Corn is one of the humans’ favorite foods since it can be modified into a different dish. Such as popcorn, corn soup, and sweetcorn with butter. With this in mind, you might wonder if eating corn is also safe for your rabbit pet.
The answer to that is no. Corn is considered a food that you should avoid giving to your pet, even in small pieces. However, rabbits will probably love eating this delicious food once they accidentally taste the corn. You should immediately remove the excess pieces since they can harm your pet’s digestive system.
According to the American Diabetes Association, corn is one of the vegetables with high amounts of starch and carbohydrates, one of the unwanted nutrients you want to avoid for your rabbits.
Corn and Rabbits
Corn is considered a cereal plant since it has a grain that contains fiber. It also belongs to the family of Poaceae, which has a characteristic of stilt or branched roots. This crop is considered an important source of nutrients for many species, which is why it is distributed worldwide, although it originated in America. Moreover, corn can also be used as feed for livestock such as chickens, as biofuel, and as a portion of human food.
But when it comes to your rabbit, corn is a big no. According to the Veterinary Center of America (VCA) report, rabbits will love munching on various kinds of vegetables. But, it does not mean that all kinds are suitable for their stomach. Since food has a different composition in its nutritional value, some food is considered unsafe or even poisonous for your pet to eat. And corn veggie is one of the foods you should avoid adding to your rabbit’s diet.
Raw Corn Nutritional Value
There are nutrients in corn that are healthy and benefit human consumption. However, when rabbits intake those nutrients, their bodies can have different results. To better understand corn’s nutritional value, look at the U.S. Department of Agriculture table below. This is based on every 100 grams of raw, sweet, and white corn.
|Name of Nutrients
|Total Lipid (Fat)
|Carbohydrates, by difference
|Sugar, total including NLEA
Rabbits will love munching on sweet food because of the sweet taste they can get from eating it. Although it is exciting to watch your pet eating desserts like sweet corn, this type of crop is one of the foods you should also avoid giving to your pet. Sweet corn is still corn.
While sweet foods are safe for human owners, when it comes to your pet, too much sugar results in various complications in their body, such as weight gain. If you want your pet to have an afternoon dessert, there are alternative foods that are way safer for them to intake. But take note that you give your rabbits small pieces of this food to avoid overeating. If any changes in their behaviors or symptoms occur, kindly take them to your trusted veterinarian for a check-up and possible treatment.
Here is the list of alternative sweet food that you can give to your pet:
Corn husk is much safer for your rabbit since it can be a good source of fiber for your pet. Rabbits need a lot of fiber to have good digestion and distribution of nutrients inside their body. However, most rabbit owners prefer not to fodder their rabbits with the husk of corn because it has a tough fiber texture, meaning it is hard for rabbits to chew. Besides, the main source of your pet’s fiber can come from their primary diet: grass hays and pellets. If you balance the food enough, you don’t need to feed them corn husks anymore.
Corn Kernels are unsafe for your rabbit to eat, especially pieces of grains. Although it seems like a good treat to give to your pet because of the size, it can cause ingestion of your pet. This part of the corn contains compounds such as starch that are hard for your pet’s body to digest. If your rabbit accidentally eats an excessive amount of kernels, it might feel sick, or in the worst situation, gastrointestinal status can occur in rabbits.
Popcorn is considered a hazard for your pet because it can lead to choking incidents because of its size.
Moreover, popcorn is made from the corn kernel, which is unsafe for rabbits’ digestion. Since corn contains carbohydrates, it can affect your pet’s weight gain, leading to more health complications.
There are instances when rabbit pee smells like popcorn, so many owners ask whether their pet eats popcorn or if accidentally eating pieces of corn contributes to it. The answer is no.
Rabbit pee’s color and smell depend on how their kidneys work. Although food also contributes to urination, it does not mean that popcorn is responsible for the sweet smell pee of your pet. Although for your peace of mind, you can consult your veterinarian regarding rabbit urine to see if your pet is suffering from some underlying disease.
Health Risks of Eating Corn in Rabbits
Gastrointestinal Statis (G. Statis)
Corn contains carbohydrates, so when your rabbit eats too much corn, it can have a Gastrointestinal stomach upset. According to VCA Animal Hospital, rabbits are diagnosed with G. Statis because of the imbalance of nutrients in their body.
Since rabbits are classified as herbivores, their diet should consist of plant-based meals that have fiber. If other nutrients, such as carbohydrates and starch that can be found in corn, enters your pet’s body, they will trigger G. Statis in your pet.
That is why it’s advisable to avoid adding any part of corn in rabbit meals, although it does not harm your pet in small amounts. Just take precautionary measures and feed them with the right nutrition.
Another health risk for your rabbit when they eat corn is diarrhea. Since rabbits cannot digest the nutrients of corn, their metabolism system will not function properly, which is why their pooping activity is also affected.
Rabbit diarrhea is often overlooked because most owners think it is just a simple illness that can be treated. However, diarrhea can also be a serious condition for your pet. Since the bowel movement of your rabbit is affected, it can be painful for them, especially when releasing poop frequently.
The anus of your pet can also get infected because of the pressure of pulling out waste inside your pet’s body. In addition, diarrhea also causes dehydration in rabbits. In some cases, severe dehydration must be put under IV fluid to sustain the nutrients inside the pet’s body. All of these complications will be avoided if, in the first place, you don’t let your rabbit eat corn and every part of the crop.
Here are the symptoms of diarrhea that you should keep an eye on
- Soft or watery stool
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
- Abdominal cramps
- Bloating or gassy stomach
- Bleeding of Anus
A fat rabbit might be cute when it comes to the physical aspect. But in reality, obesity in rabbits is a serious issue that every pet owner should not overlook. That is because obesity is one of the common reasons for some complications in your rabbit’s body.
Obesity can happen to a rabbit if they eat too many carbohydrates or sugary food like corn. That is why veterinarians often do not recommend sweet foods to include in the diet. Moreover, rabbits sometimes have a sweet tooth, so if they come to like a food with rich sugar content. It will be a problem to remove it from their diet.
But you don’t need to worry that obesity is avoidable if you plan your diet and look at the nutritional value of the food in your rabbit’s meal. Do not include foods high in sugar, carbs, starch, and fat, such as corn, potatoes, and onions.
A rabbit diet is important because it can contribute to your pet’s overall health and wellness. As an owner, you must know what food benefits rabbits. And the type of food that can cause harm and complications. To plan their diet, you should get information like measurement of nutrition that your pet needs to consume.
Fiber is their primary source of nutrients, so a huge percentage of fibrous food is important. The remaining percent can include treats such as fruits and vegetables. But remember that when you are switching to a new diet for your pet, allow them to be familiar with the food and nutrients so that they will not have an upset stomach.
Since corn is harmful to rabbits, there are other foods that you can feed to your pet without risking their health. Look at the list below for food alternatives for corn:
Note: feed your rabbit with these foods in moderation only
- Lettuce (dark leaf lettuce, not iceberg lettuce)
- Corn is one of the vegetables with high amounts of starch and carbohydrates, which is one of the unwanted nutrients that your rabbit should not consume.
- Corn is a cereal plant that belongs to the family of Poaceae, which has a characteristic of stilt or branched roots. It originated in America, but due to the popular demand, it is now grown worldwide.
- Corn has several uses in different industries, including feed for chicken livestock, biofuels, and human food.
- Sweet Corn is also unsafe for your rabbit because of the sugar content.
- Although corn husk is much safer than other parts of corn because of its fiber, avoid feeding it to your rabbit as well because of the hard and stringy texture.
- Corn Kernels and popcorn are harmful to rabbits because of their nutritional content.
- Here are some health risks of eating corn for your rabbit: G. Statis, Diarrhea, and Obesity.
- Diet is an important part of a rabbit’s life, so instead of feeding them food like corn which is unsafe for them, choose beneficial food that contributes to their health.
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