Can Rabbits Eat Dog Food?

Shahida Nasrin
Published on Dec 16, 2023

Dogs and rabbits are ideal candidates for an interspecies household. Because they get along well, they can sometimes become too friendly. Point of eating each other's food. But, physiologically, can a rabbit eat dog food? Each animal's dietary needs differ. Rabbits are herbivores. So, it eats primarily plants and needs a high-fiber diet. On the other hand, dogs are carnivores, requiring a higher protein and fat intake. Now the question is, can rabbits eat dog food?


No, your rabbit should never eat dog food. Dog foods contain a lot of fat, carbohydrates, and protein. High-protein diets can harm the kidneys. Dogs are omnivores because the presence of fats and animal protein in dog food can cause harmful effects. It means dogs can eat meat and plants. Dogs, unlike rabbits, can obtain the nutrients. These physiological characteristics are used to create dry dog foods.

This article will explain can rabbits eat dog food or not. And why should you keep your rabbits away from dry dog food? You'll learn about the problems eating dog food can cause your pet bunny. And it would be best if you fed your rabbit to meet its dietary needs.


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Can Rabbits Eat Meat?  

Rabbits occasionally eat meat in the wild, especially when hungry. It is part of their survival technique. They've even been known to eat their young, though this is uncommon in the domestic setting. Some rabbit owners claim that their animals ate the meat they provided.  

We did, however, mention that rabbits are herbivores.  As a result, even though they will eat meat if given the opportunity. They may become ill because their digestive system is incapable of processing food.



Potential Side Effects Of A Rabbit Eats Dry Dog Food?

Rabbits eat in the same way that other herbivorous grazing animals do. They will nibble on their food rather than eating one or two large meals. And eat the nutrients they need throughout the day. Usually rabbits can eat dog food that is not suitable. Rabbits can determine which foods are toxic or harmful to their health. They eat any meal they come across.


Kidney Damage

Dogs and cats require a high-protein diet, whereas rabbits do not. Excessive protein consumption can harm the kidneys. Rabbits are herbivores with a gastrointestinal system designed specifically for plant matter. They will be unable to process correctly. And digest large amounts of protein, particularly animal protein.


Infections Of The Urinary Tract

The high calcium levels in dog food trigger this side effect. Because their typical diets contain some calcium. Small amounts of calcium do not cause serious problems. However, dog foods contain calcium, which your bunny cannot digest. Undigested calcium builds up in the rabbit's urinary tract. It causes infections and even kidney and urinary tract stones.


Dental Damage

Dogs and cats have teeth. Design to tear animal flesh, but rabbits have teeth designed to grind plant materials.

A rabbit diet deficient in high-fiber grassy materials such as hay can result in dental diseases. Hay, pellets, and some leafy greens require grinding. Varying movements help keep the rabbit's teeth healthy.



Grains are naturally high in carbohydrates. Animal foods are naturally high in fat. Cat and dog foods are both high in fat and carbohydrates.

A Rabbit's diet causes obesity. Can rabbits eat harmful dog food? It may cause some health problems in and of itself.

Overweight or obese rabbits struggle to perform everyday movements. And can no longer get the recommended amount of exercise each day. Rabbits' bones are also highly fragile. Over time, excess weight will put strain on their joints.


Intestinal Disease

Dog and cat foods disrupt a rabbit's intestinal flora even in small amounts. Animal products like fat and proteins are found in cat and dog food. It is hard for rabbits to digest.

Their digestive enzymes have no capacity or are designed to process animal matter.  Instead, they can only digest plant matter. This can result in intestinal distress and, in some cases, death.  Rabbits' bones are also highly brittle. Over time, excess weight will put strain on their joints.


What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Eating Rabbit Cat Food?

Some of your rabbits eat dog food accidentally. Suppose your rabbit has any side effects after eating dog food. There are some warning signs. Common and concerning symptoms indicate that your rabbit has ingested something toxic and requires medical attention:

·         Glazed Eyes

·         Vomiting 

·         Diarrhea

·         Drinking water in excess

·         Restless Behavior

·         Lethargic or weak behavior 

These are all possible signs that your rabbit ate something toxic, not just dog or cat food. There is cause for concern if their behavior changes dramatically in any way.



How To Stop Your Rabbit From Eating Dog Food

Prevention is better than cure. Owners of rabbits may try to keep the rabbit away from the dog while eating. This can be challenging for free-rooming rabbits. But it will be best to find a way to keep your rabbit safe.

This may not leave dog food in a bowl for your dog to graze on, as your rabbit may nip in and steal some food. There are no simple solutions other than keeping the rabbit away during meals. And keep the food out of reach at all other times.


Final Thought

Can rabbits eat dog food willingly or accidentally? Never feed your rabbit dog food. It harms them and may cause severe problems in the short and long term. Knowing about and appreciating variances in your pets' and farm animals' biology and health requirements. It is essential, as well, as looking out for each one by only providing species-specific food items.

Instead, make high-quality hay your rabbit's primary dietary component, supplemented with moderate amounts of different, 100% plant foods.




✅ Will bunnies eat dog food?

Bunnies may be curious, but it's not advisable to feed them dog food. Their nutritional needs differ, and dog food may lack essential elements for rabbit health.


✅ Are rabbits good dog food?

No, rabbits are not suitable as dog food. Rabbits have specific dietary requirements, and their consumption by dogs may lead to health issues.


✅ Can rabbits eat dog or cat food?

It is not recommended to feed rabbits dogs or cat food. These foods are formulated for different species and may not provide the necessary nutrients for rabbits.


✅ What do you feed rabbits when out of food?

In emergencies, provide hay, fresh vegetables, or commercial rabbit food. Avoid substituting with dog or cat food to ensure their nutritional needs are met.


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