Rabbit Facts

Sept_2012_1A Rabbit Diet for Healthy Hopping

In the wild, rabbits spend their days eating grass and other greens. At home, rabbits depend on us for a proper diet.  Making sure they get enough water and fiber is important not only for their digestive health, but also for their continuously growing teeth. Keep reading for top tips to a healthy rabbit diet.

Hay for High Fiber

Hay is vital to a rabbit’s diet and should be available at all times. It provides roughage (fiber) and can prevent serious health issues, as well as obesity.  There are two basic types of hay: legume hay and grass hay. Legume hay (alfalfa or clover) is tastier for rabbits, but should be used in moderation as it’s too rich in calories, protein and calcium. Instead, offer grass hay (timothy, meadow, oat, rye, barley, or Bermuda) which offers needed nutrients, but is lower in calories. Peter’s Rabbit Meadow Mix and Timothy Hay are two examples of grass hay we carry.

Pellets for Nutrients

Pellet food adds some of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that may be missed with a diet of hay and fresh foods. Since it’s not the main ingredient of their diet, ¼ cup of pellet food per five pounds of rabbit body weight should be enough to keep your rabbit healthy. Foods with dried fruit or seeds have more sugar and should be avoided or used as occasional treats.

Vegetables for Variety

Vegetables are another source of high fiber with all of the benefits of hay, but with more micronutrients and water. Healthy greens include broccoli, dark leaf lettuce, kale, parsley, carrots, endive, escarole, dill, basil, mint, cilantro, spinach and tomato. They help your rabbit consume more water and keep its gastrointestinal tract, kidney and bladder function healthy. Make sure to wash all vegetables first. Also, avoid corn which is not easily digested and can be harmful to rabbits.

Water for Health

Water is vital for hydration and proper digestion. Give your rabbit fresh water every day and clean the bowl or bottle often to avoid bacterial growth. If your rabbit eats plenty of greens, he may not need as much water.

Keep your bunny in top hopping condition with a healthy rabbit diet!