Can rabbits live on carrots? Should your rabbit have lettuce? Knowing what to feed your rabbit enables you to keep him happy and healthy. But what rabbit food should you feed? 

Rabbit Food For These True Herbivores

 

Rabbit Food Types

The basic foods to feed your pet rabbit break down into four groups

  • hay
  • pellets
  • leafy greens
  • vegetables and fruit

Notice that these all belong to the plant family. Rabbits are true herbivores and should never have meat, dairy, or eggs. Think of them as your vegan friends!

 

Hay

Hay should be the majority of the rabbit food you offer your rabbit. To learn about the types and quantities, check out these articles.

 

Why Do Rabbits Need Hay?

Types of Hay for Rabbits

Are Hay Cubes Good For Rabbits?

Pellets, Should You Feed Them to Your Rabbit?

Many commercial breeders feed pellets. They are convenient and quite cost-effective when purchased in bulk. However, vets recommend that you feed these in small quantities, if at all. (source: innersourcevets.au)

 

Read Do Rabbits Need Pellets? for more details.

 

Best Greens to Feed Your Rabbit

When planning what to feed your rabbit, consider this list of leafy greens recommended by VCA animal hospitals.

Romaine Lettuce

Bok Choy

Mustard Greens

Mint

Endive

Carrot tops

Cilantro

Watercress

Broccoli and greens

Brussels Sprouts

Basil

Kohlrabi

Beet Greens

Turnip Greens

Bell Peppers

Squash

Cilantro

Raspberry leaves

Clover

Radicchio

What about Fruit? 

Rabbits love fruit. You might offer a small piece occasionally as a treat. However, avoid feeding too much. Like watery greens, fruit contains a lot of water. And like carrots, it’s high in sugars.

Save the fruit for an occasional tidbit treat.

Vegetables  to Avoid or Limit

Carrots

Many people are surprised to learn that carrots should be fed quite sparingly to rabbits. After all, cartoons and advertisements often feature rabbits eating these crunchy vegetables.

But carrots are high in carbohydrates. Feeding them to your rabbit is similar to giving candy to a child in that it causes the sugars to create an imbalance in the gut bacteria. Carrots are best kept as an infrequent treat.

Also, feeding too many high-carb foods such as carrots leads to unhealthy weight gain. 

Iceberg lettuce and other watery greens

While a little iceberg lettuce won’t hurt your rabbit, these types of greens contain mostly water. As such, they don’t provide important nutrients.

 

Other Foods to NOT Feed Your Rabbit

Although you might enjoy cookies and cakes, these are not rabbit food.Not only might they give him an upset stomach, the high calories they contain cause weight gain.

Other foods to avoid include:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Grains
  • Bread

While a small nibble of these might not be harmful, it’s best to avoid them altogether.

ALSO note 

Rabbit food should always be plant-based. Do not feed 

  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Meats, Poultry, Fish, etc

 

Your rabbit is an herbivore,

which is another way of saying vegan or plant-based eating.

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