Rabbits are active and fun-loving creatures who will do almost anything to kill boredom, even if it means chewing on something as tasteless as toilet paper rolls. For rabbits, munching and nibbling on things is a natural, normal, and delightful way of having fun or staying active.
Do you ever wonder why your rabbits always want to chew on something? Aside from the fact that rabbits enjoy chewing, it is also a way to maintain good dental health and keep their ever-growing teeth in check. Of course, you don’t want your rabbits to develop overgrown teeth issues such as molar spurs, making eating difficult for your pet because it will hurt the soft tissues in their mouth.
Speaking about chewing, does your rabbit chew on toilet paper rolls and you’re wondering if it’s quite healthy for them? Keep reading this piece to find out more!
What Kind of Paper Can Rabbits Eat?
Bunnies can chew on toilet paper rolls and other paper-based products that are not heavily inked. Don’t let your rabbit play with heavily inked papers like mass-produced brochures, magazines, and pamphlets.
If you are not so sure about the type of paper to feed your rabbit, you can consider more of these options listed below:
1. Toilet Paper Rolls
Toilet paper rolls are one of the safest chew toys you can give to your rabbit; your little pets would be happy to toss it around the house or in their cage. That way, they can stay busy and active for hours as they chew and play with the toilet paper rolls.
Additionally, you can improve your pet rabbit’s experience by making some cool homemade toys with cardboard tubes or hiding treats such as hay and greens in paper rolls.
Instead of buying expensive chew toys, you should consider giving your bunnies other cheap homemade toys like cardboard. One of the excellent ways to achieve this is by creating these toys with cardboard; playing with them will help stimulate their body and mental health.
Because cardboard is primarily composed of cellulose, it is a safe and healthy toy for bunnies to consume. However, you must ensure the cardboard is not heavily inked, and they don’t ingest too much to prevent your rabbits from having intestinal blockage.
3. Cardboard Boxes
Another inexpensive yet simple way to keep your bunny busy and entertained is with cardboard boxes. Whether standing or flattened, most bunnies love playing with the cardboard box.
Ideally, You can turn the cardboard into a tunnel for the rabbits to run through and around. Better still, make a digging box for them to destroy. Remember to remove all tape or staples before giving new cardboard boxes to your bunnies, as failure to do so may be hazardous to their health.
What Are The Alternatives Chew Toys to Toilet Paper?
Better options you can choose in place of chew toys include:
- Ka-bob chew dispenser Toy
- Willow sticks
- Willow Bridge
- Twig tunnels
- Willow balls
- Wooden dumbbells
Are There Risks of Overfeeding Toilet Paper to Rabbits?
Originally, Toilet paper was made from wood pulp. So, it’s not unhealthy for rabbits to chew or even ingest some of them.
However, you must be mindful of when your rabbit starts to consume more toilet paper rolls than they should while neglecting hay, greens, and healthy concentrates.
If your rabbit overfeeds on toilet paper rolls, there are health problems that they may encounter, such as:
1. Intestinal Blockage
Intestinal blockage is a condition in which there is a blockage somewhere along the gastrointestinal tract, preventing food particles from moving freely. The blockage occurs because the rabbit’s stomach acid and intestinal enzymes cannot break down or digest the particles consumed.
Rabbits, like many other plant-eating animals, require fiber to stimulate gut movement. Intestinal blockage occurs when they consume an excessive amount of toilet paper, cardboard, or any other unhealthy food item.
Because rabbits have such a delicate digestive system, it becomes an even more dangerous condition that may require surgery to correct.
Diarrhea is characterized by the frequent passage of loose, watery stool, which can be caused by contaminated food or a sudden change in diet. Your bunny might suffer from diarrhea if its diet changes abruptly.
If your rabbits suddenly start consuming toilet paper in large amounts, they may have diarrhea.
In some cases, diarrhea may result in death; endure to take your rabbit to the vet if you start to exhibit symptoms.
3. Gastrointestinal Stasis
This is another dangerous digestive disorder your rabbit may have to battle if it’s overfed with cardboard and toilet paper rolls. Gastrointestinal stasis (GI Status) is the slowdown or complete stoppage of food passage through the digestive tract.
GI stasis results in the accumulation of bacteria in the intestine that releases gases into the rabbit’s system. When this happens, the rabbit will experience bloating, pain, or even a reduced appetite for food and water. This aggravates the situation by dehydrating the rabbit and depriving it of essential nutrients and dietary fiber.
If this condition is not quickly treated, it may lead to organ failure and the eventual death of the rabbit. Some common symptoms of GI stasis include:
- Hunched posture
- Anorexia/ loss of appetite
- Swollen stomach
Again, take your rabbit to the vet immediately if you suddenly notice these signs in your little bunny.
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Below, you will find answers to some of the common questions about what rabbits should or shouldn’t feed on:
Q: Can Rabbits Eat Newspapers?
A: Yes, rabbits can consume small amounts of newspaper. Newspapers, in fact, are one of the printed paper chew toys that rabbits can eat. This is because most newspapers are printed with vegetable-based ink, which rabbits can safely consume.
Q: Can Rabbits Eat Cardboard?
A: Rabbits can eat cardboard in small amounts. Rabbits often play with cardboard, tear it to shreds, and eat some while doing so.
Whatever you do, ensure the cardboard is free of prints. But if it has been printed, be sure they were printed with vegetable-based ink; Any other chemical-based ink would cause problems for your bunny.
Also, make sure the cardboard is free from glue, staples, clips, and pins so that your furry friend doesn’t choke on them.
Q: Can Rabbits Eat Magazines?
A: Rabbits eat paper, but it’s a bad idea to give magazines to them. This is because most magazines are printed with machines using colored inks that are not vegetable based.
Besides, magazines may contain staples and ink, which harm your rabbit’s digestive system.
Q: Can Rabbits Eat Pamphlets?
A: No, never give pamphlets to your rabbit. Pamphlets, like magazines, are produced by machines using colored and chemical-based inks, which are incredibly harmful to rabbits. Rabbits have a very fragile digestive system, and you don’t want to hurt your rabbit or even lose it to a severe digestive disorder.
Rabbits can eat toilet paper rolls, plain cardboard, and chew toys in small amounts. Rabbits need to constantly chew on things to prevent them from having dental problems like molar spurs.
As a result, most rabbits consume these items out of curiosity and necessity rather than because they taste good.
Keep an eye on your rabbit to ensure they aren’t overeating paper. If you can’t keep an eye on them, give them wood-based chew toys, as they’re safer for rabbits.