Do Rabbits Eat Insects?

Rabbits won’t purposefully eat an insect, but they’ll sometimes accidentally eat them (e.g., if there’s an insect on the leaf of their food). Since rabbits are herbivores, they have no inclination to hunt and eat other animals – all they need for their nutrition are plant-based products.

Rabbits won’t get any nutrition from eating insects either, at most they’d get some protein, but they don’t need protein from their diet so it could do more harm than good. There are plenty of other risks involved too, which explain why it’s so important to prevent your rabbit from eating insects where possible.

Read on to find out.

Risks of Rabbits Eating Insects

There are a bunch of issues your rabbit might have to deal with if they snack on insects.

Eating just one insect might not cause any issues for them, but it’s impossible to predict as it depends on what insect it was, if they’ve eaten others, if it was poisonous or had any pesticide on, and more.

Your rabbit might have these problems after eating insects:

  • Digestion: Rabbits are designed to digest plant based products and fiber. Insects aren’t plant based, so your rabbit will struggle to digest it. There’s also the issue of eating the wrong diet, too little fiber long term can be fatal for rabbits.
  • Poison: Any insect could be poisonous, there’s spiders, scorpions, centipedes, ants, and other insects that can bite your rabbit or ingest poison by eating the insect. Rabbit’s don’t have strong immune systems so this could be deadly for them.
  • Diseases: Some insects (like cockroaches) carry diseases that can transfer to your rabbit and make them sick.
  • Choking: Certain insects, like beetles or cockroaches, have hard shells and can cause your rabbit to choke or develop an internal blockage when eating it.

If your rabbit is around insects, there’s also a risk of them getting stung, bitten, or attacked. They could very quickly go downhill since they’re small creatures and their immune systems aren’t strong.

What if My Rabbit Eats Insects?

If your rabbit has eaten insects, you should act quickly. Without knowing whether the insect was clear from pesticides or where it came from, you should consult with a vet.

In the worst case, your vet would check them over and declare that they’re fine and it’s a wasted trip, but if your rabbit has eaten something poisonous or has a blockage then you must act fast to get them help.

It’s sometimes hard to spot a problem in rabbits, but always monitor them and look for signs that something isn’t right – this can look like lethargy, change in appetite, loose stools, or just acting out of character. These subtle signs can be the only signs your rabbit shows, so be extra vigilant.

Make sure your rabbit is eating a balanced diet the rest of the time, including plenty of hay and water to stay hydrated and keep their gut moving.

How to Stop a Rabbit Eating Insects

Despite your best efforts, there’s always a chance that your rabbit could eat insects. But there are a few steps you can take to try and reduce the chances of this happening.

  • Keep your rabbit indoors: This will make it less likely for your rabbit to come across any insects. For exercise, you could set up an exercise pen to keep your pet in one, insect-free zone.
  • Insect-proof your rabbit’s hutch: Some insects might creep into your rabbit’s home, and your rabbit might ignore them if they stay away from their food. To keep them out, you can seal any gaps or cracks (with tape, glue, or silicon).
  • Clean: If you regularly and thoroughly clean your rabbit’s hutch, and spray bug spray while you’re there, you can keep on top of any insect problem.
  • Check their food: When preparing your rabbit’s leafy green vegetables (or any food) wash it thoroughly and check for insects before serving it to them.
  • Buy quality food: If you buy good quality timothy hay, you should reduce the chance of there being any lingering insects in there. If your rabbit eats a balanced diet and is full, they won’t even look in the direction of an insect for a snack.
  • Treat your garden: Using pesticides can control the number of insects in your yard. Be careful doing this though, as your rabbit can get poisoned by the chemicals too.

Do Rabbits Eat Fleas and Ticks?

Yes, rabbits do sometimes eat fleas and ticks. If a rabbit in a bonded pair finds a parasite on their mate when grooming, they’ll try to remove it. This will involve biting and pulling to get it off their mate. The rabbit might then eat the parasite to make sure it’s gone, but this is problematic because it can cause a parasitic infection that requires vet treatment.

Do Rabbits Eat Bees and Wasps?

Rabbits are unlikely to try and eat bees and wasps. Your rabbit will most likely be scared of the buzzing, flying insects. To try and avoid bees and wasps going near your rabbit, clean their hutch regularly and don’t leave any food (especially sweet fruits) in the hutch. If you find bees or wasps in your rabbit’s hutch, remove your rabbit to a safe, secure place while you deal with the infestation.

Why is My Rabbit Chasing Flying Insects?

Your rabbit might chase a flying insect (like moths or butterflies) to play. The movement and sound of the wings can catch your rabbit’s attention and prompt them to jump and chase it. If they do catch it and eat it, your rabbit could get sick if the insect is carrying any disease. Keep their hutch clean and as odor-free as possible to keep flies away.

What if My Rabbit Eats a Spider?

It’s unlikely for your rabbit to eat a spider but if they do, there could be a problem if the spider was poisonous. Spiders often live in the corners of hutches, and if your rabbit leaves it be, it can be useful to control the flies. If your rabbit gets bitten or eats a poisonous spider, they would need vet treatment ASAP.

What should Rabbits Eat?

Your rabbit needs to eat a balanced diet. They need plenty of high-quality hay and drinking water, this is one of the most important parts of your rabbit’s diet and overall care. They also need a daily bowl of pellets and a variety of leafy green vegetables every day. In addition to this, they can have treats once or twice per week.

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