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What to Feed a Rabbit

Nurturing and feeding of your pet rabbit isn’t really that difficult to understand.  In the wild, rabbits are herbivores by nature.  Sticking as close to their instinctual diet as possible will help them maintain overall good health, including prevention of gastrointestinal maladies.   Making sure your rabbit maintains a diet rich in fiber and low in protein and empty starches will go a long way toward keeping your pet in tip-top shape.

Healthy Foods for Your Rabbit

House rabbits will respond well to a diet heavy on grass hays.  This will be the foundation of your pet’s daily nutrition and the biggest staple in his or her day.   Oat hay and orchard grass are the grass hays most preferred by veterinarians and can be given in unlimited amounts.  Brome and timothy are also acceptable to feed your pet rabbit.  Alfalfa should be given sparingly, if at all, and only under the recommendation of your vet.

House rabbits will benefit from a variety of greens and can be offered these salad staples on a regular basis.  Cauliflower, parsley, red and green leaf lettuce, carrots, beets, peppers and broccoli are all met with an eager appetite.    Daily salads aren’t only a healthy addition to your own diet, but your rabbit’s meal plan as well.  However, skip the croutons, bacon bits and blue cheese dressing for your pet.  He prefers veggies only!

Most veterinarians will recommend supplementing your pet’s diet with limited amounts of high-quality pellets.  They are a dense source of fiber and will help keep your house rabbit’s digestive system working as it should.   The pellets you feed your pet should be seed and fruit free and always approved by your vet.

Bunny Treats in Moderation

Everyone needs a little treat now and then and your house rabbit is no exception.  Reward your friend with a sweet fruit treat such as sliced apples, bananas, grapes, and berries.  Always feed fresh, ripe fruit and limit these treats to special occasions, once or twice a week.

Human Food is For Humans – Not Bunnies

It’s important to keep your house rabbit away from human foods, such as pasta, breads, cereals, dairy and treats such as cookies.   Remember, starches and protein can wreak havoc on your rabbit’s digestive system.  Listen to your vet and be vigilant about sticking to your pet’s diet and you will enjoy a long relationship with your house rabbit companion.


Image Source: jpockele

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