Rabbits are social and curious animals and can make wonderful pets. But contrary to popular belief, taking care of a pet rabbit is a big responsibility. These guys have specific needs when it comes to housing, handling, diet, and enrichment requirements.
If you’ve got a pet bunny at home, or you’re thinking of adopting a new family member, follow us this month to find out how to best take care of your little friend!
Providing the ideal diet for your bunny is SUPER important. A rabbit’s diet should ensure minimal gastrointestinal disruption and maximise dental health. Did you know rabbit’s teeth never stop growing? That’s why its crucial we provide a diet high in fibre – the natural grinding action that takes place when a rabbit chews fibrous plants helps to wear the teeth down.
A rabbits diet should consist of:
• 80% fresh hay (approximately one kitty litter tray full)
• 15-20% green leafy vegetables (approximately one 3L container loosely packed per 2kg bodyweight)
• 1-5% treats (including pellets, fruit and treat vegetables such as carrots, apples and banana).
Hay should be the core component of every rabbit’s diet. It helps to maintain ideal digestive flora and helps to prevent dental disease.
Lucerne (alfalfa) and clover hay are best suited to rabbits under 6 months of age. It’s highly palatable and provides a great source of protein and calcium.
Oaten hay is best ideal for rabbits over 6 months of age. Continued use of Lucerne and clover hay in non-juvenile rabbits can lead to obesity and bladder sludge.
Vegetables and greens should make up 15-20% of your bunny’s diet. These offerings should be varied and consistent.
Main portion of vegetables to be offered:
- Carrot tops
- Dandelion and chicory leaves
- Milk thistle
- Asian greens
- Mint and other herbs
- Cauliflower leaves
- Cabbage leaves
Offer minimally as treats:
Not to be offered
- Iceberg lettuce
- Tomato plants
- Dairy products
- Caffeine containing products
- Sugary foods
- Spicy foods
- Medications for other species
- Onions/garlic plants
- Corn kernels