Are you wondering if your rabbit farts? The answer is simple, yes, rabbits can and do fart.
You may be worried that something is wrong with your rabbit or that he or she should not be farting.
Farting is healthy rabbit behavior and nothing to worry about. Read on to learn more about how farting is good for your rabbit and what you can do to help them pass gas.
What does a rabbit fart sound like?
Most of the time, you cannot hear a rabbit fart. But when you do, it sounds similar to a person or like a small squeak.
It could sound like air leaving a balloon. The sound is not very loud and can sound similar to what you might hear when your rabbit drinks water from a bowl.
Sometimes it can be louder, but you probably will not even hear your rabbit fart most of the time.
If your rabbit lets you, you can put your ear to their stomach to see if you can hear them digesting.
There may be some general gurgling, which is perfectly normal, to give you an idea of how quiet their farts could be.
A change in your rabbit’s diet increases the chance that you could hear a fart. Some vegetables make rabbits gassier than other vegetables do.
Do rabbit farts smell?
Usually, rabbit farts do not smell. Their poops do not smell either. This is because they are prey animals, so they do not have a strong scent the way a cat or dog does.
A strong scent would make them easier to hunt in the wild, so they have evolved to have less odor. It is still possible that you could smell your rabbit’s fart if their diet changes.
For example, if they try a new vegetable, it could smell different when they fart or poop.
Four reasons that cause rabbits to fart
There are a variety of reasons why rabbits fart.
They can include the rabbit eating too fast, eating certain foods, trying to prevent gas buildup in their digestive system, dehydration, and emotional factors such as stress.
They could be having difficulty digesting their food. Even something as seemingly simple as moving around during a meal can cause farts!
Here are more details about three common reasons a rabbit would fart.
To prevent gas buildup.
One of the main reasons a rabbit may fart is to help prevent gas buildup in its digestive system.
Their delicate digestive systems need to keep out of gastrointestinal (commonly referred to as GI) stasis, which can be fatal if left untreated.
It must be treated in less than 24 hours. A rabbit farting is a natural way for them to stay healthy in this sense.
The gas in their stomach can block the flow of some blood vessels in their organs. Always be sure to take your rabbit to the vet if you are concerned.
They ate too fast
Another reason your rabbit could be farting is if they ate too fast. When a rabbit eats too fast, they can get air into their digestive system, but they cannot burp to get it out. So, their only option is to fart.
A rabbit might eat faster if they are extra hungry because they have not eaten in a while. You can avoid this by making sure they always have access to hay and by giving them regular snacks.
If you have more than one rabbit, the dominant rabbit could be eating faster to ensure other rabbits do not take his or her food.
Food that leads to frequent farting
Certain foods can cause gas in rabbits. Some different types of vegetables can have different effects.
For example, broccoli, cabbage, peas, legumes, beans, and carrots can produce extra gas in a rabbit’s digestive system.
Sugar and carbohydrates produce gas as well, so fruit, which has a lot of sugar, can sometimes make a rabbit gassy.
You should not give your rabbit processed human food, like a cookie, because this could make them fart if you did.
A rabbit needs a certain amount of fiber in their diet, and if they are not getting enough fiber or are getting too much, that can contribute to them farting as well.
If your rabbit is prone to farting often, you do not need to give them as many pellets because pellets have a lot of protein that can contribute to causing gas.
Rabbits are pretty picky about their food and probably will avoid any food that has spoiled or even water that they can smell is contaminated. However, a treat that is bad for them but tastes good will not be avoided in the same way.
One of the reasons your rabbit could be gassy is stress. Stress negatively impacts the thyroid gland, which can affect a buildup of gas in the rabbit’s digestive system.
Some factors that can stress a rabbit out include a change in their environment, physical pain, living in a small or cramped space, and exposure to too much heat.
Emotional anxiety can also be a source of stress. If you can alleviate these factors, your rabbit may fart less often.
Should I be worried if my rabbit is farting?
No, you do not need to be worried if your rabbit is farting. Farting is a normal part of the rabbit digestive process. You should actually be more concerned if your rabbit never farts.
On the one hand, they could be farting while you are asleep or away, so the fact that you do not hear or smell farts is not an immediate red flag.
Sometimes you cannot even hear or smell the farts anyway. So, there are other ways you can check for gas buildup.
For example, you can check their belly for swelling. It can be challenging to tell if your rabbit is in pain because, as prey animals, they are built to hide their weaknesses.
You want to watch for your rabbit sitting in an awkwardly hunched-over position, different from how they normally sit.
They may also be lethargic or not moving much and even refuse food or water. A bigger concern than a lack of farting is a lack of pooping.
This is a serious sign something is not working in their digestive system.
Should I avoid food that causes farting?
Just because a portion of food makes your rabbit fart, it does not mean the food is terrible for them. Some vegetables are perfectly healthy but just cause a bit more gas than others.
It is essential to moderate the quantity of all vegetables you feed your rabbit and switch up the variety of vegetables or leafy greens you offer them daily.
They do not need a significantly higher portion of one vegetable over any other. An extended period of time feeding them one of the more gas-causing vegetables could lead to long-term complications or health problems.
How many farts are normal for rabbits?
There is no exact number of farts that is normal for rabbits, and who would want to count and record that anyway?
It will be hard to catch every fart since you are probably not around your rabbit all the time.
Like other mammals, including humans, excessive farting can cause concern, but occasional farting is okay and is actually normal.
Another issue to watch for is the frequency of farts in combination with their poop.
Farting alone is not alarming, but it can be much more serious in combination with diarrhea or other symptoms.
How do I get my rabbit to pass gas?
If your rabbit is struggling with its digestive system, you can do a few things to help them get the gas out and feel better.
First, you will probably want to encourage them to move. Movement can help their digestive system be activated.
If they are sitting still, something you can do is give them a stomach massage. Some rabbits may not enjoy or tolerate this for very long, but any amount of time is helpful.
Feel free to do this for as long as your rabbit will allow it without running away. After they have a chance to rest, you can try it again.
A good way to massage their stomach is to put a little bit of pressure with your fingers and move up and down and side to side. Be gentle, and do not push your fingers in too deep.
Another option is to give your rabbit gas drops for babies. You can use a syringe to give them a small dose, about one milliliter, per hour for three hours.
If you do not want to give them something by syringe or they refuse, you can also try keeping them warm with a hot water bottle that is warm, not overly hot.
You can put one on either side of your rabbit or try a heating pad.
It is normal and healthy for your rabbit to fart. You may not always hear or smell it, but it is probably happening. The rabbit digestive system is a complicated and delicate thing.
Caring for your rabbit includes being aware of their gastrointestinal wellbeing, and farts are an essential part of this.