Knowing that it’s perfectly safe to feed your rabbit with various cereal treats, it’s only natural to pose a question of “can rabbits eat bran flakes?”.
The answer seems obvious for this one, but I’ll say it loud and clear – it’s completely safe! But like with all food that is for human use, there are some variations that are forbidden for your pet.
There are some quantity-related restrictions that you should keep an eye out for but in order to educate yourself on these and many other topics, I suggest you keep scrolling and pay close attention.
I might have included some of my favorite ways to surprise my rabbit with bran flakes so you can try them as well!
A Distinction To Make!
Bran flakes are a specific type of food. It’s rarely found not packed in a box and not directly from the factory.
Everything I say here goes exclusively if you find an organically made pack of bran flakes. None of the brands you find in superstores are viable for the rabbit diet – especially the ones with honey or chocolate.
If you can’t find some organic bran flakes you should not under any circumstances give your rabbit any of the store-bought cereal!
Bran Flakes And Other Types Of Cereal In Rabbit Diet
It’s widely known that cereal is one of the best types of food for rabbits. This is due to a ton of reasons, but there are a few I’d like to name here so you can get a better picture of how good they are:
Low In Sugar
Generally speaking, only commercial cereal is full of sugar. None of the organically made ones contain a high amount of sugar in any case. There are even some cereal brands that take pride in their zero sugar policy, but don’t let that fool you.
The majority of naturally made cereal is sugar-free or low in sugar in the first place, the process that they go through in the factory is responsible for high sugar levels.
This cereal in particular only has around 14 to 16 grams of sugar per 100 grams.
This makes them a fantastic nibbling treat for your rabbit as it is easily measurable and you can always control the sugar intake in your rabbit’s day by just taking a measuring cup or a scale and measuring the number of bran flakes you give to your pet.
Rabbits don’t usually need a lot of sugar but these types of sugar that are found in cereal are nowhere near as bad as the sugar found in chocolate or other various sweets that some people give to their rabbits.
So don’t be scared to give your bunny a few of these to nibble on from time to time as it can be a great energy source and an easy way to supplement some other foods that your rabbit may potentially get bored of.
Great Source Of Fiber
Fiber is one of the most important if not THE MOST IMPORTANT ingredient in your pet’s food. It ensures healthy bowel movement, regular stool, and an overall healthy tummy for life!
On average, bran flakes contain around 17 grams of fiber per 100 grams. A hundred grams is a lot to give to your rabbit in one sitting, but this gives you a rough idea of how fiber-rich these are.
A rabbit’s tummy is a very sensitive thing. Their digestive process takes a lot into doing so you have a lot of things to consider when choosing a new food to implement in your pet’s diet.
There are, what I like to call, “no-brainer foods” that are clearly desirable for your bunny. Bran flakes really do fall under that category because all of the potential risks that they carry with them are caused by going overboard when calculating the number of bran flakes you give them.
Also, let’s not forget that rabbits are prone to constipation which is usually caused by a lack of fiber in their diet. Some of the new rabbit owners overlook this and thus cause their pet to have constipation more often than it’s needed.
Many rabbit parents give their pets a virtually unlimited amount of hay because it’s full of fiber but low in calories. If you’re interested in my complete guide on the rabbit diet you can check it out here.
Full Of Protein
To be honest, if you take almost any ingredient found in bran flakes you’ll be able to find something good about them. But, there are a few crucial things your rabbit’s food needs to contain regardless of what food we’re talking about.
One of these ingredients is protein. Protein is the best source of energy and it’s irreplaceable by any other ingredient on earth. Carbohydrates are often regarded as the primary source of energy, but protein is at the top of that list as well.
Although only eleven grams per full hundred grams seems a bit scarce, don’t be mistaken. Protein is so good that if bran flakes contained only one gram of it I’d still be happy. There’s no way around it, every food that regularly takes place in your rabbit’s diet needs to contain some protein in it.
I’m emphasizing this just to assure you that if you do decide to implement bran flakes into your rabbit’s diet you won’t have to worry about their protein intake getting lower.
How To Implement Bran Flakes In Your Rabbit’s Diet?
With food as simple as bran flakes there’s literally not a single bad way to implement them in your pet’s diet. In my experience, there are two ways to approach this situation. One is a fast way, and the other one is a fun way.
The fast way is to add around 10 to 15 bran flakes to your rabbit’s food mix or pellets once every 10 days.
This is something to do if you just want to “spice up” your rabbit’s meals from time to time. I do recommend this if you don’t have a lot of free time on your hands but want to implement bran flakes into your pet’s diet.
The other way of approaching this situation (and my personal favorite) is to hand-feed them. This creates such a strong bond between you and your rabbit that it’s to describe to someone who hasn’t had the pleasure of doing it.
When you give a specific food that is very tasty to your rabbit directly from your hand, it creates a rush of serotonin in your rabbit’s body that it’ll remember for the rest of its life.
And not only that, but this feeling of joy will never fade out, no matter for how long you do this. So if you’re looking to re-establish the bond between you and your pet, or if you feel like you don’t have enough free time to spend with your long-eared friend, this is the solution!
I know that when I was busy with work I used this trick to up the quality of time I spent with my pet. I guarantee you this will work for you and your rabbit.
The question of “how often should you do” does not have a specific answer. I strongly recommend that you don’t exceed the “once every 10 days” rule because it can lead to obesity and heart problems.
If your rabbit is smaller than average I’d recommend you even go once every 20 days just to be safe.
Potential Side Effects
Like with every food found in the superstores that are not recommended for human consumption – your rabbit shouldn’t eat it either. Processed cereal is full of sugar and can seriously shorten the lifespan of your pet if given to them on the regular basis.
Some of the most severe side effects might be high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, bad kidneys, and diabetes. All of these pose a serious threat to your pet and should not be taken lightly.
If you see your rabbit badly reacting to bran flakes and gaining weight rapidly, you should stop giving them that food. High blood pressure and blood sugar levels need to be checked by a vet, so this is your daily reminder to take your bunny to regular vet visits!
Can Rabbits Eat Bran Flakes? – Conclusion
The first thing I need to emphasize one more time before I get to my final thoughts on the topic of can rabbits eat bran flakes is that it’s absolutely crucial for you to understand and differentiate between the store-bought bran flakes and the organic ones.
If they’re organic and you know that there’s no added sugar to them, they’re perfectly safe as an occasional snack. If they’re store-bought I don’t even recommend you eat them, let alone your rabbit.
So, if you know someone who makes their own bran flakes I suggest you implement them in your rabbit’s regular diet. It will bond the two of you together and will make for a great addition to their day.
Hope both you and your bunny enjoy them!