Do you have a pet rabbit? If so, you know that it is important to feed them the right type of food. But what is the best rabbit food? A diet high in fiber and low in sugar is best, and many different types of food are available to fit this description. But what is the Best Rabbit Food For Your Pet?

In this blog post, we will discuss the best types of food to feed your pet rabbit and why they are important. We will also provide tips on how to make sure your rabbit gets the nutrition they need. So, whether you are a new bunny parent or just looking for more information, keep reading for all you need to know about feeding your furry friend!

 

Best Rabbit Food For Your Pet Bunny

 

Trying to find the best rabbit food for your pet can be challenging. Pet stores carry plenty of options but what is ideal? Should you feed pellets? Let’s dig in and find the best answers from actual research.

best rabbit food

 

Pellets

As you browse the rabbit feed selection, you’ll notice pellets. The little brown or green pellets claim to have all the nutrients and fiber your bunny needs to thrive. Some brands offer a choice of protein percentage. They recommend higher protein for growing rabbits and a bit less for the adults. 

Are these  “all-in-one” feeds the best for your bunny pal?

Most veterinarians would say they are not. 

While the pellets do contain all the nutrients within, they have some downsides. 

  • The fiber is broken down and not as useful to the rabbit as actual hay.
  • Pellets are compressed and sometimes expand enough to cause your rabbit to bloat, creating a medical emergency.
  • Because they are so concentrated, it is easy for a rabbit to overeat and become obese.

 

So why do people use pelleted feed?

In short, because they are easy and often more economical when feeding large numbers of animals. The pellets can be dispensed into a feeder in the exact amount required and the rabbit will receive the nutrients by simply eating the pellets. And when fed in limited amounts to adults, the chances of a rabbit bloating are lessened.

Yes, they will sustain a rabbit but are not ideal for a long and healthy life. 

Pellets were developed to enable the commercial rabbitry to easily feed large numbers of rabbits quickly and economically. But commercial growers are not concerned with keeping their rabbits healthy for 10 years. They wanted a feed that provided fast growth for the young and ideal nutrients for large litter production. Most of these growers were growing for either meat or wool production. 

 

 

Is Hay the Ideal Feed?

Excellent quality hay may offer a mostly complete diet for your pet rabbit. You can read more about hay types and what to feed in our article Types of Hay for Rabbits.

In the wild, rabbits spend their days eating a lot of grass and weeds. But wild bunnies also enjoy other tidbits in their daily dining. Fruit, vegetables, branches, and roots might all find their way into wild bunnies chomping. With such a wide variety available, they don’t lack for nutrients.

Most hay provides our pet rabbits with a good balance, like the grass and weeds that wild bunnies enjoy. But, like their wild cousins, pet bunnies also need a selection of other foods to ensure they have all they need to not just survive but to thrive for many years.

best rabbit food

 

So What Should I Feed?

Rabbit experts recommend that you feed hay free choice, meaning the rabbit can eat as much as he wants, when he wants. And that should comprise about 80% of his diet.

For the other 20%, you have some choices.

  • leafy greens, including kale, broccoli, romaine lettuce, and others are excellent choices and often can be fed free choice, as long as the rabbit does not develop diarrhea.
  • rabbit grain mixtures are available to allow rabbits to enjoy whole grains. Use caution with these as some rabbits will pick out what they want and leave the rest.
  • pelleted feed can be fed in limited amounts. During growth, you might be able to feed these free choice, but we recommend caution then, too.

 

While this works very well for your pet bunny and his wild cousins, you can see why commercial growers choose to feed just pellets. 

One other benefit to feeding your bunny fresh greens, fruit, and vegetables is that it increases bonding. Just as dogs bond to those who feed them, so do rabbits. 

 

 

More of the Best Rabbit Food

 

In addition to keeping hay available at all times, consider adding some of these options each day. Freshness is essential! Remember to remove any uneaten greens. We add these to our composter so nothing is wasted.

According to the RSPCA, your pet rabbit will probably eat about 2 packed cups of these green per kg of body weight each day. That would be about 1 cup for each pound your bunny weighs.

Leafy Greens

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Endive
  • beet or carrot tops (greens)
  • spinach
  • Bok Choy
  • Other Asian greens
best rabbit food

Herbs 

  • parsley
  • dandelion
  • coriander
  • basil
  • dill
  • mint
  • Sprouted grass

Treats

We often think of feeding rabbits carrots, and they do enjoy them. However, you need to think of carrots, sweet potatoes, and fruits as treats, rather than the best rabbit food. While they are very nutritious, they also are high in sugars. Even though they are natural sugars, they can create stomach problems for your pet. It’s best to limit them to a tiny piece a day, perhaps about a tablespoon-sized for your small rabbit, a bit more for the larger breeds.

 

What is the best food for pet rabbits?

 

The best diet for rabbits is mostly hay. This means that hay should be available to them at all times, and they should be free to eat as much or as little as they want. In addition to hay, pet rabbits should also have access to other greens, vegetables, and fruit. However, pellets should not make up the entirety of their diet as this can lead to health problems down the road. Do you have a pet rabbit? What do you feed it? Let us know in the comments below!

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