Rabbits are great pets. People are instantly attracted to them, because they’re super cute, sweet fluff balls. If you’re planning to get a rabbit, as with any pet, you should be prepared to properly care for them! That means providing your bunny with the proper nutrition he needs to stay healthy. While Bugs Bunny cartoons would have you believe that rabbits can subsist on a diet composed of nothing more than carrots that is not the case. Just like a human being you’ll need to provide your rabbit a balanced diet in order for them to thrive and be happy.
What do rabbits eat?
You should provide hay for your rabbit at all times
Rabbits are herbivores, and they eat plant matter. If you’ve seen a rabbit in the wild you’ve no doubt seen them munching on grass before jetting off into the bushes. Just like these wild rabbits your pet rabbit should be provided with grass at all times in the form of hay. This is widely available from pet supply stores in miniature alfalfa hay bales, but if you have a lot of rabbits you could save money buying a larger bale from a farm store like tractor supply co! Or your local farmer if they have hay for sale as well. In any case this should be available to your rabbit at all times. This helps them with the health of their teeth, and it promotes gastrointestinal health.
You can feed hay a variety of ways. Some cages come with clip or hook feeders that attach to the side of the cages. You can put hay in here so your rabbit can pull some out whenever they want. It’s also popular to toss the hay into the covered rabbit house portion of the cage so your bunny can have at it! If you do this the hay can double as bedding, and your rabbit will enjoy burrowing into it. While alfalfa hay is the most popular variety there are many other kinds you can provide your bunny for a healthy variety.
Rabbit pellet food and diets
There’s nothing wrong with pellet foods. These diets are nutritionally balanced to help insure that your rabbits gets all the vitamins and nutrients he needs to be happy. This should not be the only thing that you feed your rabbit though. It’s also important that they get a healthy mixture of fresh vegetables regularly as well! The majority of your rabbits fresh vegetable diet should be healthy leaf greens. They should get this everyday in addition to their pellet food.
Does my rabbit need fresh vegetables? What kind?
Yes! You should be feeding your rabbit fresh leafy greens everyday as part of their diet. Approximately one cup of greens for every two pounds of body weight. You also might want to weigh your rabbit! You’d be surprised how much they weigh, and you might find you’re not feeding them the proper amount. These are all acceptable greens to feed your bunny. There are of course more, but these are some of the most popular foods for rabbits.
- Radish tops
- Mustard greens
- Carrot tops
- Romaine Lettuce
- Turnip Greens
- Romaine Lettuce
- Bok Choy
Non- Greens (Feed less of these)
- Bell Peppers
- Edible flowers (Hibiscus is a favorite for many animals)
Can I feed my rabbit fruits?
Yes! You can feed your rabbit fruit, and they’ll enjoy it, but this should not be the main part of their diet. It’s important that 75% of what they’re eating are greens. Though fruit can be beneficial in small amounts. I would reserve fruit as a once a week treat for your bunny as it’s easy to overfeed them on this. These fruits are okay to feed your rabbit in small amounts.
What foods NOT to feed rabbits
While your rabbit can eat a lot of stuff it’s best to avoid the below items. Items that are high in carbohydrates like bakes goods or cereals can be bad for them. You should also avoid anything outside that you’re not 100% sure it has not been contaminated with pesticides! If you have a rabbit run in your yard be sure to set it up away from any plants that you are unsure of.
- Things you find outside
- Bread/baked goods