Many health problems in rabbits are caused by incorrect feeding. Rabbits have a unique digestive system that has been developed to suit a high fibre, low protein, low energy diet. Wild rabbits eat mostly grass therefore it is essential that your rabbit’s diet consists of foods similar to those that he would encounter in the wild.
Rabbits need to be fed daily, this involves replacing uneaten food and giving fresh water. Hay, grass, fresh water, a large selection of fruit and vegetables together with a small amount of quality complete rabbit pellets will provide your rabbit with a healthy and balanced diet.
What should I feed my rabbit?
Rabbits are designed to eat grass. Ideally your pet rabbit should have daily access to a run on the lawn.
Unlimited, good quality hay is the foundation of a healthy diet. As well as meeting his basic nutritional requirements, nibbling hay can help reduce boredom, and consequent behavioural problems. Chewing hay also strengthens teeth and jaws and maintains healthy gut movement.
Complete rabbit foods
We recommend feeding a complete pelleted food to your rabbit rather than a rabbit mix. Rabbits can be fussy eaters and if fed a mix will often pick out the tastiest ingredients and leave the rest, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies and cause serious health problems. A complete pelleted food will provide a balance of all the nutrients that your rabbit requires.
Excess sugars and starchy treats can lead to fatal digestive upsets. If you want to treat your rabbit ensure that you stick to healthy treats such as chunks of carrot or broccoli, apple cores, carrot, swede and turnip peelings or cauliflower stalks.
Rabbits should have access to fresh water at all times. Bottles can be used to give water, however bunnies with dental problems may find these difficult to use so will need to have a water bowl instead.
Calcium and Vitamin D
Rabbits need the correct balance of calcium in their diet. Too much calcium can cause urinary stones and bladder problems and not enough calcium can cause dental disease. Rabbits also need Vitamin D to enable dietary calcium to be absorbed from the gut. A normal healthy rabbit which receives a good diet should not need a vitamin or mineral supplement. However, rabbits with existing dental disease or fussy eaters may benefit from receiving one.
We sell a range of premium rabbit foods, treats, and feeding accessories for your rabbit at each of our surgeries, please feel free to come in and browse.