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Home ยป What Do Rabbits Eat As Pets? Rabbit Diet Fundamentals

What Do Rabbits Eat As Pets? Rabbit Diet Fundamentals

    What Do Rabbits Eat As Pets? Rabbit Diet Fundamentals

    Rabbis, unlike many pets, are strict herbivores, which means they only consume plant-based meals, and not all varieties of them. Rabbits, as grazers, feed continually throughout the day rather of having one or two meals like cats or dogs, due to their peculiar digestive processes. Rabbits, like horses, are “hind-gut fermenters,” having a “cecum” at the end of their digestive system containing bacteria that digest the food they consume. This implies they need a high-fiber diet to maintain their digestive health and nurture their gut flora. But, what kind of fibre do rabbits need, and is that all they consume, or do they require additional nutrients to thrive?

    What Should You Feed Your Rabbit?

    High-quality timothy hay or another grass hay of their choice is the most essential item in a rabbit’s diet, accounting for around 75% to 80% of their diet. Hay should be provided freely and in infinite quantities so that your pet may graze on it throughout the day and get much-needed fibre in a healthy manner. Roughage is not only nutritious for rabbits, but it also benefits their teeth and gastrointestinal health. Rabbits steadily file down their teeth, which continue to develop as long as they live, by munching on hay all day, since hay produces the greatest wear on teeth when compared to other rabbit meals, which is a desirable attribute for a bunny. It reduces the likelihood of malocclusion and aids in keeping their teeth at an ideal length.

    Furthermore, timothy hay is vital for reducing the creation of trichobezoars, or hairballs, which get trapped in a rabbit’s digestive tract and may induce GI stasis, a fatal disease. Rabbits that do not get enough roughage in their food are far more likely to develop this hazardous problem, since fibre promotes excellent digestive motility and helps the hair your pet ingests via self-grooming to flow properly through the stool, rather than remaining lodged in their intestines.

    Fresh vegetables and a modest number of pellets should make up the remaining 25% to 20% of a rabbit’s diet, which is normally rich in nutrients but too calorie dense to be given freely. Leafy greens such as romaine lettuce, carrot tops, parsley, collard greens, kale, watercress, spinach, swiss chard, and others may and should be eaten by rabbits, as well as carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprout, zucchini, and a few more. Fruit (such as grapes, melons, or bananas) is OK for rabbits, but only in little amounts since it is too heavy in sugars for rabbits to properly digest – if you truly want to feed your pet fruit, consider it only as a scant, rare treat and not as a regular component of their diet.

    Foods That Are Harmful to Rabbits

    Now that you know what your bunny needs to keep healthy and happy, you should be careful not to offer your pet any food that might make them ill or, worse, prove lethal to your rabbit. You may not mean to give your pet specific items but put them within their reach – and they will undoubtedly attempt to grab a nibble, so it’s critical to understand what you must keep out of their eager paws at all times.

    Iceberg lettuce – it may come as a surprise, but iceberg lettuce includes a chemical known as lactucarium, which is toxic to rabbits.

    Avocados– contain persin, which is very poisonous to rabbits and may cause respiratory issues and heart failure.

    Chocolate– contains theobromine and caffeine, which are hazardous to rabbits and may cause seizures, arrhythmia, hyperthermia, and respiratory problems if consumed.

    Fruit pits and seeds- may contain cyanide and pose a choking danger.

    Both onions and garlic- are very poisonous to rabbits and may result in hemolytic anaemia or anaphylactic shock.

    Mushrooms Several varieties of mushrooms may be harmful to rabbits, producing symptoms ranging from vomiting and diarrhoea to organ and neurological damage.

    Beans and peas- induce bloating and gassiness and may adversely interfere with a rabbit’s digestion.

    Rhubarb – All portions of this plant contain oxalic acid, which is very poisonous to rabbits and may harm or even kill them in rare situations.

    Meat, eggs, dairy products, processed meals rabbits are herbivores, and their digestive system isn’t meant to break down such things – their digestion will be damaged at the absolute least, but even a tiny amount of any of these items might cause major health issues.

    Conclusion

    Choose high-quality grass hay, such as timothy hay, to ensure your rabbit’s health and that they receive all of the nutrients they need from their diet. Hay should make up roughly 80% of everything your pet consumes and should be supplied in unrestricted quantities since it is high in fibre and beneficial to their dental and digestive health. Include a tiny quantity of vet-recommended pellets to increase nutrient intake, and provide rabbit-safe veggies on a regular basis to provide a range of vitamins and minerals to your pet’s diet. Last but not least, remember to constantly supply fresh water at all times since rabbits require a lot of it – it hydrates their body, aids digestion, and flushes extra calcium out of their system.

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