What to Feed Your Pet Rabbit

AWESOME RABBIT FOOD AND TREATS

Carrots Alone Just Won’t Do the Trick

Contrary to the popular folklore, feeding your rabbit carrots for breakfast, lunch and dinner is just plain unhealthy. Just like people, rabbits enjoy a good well-rounded meal. A nice mix of hay, pellets and fresh vegetables as well as fresh water will make your rabbit healthy and hippitedy hop happy. An occasional rabbit treat can be given to your rabbit, but only give in small quantities.

Rabbit Pellets
Rabbit pellets should be purchased so that they are fresh, as most rabbits will not eat stale rabbit food pellets. Look for rabbit pellets that are higher in fiber and lower in protein. You will need to limit your rabbit’s pellet intake as it gets older. Commercial rabbit pellets that are high in protein can lead to rabbit obesity and other health issues in rabbits.

Rabbit Hay
Many house rabbits like timothy hay, but there are other types available. Alfalfa and rabbit oat hay are other options. Alfalfa hay should be given less to adult rabbits, because of the higher protein and sugar content. Hay needs to be available for your rabbits at all times. Hay is truly a staple of your rabbit’s life.

Hay is a great way for your rabbit to add fiber to his diet and ensure better overall health. Hay provides something healthy to help your rabbit’s urge to chew. Placing hay at one end of a rabbit’s litter box will encourage the use of the litter box.

Store your rabbit’s hay in a dry place in a container that allows air flow to keep it from getting moldy. Vittles Vaults work well.

Vegetables
AAn assortment of vegetables should be a part of your rabbit’s daily diet. Make sure that the veggies are free of pesticides and always wash the vegetables before feeding them to your rabbit. Feed new varieties of vegetables in small quantities to your rabbit until determine how your individual rabbit will react to them.

Do not feed rabbits the leaves from houseplants as many are poisonous to rabbits.

The Basic Essentials of Rabbit Diet

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So what makes a good, healthy rabbit diet? Most rabbit owners are familiar with this. Here are some details for reference and a primer for new owners.

A good diet is made up of fresh hay, pellets, vegetables and water. How much is dependant on the rabbits age.

Hay: Hay is important for roughage.  It helps prevent hairballs, promotes normal digestion, prevents diarrhea and helps with mitigating teeth growth. Hay needs to be fresh so don’t keep extra over long periods. Also, store in an open (not air tight) container and check for mold. Some of the popular hays include timothy hay, grass hay and alfalfa. They should be provided at all times and not limited in quantity. However, alfalfa is rich and should be given to rabbits  younger than 7 months or underweight rabbits if calcium levels are normal.

Pellets: Pellets can be given in unlimited quantities to young rabbits under 7 months. For 7 months to a year about 1/2 cup for 6 pounds of body weight is recommended. Above one year reduce to 1/8 – 1/4 cup per 6 pounds of body weight. You will need to adjust depending on metabolism and comparative amount of vegetable feed. Like hay, pellets need to be fresh. Don’t store pellets for more than 6 weeks. Look for pellets about 3% or less fat, 14 – 16% protein to control weight, and 18% or so fiber. This is a rough guideline so don’t stress if your rabbits diet is not exactly this. It should be close to this range, though.

Vegetables: About one cup of veggies a day is recommended. Introduce different types slowly (as with any diet change) to prevent diarrhea. Under 7 months but above 12 weeks no more than 1/2 oz to introduce these foods. 7 months to 1 year  slowly increase the amount so that greater than 1 year this is at least 1.5 cups per 6 pounds of body weight. A partial list of rabbit friendly vegetables are:

Alfalfa, radish & clover sprouts
Basil
Beet greens (tops)
Bok choy
Broccoli (mostly leaves/stems; limit, can cause gas)
Brussels sprouts
Carrot & carrot tops
Celery
Cilantro
Clover
Collard greens
Dandelion greens and flowers (no pesticides)
Endive
Escarole
Green peppers
Kale (limit)
Marigold
Mint
Mustard greens
Parsley
Pea pods (the flat edible kind)
Peppermint leaves
Radicchio
Radish tops
Raspberry leaves
Red Leaf lettuce
Romaine lettuce (no iceberg or light colored leaf)
Spinach
Watercress
Wheat grass

Treats: Treats should be given small quantities to prevent obesity. Fruits in small amounts are acceptable (1 tbsp per 6 pounds of body weight). Sugary fruits should be given only sparingly as rabbits have a sweet tooth and may exclude more healthy food choices if allowed. A list of possible snacks are:

Apple
Blueberries
Melon
Orange (remove the peel)
Papaya
Peach
Pear
Pineapple
Plums
Raspberries
Strawberries

 

 

Healthy Storage for Rabbit Hay and Food

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PETERS HAY TUMBLER
There are a variety of diseases that rabbits can get from contaminated food. Preventing your rabbit from becoming sick is easier with a container for hay or food.  A hay feeder or food shifted is great for keeping the food off of the floor and ideal for keeping your rabbit’s food away waste or other contaminates.

One of my favorite rabbit feeders is the Peter’s Hay Tumbler.  This fun tumbler is great for keeping the hay in one place and “tumbles” the hay to encourage your rabbit to be active.  Just place the tumbler with the hay inside the cage or hutch and watch your rabbit have fun getting the hay out.  It is great for exercising and entertaining your rabbit.  When your rabbit is done with the hay in the feeder, the cardboard container can be reused or recycled.

Another hay feeder that is great for storing the hay off of the floor is the Small Pet Hay Rack.  This enclosed hay rack is ideal for storing hay and keeping it together in one place.  Your rabbit can take hay from the feeder as he desires, while the feeder helps to prevent the hay from becoming contaminated from waste or filth.

A great feeder for storing rabbit food is the Rabbit Sifter Feeder With Lid.  This feeder is designed to attach to your rabbit’s cage and slowly disperses the food.  The food stays cleaner and healthier for your rabbit.  It is made of metal and is easy to clean out.

Keeping your rabbit healthy is easier when your rabbit’s hay and food is stored in a place that keeps it away from contaminates and more.  For a variety of hay racks and food dishes, check out RabbitMart.

Slimming Down Your Overweight Rabbit

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FOR FAT RABBITS

If you ever wonder what food you shouldn�t give to your overweight rabbit, then you are not alone. Rabbits will munch on any type of food that you give them, but foods that seem ok for your rabbit may be increasing his weight. The biggest challenge for obese rabbit owners is checking the ingredients to make sure that the food does not contain ingredients that will increase your rabbit�s weight.

Avoid giving your rabbit foods that contain high amounts of carbohydrates and starch because they can make your rabbit sick, obese, or cause death. Food that contains refined sugar, chocolate, or is high in starch or carbohydrates are foods to avoid giving to your rabbit. Treat feeding should be done sparingly even if your rabbit is the correct weight to avoid making your rabbit obese. Closely monitor your rabbit�s intake to help keep your rabbits in check and especially when dieting.

If you like to feed your rabbit pellets everyday, choose a pellet formula that is high in fiber-rich timothy hay. Natures Promise Premium Rabbit Food is high in fiber and has fresh ground vegetables that are great for your rabbit�s health. This premium food is made with Timothy Hay that is the ideal fiber source for rabbits. Another great pellet food for rabbits is the LM Timothy Diet Rabbit Food. This food is high in fiber because it contains Timothy Hay and is easy for your rabbit to digest.

When trying to slim down your rabbit, choose a food that is high in fiber and low in protein. Look for a daily diet that is high in Timothy hay. Avoid giving your rabbit treats and look out for foods that are high in carbohydrates and starch.

Digging: A Common Problem for All Rabbits

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RABBIT DIGGING ISSUES

Does your rabbit like to dig at the carpet? Taming this natural instinct can be a challenge for any rabbit owner. Your rabbit cant help but to dig into carpet and other areas of your home and garden. By offering your rabbit items to �dig�, you can help redirect this behavior to a less destructive area.

Make an area in your home for your rabbit to �dig� in. Use an enclosed area or set up a play area with a small pet enclosure. This area should include a carpet mat, a grass mat, a small pillow, a basket, box, or other rabbit safe container to keep paper shreds or bedding like the Soft-Sorbent Scented Small Pet Bedding, some rabbit toys, and anything else that your rabbit might find interesting. You may even want to include a cat scratcher for extra fun.

When your rabbit is outside, try to keep him contained in an area safe for digging. A portable small pet enclosure is great for this purpose and may be moved around your yard when the scenery needs to be changed.

You won�t be able to stop your rabbits digging behavior if your rabbit already is inclined to dig, but creating a special place for your rabbit is essential for protecting your carpet or garden.

Caring for your Rabbit’s Teeth

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RABBIT DENTAL CARE

Taking care of your rabbits teeth is easy, but vital to the health of your rabbit. It is best to prevent dental problems before they occur because there are few treatments to help correct teeth. Your rabbit�s diet should contain food or treats that require a lot of hard chewing to help prevent a variety of dental problems. If your rabbit does not have a hard surface to chew on, he or she may develop a dental problem that cannot be fixed.

To prevent dental problems, provide your rabbit with hard, crunchy surfaces to chew on, such as the Chew-A-Lot Crunch Bar. The best treats to give your rabbit on mineral or wood chews. By chewing on a hard surface, your rabbits teeth will stay trim and will not become overgrown. Also, it is a good idea to periodically check the cheek teeth for uneven wear. If spikes form on the cheek teeth, it will become painful for your rabbit to chew, which could cause your rabbit not to eat and lead to malnutrition.

If your rabbit appears to be having problems chewing, lose of appetite, the tooth growth appears to be abnormal, drooling, or pain when the mouth area is touched, these are signs of dental problems and you should take your rabbit to the veterinarian as soon as possible. The sooner the problem can be diagnosed, the more likely it can be treated. Your veterinarian may be able to easily correct the dental problem if caught early. However, if the problem is severe, then there may be no possible treatment.

For more great rabbit products and supplies, check out RabbitMart for all your rabbit needs.

How to Prevent Your Rabbit from Chewing on Furniture and Other Items

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It is a commonly known fact that rabbits have the tendency to chew on things that they are not supposed to chew on when roaming free in a home. Rabbits enjoy chewing on items, especially wooden furniture, because it helps to keep them entertained and keeps their teeth trim and neat. If your rabbit struggles with this problem, try the following steps to help eliminate it:

1. Offer your rabbit fun wooden or mineral toys to chew on. By having toys within easy reach, your rabbit will be less likely to search out items that are not intended for chewing on. If your rabbit spends most of the time in the cage or hutch, set-up a small play area with chewable toys in your home for times when your rabbit is free to roam. This play area will be fun for your rabbit to explore and he or she will be distracted from chewing on furniture or something of importance to you.

2. If your rabbit is interested in a particular piece of furniture, move that piece of furniture to an area where your rabbit does not have access or cut off your rabbit�s access to that item. This works well and helps to save your furniture.

3. If it is not possible to move the piece of furniture or item, try one of the following techniques to deter your rabbit from chewing on it. One technique is to spray the furniture or item with a solution that tastes bad to rabbits. Grannick�s Small Animal Bitter Apple Spray is perfect for spraying on furniture and items that need protection (even your rabbit). Your rabbit should dislike the taste and will be deterred from chewing on the item. Another technique is to place double-stick tape on the specific area that your rabbit likes to chew. This works great because rabbits do not chewing sticky surfaces.

4. Supervise your rabbit�s time outside of the cage or hutch. Pick a regular time each day to let your rabbit out and spend the time playing with your rabbit. With you watching, it will be hard for your rabbit to get away with chewing on furniture or other items.

You may need to try one or all of these techniques, but do not get discouraged if you don�t have success at first. Rabbits are trainable and it may just take some time and patience with your rabbit.

Fun, Great Gifts for Your Rabbit

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RABBIT GIFTS

With the holiday season quickly approaching, it is a great time for you to give your rabbit a new food dish, carrier or hutch.  Your rabbit will be happy to have something new and fun to play with and will greatly appreciate it.  There are a lot of great products for your rabbit to make your rabbit happy and your life easier.  Here are a few of my favorite items for rabbits:

For a fun alternative to the traditional feeding bowl, the Vege-T-Bowl Orange Carrot has a fun, carrot shape and is brightly colored to spice up your rabbit’s living space.  It is made of durable ceramic that is easy to wash.  The carrot shape is perfect for any rabbit who loves carrots and doesn’t take up much space in your rabbit’s cage or hutch.  The Vege-T-Bowl Green Cabbage and the Vege-T-Bowl Orange Radish also make fun, colorful dishes for your pet rabbit.  Both of these dishes are also made of ceramic and easy to clean.

When toting your rabbit around town, a great rabbit tote is a fun and stylish alternative to the traditional pet carrier.  One of my favorite tote bags this season is the Tote Around Town Pet Carrier Bag by Sherpa Pet Group.  This tote has a classic shape in black and makes toting around your rabbit easy and convenient. The sides have mesh panels to provide your rabbit with great ventilation.  In addition, this tote is lightweight to carry and has lots of pockets for storing all of your essentials. It is constructed to be very durable and is made of nylon that is easy to clean.

Expand your rabbit’s living space with the Premium + Double Decker Hutch for Rabbits.  This double floor hutch will make the perfect home for your rabbit.  Great for one or two rabbits who get along well.  This hutch may be used indoors or outdoors and has plenty of room for all of your rabbit accessories.  It is made to be very durable and each floor has a separate hiding space for your rabbit to snuggle in and take a nap.

This holiday season give your rabbit a special new food bowl, a stylish carrier, or a cozy, new hutch.  For a variety of great products, check at Rabbit Mart.

Eliminate Bad Rabbit Stains and Odors

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NATURES MIRACLE ORANGE OXY

Having a rabbit as an indoor pet is fun and allows you to spend more bonding time with your rabbits.  Even if your rabbit is litter trained, he or she is bound to have an accident here and there.  So, if your rabbit enjoys living indoors, but you don’t enjoy the stains and odors left from your rabbit’s accidents, there are some great products that help to eliminate both.

For carpet accidents, treat the stain as soon as possible to help remove the waste from the carpet and reduce the chance of staining.  When treating the stain, use a stain and odor removing such as the Natures Miracle Orange Oxy Stain & Odor remover.  This fast-acting penetrates the stain with a natural enzyme that breaks down the waste and helps to prevent odors. There is no need to dilute the formula, which makes it easy to use in a hurry. For set-in stains, you may want to use a brush after applying the formula to help penetrate inside the carpet fibers.  Once the stain and odor remover dries completely, the odor should be gone and only a fresh orange remains.

If you or your family are sensitve to fragrance, choose the regular Natures Miracle Stain and Odor Removal.  This formula is made with the same powerful enzyme that is in the orange formula and works quickly to break down the stain and remove the odor.  It is also safe to use around your pets and children and may be used on carpet, furniture, and more to help rid you of the problem area.

Another great stain and odor remover for small animals is the Urine-Off Small Animal Spray.  This convenient spray is also formulated to penetrate the stain deeply and get rid of the bad odor smell.  It is great for small jobs and for use around your pet.  It may also be used with the Urine Finder for old accidents that leave a nasty smell.

Treating your rabbit’s stain and odor is easy when you use the right cleaning product.  The sooner that you can treat the accident, the less likely it will leave a stain and unpleasent odor.  For all of your rabbit’s cleaning needs, check out Rabbit Mart.

A Rabbit is a big Responsibility!

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Its important to understand the nature of rabbits so that their wants and habits are known and attended to.

Often, rabbits are purchased for children and are considered to be a lessor responsibility than a cat or dog. This can be similar to an impulse purchase to in response to a child’s request. Baby rabbits can be irresistible and are easy to handle for the child. Then quickly the rabbit grows up and takes on the personality of an adult animal. Information on rabbit behavior can be found in on websites such as House Rabbit Society and Rabbit Advocates . There are many positives for kids in owning a rabbit. It is an educational experience in animal care and behavior. Gentleness and love required when interacting with a pet bunny can give your child lifelong lessons on kindness and responsibility. After educating yourself, it will be clear to you that adopting a rabbit is a family decision and not based on an impulse. 

Things to consider before adopting

  • Rabbits live about 8 to 12 years. Are you willing to take care of the rabbit after your child grows older? Children develop different interests as they grow and may show less interested in the pet.
  • Mature rabbits prefer to be on the ground and are not typically content being carried around or being held for long periods of time. A child, trying to hold his pet, may get nipped or scratched in the rabbit’s efforts to get away. The child may become frightened and not want to interact with it any further or the pet could be injured if dropped. You can watch your child interact and hold a rabbit before bringing home a rabbit to see how they respond to the pet. You can make a judgement at that point whether a rabbit appears to be an appropriate pet for your child.
  • Rabbits are very sensitive to sound. Children and their friends can be quite noisy and active. This can place the rabbit bunny in a continuously stressful situation that leads to health and temperament issues.
  • Rabbits are not low maintenance pets. Attention to their needs on a daily basis required. Cage or pen cleaning, feeding, and daily interaction are required. It is unlikely a child will be able to take on all these responsibilities themselves. Therefore, consider the rabbit as the adults responsibility which can be integrated with the child.

Supplies needed to care for a rabbit?

Below are rabbit supplies you should consider before purchasing your pet. 

  • Housing: Cages and pens are the primary choices for rabbit’s living quarters. The enclosure needs to be large enough for the rabbit to move around freely. Consider the adult size requirement if your rabbit is not fully grown. You will need space for the litter box and bowls. It may be worthwhile considering a movable pen/cage in the case that your location needs may change. 
  • Litter Box: Rabbits need to be trained to use a litter box to keep the pen clean. If you are having difficulty you can start with a flat pan to make use easy for the rabbit. Upon success you can switch to a larger litter box. 
  • Litter: The litter should be dust free and safe for the rabbit if ingested. Consider litters that are organic such as plant fiber, recycled paper and wood. 
  • Bowls: Use bowls; one each for pellets, fresh vegetables and water. Heavy, flat-bottomed bowls work best so the rabbit cannot tip them. 
  • Water: It is a good idea to use a water bottle in conjunction with a bowl. This provides a supply of fresh water if one is out of water (or knocked over).
    Cage bottom board: If the rabbits pen has a wire bottom it is necessary to have an area with a flat bottom (such as a board) for the rabbit to rest on off of the wire mesh. This should be large enough for the pet to rest, stretched out, in all directions.
  • Toys: Toys are important not only for stimulation but also to keep the rabbit out of trouble.  Toys for small pets are sold at retailers. You can also use, hard plastic baby toys (rattles, key rings), a towel to push and bunch, cardboard boxes made into forts and tunnels… Use your imagination. 
  • Feed: Pellets should be high quality and contain at least 13% fiber. Store food in an airtight container and the pellets will last approximately six months.