Dietary Recommendations

Hay: Timothy or other grass hay should be available at all times. Hay is an important part of your rabbit's diet. The high fiber content of hay promotes a healthy bowel, while the chewing action helps keep teeth from growing too long. Alfalfa hay is too high in protein for adult rabbits and leads to obesity and bowel upset. Hay can be purchased from a feed store, pet store or a local farmer. Do not store hay in an airtight container. Always check for mold or insects before feeding.

Dive into a basket of hay

Pellets: Alfalfa or Timothy
Recommended amount of pelleted type diet:
a. Rabbits up to eight months of age: free feed.
b. Rabbits adult maintenance level: approx. 1/4 cup per 4 pounds of body weight.
Monitor your rabbit's weight to determine the correct amount. Never feed your rabbit "gourmet" seed and nut-type foods. Rabbits soon learn to pick out the treats and leave the pelleted food behind. This would decrease the vitamins and minerals necessary for your rabbit's health. Pellets can be stored in an airtight container for up to six months and longer if stored in the freezer.

Mmmm...carrot tops

Leafy greens: Up to 1 cup daily.
a. Vegetables and greens should be introduced slowly adding one type at a time. If introduced too quickly your rabbit may develop diarrhea or other bowel upset.
b. Always wash vegetables and greens to remove pesticides which can be toxic to your rabbit.
c. Monitor your rabbit for signs of gut upset.

Fruits: Fruits can be given in small amounts as a treat. Too much fruit can cause a bacterial overgrowth in the bowel leading to diarrhea.

Water: Fresh water should be available at all times.
a. Water bottle: Check daily to ensure the drip system is not stuck.
b. Water bowl: Change daily to prevent your rabbit from drinking contaminated water.
c. Rabbits vary in the amount of water consumed each day. If your rabbit is fed vegetables and greens he may consume less water.

Snack food: Crackers, cereals and sweets are not recommended as they can cause weight gain and bowel upset.

Night droppings: (cecotrophs) These are small soft fecal pellets resembling a cluster of grapes. Rabbits will ingest the cecotrophs directly from the anus. These are usually produced 4-5 hours after a meal. The cecotrophs are softer than regular pellets with a stronger odor and should not be confused with actual diarrhea. Cecotrophs are a necessary part of your rabbit's diet. They contain vitamins and proteins essential to your rabbit's health.