Bamboo shoots and stalks can be given to your rabbit as an occasional treat, in small chunks. However, it is extremely important that you are certain that it is bamboo. There are bamboo look-alikes which are easy to mistake for the real thing, and some of these look-alikes have been proven toxic to rabbits. If you don’t know for sure which type of bamboo you have, don’t risk it.
Heavenly bamboo (also known as Nandina Domestica) is toxic to rabbits. The leaves are especially bad, if you think your rabbit may have eaten any heavenly bamboo, seek immediate veterinary treatment.
Err on the side of caution and avoid Lucky bamboo (also known as Dracaena) too. It hasn’t been studied to determine how rabbits react to it, but it is proven to be toxic to dogs and cats.
Scroll on to find out how much bamboo you can safely give your rabbit and a very important checklist on what you need to do before letting your rabbit eat bamboo.
How Much Bamboo Can I Give My Rabbit?
Chewing bamboo is a great way to wear your rabbit’s teeth down. It also makes a tasty treat, as long as it is only given rarely as it contains high levels of plant sugars and starches. In high quantities, these can upset your rabbit’s gut.
You should aim to give your rabbit a one to two-inch piece of bamboo as a treat.
Don’t let your baby bunny eat treats like this until they are at least one year old. If you do, they will very likely have an upset tummy.
You can also push hay into the middle of the hollow stalk. This makes a fun game for your rabbit to forage for the hay and is an easy and quick thing you can do to entertain them.
Before Giving Your Rabbit Bamboo
It is extremely important to check the following points to ensure that your rabbit has the least risk when they eat bamboo.
- Check it is real bamboo and not a toxic bamboo look-alike.
- Wash it before use to remove any treatment, insects, or spray which could be on it.
- Chop it up into one to two-inch pieces.
- Feed your rabbit a balanced diet including unlimited hay, fresh water, green leafy vegetables, and some pellets. It is imperative that bamboo is just a treat and not a substitute for their proper diet.
Should I Use Bamboo Pellets for Their Litter?
You may have come across bamboo litter pellets. It is important to make sure the litter is rabbit safe, as they may decide to nibble some of it.
Bamboo is safe in small portions, but you wouldn’t want your rabbit eating all the litter or getting into the habit of using litter as their main food source.
If possible, use an alternative for your rabbit’s litter. Pet stores usually have a variety of options you can choose from.