Rabbits can eat newspapers lining their hutches, but they are not supposed to eat newspapers. Rabbits are herbivores, and newspapers are not part of their dietary recommendations. Your pet rabbit can get severely ill if you notice it eating newspapers and don’t do something about it.
It is a popular habit for people to line rabbit cages with newspapers to recycle paper. However, some rabbits can start eating the newspaper. It would be best if you never left any newspapers lying around a rabbit cage when you notice that your pet has a habit of eating them.
This article explores why newspapers are dangerous for rabbits, why rabbits eat newspapers, and ways to prevent rabbits from eating newspapers. There are many options for lining a rabbit cage that is not harmful to a rabbit’s health.
Why are Newspapers Dangerous for Rabbits?
Rabbits are sensitive creatures, and ingestion of newspapers can lead to the pet getting sick. The ink on newspapers is toxic for rabbits, and they will get ill once the ink gets into their system.
When a rabbit chews an area of a newspaper full of pictures and print advertisements, the results can be catastrophic.
You will have to call a vet who’s a rabbit expert to reverse the damages of the ink to your pet rabbit. Even then, it may take a while for the rabbit to recover if it ingests a huge chunk of newspapers.
Rabbit pet owners must keep watch of rabbits when they line cages with newspapers to ensure they don’t eat them. Also, understanding the reasons why pet rabbits eat newspapers can help you curb the habit.
Why Do Pet Rabbits Eat Newspapers?
There are several reasons why pet rabbits eat newspapers that owners use for lining a cage. You can take the necessary measures to stop the rabbit from eating newspapers. It is in the rabbit’s best interest to stop using newspapers when you notice a rabbit eating them.
Lack of Adequate Food
Rabbits feed 24/7, and you need to keep a steady supply of food in the hutch. An inadequate amount of food can lead to rabbits eating newspapers out of hunger.
Check the cage when you notice a rabbit eating newspapers. If there is no food, you need to increase the portions or add the number of times you refill hay or rabbit pellets in a day.
Check whether the rabbit stops eating newspapers when you refill food. One of the reasons rabbits can eat more is during the cold seasons because they have to generate more heat.
Another reason is when the rabbit grows, and it uses more energy. You should note the changes in a pet rabbit as it grows and adjusts the food supply accordingly.
Lack of Fiber
Pet rabbits can eat newspapers as a way to supplement a lack of fiber in their diet. Rabbits are wired to look for items in their surroundings to supplement a fiber deficiency in the diet.
You need to add fiber in the form of dark leafy vegetables like dark lettuce. You can ask your vet of suitable sources of fiber for your pet rabbit available locally.
Lack of Toys
A pet rabbit can chew on newspaper to beat boredom when there are no toys in the cage. Although a rabbit can eat many newspapers when playing, it can still hurt its health.
Buy suitable toys to keep the rabbit busy when it gets bored. Also, include some form of exercise by letting the rabbit out of the cage into some enclosed place. Exercise will alleviate the feeling of being cooped up in a cage.
What Happens to Pet Rabbits Who Eat Newspapers?
Newspaper ink is harmful to rabbits, and you may notice your rabbit becoming ill. It may stop eating and exhibit signs of weakening. You should call a vet immediately if you see any signs of illness in your rabbit. The veterinary expert will recommend the best way forward after examining your pet rabbit.
Another harmful effect of rabbits eating newspapers is a blockage in the intestines. The digestive system of a rabbit is not equipped to break down papers. The chances are that the newspaper will travel down to the intestines and cause blockage.
Signs of blockage in a pet rabbit include lack of movement, expressions of pain, and your pet won’t eat anything. You should call a veterinary expert immediately. Gastrointestinal issues in rabbits can be painful, and sometimes they are fatal. A vet will recommend the best way to remove the blockage and help your rabbit feel better.
Alternatives for Newspaper
Pet rabbit owners use newspapers to line a cage or create a bedding area because newspapers are readily available. However, there are safer options for lining a hutch and creating a sleeping area.
You can use a mat or straw to line the cage and keep a rabbit’s paws comfortable. You can use any soft hay or straw to line the bottom of the cage. There are many types, shapes, and sizes of mats that you can use to line a rabbit’s habitat. You can ask for recommendations at your local pet store if you are looking for a mat.
You can use fleece to create a warm and soft sleeping area for your pet rabbit. There are fleece articles specific to rabbits that you can find nowadays. Find a fleece blanket or bedding that is simple to clean and pet-friendly.
Overall, you should avoid using newspapers in rabbit cages, even if it is a cheap alternative to line a rabbit cage. Use materials that will not cause health problems for your rabbit. Elimination of newspapers in a rabbit’s cage is for the best when you notice your pet eating newspapers.
Rabbits can eat newspapers due to hunger or lack of fiber in their diet. Finding the root cause of why your pet rabbit is eating newspapers will help you find the right solution. You need to call a vet when you notice your rabbit eating newspapers to know the best way forward.
Rabbits cannot process newspapers, and they can cause severe health issues in their digestive system. Calling a vet at the earliest time when a rabbit consumes newspapers can help prevent a disaster and more medical bills.
Overall, use other safer materials to line a rabbit’s cage. Also, invest in some high-quality toys that will distract your pet when it is boring.
If possible, include some daily exercises in a rabbit’s routine to prevent boredom and temptation from playing with newspapers. So now you know all about newspapers but can rabbits eat cardboard?
Please be careful and use at your own risk
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