No, rabbits can’t eat ice cream. Rabbits are lactose-intolerant so they can’t digest any dairy products (including milk, cream, cheese, and more). Your rabbit would most likely suffer from diarrhea if they accidentally ate ice cream, but depending on how much they ate they might end up with more severe issues too.
No type of flavor of ice cream is safe for your rabbit, and flavors like chocolate or any that contain nuts are especially bad as they contain ingredients that are toxic to rabbits.
Your rabbit has a super sensitive digestive system, and eating the wrong food can make them very sick. As well as rabbits not having any ability to digest lactose, ice cream also has extra ingredients like sugars and additives that won’t agree with them either.
Ice cream contains:
- Sugar: In large doses, sugar can cause a heap of problems for your rabbit- it’s addictive, it rots their teeth, and it causes them to gain weight amongst other things.
- Lactose: Your rabbit won’t be able to digest lactose, but since they can’t vomit it’ll be forced to go through them.
- Fats: Unhealthy fats are bad for your rabbit’s health and can lead to higher cholesterol.
The combination of eating food like ice cream and the wrong diet can lead to your rabbit suffering from gastrointestinal distress – when their gut movement stops and they have painful gas that can be fatal if not treated. Rabbits can also get rheumatoid lesions – inflammation of their joints.
Rabbits are curious creatures and will graze non-stop – even if they’re full. As a result, they’re very likely to eat whatever food they come across, even if it’s bad for them.
If you catch your rabbit eating ice cream, follow these steps:
- Remove the ice cream from them.
- Make sure they have plenty of hay and water.
- Monitor their behavior – particularly if their toileting is normal, if there are any signs of pain, or if they aren’t eating normally.
- If your rabbit isn’t eating and hasn’t passed any stool in 12 hours, you’ll need to contact a vet right away.
In lucky cases, your rabbit might not suffer too badly after a taste of ice cream. If they do seem out of sorts to you, it’s always best to speak to a vet for advice.
While you or I might reach for ice cream on a hot summer day, your rabbit must avoid such foods and will need other ways to cool down.
To help your rabbit cool down, you could:
- Put ice cubes in their water bowl (two or three ice cubes would make a difference).
- Put a cool towel near your rabbit (just keep an eye on them so the towel doesn’t get eaten and don’t put a wet towel directly onto your rabbit).
- Create a shaded area (an area away from sunlight will do wonders to prevent your rabbit from overheating in their built-in fur coats).
- Set up an electric fan near your rabbit (though make sure your rabbit doesn’t get too close to it and the room will need to be well ventilated. If your rabbit hasn’t heard a fan before, they might be startled by it).
- Put a water bottle with cold water by your rabbit (if your rabbit isn’t a fan of ice, this could be an alternative).
There are plenty of things you can do to keep your rabbit comfortable in the hotter months. Be mindful that their cage isn’t in direct sunlight and keep their water bowls full.
What Can I Give My Rabbit in the Summer?
Cold treats can help them keep cool – such as frozen kale, ice cubes, and frozen bananas.
As long as you make sure that they’re eating a balanced diet, they can enjoy the odd treat. But before you give them something for the first time, check online if the frozen food is safe – you’ll find plenty of options.
Can Rabbits Eat Ice Cubes, Ice Pops, or Ice Lollies?
No, the only ice product your rabbit can safely eat is frozen mineral water or frozen fresh water. Any other store-bought ice product usually contains extra flavoring and fruits that won’t agree with your rabbit’s stomachs.
Can Rabbits Eat Homemade Ice Cream?
This answer depends, but to err on the safe side, it’s better to avoid any type of ice cream. If the homemade ice cream contains any dairy, sugars, or ingredients that aren’t rabbit-friendly, then it’s definitely not safe.
If it’s a fruit blend (only fruit) it might be safe – but beware that there’s always a risk of digestional issues and your rabbit would eat it even if it was poisonous.
Do Rabbits Get Brain Freeze?
Though there isn’t a lot of research on this, it’s thought that rabbits can get brain freeze. This unfamiliar and uncomfortable feeling would panic your rabbit and they’d go running for safety, not knowing where the pain is coming from.
What Else Do Rabbits Eat?
Your rabbit’s balanced diet should consist of unlimited hay, constant access to drinking water, a variety of raw vegetables and pellets every day, and treats a couple of times per week.