If you’re new to taking care of rabbits, you must be looking up the best diet for rabbits by now. After all, you don’t want your little furry friend to get sick by accidentally feeding them food that’s not good for their health. But don’t worry, because we’ve got you covered! This article will guide you to everything you need to know about rabbit diets.
Ideally, diets for rabbits should consist of mostly grass hay and fresh water. Rabbits need a good amount of them to help maintain their digestive tract and dental health. Leafy vegetables and a few pellets can also be mixed into your rabbit’s diet. You may also mix in some fruit or vegetables in your rabbit’s diet as a form of treats.
To keep your rabbit healthy, you will also need to avoid giving particular food to your pet rabbit. These include unsafe human treats and specific fruits and veggies. After all, some hay, vegetables, and leafy greens may not be healthy for everyday consumption. Other leafy greens might also be poisonous for your rabbit.
What Is The Best Diet For Rabbits?
As mentioned above, the best diet for rabbits must mainly comprise fresh hay or grass. Hay and grass contain fiber, a nutrient that helps rabbits keep their digestive tract healthy and properly functioning. Furthermore, a fiber-rich diet for rabbits also aids their dental healthy by wearing down their teeth that constantly grow.
The grass hay you can feed your rabbit includes orchard grass, timothy, oat, and brome. Make sure to examine your hay for any mold or browning before feeding them to your rabbit. However, you should feed alfalfa hay to your pet rabbit in limited amounts.
Although young rabbits can get away with more alfalfa hay in their diet, adult rabbits should only be given small amounts of it. Alfalfa hay has large amounts of protein and sugar, which are not suitable for an adult rabbit’s health. In addition, you must further limit your alfalfa hay amounts for your rabbit if you’re already providing them alfalfa pellet treats.
Avoid cutting up fresh grass from the side of the road. This is because grasses from those areas are most likely polluted with poop and other toxic substances. Never feed your rabbit any lawnmower clippings as well, since those tend to contain metal slivers and oil, which can negatively impact your rabbit’s health.
On the other hand, you can feed your pet rabbit with a few fresh pellets now and then. You can start limiting their pellet intake as they get older. Be sure to always keep them fresh since old, improperly stored pellets won’t be eaten by your rabbit.
Never purchase pellets that contain add-ons and the like, as those types of pellets can disrupt your rabbit’s digestive system. Ensure to get your furry friend pellets rich in fiber and contain small amounts of protein. After all, too much protein intake can make your rabbit obese and suffer from various health conditions.
Regularly Provide Your Rabbit With Water
Rabbits must have access to clean water all the time. You can keep your rabbit frequently hydrated by keeping a water bottle or bowl in their cage. However, it’s much more recommended to use bowls, particularly ones made from ceramic, since they’re not prone to tipping over.
Always clean your rabbit’s drinking bowl or bottle and regularly change its water supply. And if you’re using a water bowl, make sure that it’s far away from your pet rabbit’s pooping area. This ensures that your pet rabbit doesn’t contaminate their drinking water with their poop.
Mix In An Assortment Of Leafy Vegetables
A diet for rabbits also needs an assortment of leafy vegetables. Dark leafy vegetables that are good for your rabbit include basil, bok choy, celery, cilantro, clover, dill, romaine lettuce, mint, mustard greens, watercress, and parsley. When adding new leafy veggies to your rabbit’s diet, make sure to add them gradually through small quantities.
It’s much more recommended to add a good range of leafy vegetables than simply adding many amounts of just one vegetable into your rabbit’s diet. After all, your rabbit has a sensitive digestive tract. So, any sudden changes to their diet can upset their digestive flora, which can result in sickness or, in worst-case scenarios, death.
Add In A Few Fruit Treats
Who doesn’t love feeding their cute rabbit with some good treats? Besides delicious pellets, rabbits are generally allowed to have fruits, as long as given in moderation. Although rabbits don’t naturally consume fruits, you can still give them a few fruit treats once or twice a week.
For instance, a few rabbit-favorite fruits include raspberries, strawberries, apples (make sure to remove the seeds), pineapples, and bananas. Only give fruits in small quantities, as too much sugar consumption might lead to dental and digestive health problems.
Veggies To Feed In Moderation
You should also note that not all vegetables are safe to include in an everyday diet for rabbits. These veggies include carrot, which is high in carbohydrates and can cause digestive problems. Carrots are also loaded with calcium, so too much of those can make your rabbit suffer from bladder issues.
Your pet rabbit might also not benefit from mostly eating other leafy veggies such as kale, dandelion leaves, and collard greens. After all, all of these leafy veggies contain tons of calcium and can cause bladder stones as well. When slowly mixing in new vegetables in your rabbit’s diet, make sure to closely examine their poop and check for different symptoms of diarrhea, gassiness, and other negative reactions.
What Food Shouldn’t Be Given to Rabbits
There are particular treats that you shouldn’t give to your rabbit at all. These food include nuts, chocolates, milk, cookies, seeds, bread, and other grains. All these all contain huge amounts of fat and carbs, which, again, are not good for your rabbit’s health.
You should also altogether avoid feeding your rabbit with rabbit treats. Although marketed as safe for consumption for rabbits, they are also not healthy for your furry friend. After all, they contain unnatural food coloring, additives, preservatives, and high amounts of sugar content.
Other fruits and veggies may also be harmful to your pet bunny. These include the following: mushroom, chard, beans, iceberg lettuce, avocados, rhubarb, and potatoes. After all, most of these harmful fruits and veggies can give your bunnies toxins upon ingestion.
Overall, a good diet for rabbits must include large amounts of fresh grass and hay. You must also ensure that your furry friend eats a healthy and balanced diet by supplementing leafy vegetables and other rabbit-safe veggies for your little one. Furthermore, you can also feed them treats like pellets and some fruits in recommended quantities.
As long as you take note of everything included in this guide, you will indeed have a breeze feeding your pet rabbit. Just make sure not to provide food that is not safe for them to consume and stick to fruits and veggies that are rich in fiber. And when in doubt with unknown food, you’re better not feeding them to your little one at the risk of poisoning them.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Check out my comprehensive guide on the best rabbit food.