A rabbit’s diet is very important to its health and longevity. Pet rabbits should be fed a high-quality, balanced diet consisting of hay, pellets and fresh vegetables or fruit. They also need plenty of water to stay heathly. A pet rabbit’s diet should be composed of approximately 80% hay, 10% pellets, 8% fresh vegetables and 2% fruit. Both a varied diet and portion control is necessary for a healthy rabbit, as they’re susceptible to poor nutrition such as obesity, dental problems and bladder stones.
Rabbits have sensitive digestive systems. Introduce new foods one at a time and in small amounts. The foods listed below contain general guidance for ‘What a rabbit can eat.’ Consult your veterinarian for your rabbit’s specific dietary requirements.
Hay is a rabbit’s primary source of food and should be changed daily. It contains a good source of fiber and helps them to maintain a healthy digestive system. Hay is also essential for a rabbit’s teeth as they grow continuoulsy throughtout their life. So they need a diet that is rich in roughage to wear their teeth down.
An adult rabbit can eat 3-4 cups of hay everyday. Hay should be placed at least 18″ from the edge of a rabbit’s cage to avoid it being over-used and wasted. Hay should be stored in a dry place and protected from the sun. If hay develops an unpleasant odor, it is a sign that the hay is no longer fit for consumption.
|Type of hay or grass||Can my rabbit eat it?||Frequency|
Vegetables are a great way to keep your rabbit’s diet varied, nutritious and interesting. When introducing a new vegetable it is recommended to introduce it slowly and one at a time, taking care for any changes in their behaviour and bowels. Once established in their systems the new vegetable can be rotated in their diet according to the frequency they are allowed to eat. In general, rabbits can be given 3 – 5 different types of vegetables per day. These types of vegetables can be divided into two groups: leafy and non-leafy vegetables.
Leafy vegetables that are dark in color are particularly favoured because they are packed with nutrients and fiber. Lighter leafy vegetables are less favoured generally due to higher levels of oxalate and calcium, which can be a source of gastrointestinal tract and bladder problems.
The general guideline for dark leafy vegetables is 1 cup per 2 lbs body weight. Although this measurement may vary depending on the type, age and specific dietary requirements of your rabbit.
|Leafy vegetables||Can my rabbit eat it?||Frequency|
|Cilantro (leaves only)||Yes||Moderation|
Non-leafy vegetables are also a good source of vitamins and nutrients. When introducing non-leafy greens to your rabbit follow the process as with the leafy greens. However bear in mind the amount to be given to a rabbit is much lower: 1 tablespoon per 2 pounds body weight.
|Non – leafy vegetables||Can my rabbit eat it?||Frequency|
|Asparagus (including stalk)||Yes||Occasionally|
|Avocado (including skin, pit and leaves)||No||Never|
|Beetroot (including leaves)||Yes||Moderation|
|Broccoli (including leaves and stem)||Yes||Moderation|
|Carrots (including leaves)||Yes||Occasionally|
|Celery (including leaves, stalk and root)||Yes||Regularly|
|Onions (including bulb, leaves and flowers)||No||Never|
|Potatoes (including skin and leaves)||No||Never|
|Rhubarb (including stalk and leaves)||No||Never|
|Turnips (including leaves)||Yes||Moderation|
Fruit can be a tasty treat for your rabbit and can give them a boost in vitamins and minerals. However there are a couple key things to note when giving fruit to your furry friends. Fruit is high in sugar meaning too much can lead to health problems such as obesity and tooth decay. Remember, fruit should only make up about 2% of their diet.
When preparing fruit take care how much you give them and make sure to remove any seeds or pits that are present as this can cause serious digestive issues for your rabbit (e.g. soft stools, build up of bad bacteria in the gut). The general recommended amount is: 1 teaspoon per 2 lbs body weight up to 3 times per week.
|Berries||Can my rabbit eat it?||Frequency|
|Blackberries (excluding stems and leaves)||Yes||Moderation|
|Blueberries (excluding stems)||Yes||Occasionally|
|Cherries (excluding pits and stems)||Yes||Occasionally|
|Raspberries (excluding stem and leaves)||Yes||Moderation|
|Strawberries (including leaves)||Yes||Moderation|
|Citrus fruit||Can a rabbit eat it?||Frequency|
|Oranges (excluding seeds and skin)||Yes||Occasionally|
|Melon||Can my rabbit eat it?||Frequency|
|Cantaloupe (excluding seeds and rind)||Yes||Moderation|
|Watermelon (excluding seeds and rind)||Yes||Moderation|
|Other fruit||Can my rabbit eat it?||Frequency|
|Apple (excluding seeds, leaves and stalk)||Yes||Occasionally|
|Apricots (excluding pit)||Yes||Moderation|
|Bananas (excluding skin)||Yes||Occasionally|
|Grapes (seedless and with skin)||Yes||Moderation|
|Kiwi (including skin and seeds)||Yes||Occasionally|
|Mangoes (including skin)||Yes||Occasionally|
|Peaches (excluding pit and skin)||Yes||Occasionally|
|Pears (excluding skin, leaves and seeds)||Yes||Moderation|
|Pineapple (excluding skin, leaves and core)||Yes||Occasionally|
|Tomatoes (excluding vine and leaves)||Yes||Moderation|