5 Foods You Shouldn’t Give Your Rabbit Too Much Of
Written by The Rabbit Hole Hay Team
As we all know, hay is an important staple to our bunnies’ diet. Hay should consist of at least 80% of their daily intake. Hay helps wear down rabbits’ teeth and keeps their digestive track healthy. It also helps with foraging and grazing behaviors. However, hay is not the only type of nutrients they need. To make sure that we are giving them the correct food, here is a list of foods to stay away from or give in smaller portions.
To help calculate the correct portion for your bun, check out this Adult Rabbit Food Calculator! This calculate will help you figure out the amount of food necessary based off your rabbit’s weight.
1. Too Many Pellets
While pellets are delicious for your bun they need to be given in smaller doses. Too many pellets and not enough hay can lead to obesity. You’ll want to be careful of the type of pellets you buy your bun. The pellets should be fresh and high in fiber, a minimum of 18% fiber. Keep an eye out for pellets that have fillers like cereal, seeds and grains. These fillers are high in fat and sodium and too much can lead to health problems for your rabbit.
You'll need to factor in your rabbit's age and weight to determine the right amount of pellets to feed them. Juvenile rabbits (8 weeks - 7 months) can have an unlimited supply of pellets. Young adult rabbits (7 months- 1 year) can have 1/2 cup per every six pounds of your rabbit's body weight daily. Mature rabbits (1 - 5 years) can have 1/4 cup per every six pounds of your rabbit's body weight daily.
The greener, the better. Lettuce is a healthy part of your bunnies’ diet. However, we need to be careful which type of lettuce is given and how much. Lettuce that is darker, like romaine, is better for your bun because it contains good nutrients and can help prevent digestive problems. Light green lettuce, like iceberg, contains lactucarium and that causes diarrhea for your rabbit. When giving your rabbit lettuce for the first time, introduce the veggie slowly and in small quantitates, large amounts of lettuce can hurt their tummy.
As we are learning, too much of anything is a bad thing (except for grass hay!). The same thing is for carrots. Though carrots are what people associate with rabbits, (i.e. Bugs Bunny), they should be only a small portion of a rabbit’s diet. They are high in sugar and in large amounts can be unhealthy for your bun.
Our furry friends love treats just as much as we do, so making sure those treats, such as fruits are given every once in a while. Fruit should be no more than 10% of a buns diet because they are very high in sugar and can be unhealthy in large amounts. As owners we also need to be aware of which fruits are safe for rabbits to have. Some fruits, like apples, are great choices but the seeds and the stem can be harmful because they contain cyanogenic glycosides, which is very poisonous to pets. Here are some great fruit suggestions for your rabbit; melons, berries, apples (without the seeds and stem) and more.
5. Plants and Weeds
Letting our rabbits roam in the yard is always a special treat to watch. However, we need to be aware of the plants in the area to make sure they do not harm our rabbits. Some poisonous plants that are unsafe for rabbits and are found in most yards are: tomato leaves, Tulips, Daffodils, Oleander, and more.
When in Doubt
We want to be good parents to our rabbits so if there are any foods that you are curious about or want to introduce into your rabbit’s diet please contact your vet. Rabbits respond to food differently than we do and there may be some food that seem harmless but could be hazardous to your rabbit’s health.
Make sure that you rabbit's diet is made up of least 80% grass hay. If you already know what type of hay your rabbit likes you can purchase it from our store!
Not sure what type of hay you want to get for your little bun? Download our Hay is for Rabbits eBook below. You'll learn about all 7 different types of hay rabbits eat, their health benefits, allergies, and more!