Rabbit Friday #3 – Nutrition

Rabbit Friday will be broadcast on my blog site this Friday!

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 Today Rachel, from My Kid Has Paws, and I will talk about rabbit nutrition and the extremely important facts about what to feed and what not to feed your bunnies.

Before I get into details, I need to make one thing very clear:

Contrary to popular belief, rabbits should not be fed carrots every day or very often. Carrots are high in sugar, a rabbit’s digestive system cannot handle a lot of sugar, therefore, carrots should be fed as a treat and not a meal. It is very easy to misconstrue this, since cartoons, movies, and TV show associate carrots being the main source of food for a rabbit. If anything, the carrot tops are healthy for the rabbit.

A rabbit’s diet should consist of hay and greens (and the occasional piece of fruit).

Rabbit.org’s Suggested Fruits & Vegetables for a Rabbit’s Diet has a very in-depth and helpful list of the healthy and unhealthy veggies and fruits your rabbit can have.

Rachel had a conversation with her best friend and Veterinarian, Dr. Summer Godfrey, about what is most important regarding rabbit nutrition. Her reply was, “Hay, hay, hay.”
LOTS AND LOTS OF TIMOTHY HAY is very important. The amount of hay should equal to the physical size of your rabbit. It’s very imperative for gastrointestinal tract and overall health. Also keeps teeth nice and healthy. Rabbit teeth constantly grow so chewing helps shave them down and keep them at a good length.
Godfrey reminded Rachel that in the wild rabbits only have access to hay, and there is no such thing as “pellets.” 
 
Dr. Godfrey has extensive experience with rabbits as well as emergency experience. She said that in emergency medicine, she most commonly sees rabbits for digestive and teeth problems. 
 
She also mentioned that snacking is okay for rabbits when you stick to healthy and natural snacks like veggies, but when rabbits start to ingest too many yogurt snacks or other “sweets”, they can easily get bloating or obstruction.
However, although pellets are not meant for all rabbits, they are often given to young rabbits who need that extra fiber and fat to grow. I took Pup off his pellets and as soon as Luna reaches 1 year old, I will wean her off as well.
This info can be further explained on rabbit.org’s page.
Sherwood Forest Natural Pet Rabbit Food (they also have baby rabbit food for under 12 weeks). They always manage to ship within 3 days and the price is great.
OxBow also has GREAT pellets and other products. Give their site a visit.
Make sure that when switching to different types of pellets, you mix in the old pellets with the new so your rabbit doesn’t get an upset stomach.When looking for a good brand of pellets, make sure it has around to at least 20% fiber.
DO NOT get rabbit pellets with seeds or dried fruit mixed in. I cannot stress that enough. I made that mistake when I first had Pup and it caused us a very nerve-wracking and expensive visit to the vet. He had intestinal blockage and a lot of fluid floating around in his stomach which caused him not to eat. He had a 103° F fever as well. They had to take an X-Ray (which allowed them to determine that there was fluid in the stomach) and I had to syringe feed him antibiotics as well as a motility medicine, pain reliever, stool softener, and Critical Care for a while.
I really wish pet stores around the world did not sell these types of pellets. They are extremely bad for your rabbit and whenever I see someone I follow on IG feeding their rabbit those I cringe and politely inform them about the pellets.
Healthy rabbit weight scale
Healthy rabbit weight scale
If you have any other question feel free to email or comment!
I have learned a great deal about what to feed and what not to feed over the years! 
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Thanks for hoppin’ by!
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5 comments

  1. Thanks for this useful and interesting information. I hope that when people get a bunny they will go on the internet and look up this information. I’m glad that you try to educate people when you see them buying pellets. Now that I know this if I see anyone in the pet store buying bunny products I will direct them to your blog. Judy

  2. Actually in the wild Rabbit feed on a mix of wild grasses and plants not hay as grass only becomes hay when you cut it,which is why Speedy gets meadow hay and hay that I havest from my own garden plus I forage for wild plants in the lawn too

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