Proper Rabbit Diet
Let's talk about how to properly care for your rabbit!
A lovely bun
One of, (if not the most) important parts of caring for a rabbit is providing a healthy diet.
Rabbits have to keep their gastrointestinal tract constantly moving, or else they can easily enter in something called GI stasis. GI stasis is when your bunnies gastrointestinal tract stops functioning, and this can be fatal in many cases. Your adult rabbit's diet should consist of 80% timothy or orchard grass hay, 15% fresh vegetables (such as spring mixed greens), and 5% high-quality pellets. Of course do not forget about the occasional treats, including but not limited to, banana, apples, strawberries, high-quality timothy based treats, etc. Hay is most certainly the staple in a healthy rabbits diet, and should never be given sparingly. Your rabbit needs unlimited access to fresh hay, 24/7! If you have a baby rabbit, they will need an unlimited supply of alfalfa hay.
Timothy hay is an important part of a rabbit's diet!
A common misconception people have when it comes to caring for their bunnies is that treats are meant to be sweet and sugary. When browsing the shelves at their local pet store, they may often opt for the cutest packaging, colors, and shapes when choosing their treats. The truth is, bunnies and sugar are not a good mix. Too much sugar can make a healthy bunny overweight very quickly, and this is not a good thing. When it comes to bunnies, treats can and should be holding at least some nutritional value. Choose the treats that look natural in color with natural ingredients. Fresh fruit is also a fantastic choice when it comes to treat selection! Your rabbit will go crazy over a fresh slice of banana! When it comes to healthy choices in the pet care world, always remember; natural is best!
Something that many people are often shocked to learn is that rabbit hay needs to be kept in the litter box. (Gross right?) well, not really. See, rabbits usually like to be munching on fresh hay while they are doing their business. This is because they need to keep their GI tract moving, and this makes the act of using the litter box much easier for them! May we also add, your bunny will not eat soiled hay. Rabbits are quite smart and inquisitive creatures, they know how to pick out the fresh pieces and they are very picky. This is why your litter box should always be filled with hay, to ensure your bunny has plenty of fresh hay to choose from. When setting up your rabbits litter box, use the back half for paper-based bedding (which serves as a non-toxic and very absorbent litter), and the front half for handfuls of fresh hay. Hay feeders are a popular product sold for rabbits, but it turns out that they make it more difficult for the bunny to consume their hay at the rate they need to. These feeders can make the bunny have to work much harder to get their hay. When it comes to a rabbit's hay, you want there to be no obstructions in their way. Having to work harder for their hay may sound like an enriching activity in some cases, but hay is not the right choice for this. Foraging for treats instead is a fantastic way to keep your bunny active and healthy! You can stick their favorite treats inside of a willow ball, sprinkle some herbs over a cat scratching board (containing no catnip of course), the list goes on.
Ceramic bowls are the best for rabbits (and are washable!)
The last thing we would like to discuss in this newsletter is water. Bunnies need a fresh supply of water accessible to them, 24/7. It is also very important to put your rabbit's water in a heavy-duty ceramic bowl. Never use a plastic water bottle! These water bottles have been known to dehydrate rabbits; because they just simply cannot get enough water out. Drinking out of a bowl is a much more natural and sustainable way for your rabbit to keep hydrated. They may be small, but they require more water than you may think! A ceramic bowl is recommended over a plastic bowl because bunnies love to tip things over if they can. A lightweight plastic bowl is much more subject to being tipped over. Plastic bowls can also harness more bacteria than ceramic bowls, and are at risk of being chewed by your rabbit.
Your rabbit's diet is a crucial part of them living a long and healthy life! They cannot speak for themselves so It is our job to make sure we are giving them nothing but the best care we can! Researching to gather the best information when it comes to proper rabbit care can increase the lifespan of your rabbit significantly.
Our ultimate goal here at Positive Pets is to do everything we can to make the lives of our precious pets healthy, long, and happy! 🐰