Yogurt is a product obtained from fermentation lactose in milk by bacteria culture of mainly the Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus.
During this fermentation lactic acid is produced whose action on proteins in milk gives this product its texture as well as the tart taste or flavor.
Also, lactobacilli and bifidobacteria may be added during or after the culturing as well as some flavorings, colorants, and sweeteners.
Can rabbits have it
We do not recommend giving your rabbits yogurt as well as other foods such as chocolates, pasta, bread, crackers, cookies, and so on.
Why dont we recommend them? According to Rabbit.org, “there is research that suggest these items may contribute to fatal cases of enterotoxemia, a toxic overgrowth of “bad” bacteria in the intestinal tract.”
Therefore, avoid both the unsweetened or sweetened one. In fact, the sweetened one is worse since the sugars can cause cecum flora bacterial imbalance (cecal dysbiosis) that will promote GI stasis and so on since the excess sugar will either be passed to the cecum or be converted to fat.
You are simply overloading your bunny with too much sugar that he or she does not require. Instead, go for healthier treats that will not affect your bunnies.
Medirabbit.com further notes that “Lactobacillus or Acidobacillus are not a natural host of the adult rabbit intestinal and, if surviving the passage through the acid stomach, it will not survive the anaerobic conditions of the cecum.”
Using it medicinally
Whereas you should not include yogurt as part of the treats you give to your fluffy friend, it can be used medicinally.
For instance, if diluted in water, it can be given to bunnies that are taking antibiotics to reduce chances of intestinal bacterial imbalances. You can also use acidophilus.
What about yogurt drops for rabbits
These are nothing other than snacks such as the Vitakraft Rabbit Drops which has yogurt whose manufacturer states that they also have natural whey and do not contain any artificial colorings.
From their description, you may be tempted to buy such treats for rabbits. It is certain that your bunnies will enjoy them since they are sweet, and these animals love sweet foods. However, the big concern is if they are healthy? They contain a lot of sugar.
We have noted the effect of much sugar in any bunny food already. Additionally, these treats can also lead to tooth decay. Why insist on what is not healthy?
We understand some of these snacks and treats are available in pet stores and you may want to buy and give them to your bunny without thinking. However, you need to look at the possible effects they may cause to this pet.
Rabbits should not be given yogurt or treats that contain it for the reasons we have looked at. If you want treats to use while training your bunny, there are plenty of them including some fruits and non-leafy vegetables that are safe for these pets.