Rabbits And Alcohol - If it's Dangerous, why do they like it?

Rabbits And Alcohol – If it’s Dangerous, why do they like it?

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You are not the first person who has been freaked out when you discovered that your bunny has taken a drink from your adult beverage. I’ve had rabbit friends tell me that their bunny drank beer, wine, and even whiskey.

But you’re here because you’re scared, so let’s just cut to the chase. Your bunny is likely going to be just fine.

Is Drinking Alcohol Dangerous For A Bunny Rabbit?

Drinking alcohol is not good for your pet rabbit, but a small amount isn’t going to kill them. I’ve had dozens of rabbit friends whose bunnies drank a little wine or beer and I haven’t seen a single one have serious health complications because of it.

To be clear, you should not allow or encourage your bunny rabbit to drink any kind of booze. Rabbits should only drink water; clean clear water. If you want to get crazy with your bunny’s water, add some ice or occasionally add a splash of fruit juice for special occasions.

P.S. If you have the first-hand experience with a rabbit having serious health issues related to accidental alcohol consumption, please contact me. I want to help you share your story.


Do Rabbits Like Wine?

Most rabbits do like wine if they ever get the opportunity to taste it. If we think about it, wine is just fermented fruit and wild rabbits certainly eat fermenting fruit.

Below is a video of a rabbit going crazy for wine, but I want to remind you that you should not give your bunny wine. Too much wine or a habit of drinking wine could kill your bunny.


Do Rabbits Like Beer?

Rabbits do like beer when they get a chance to taste it. I’ve known rabbits who after having a single lick of beer could not be trusted anywhere near a beer can because they would knock it over looking for another taste. Rabbits like the sweet taste of beer.

I found a video of a rabbit who is certainly a beer fan but I want to remind you that you should not allow or encourage your rabbit to drink beer. Regular alcohol consumption could cause liver and kidney damage that would be fatal to your bunny.


What To Do If Your Rabbit Drinks Alcohol

1. Consider the strength of the alcohol they have drunk.

We are worried about the volume of pure alcohol that the bunny drank, not the volume of the cocktail they drank.

Did your bunny drink some beer or some whiskey? Obviously, there is a lot more alcohol in a teaspoon of whiskey than a teaspoon of beer. If it was a hard liquor that your rabbit tasted, was it really straight booze or was it a mixed cocktail?

I’ve never heard of a bunny taking a drink of unmixed booze. Instead, they are usually drawn to sweet cocktails that are three-fourths juice, soda pop, or other sugar water. If that’s the case, they didn’t get a whole lot of alcohol in their drink either.

2. Figure out how much alcohol they have drunk.

You’re probably going to have to do some estimating here.

Did your bunny knocked over the wine glass wine and then got a few good licks in before you scooped him up (it happens way more often than you think), then she hardly got any alcohol.

On the other hand, if you fell asleep and your bunny finished off your glass of wine then you have a different situation on your hands and you might have a drunk rabbit.

If your rabbit has drunk less than a tablespoon of alcohol then they are probably going to be fine. If they drank more than a tablespoon, then you need to monitor your bunny and consider visiting your rabbit veterinarian.

3. Give Your Rabbit Water

You can help your bunny flush the booze out of their system by getting them to drink more water.

If your bunny isn’t really thirsty, you can encourage them to drink more water by either adding ice (during the hot months) or even add a little flavor to the water to get her to drink more water. Just a splash of fruit juice will encourage most bunnies to drink more water.

Do not make a habit of flavoring your rabbit’s water. These empty calories will make your bunny fat over time.

3. Feed Your Rabbit Her Favorite Foods

Once again, our goal here is to help your bunny rabbit sober up with some food. This is not the moment to worry about the ‘best’ bunny diet, you just want her eating.

You could even float some frozen fruit in her water to get her to eat and drink at the same time.

4. Watch For Signs Of Intoxication

For a small rabbit, even a very small amount of alcohol can cause intoxication. By watching for signs of intoxication, you can better gauge how much your rabbit has drunk and if you need to be watching for signs of more server toxicity.

Signs of inebriation can occur with even a small amount of alcohol consumption. These signs can appear as quickly as 15 minutes after consumption and up to two hours after consumption. {Source}

Signs that your rabbit is intoxicated includes:

  • Staggering
  • Excitement
  • Decreased Reflexes

5. Watch For Signs Of Alcohol Toxicity

If you see signs that your rabbit is intoxicated, then it’s time to start watching for signs of more serve alcohol poisoning.

Signs of alcohol poisoning in rabbits include:

If you have seen any of these signs of alcohol toxicity, you need to get your rabbit to their veterinarian right away.

6. Keep Your Bunny Out Of The Booze!

Some bunnies develop a taste for booze. I knew a Holland Lop who couldn’t be trusted with wine and a mixed bunny who would knock over a beer the second someone sits it on the floor.

Be careful and don’t enable your bunnies to urge to drink booze.

7. Try To Chill.

People scare us about the things that are a danger to our bunnies, and they do it out of the best of intentions. These bunnies need our protection, but we can’t make ourselves sick worrying about them…that won’t’ do them any good.

If you are careful with your adult drinks and don’t leave on unattended around your unattended bunny, it’s very unlikely that your bunny will ever get enough alcohol to be harmed in any way.

Relax and enjoy your bunny, and if she gets a little like don’t freak out, just increase food and water while monitoring them for the next few hours.


Why Do Rabbits Like Alcohol?

Usually when a rabbit tries to drink alcohol it’s because of the sugar content of the drink.

Rabbits like alcohol because it’s often sweet. Like us, rabbits have a sweet tooth and the majority of the time when a rabbit tries to drink alcohol it’s actually trying to drink the sweet carbohydrates that are part of the drink, not the alcohol.

Let’s remember that rabbits consuming alcohol in the wild too.

Those apples that are rotting on the ground…they have alcohol in them and the bunnies love them. { Click here, if you want to learn more about rabbits eating apples. >>> }


Can Rabbits Get Drunk?

Rabbits can get drunk and it takes very little alcohol to get them tipsy. However, they should never be given booze because at their small size they can get to toxic levels of alcohol in a tablespoon or less of strong alcohol.


What If Your Rabbit Licks Alcohol Off Her Feet Or Fur?

If your bunny spills an alcoholic drink and then steps, sets, or flops in it rest assured that she’s not the first bunny rabbit to do that.

First, just use a towel and get as much of the booze out of her fur as possible. Then make sure she has lots of good food that she loves to help flush the booze through her system.

Keep in mind that lots of people who show rabbits use rubbing alcohol to clean urine stains off of their rabbit’s feet and butts. Those rabbits then groom themselves by licking those areas and they are just fine.

Your bunny is going to be okay too.

~Stacey

Stacey

My name is Stacey Davis and my family has kept rabbits for decades. Here on RabbitPros.com we share our love of rabbits, our experience, and lots of research to help you enjoy your pet bunny even more.

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