What should I feed my rabbit?
Feeding your bunny may seem routine but making sure your bunny has enough of the proper food is extremely important. When food and water are no longer being taken in, the speed at which the existing food in the bunny’s digestive system moves through their body slows down and could lead to GI Stasis.
What, how often and how much you feed your bunny is extremely important to the health of your furry friend. Regular feedings instead of free feed will help you determine if your bunny is sick. It will also help prevent obesity and promote good health.
The wrong foods, or too many sweets, can cause obesity in rabbits which can lead to other health problems such as skin irritations, hock sores, urine scald, trouble breathing and many other health related issues.
Food Pellets are one of the primary staples for domestic rabbits though they are not strictly necessary if your bunny is getting regular amounts of fresh vegetables and hay. Many manufacturers will add interesting shapes and colors to their pellet food not because it is healthy for you bunny, but to make the food appealing to bunny owners. The three most important things to remember about pellets are, stay away from artificial dyes, choose a pellet food with timothy not alfalfa as the main ingredient, and don’t buy anything that includes nuts or seeds. Your bunny is a rabbit not a squirrel or mouse.
Fresh Vegetables: By far, the best food for your furry friend is freshly chopped vegetables. A rule of thumb for feeding vegetables is to give 4 ounces of chopped vegetables per pound of rabbit per day. The vegetables should be a good mix. If your bunny is not used to fresh vegetables, start slow with small amounts of 1 vegetable and keep an eye on your rabbit’s feces. Too much fresh leafy vegetables given to a rabbit that is not used to them could cause diarrhea. If he develops diarrhea, reduce the amount of the vegetable to see if the diarrhea stops. If not, eliminate that vegetable and try another. If it does stop, you can add a small amount of a second vegetable and gradually increase them until your bunny has a well rounded fresh vegetable diet.
Toxic Fruits, Vegetables and Plants: There are not only fruits and vegetables that are toxic to your furry friend, but there are also other common household plants and garden plants that are toxic. When feeding your bunny and when providing your bunny with exercise time, make sure you stay away for the toxic plants listed here.
Treats for your rabbit should be limited to fresh fruits and vegetables. Before you buy a commercial rabbit treat or food, make sure you read the ingredients.
Rabbits should have unlimited access to hay. Hay is important in a bunny’s diet because the fiber in the hay helps keep the stomach and intestines functioning properly. Timothy is by far the best hay for your bunny. Alfalfa and clover hay are OK for young bunnies but they contain too much calcium for older rabbits and should be used only as an occasional treat.
Your rabbit’s diet should consist of 24 hour access to water. Provide your bunny with LOTS of FRESH water. If you notice that your bunny’s feces are very small and hard, it could be an indication that he is not getting enough water. You can use a water crock or bottle, which ever your bunny prefers, but make sure the water is clean and fresh daily, and keep the bottle and/or crock clean as well and be sure the water does not freeze.