Domestic rabbits have a strict diet. If you respect it, you will have a healthy and long-living bunny. They enjoy a variety of foods but they lack a good radar on choosing what’s good or bad for them. They would eat anything you give them. What do rabbits eat?
So be careful because what do rabbits like to eat has nothing to do with what they must eat. Bugs Bunny really mislead everyone with his love for carrots. Your bunny will love carrots for sure, but the high amount of sugar found in carrots can really mess up with your rabbit’s digestive system. It is highly recommended to avoid carrots.
Your rabbit should be eating a lot of hay and grass. Approximately 90% of daily food should consist of hay. And the rest can be pellets, veggies, fruits, herbs, and greens. Read more to find out what rabbits can eat and drink.
What is the safe food for rabbits?
Yes, hay is the best safe food to feed your rabbit with. A pile of hay the size of your rabbit should be enough for one day. Others say that they should have access to an unlimited amount of fresh hay. Maybe that’s a bit too much over your budget. But never feed it with less than an entire pile of hay the same size as it.
Why is hay so important?
Hay is the foundation of a healthy diet for a domestic rabbit.
- Eating and forging in hay keeps them busy for hours. They arrange it and rearrange it, non-stop looking for the tastier pieces. You wouldn’t want your rabbit to get bored. They can develop several behavioral problems. You can mix hay with different herbs and weeds to make things more interesting. Best herbs are basil, coriander, mint, oregano. The fresh green ones you can buy from the supermarket.
- Ruminating hay every day helps to trim their ever-growing teeth. All their teeth grow continuously throughout their life. A rabbit’s teeth can grow very fast and can cause a lot of pain. So your pet rabbit needs to eat hay every day. Hay is the only food that wears their teeth down because of the perfect side-to-side jaw movement rabbits have to do when eating it.
- Hay offers the perfect amount of fiber to your rabbit and it keeps their gut movement active. Rabbits have a complex digestive system and need to chew on hay the entire day to keep things active and moving inside. This is the best way to avoid blockages that can often be fatal.
Why does bunny won’t eat hay?
Some rabbits can be pretentious, but it’s very important to find a way to introduce more hay into their diet.
1. You need to slowly reduce other types of foods. Remember that only 10-20% of a rabbit’s diet can be fruits, vegetables, pallets. Try to wean your rabbit into different types of hay or green grass. But always introduce the new food gradually for several days. Even when we talk about hay.
AVOID to feed them grass freshly chopped from a lawn because it can ferment very easily. Which is bad for their stomachs.
2. Put hay everywhere they go so it’s hard to avoid it. Be creative! Stuff hay in toilet paper tubes, in a paper bag, or on the ceiling of their cage. Games like these encourage them to forge and eat.
3. There are various types of hay that you can find in pet shops. Try mixing them and adding little surprises. Encourage them to forge with different smells and tastes of herbs and greens.
Vegetables and fruits for rabbits
When it comes to the other 10-20% of your rabbit’s diet, you should only consider vegetables, greens, pallets and fruits. But of course not all veggies or fruits are good for the sensible tummy of a pet rabbit. And always remember that they have sharp taste buds and would eat anything even if it’s poisonous for them.
What vegetables can rabbits eat?
For a balanced diet, try to feed your rabbit no more than one cup of veggies per 0,5 kg of body weight. Rabbits need vegetables for vitamins, but mainly to make their life more exciting. Many vegetables have a lot of sugar such as potatoes and carrots, other veggies can cause digestive bloating such as cauliflower or peas.
These are the best vegetables to feed your rabbit:
- Artichoke leaves
- Courgette (and flowers)
- Curly Kale
- Green beans
- Peas (including the leaves and pods)
- Peppers (red, green and yellow)
- Squash (e.g. Butternut)
What fruits can rabbits eat?
You should feed your rabbit a moderate amount of fruit. And avoid them as much as possible. All fruits have a high amount of sugar and with their sweet teeth, they will eat everything. The recommended amount is a maximum of two tablespoons of fruits per day.
- Apple (not the seeds because they are poisonous)
- Blackberries (and leaves)
- Raspberries (and leaves)
- Strawberries (and leaves)
Safe herbs and flowers can rabbits eat?
Mix the herbs and flowers with hay to make things interesting for your rabbit. Introduce the new ones over a couple of days.
And if you decide to leave your bunny for a stroll in your garden, first check what plants and flowers you have. You wouldn’t want your bunny to get poisoned.
- Mint (peppermint)
- Parsley (small amounts)
Weeds and flowers
AVOID to give them grass, greens or flowers picked for the side of the road or from polluted areas.
- Clover (leaves and flowers)
- Nasturtium (leaves and flowers)
- Shepherd’s purse
- Sow Thistle
How much water do rabbits drink a day?
Usually the average amount of water that a rabbit needs is somewhere between 100 to 600 ml. It depends on the age, baby rabbits drink around 100-300 ml and the amount grows with age.
Rabbits need to have fresh water every day. Don’t forget to change the water every morning or at night. Choose a ceramic bowl or a rabbit water bottle that can be attached to the cage.
Before you get a rabbit, be sure that you afford to buy huge quantities of fresh hay. And be aware that the cheapest hay may not please your rabbit. Like humans, rabbits have different tastes.
Don’t forget to change the hay every day. The same with water.
Make things fun and interesting. Mix herbs, fruits or vegetable treats with the hay. Rabbits love forging around.
Wash with abundant water the herbs, weeds, flowers, vegetables, and fruits before you feed your rabbit. You don’t want to feed your pet rabbit pesticides, fumes, or other chemicals.
Keep your pet rabbit healthy and happy!