eat Puppy Chow?

No, puppy food consists of a carnivorous diet whereas bunnies are herbivores.

Rabbits are herbivores and cannot eat commercial pet kibble. They require a diet consisting primarily of hay and little fresh vegetables or fruit. Pets such as puppies omnivores (who eat both plants and animals) can consume commercial chow and fresh produce. 

Rabbits should not be fed any animal-based food products. This includes canned tuna, yogurt, milk, and other dairy products. Eating such products can lead to many health problems, including over-growths, organ failure, and kidney disease.

There is also the issue of carbohydrates. These are the dominant energy sources in commercial pet kibble, called “energy foods.” The ingredients in most commercial pet foods are balanced and contain protein and carbohydrates. Thus, the most commercially available kibble would be highly appropriate for rabbits since they eat hay with their fresh veggies and fruits.

What Bunnies Can And Cannot Eat?

Rabbits can eat anything human food, plants and seeds, grains, fruits, and vegetables. Rabbits love fruit, including apples, strawberries, blackberries, grapes, blueberries, and oranges. Grains of all varieties are suitable for rabbits to eat as well. 

Strawberries are the most popular among small mammals because they taste sweet. Other grains such as wheat and oats are also good to eat for rabbits. On the other hand, bunnies shouldn’t eat coffee beans or chocolate because it can lead to digestive blockages. A rabbit with a digestive backup may not be able to eat for more than a few days.

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All types of greens are safe for rabbits to eat. Hay, alfalfa, clover, and beet tops are good for them to nibble on as well. Grass and herb grasses should be strictly avoided because they can cause digestive issues in rabbits. Mushrooms are also not suitable for rabbits because they tend to grow out of control and lead to severe digestive problems.

Rabbits shouldn’t eat citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruit because they can cause stomach upsets. Rabbits shouldn’t eat potatoes because they are high in starch. They also should not be given alcohol, chocolate, or caffeine either.

Bunnies are paper trained, so you should never use newspapers or magazines as bedding for them; it’s not healthy to ingest.

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Final Words

Dogs are carnivores (meat-eaters), whereas rabbits are herbivores (plant-eaters). Therefore, dogs require a high protein diet with little fiber. Far too high a protein level for a rabbit to eat would be indigestible and pass through them without being digested.

Many dog foods have kibbles roughly the size of a rabbit’s teeth and are designed for use by a predatory animal with sharp-pointed front teeth to rip meat from bones. 

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In contrast, rabbits have broad flat molars used for grinding vegetable matter such as hay. In addition, rabbit food is specially formulated to provide the correct protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals for their diet.

Thank you for reading, we hope we covered your questions. Do write to us if we missed any points. You might also like to read: How To Get My Dog To Leave My Rabbit Alone?, My Dog Killed A Rabbit Should I Be Concerned? and Can You Use Puppy Pads For Rabbits?