Rabbits need a balanced diet of hay, fresh greens, a little fruit, and a few pellets.Veterinarian Dr Susan Brown takes a detailed look at the best diet for our bunny friends.Rabbits in the wild all over the world successfully consume a wide variety of plants.Various types of dry and fresh grasses and plants with leaves comprise the largest portion of the wild rabbit diet.Rabbits will also eat bark on trees, tender twigs and sprouts, fruits, seeds and other nutritious foods in much small amounts.The majority of the house rabbit diet should be composed of grass hay (any variety).Eating hay promotes healthy teeth and gastrointestinal tract and should be available to your rabbit at all times.Fresh foods are also an important part of your rabbit’s diet and they provide additional nutrients as well as different textures and tastes, which are enriching for your friend as well.Fresh foods also provide more moisture in the diet, which is good for kidney and bladder function.All fresh foods regardless of the source should be washed or scrubbed (in the case of hard vegetables) before serving them to your rabbit.These foods should make up about 75% of the fresh portion of your rabbit’s diet (about 1 packed cup per 2 lbs of body weight per day).(need to be rotated due to oxalic acid content and only 1 out of three varieties of greens a day should be from this list).The one most talked about with rabbits is oxalic acid and it is completely harmless to animals or humans when consumed in small amounts.The toxicity of oxalic acid comes with feeding large quantities of foods high in this chemical and can result in tingling of the skin, the mouth and damage to the kidneys over time.Rotating the greens will also give your bunny variety in taste, texture and general nutrition!You may know that dark green leafy vegetables and red peppers have more vitamin C per weight than citrus fruits!Foods that are notorious for causing rabbit GI problems when fed improperly are grains of any kind and legumes (beans, peas, etc).There has also been discussion about feeding vegetables that are goitrogenic in humans (causing a goiter) more notoriously those in the broccoli/cabbage family.One study done on rabbits indicated that it would take several weeks of exclusively feeding huge quantities of these foods to see any abnormalities in the blood.These foods are often higher in starch or sugars and should be fed in lesser amounts than the leafy greens.A good amount of “other” vegetables (non leafy greens) to feed your rabbit would be about 1 tablespoon per 2 lbs of body weight per day in one meal or divided into two or more.In the wild these would be special high calorie foods obtained only at certain times of the year.You also might choose to hand-feed the fruit portion of the diet as part of developing a close bond with your bunny and also to make sure he has an appetite every day.It is a great way to see if your bunny is feeling good when you observe if he takes his fruit treat every morning!When a plant would produce fruit, it is for a limited time and all the animals in the area would want to gobble these gems up quickly!This means that rabbits cannot limit themselves when given sugary or starchy foods if left to their own devices!Overfeeding fruits can result in a weight gain or GI upset so it is up to you to feed these foods in limited amounts.IMPORTANT: Before introducing any fresh foods to a rabbit it is best if he has been eating grass hay for a minimum of 2 weeks.The grass hay will help to get his GI tract motility and flora in good working order so that he will be able to accept new foods more easily.When introducing new fresh foods to any rabbit’s diet it is best to go slowly to allow the gastrointestinal tract and all its important microorganisms to adjust.Others have found that kale fed in large amounts on a daily basis may contribute to bladder sludge and other health issues. .
What Are the Best Vegetables and Leafy ...
Greens and veggies are loaded with incredible nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, not to mention water that provides essential hydration to your little ones.Thus, these greens and veggies are a perfect way to diversify the diet and provide mental and nutritional enrichment to keep your bun interested at mealtime.Like guinea pigs and chinchillas, about 70% of a rabbit’s diet should be high-quality grass hay paired with 20% species and age specific pelleted food, plus 8-10% greens and veggies.Dark leafy greens should make up the majority of the latter category and fruits should be offered infrequently in very small amounts.General feeding recommendations are around 1 cup of dark, leafy greens per 2 pounds of a rabbit’s body weight daily.These greens and veggies can be offered all at once, but it is best divided into multiple daily feedings if possible, to provide more enrichment, interaction, and avoid rapid intake in a short period of time.Greens and veggies are excellent sources of vitamins A, B, C, and K, not to mention soluble fiber and trace minerals such as iron, manganese, copper, and zinc.There is not a known requirement for most phytonutrients, but they help to protect the body from stress, boost the immune system, and mitigate some issues commonly associated with aging animals (joint, skin/coat, disease).Gradual introduction of any new food item, especially greens and veggies, is important to avoid overwhelming and upsetting your bunny’s digestive tract.Start with very small amounts and slowly increase over time monitoring for any changes in attitude, appetite, or stool production.As we discussed above, all animals are unique and therefore it is always imperative that you factor your fur baby’s medical history into their dietary decisions.For others with particularly sensitive tummies, it should be considered that broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage may cause some gastrointestinal discomfort (gas, bloating).Examples such as carrots and parsnips, which include a higher concentration of calories and simple carbohydrates, should be fed sparingly or only as a treat.Many greens and veggies may have similar nutritional compositions but can be quite unique in aroma, taste, and textures so experiment with different kinds to find varieties your pet likes!It is always important to do your research and consult with your vet before making dietary changes but providing a diversity and variety of appropriate greens and veggies can help keep you and your bun happy for years to come. .
Feeding Your Rabbit
If you introduce new foods too quickly, or feed inappropriate food choices, the rabbit's normal digestive flora (normal bacteria) will be disturbed, gas- and toxin-producing bacteria can overgrow, and the rabbit may become very sick and possibly die.Rabbits should have a daily diet of mostly hay, a smaller amount of fresh vegetables, and a limited number of pellets.Unlimited, high-quality grass hay, such as Timothy, orchard or brome, should make up the bulk of a rabbit's diet.Grass hay is high in fiber, which is critical to maintaining a rabbit’s healthy digestive tract.A pet rabbit's diet should be supplemented with a variety of leafy green vegetables every day.Introduce new vegetables slowly and in small quantities, and monitor for soft feces, diarrhea, or signs of gas pain."Carrots should be fed sparingly, as they are very high in carbohydrate and may upset GI bacterial flora.".Other acceptable vegetables include broccoli, green peppers, Brussel sprouts, endive, wheat grass, radicchio, and squash.Carrots should be fed sparingly, as they are very high in carbohydrate and may upset GI bacterial flora.The high sugar content in fruits (and even carrots) may upset the normal GI tract bacteria if given in excess.These pellets serve as a rich source of nutrients for the rabbit, specifically protein and vitamins B and K. Most owners never observe this behavior, as it happens in the early hours of the morning.
7 Best Vegetables for Your Pet Rabbit
Greens that have high levels of oxalate acid are still safe for rabbits to eat, but they should make up a smaller portion of the overall diet.In particular, many elderly rabbits who are losing their sense of taste and smell will end up gravitating toward these aromatic herbs.Cilantro is also made up of a number of phytochemicals that can help aid in digestion, prevent frequent infections, and even reduce stress.Leafy lettuces (including red, green, escarole, romaine and more) are a staple for your rabbit’s daily vegetables.In general, leafy lettuces are well rounded with a healthy balance of vitamins and nutrients to add to a rabbit’s diet.It contains a wide variety of vitamins and nutrients that are beneficial to rabbits without containing chemicals and compounds that are potentially harmful.Most rabbits will enjoy the taste of arugula too, since it’s got a spicier flavor than many other simple salad greens.The intense smell and flavor can make it a favorite for many rabbits, giving them a yummy and healthy snack.Other related herbs, such as mint, oregano, and sage, are also excellent choices for pet rabbits.Basil contains a high concentration of phytochemicals, giving it a strong flavor and dense nutritional content.This makes basil a mild pain reliever and can help prevent frequent infections in rabbits.For example, celery is a source of phthalides, which has properties that can lower blood pressure and reduce stress.Similarly, broccoli and cauliflower leaves and stalks are healthy for rabbits and can be added into their daily greens schedule.You can feed your rabbit dandelion greens from your yard as long as they haven’t been sprayed with any chemical pesticides.They have a high mineral and vitamin content that helps to strengthen the immune system and prevent frequent infections and reduce pain and inflammation in rabbits.Dandelion greens may also provide some aid to a rabbit’s digestion and help prevent heart disease.Kale contains a good amount of protein along with a variety of vitamins and nutrients that make it a wholesome addition to your rabbit’s diet.In fact, they have relatively low levels among the common herbs and leafy greens that are given to rabbits.In general, the leafy parts of vegetables are the healthiest and safest for rabbits to eat in high amounts. .
What Should Rabbits Eat? Rabbit Diet Plan
This guide gives you an overview of what your rabbits need to eat each day to keep them healthy and happy.Ensure your rabbits have constant access to fresh, clean water.Rabbits must have an adult-sized handful of safe, washed leafy green vegetables, herbs and weeds daily.Feed a variety of greens daily - ideally 5-6 different types, such as cabbage, kale, broccoli, parsley and mint.Feed your rabbits a small amount of good quality pellets or nuggets daily.Give them the right amount - measure 25g (an eggcup-full) of pellets per kg of your rabbit's body weight.You can use part of their daily ration of greens, pellets or nuggets as treats and rewards during training. .
What Can Bunnies Eat?
Contrary to popular belief, rabbits need to eat more than just carrots and lettuce.They require a balanced diet of hay, fresh veggies and fruit, and a few pellets.As grazing animals, rabbits need to have an unlimited supply of fresh hay daily.You can feed your bunnies either one type or a mixture of different grass hays.Buy the freshest hay possible and check for the presence of mold or dust, which could make your rabbit sick.Alfalfa hay is not a good choice for an adult rabbit, since it’s a legume, not a grass, and as such is too rich to be fed on a daily basis.Timothy hay pellets can be given to bunnies in small quantities.Rabbits larger than 10 pounds do not need more than a quarter of a cup, since it’s not a crucial part of a bunny’s diet.Most greens found in a supermarket are safe for rabbits, with a few limitations and exceptions.Dwarf breeds and rabbits under five pounds should get just one cup of fresh veggies per day.Add one new vegetable at a time, and watch for signs of loose stool or diarrhea because, as mentioned above, bunnies have delicate digestive systems.Certain vegetables can be given every day, while others should be fed sparingly, one or two times a week.Do not feed your rabbit potatoes, corn, beans, seeds or nuts.Herbs: basil, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme.Vegetables and plants to give sparingly (one or two times a week) to a bunny:.Flowers: calendula, chamomile, daylily, dianthus, English daisy, hibiscus, honeysuckle, marigold, nasturtium, pansy, rose.The appropriate serving is one to two tablespoons of fruit (either one kind or a mixture) per five pounds of body weight.As with humans, treats are at the top of the food pyramid for bunnies and therefore should be fed sparingly.Healthy treats for your bunny include small pieces of fresh or freeze-dried fruit (the approved fruits listed above); natural, unprocessed mixes that include hay and dried flowers (the approved flowers listed above); and Oxbow brand rabbit treats.Finally, rabbits need to stay hydrated, so they should have an unlimited supply of fresh water, which should be changed daily.Water bottles are not easy to clean and can be difficult for rabbits to use, so bowls are better.A heavy ceramic bowl is ideal, since it doesn’t tip over easily.About Best Friends Animal Society: A leader in the no-kill movement, Best Friends runs the nation's largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals, as well as lifesaving programs in collaboration with thousands of partners nationwide working to Save Them All. .
Rabbit Food List: What Fruits and Vegetables Are Safe for Rabbits
What your rabbit eats can significantly impact her quality of life, so keeping your bunny happy means feeding her the right foods.Here’s a list of safe vegetables and fruits for rabbits, followed by those to avoid, to keep your furry friend healthy and happy.Make sure to wash all fruits and vegetables and remove seeds and stems before offering them to your pet rabbit. .
Greens, Veg and Herbs
Your rabbits may well enjoy a grape or a slice of apple, but it should be an occasional treat no more than once or twice a week. .
Feeding your rabbits
Around 85% of your rabbits’ diet should be hay and/or grass – ideally they should be given an unlimited amount, but as an absolute minimum, a bundle at least as big as them per day. .
What can rabbits eat
The bulk of a rabbit’s natural diet should consist of good quality hay or grass (but not fresh lawn clippings as they can ferment quickly) measured to the equivalent of their body size. .