A General Overview of Feeding Your Bunny a Healthy Diet
One of the first things you should learn about a rabbit before you bring your new pet bunny home is what food it needs to stay healthy. Rabbits are not necessarily finicky eaters, but they do have a complex digestive system, which means giving them the wrong foods or consistently feeding them the wrong diet can mean an imminent trip to see the vet. So when you are sure you want a rabbit of your own, take a few minutes to go over this general overview of feeding your rabbit a healthy diet.
What does a rabbit eat?
Your rabbit should be eating a diet that consists mainly of hay or fresh grass, whether it is meadow hay or timothy. Typically something between 80 to 90 percent is what is recommended. hay is necessary for your bunny to maintain a healthy digestive tract because it contains high levels of fibre. In addition to hay, it is a good idea to substitute your bunny’s diet with rabbit pellets or muesli and fresh vegetables, such as broccoli and carrot tops, on a daily basis. Additionally, the occasional treat can enhance your rabbit’s diet and also prevent your pet from growing bored with the usual foods.
What kind of treats are good for rabbits?
Bunnies are quite fond of treats that differ from their everyday food selection. Treats give your pet variety, but also give them something to chew and nibble to pass the time. There are an array of store-bought treats, many available on Rabbits.ie, that are perfectly healthy to give your bunny, such as rabbit nibbles and gnawing sticks. You can also make your own treats for bunnies with things naturally found in nature, such as twigs and pine cones. Just make sure these treats are properly cured and prepared before you hand them over.
Are there foods that can harm your rabbit?
There are definitely foods that your bunny should not eat, either because they can cause health problems or are dangerous. Some examples of foods that should be kept away from your rabbit include:
- starchy foods, such as bread, crisps, chips, and crackers
- sugary sweets, like chocolate and candy
- dairy products because of their high-fat content
You can check out our detailed article on Foods you should avoid feeding your pet rabbit here.
What should you do if your rabbit eats something it shouldn’t?
Rabbits can be sneaky and quick little creatures, sometimes nabbing a bite of something your child has in their hand or even making their way to dropped food in the yard if they are out to play. Most of the time, a small nibble of something bad will not be a dangerous situation as long as the rabbit follows a good diet otherwise. However, if your bunny gets into something and eats a large amount of “bad” food, it is wise to get in touch with your vet to at least have your bunny checked out.
With a little effort, you can be well equipped to give your new pet bunny just what it needs to stay healthy. For more information on foods to feed your bunny, make sure you look over the detailed articles on feeding your rabbit a healthy diet on our blog.
Here is out handy graphic which quickly shows how a pet rabbit’s diet should be.