Your Rabbit’s Diet! What You Need to Know
31 March, 2017
If you just brought a rabbit home, there are many things you need to consider. Of course, you want your rabbit to have the proper housing, a nice, roomy cage and a healthy diet. Your rabbit’s diet is very different than any other household pets and should consist mostly of hay, vegetables and pellets.
Below is a list of what you can and should feed your rabbit.
1. Hay is a requirement for your rabbit’s diet
Rabbits require hay which has a specific fiber to aid in digestion and it needs to be available at all times. Chewing on hay also helps to wear down your rabbit’s teeth which grow continuously. Timothy hay is a great high-quality choice for adult rabbits, while a high-quality alfalfa blend is ideal for rabbits under seven months of age.
2. Pellets can help with balanced nutrition for your rabbit
Choose pelleted food that is fresh and has been veterinarian approved. Pellets add the ideal dosage of essential nutrients, including much-needed fiber. Just follow the feeding instructions on the packaging as a guide. Consult your veterinarian if you have a baby rabbit or a senior rabbit, as they have unique needs.
3, Fresh vegetables are a good addition to your rabbit’s diet
Provide your rabbit with a variety of dark green leafy vegetables and herbs—such as kale, turnip greens, arugula, carrot tops, romaine lettuce, parsley, and collard greens. Wash all produce thoroughly to remove dirt and traces of harmful pesticides. In addition, it’s important to discard produce that has not been eaten within several hours.
4. Treats such as fruit and some other vegetables should make be minimal
Treats (including fruit) should not exceed 10 percent of your rabbit’s total diet. Bite-sized pieces of fresh vegetables such as bell peppers, pumpkin or zucchini squash can be served as a treat. There are all kinds of healthy, all-natural treats made especially for rabbits to nibble on and enjoy.
5. Chews and toys help your rabbit’s teeth
Since your rabbit’s teeth grow continuously, you should also provide a variety of fun chews, including sticks, toys, balls, blocks and treats that are made for rabbits and other small animals. These toys and treats are fun for your rabbit to chew on and encourage his natural foraging instincts. Another treat option is a small animal salt lick, which is a rich source of healthy minerals and is a healthy way to satisfy your rabbit’s desire for salt.
Below is a list of the food to avoid feeding your rabbit:
The foods to avoid feeding your rabbit include chocolate, iceberg lettuce (due to its low nutritional content), beans, rhubarb, fresh corn, potatoes, dairy products, bread and meat. You should never offer your rabbit any plants, flowers or grass from your yard or garden as they may contain pesticides or other hazards; many houseplants are toxic, so always supervise your little pet when he’s out of his habitat.
With proper care and diet, your rabbit will thrive and can live up to ten years old. Of course, exercise is important for your rabbit and he or she should not be cooped up in cage all day.