Owning a rabbit comes with many responsibilities. One of the first things that a bunny owner has to do is to purchase adequate food for rabbits. If you also need extra help when selecting a cage, we recommend that you check out our recent article as it is filled with info that can be of help.
Returning to rabbit food, we have prepared a list of tips and tricks below so that you can choose the right diet for your new fluffy friend.
Vegetables should be a constant part of your bunny’s diet. Whenever you buy veggies for your pet, you should look for products that are free of pesticides and fresh. Before feeding them to the pet, it is recommended that you wash them thoroughly.
It is by no way acceptable that you feed the rabbit leaves from house plants, as many of them can cause harm to the pet. Among the veggies that are considered safe for bunnies are bok choy, carrot tops, basil, broccoli leaves, dill, collard greens, and kale.
As the experts argue, it is also safe to give kale, mint, watercress, and dandelion leaves to bunnies.
There are also fruits that rabbits enjoy as treats. For example, your fluffy companion might like eating apples with no seeds, bananas, apricots, mangos, berries, melons, and kiwis.
Fruits should only make up 10% of your pet’s diet. Pet owners have pointed out that you should leave the skin of the fruit on, only if that particular fruit is organic. If you do not know whether or not a fruit is organic, it is advisable that you remove it.
There are other fruits that are also suitable to be fed to rabbits. If you are unsure whether or not you can give a certain fruit to the pet, it is best that you go online and read what vets had to say on the topic before you feed it to your companion.
Hay makes up an important part of a bunny’s diet and it should be available to it at all times. Adult rabbits can eat oat hay, grass, and timothy hay, while young bunnies should only be given alfalfa hay.
Because alfalfa contains high levels of sugar and protein, it is not suitable for adult pets. Hay is a vital source of fibers and it is beneficial to the pet’s digestive health. Also, hay can help the rabbits wear down their teeth.
When placed near the litter tray, hay can also be utilized for litter-training rabbits. This is possible because rodents such as bunnies like to eat and poop at the same time.
The hay that you give to your pets has to be fresh and dust-free. Hay that is moldy or brown-looking should not be fed. To make sure that the grass that you have purchased remains fresh for long, it is best that you store it in a dry container that allows for plenty of airflow.
To save money, some rabbit owners advise novices to buy hay in bulk from farmers rather than purchase it from the pet stores.
The dental health of a rabbit is important. To make sure that your companion has good teeth it might be a good idea to also feed it pellets. You should only purchase pellets that are low in proteins and rich in fibers.
If your bunny is older, it is not recommended that you feed it pellets because they tend to be quite rich in proteins. Therefore, your rabbit is prone to gain weight and develop various medical issues.
Pellets that also include treats such as dried corn are not a good pick as they contain additives that might harm the pet.
Although your lovely companion probably loves its treats, it is a good idea to limit the number of treats that you give to it. Cookies, chips, and crackers might be enjoyed by bunnies, but they are rich in carbohydrates.
Moreover, the treats that you purchase should have low levels of sugars and fats. A good alternative is to give the bunny a small amount of fruit as a treat.
It is vital that fresh water is also available to the pet. If your bunny is housed in a cage or a habitat, you can hang a water bottle on the side. Still, rodents can also drink from bowls.
If your pet does not like drinking water, the specialists advise that you leave wet vegetables in its cage. This way, it will be able to stay hydrated.
What not to feed the rabbit
Because rabbits have sensitive digestive systems, there are some foods that you should avoid. Recent research has demonstrated that yogurt drops are highly dangerous as they can cause enterotoxemia or the buildup of toxic bad bacteria in the pet’s bowls.
Avocados are also not suitable as a source of nutrients for bunnies because they are rich in fats. When ingested, avocado pieces can actually lead to the pet’s death.
Cereals and mixes such as muesli should also be avoided, as well as flaked seeds, grains, peas, and maize. These treats can cause tummy and tooth problems.
Because it can contain lactucarium, a very toxic chemical for rabbits, you should not feed any type of light-colored lettuce to your fluffy friend. As a result, iceberg lettuce should not be used as a source of fibers.
Similarly, silverbeet, another kind of lettuce, should also be avoided. This vegetable can cause your pet to suffer from bloating and colic.
Hamster food is also a big no-no. Although hamsters and rabbits may look alike, they are actually different (hamsters are rodents, rabbits are not rodents), so the ingredients from hamster food are not suitable for a rabbit’s digestion and nutrition.
Given that they are high in fats, walnuts are also a no-no. Instead, you can feed your companion fresh veggies and organic herbs. The same is true when it comes to chocolate or peanut butter.
Although at first potatoes might look like a safe choice, vets have remarked that this vegetable is high in carbohydrates and, consequently, not safe for bunnies. When given to rabbits, potatoes can cause tummy aches.