Rabbits like humans, need a healthy balanced lifestyle of diet and exercise. A healthy bunny will have a balanced regiment of hay, pellets, vegetables, and treats.
Here is a breakdown of a rabbit’s diet: they need a mix of Hay (80% of their diet), Vegetables (10%), Fortified pellets (5%), and Healthy treats (5%).
Rabbits should have access to fresh unlimited hay throughout their lifetime. The reason hay is 80% of a rabbit’s diet is because they need a way to wear down their teeth. Rabbit teeth are constantly growing and indoor bunnies have no sufficient way to wear them down. This is why they need access to lots of hay.
Hays come in many varieties: western timothy, botanical, orchard grass, oat, and alfalfa (for babies and growing bunnies).
I use Oxbow brand hay. I’ve been told by my vet that it is higher quality. Rabbits can be picky about which hays they like, so you might have to try different ones until you find what works for them.
Mokona goes through phases with his choices of hay. He will eat one for months and will then refuse to eat it. I’d like to think that they get bored of eating the same thing all the time, and it’s their way of saying they need a little variety. It’s a juggling game sometimes to figure out what Mokona wants, but worth it when he digs in.
Rabbits love their vegetables and look forward to them every day. Always introduce new vegetables a little at a time. You want to make sure they don’t get sick or get diarrhea from new vegetables. Don’t assume that they will love everything you give them. You and they learn through experimentation. Mokona is a two year old rabbit so he eats approximately 2 cups of veggies a day.
- Kale, Swiss Chard, Rapini, Romaine and Red Leaf lettuce
- Cilantro, Parsley, Dill, Mint, Basil, Spinach
- Anise, Carrot and Radish tops (green parts), Bok Choy
House Rabbit Society has a great list of veggies to feed your bunny!
There are many types of pellets in pet stores. Try to stay away from things that have colourful bits and pieces. They usually have food colouring and artificial flavours. Again, as recommended by our vet I use Oxbow: Essentials for Adult Rabbits for Mokona. They have directions on the back of the package to guide you on how much you should feed your bunny usually according to their weight. Mokona is 4 pounds so we feed him 1/3 cup of pellets at night. This is so he will eat hay and vegetables during the day.
You can check out the Oxbow website for more details.
Treats are a great way to train and bond with your bunny.
Avoid human foods as some things can be dangerous to your rabbit. For example, foods with flour in them, such as, cookies, crackers, cereal, bread etc. Never give your rabbit fruit pits (cherries, peaches), chocolate, and remove small seeds (apple, pear) as it poisonous for them.
You will find a lot of different types of treats at your local pet store. Stay away from things that have seeds, honey, yogurt, and dried fruit. These are high in sugars and can lead to an unhealthy bunny.
I use Papaya enzyme as a treat. Unlike cats, rabbits cannot cough up fur balls. Papaya enzyme is good for helping to break down hair that is ingested and they love the smell.
Mokona loves apples, pears, bananas, carrots, sweet peppers, and melon. Oh how Mokona loves his treats. He is always begging and looking for ways to trick us into giving him treats. You have to be strong and resist their cute faces!
Remember a treat is just a treat! Give your bunny treats in moderation or it can lead to health problems.
San Diego House Rabbit Society has a list of excellent treats for your bunny.
What are some foods that your bunny likes? Comment below.