Your rabbit has an immense and complex digestive system. Because the rabbit gut is so specialized and eating is so central to the rabbit’s life, a healthy diet is key to a healthy rabbit.
40% of the rabbit’s digestive tract consists of the cecum, a large vat where all fibrous food is processed into useable energy. The rabbit’s digestive system is evolved to eat only grass and vegetable matter- the farther you stray from this diet, the more trouble the bunny gets into. Plenty of good quality hay for roughage should be the major portion of your rabbit’s diet, and many rabbits can live well with just hay to eat.
These are great hay-based snacks for Rabbits:
Falfa Cravin Herb N Hay Tunnel – Fun hideaway and great tasty natural snack.
Herbs-n-Hay Rolls for Rabbits Stuffed with parsley and sweet potato.
Ideally, you should weigh your rabbit every month or so, and note any weight changes. Steady weight gain points to a needed diet change, while unexpected weight loss can be an indicator of illness.
The key to diet change and weight loss is to do it GRADUALLY. Any fast weight loss will risk doing major damage to the liver as it becomes clogged with fat. Slowly wean your rabbit off the bad stuff, reduce starchy vegetables like carrots but always make sure your bunny has plenty of hay. Provide your bunny with lots of exercise time and toys.
How do you know if your bunny is fat? Rabbits store fat inside their abdomen, which makes just eyeballing them for love handles ineffective. Run your hands along your rabbit’s side, feeling the rib cage. When you reach the end of the ribs, your should be able to feel a slight inward slope, the waist. Fat bunnies will balloon out instead.