Rabbit Safe Food Items: A Comprehensive Guide

Feeding your rabbit, a balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for their health and well-being.

While hay should make up the bulk of their diet, a variety of vegetables, fruits, and occasional treats can provide essential nutrients and keep your rabbit happy and healthy.

This guide will outline the Best food items for Bunnies to Eat, including the appropriate proportions and potential benefits.

Hay: The Foundation of a Rabbit’s Diet

Types of Hay:

  1. Timothy Hay: High in fiber and essential for digestive health. Suitable for adult rabbits.
  2. Orchard Grass: Soft texture and aromatic, appealing to picky eaters.
  3. Meadow Hay: A mix of grasses and plants, providing variety.
  4. Oat Hay: Adds variety with seed heads that many rabbits enjoy.
  5. Alfalfa Hay: High in protein and calcium, suitable for young rabbits (under six months) and pregnant or nursing does.

Proportion: Hay should constitute 80-85% of your rabbit’s diet, always available and refreshed daily.

Fresh Vegetables: Nutritional Variety

Leafy Greens (make up the majority of vegetables):

  1. Romaine Lettuce: High in water content and fiber.
  2. Kale: Rich in vitamins A, C, and K, but should be given in moderation due to high calcium.
  3. Bok Choy: Good source of vitamin A and C.
  4. Parsley: Rich in vitamins but should be fed in moderation due to high calcium.
  5. Cilantro: Fresh and aromatic, appealing to most rabbits.

Non-Leafy Vegetables:

  1. Bell Peppers: High in vitamins A and C, safe to feed in all colors.
  2. Carrots: Rich in beta-carotene, but should be fed in moderation due to high sugar content.
  3. Broccoli: Nutrient-dense, but the stems and leaves are preferable to avoid gas.
  4. Zucchini: Low in calories and high in water content, a refreshing option.
  5. Cucumber: Hydrating and low in calories, but should be fed in moderation due to low nutritional content.

Proportion: Fresh vegetables should make up 10-15% of the diet. Provide a variety of 2-3 different vegetables daily.

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Fruits: Occasional Treats

Safe Fruits (feed sparingly):

  1. Apples: Remove seeds and core. High in fiber and vitamin C.
  2. Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. High in antioxidants.
  3. Bananas: High in potassium and fiber. Feed in small slices.
  4. Pineapple: Remove skin and core. Contains digestive enzymes.
  5. Papaya: Rich in vitamins A and C, and digestive enzymes.
  6. Melons: Watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew. Hydrating, but remove seeds and rind.
  7. Pears: Remove seeds and core. High in fiber and vitamin C.
  8. Peaches: Remove pit. Rich in vitamins A and C.

Proportion: Fruits should be given as a treat, making up no more than 5% of the diet. Limit to 1-2 tablespoons of fruit per 5 pounds of body weight, 1-2 times a week.

Pellets: Concentrated Nutrition

Pellet Guidelines:

  • Choose high-fiber, plain pellets without added seeds, nuts, or dried fruits.
  • Ensure fiber content is at least 18%.

Proportion: For adult rabbits, feed 1/4 cup per 5 pounds of body weight daily. For young rabbits, provide unlimited pellets until six months old, then gradually reduce.

Herbs: Flavorful Additions

Safe Herbs:

  1. Basil: Aromatic and appealing.
  2. Mint: Fresh and fragrant, aids digestion.
  3. Dill: Rich in vitamins A and C.
  4. Rosemary: Strong flavor, best in moderation.
  5. Sage: Strong flavor, best in moderation.

Proportion: Can be added in small amounts daily to provide variety and enrichment.

Foods to Avoid

Some foods are harmful or toxic to rabbits and should be strictly avoided:

  • Sugary and Processed Foods: Candy, chocolate, or human snacks.
  • Toxic Vegetables: Onions, garlic, potato leaves, and rhubarb.
  • High-Calcium Vegetables: Spinach, kale, and parsley should be limited.
  • Nuts and Seeds: High in fat and can cause digestive issues.
  • Dairy Products: Rabbits are lactose intolerant.

Source: Bunny Vault

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