Do Rabbits Fart? (Is it normal?)

Rabbits are some of the most popular house pets. They’re relatively small, fluffy and playful. How could one not fall in love with such a cute ball of fluff? As cute as they are, some of their rabbitty (I’m pretty sure I just made that up) habits aren’t as “cute”.

Rabbits DO fart. Their diet and digestive system work in a way that produces a fair amount of gas. It is a sign of a healthy rabbit with a healthy stomach. In fact, rabbits need to fart to release all the gas that their digestive system produces. If they didn’t fart, the gas would build up and cause health problems to the bunny.

Is It Normal For Rabbits To Fart?

Farting is a normal part of the digestion process of a rabbit. All healthy rabbits fart regularly, just like cats, dogs or most mammals for that matter. They do it to release gasses that could be harmful to them if built up.

When food enters the digestive tract of a bunny, it is mainly digested in the large intestine. As they are non-ruminant animals, their stomachs aren’t fully prepared to digest plant material. They rely on microorganisms living in their caecum (a part of their large intestine) to extract the nutrients from their plant-based diet.

They even ingest their own faeces (cecotropes) to digest their food twice so they can get the most nutrients out of it. The bacteria that digest their food produces some gas in the process. This gas builds up in their intestine and eventually comes out through the back door in a non-harmful way.

Do Rabbit Farts Smell?

Rabbit farts aren’t smelly nor loud most of the time. It exists anecdotal evidence coming from rabbit owners that have heard/smelled their rabbits’ farts. However, this happens only sporadically, and you probably will never smell your rabbits’ farts unless he’s eaten something he shouldn’t have.

Rabbits are tiny little animals, and they release tiny little amounts of gas through their tiny little bodies. Humans can’t smell a rabbit fart. Unlike us, rabbits are herbivores; they do not eat too much sugar nor proteins, which are the main causes of the odor in farts of other carnivore or omnivore animals (like us).

You shouldn’t be worried about it, and it will not interfere with your daily life. For the same dietary reasons, rabbit poop is mainly made of fiber and isn’t smelly either.

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Why Is My Rabbit Gassy?

A normal amount of gas is produced and released by healthy rabbits regularly, but sometimes, they can produce too much gas or not be able to release it fully. This situation is painful for the rabbit and is certainly dangerous for its health. It can become a serious problem, even leading to death if left untreated.

The reasons behind this are diverse:

  • Enteritis
  • Stress
  • Not enough exercise
  • Hairballs
  • Bloat
  • Diet problems

Just like for you, your rabbit needs to maintain healthy habits, do regular exercise, live in a comfortable and stress-free environment and eat a balanced diet.

What Foods Make My Rabbit Gassy?

The rabbit’s diet is the main cause of gas problems. An inappropriate diet can lead to an excess of gas produced and the problems it entails.

A common misconception is that foods that make humans gassy should make rabbits gassy as well. This is not true. Some green vegetables like kale or broccoli are well known for their consequences on our digestive system, but there is no evidence that they affect rabbits in the same way.

However, there is evidence that grains and legumes do cause gas problems in rabbits. For this reason, you shouldn’t include bread (any flour-based product), beans, peas, chickpeas, etc., in your rabbit’s diet.

Another usual suspect is sugar. The sugar included in some treats (you should really limit their consumption) and the sugar inside some fruits and vegetables. Sweet fruits and starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn can cause gas buildup.

How Do I Know If My Rabbit Is Gassy?

Gassy rabbits aren’t very vocal about their intestinal health. Because of this, you should be aware of the signs that your rabbit could be having some gas problems.

These include a dilated stomach, refusal or reluctance to move, lethargy, and even refusing to eat. Also, rabbits sit in a very characteristic pose when their tummy hurts. They don’t want it to touch the ground, so they hunch and use their front paws to cover it.

If you suspect your rabbit is gassy, pay attention to their activity, whether they eat or poop (gassy rabbits are also reluctant to poop). If you get close, sometimes you can even hear the gas bubbling inside their belly.

How Can I Help My Bloated Rabbit?

Firstly, if you think something’s wrong or that it may be a serious problem, you should definitely take your rabbit to the vet. However, most of the time, the gas will go away harmlessly in a few hours or even sooner if you help him.

  • Try to get him moving: if the pain isn’t too intense, he may move a little which helps the gas go through its intestinal track faster. If he’s completely refusing to move or shows pain, you should take him to the vet.
  • Massage its stomach: gently and slowly make up-and down moves with your fingers. Don’t put pressure into its belly, just massage it very gently. This will make the gas pass faster.
  • Pediatric simethicone: it’s a harmless medicine that can help your rabbit pass its gasses faster. Feed him a ml each hour for three hours. If it doesn’t help by then, you should take him to the vet.

The most important thing you can do to help your rabbit gives him an adequate diet made of hay, grass, some vegetables and some pellets. Remove sugars and starchy vegetables from its diet, as well as grains or beans.

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