Diet Tips For Rabbits Pet Care Tips 3 min read
Easter is just around the corner and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate but to talk about RABBITS! Sure they are the first pets we can think of when it comes to the holiday, but did you know that their diets can be very specific and involve more than just carrots?
A good mix of pellets, hay, vegetables, as well as freshwater will make your rabbit’s diet delicious, nutritive and will give a healthy life for your bunny. The recommended rabbit’s diet is high in fiber and relatively low in calories. Our pet experts put together a guide for a rabbit’s diet to help pet parents keep these fluffy ones healthy and strong!
The maintenance amount that is recommended is no more than 1/8 cup per 4 lbs. of body weight of a high fiber maintenance type pellet (18% or higher fiber) per day. In young growing animals the pellets may be given free choice until they are about 6-8 months of age.
Hay needs to be fresh and available at all times. Mixed grass hay or timothy hay is the preferred type because it is lower in calcium and calories than alfalfa hay. It is also important to store hay in a dry place in a container that allows airflow to keep it from getting moldy.
It is interesting to feed a minimum of 3 different types of fibrous greens daily. The minimum amount recommended per day is 1 heaping cup/4 lbs. body weight. Some of the good greens are:
- Beet tops
- Carrot tops
- Dandelion greens
- Mustard greens
- Romaine lettuce
- Broccoli leaves
- Brussels sprouts
- Outer cabbage leaves
- Raspberry leaves
- Peppermint leaves
- Alfalfa sprouts
Other vegetables such as pea pods (not the peas), green pepper and squash, can also be fed.
Fruits can also be fed with some restrictions. Prefer high fiber fruits such as apples, pears, peaches, papaya, pineapple, and strawberries, but stay away from sugary fruits such as bananas and grapes.
Freshwater must always be available to your rabbit, and on hot days, you can drop an ice cube or two in your rabbit’s water dish.
Cecotropes is a kind of rabbit’s poop produced by the cecum that contains around 28-30% crude protein, up to 30% of the nitrogen, some fatty acids, microbial protein, B vitamins, sodium, water, lysine, threonine, potassium and suffer amino acids. It is not commonly seen because the rabbits eat it directly from their anus. However, if the rabbit has health or dietary issues the owner can see it.
It is very important to pay attention to the cecotropes of your rabbits, as it is an important part of their diet. Cecotropes helps with the nutrition of the rabbits, it is an additional source of energy, B vitamins, and aid in the replenishment of cecal microflora.
In addition to the diet we suggested above, your furkiddo can take Turmeric as proactive care. You can mix it with their food, twice daily. The active compound in turmeric is curcumin. Studies have shown turmeric to be an excellent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, anticoagulant, antiseptic, astringent, helps with liver function, bile production and externally for wound healing. The healing properties of curcumin may also be beneficial for rabbits with autoimmune diseases, liver disorders, heart, and circulatory support.
NHV Turmeric is also beneficial for arthritic conditions in rabbits due to the anti-inflammatory properties and is COX2 inhibitors. The use of turmeric extracts in a rabbit’s daily diet may help scavenge free radicals, increase antioxidant enzymes, and inhibit lipid peroxidation.
Published: April 7, 2020