RABBIT DIET RECOMMENDATIONS

Rabbits

A rabbit's digestive system is designed to digest hays, grasses, and fiber. Large amounts of sugary and starchy foods high in easy to digest carbohydrates can lead to serious medical problems. Grass hay is also essential in making sure the teeth in the back of their mouth don't become overgrown.

A healthy rabbit's diet should consist of unlimited amounts timothy hay or other grass hays, 1-3 cups of fresh leafy greens daily, and only about 1/8-1/4 cup of quality timothy pellets for rabbits up to 5 lbs and up to 3/4 cup for rabbits up to 10 lbs. Fruits and sugary vegetables (i.e. carrots) should only be offered as a rare treat in small quantities (no more than 1 tablespoon per 2 lbs body weight) or never at all. Alfalfa is NOT recommended for adult rabbits (>1 year of age). Healthy rabbit pellets will be timothy based pellets and NOT contain artifical colors or seeds, nuts, and dried fruits. We recommend Oxbow brand pellets and hays. Oxbow hay, pellets, and treats are available up front in our retail area.
 
As stated above timothy hay and other grass hays, such as Bermuda grass and orchard grass, should be available all the time and should be the main food your rabbit eats.  This provides the right amount of fiber to keep their gastrointestinal tract healthy and helps prevent problems developing with their teeth.

We recommend offering a small amount of timothy hay pellets (e.g., Oxbow Bunny Basics/T™) in the evening.  Rabbits under 5 lbs should get no more than 1/8 to 1/4 of a cup of pellets daily while larger rabbits should be offered no more than 1/2 to 3/4  cup daily.  Other kinds of hays (e.g., alfalfa hay, oat hay, etc.) may be given sparingly as treats.

Depending on the size of the rabbit, one to three cups of dark green leafy vegetables, fresh grass, mulberry leaves, and hibiscus leaves and flowers may also be given daily.  Tiny treats of fruit such as banana or watery vegetables such as carrots are okay in very small amounts.  Give no more than a 1” slice of banana or a baby carrot a day. This amount may be too much for a dwarf rabbit. Overfeeding of these treats often causes diarrhea.  For a listing of what treats are healthy and what’re not, please click here

Salt blocks are not necessary for rabbit.

Alfalfa pellets (e.g., Oxbow Bunny Basics 15/23) may be given to growing rabbits or rabbits with special needs but are not recommended for healthy adult rabbits.

It’s important to have an emergency supply of a liquid diet, such as Oxbow’s Critical Care for Herbivores, on hand in the event your bunny loses its appetite or has abnormal stools. If you see problems, start your bunny on this diet and get it to a veterinarian as soon as possible.