Rabbits are low-maintenance pets that don’t require much care and upkeep. Still, you should be careful about what you feed these pets.
The type of food you give to your rabbit will determine the health of your pet. Feeding the wrong diet can result in many different forms of diseases.
If you want to keep your pet rabbit in a good shape, you should follow the tips mentioned here in this article.
1. Know the Staple Diet
You must make sure that your rabbit food contains a lot of grass and hay. Just ensure that the hay is not dusty, damp, or moldy as it can lead to respiratory problems.
Rabbits also love fresh herbs. However, you should check if the herbs are suitable for your pets. They can also eat plantain leaves, thistle, puha, and cork leaves. Make sure that the food is not sprayed with pesticide or poison.
2. Follow the 80-20 Rule of Feeding
Consider following the 80-20 rule of feeding your pet. Around 80 percent of the diet should consist of hay and grass, while the rest 20 percent should be fresh vegetables and pellets.
Avoid giving pellets that contain any of the following items.
- Colored pieces
Make sure that the pellets are made specifically for the rabbits. You should avoid overfeeding pellets to your pet and follow the recommended feeding instructions.
Consider giving about a quarter cup of pelts every day to each of the rabbit. Moreover, you should give about two cups of mixed vegetables to an average sized bunny.
Fruits should be given to your furry friend about twice a week with the ratio of one tablespoon per five pounds. So, you should give 12 tablespoon fresh fruits to a 12 pounds rabbit.
3. Feeding Small Rabbits
Younger rabbits should be given pellets and the amount of hay and vegetables should be increased gradually. Small rabbits that are less than 6 pounds should be given about 1/8th of a cup every day.
You should feed alfalfa hay and pellets to rabbits from eight weeks of age till they are three months old. After this, you can start giving vegetables.
Consider feeding just one type of vegetable to the bunny and monitor diarrhea signs. After the bunny is seven months old, you can start giving a large amount of timothy hay. At this time, you should reduce the pellets size to half a cup per day for every six pounds of weight. In addition, you can start giving fruits at a rate of about two ounces every day. After your rabbit becomes one year old, you can feed adult diet to it.
4. Give Plenty of Water
You should give plenty of water to your pet rabbit. Rabbits love drinking out of water bowls similar to how we like to drink in a glass or cup. You should make sure that the water is free of algae as it can be harmful to your pet.
5. Give Occasional Treats
Every pet loves to receive treats such as pretzels. However, you should give treats occasionally to avoid health issues. You can also buy pet treats from online rabbit food stores.
Just make sure that you don’t give chocolate to your rabbits. Chocolates are like a painful medieval torture machine for rabbits. Consuming the treat will lead to high heart rate, seizures, and untimely death.
Apart from chocolates, you should also avoid giving the following treats to your pet rabbit.
- Avocado — the fruit can prove fatal to rabbits. Instead, you should give Brussels sprouts and green peppers.
- High Carb Treats — Treats such as bread, cookies, crackers, and pasta will result in severe stomach problems.
- Yogurt Drops — eating yogurt drops can result in a toxic growth of harmful bacteria in the guts.
- Iceberg Lettuce — Avoid giving light colored lettuce to your rabbit, as this variety of lettuce contains a chemical called lactucarium that is harmful when ingested.
- Silverbeet — You should also avoid giving silverbeet to your furry pet friend. A report from New Zealand found that eating the vegetable can result in bloating and colic.