A great deal of the health problems that rabbits encounter are often a result of incorrect diet, which can be easily avoided. In this article I will outline the essentials needed for your rabbit’s diet, in order for them to lead a long, healthy bunny life!
Your rabbit’s daily diet should consist of:
1. At least their own body size of good quality hay. It is best to have their feeding hay separate from their bedding; hayracks and hanging baskets are most commonly used for feeding hay.
2. A handful of fresh rabbit-friendly greens in the morning and evening.
Greens should be varied; the lists below show some safe and unsafe vegetables and plants. The list isn’t exhaustive, if you are ever unsure of what is safe to feed, you should contact your veterinary team for advice.
Fruit should only be given occasionally and in small quantities because they are high in natural sugars. Apples, grapes, pears, plums and strawberries (including the strawberry leaves) are suitable in small amounts. Contact your veterinary team for advice if you are unsure of what other fruits are rabbit-safe.
Sugary commercial treats should be avoided. Natural commercial treats such as rabbit-safe dried fruits are suitable to be given occasionally in small quantities.
3. A tablespoon of good quality rabbit nuggets. Rabbits weighing 3.5kg or more should have 2 tablespoons. Rabbit muesli should be avoided because it is linked to health problems such as dental disease. Overfeeding of dry food causes rabbits to become overweight, which causes health problems such as arthritis, cystitis and pododermatitis.
4. Constant access to water, kept clean and changed daily. A water bottle or bowl is suitable. Some rabbits may prefer to drink from a bowl than a bottle; if you notice that your rabbit is not drinking very much from their bottle on a daily basis, try offering water in a bowl instead.
Carrots (occasionally as they are high in sugar)