When it comes to human food, variety is very important. So it’s easy to forget that when it comes to rabbit food you need to stick to the basics. No complicated meal plans here.
Rabbit food is pretty simple, but there are some myths floating around the rabbit world. These have led to many people making mistakes when choosing food. And trust me, you won’t find all the answers in a pet store. Or in the garden.
So let’s clear the air of these common mistakes!
Buying The Cheapest Rabbit Food Available
It’s important to buy rabbit food from people who truly care about getting it right for your pet. If you buy rabbit food that is the absolute cheapest then you can be sure that shortcuts were taken.
This is the case with both pellets and hay. Companies can sneak all kinds of fillers into their pellets. Even buying low-quality Timothy hay will include fillers. You might be buying a bag full of weeds. Or crushed hay that your rabbit won’t eat.
When you buy high-quality food, your rabbit knows. They will eat it all up and get all the nutrients they need. But sometimes your rabbit can get tricked and they will eat pellets that aren’t healthy for them.
You know how that goes. Maybe you accidentally ate an entire bag of cookies. Only a rabbit’s digestive system is much less forgiving than a human’s!
Not Checking Rabbit Food Labels For Artificial Ingredients
You can spot low-quality rabbit food. You just need to take the time to read the label! Some companies sell rabbit food that looks like a blend of different foods. A colorful blend even!
This is not good. And it’s an easy mistake to spot.
If you’re looking at a bowl of corn, nuts, or dried fruit mixed in with the pellets, you can be sure that your rabbit is going to pick out the interesting pieces.
Corn, nuts, and beans should never be given to rabbits. Pellet ingredients should be mostly hay! Your rabbit’s bowl of pellets should look like just that, pellets.
The good thing about pellets is they can be fortified with some necessary vitamins and minerals, like vitamin D for example! So pellets aren’t bad. They just need to stay simple.
Overfeeding Rabbit Food Pellets
Too many pellets, even high-quality pellets, can cause obesity. Pellet rabbit food should be fed as a supplement to unlimited Timothy hay.
Pellets are less messy than a pile of hay, so it can be tempting to rely on pellet food for your rabbit. Don't make this mistake! Embrace the pile of hay.
Adult rabbits should be fed no more than ⅛-¼ cups of pellets per 5 pounds of body weight. However, baby rabbits can be fed unlimited amounts of pellets because they need more fat and protein than adult rabbits.
Overfeeding pellets to adult rabbits can lead to digestive problems. Their perfect diet is one that is very high in fiber and low in protein and fat. Ahem… sounds a lot like Timothy hay.
Too Many Fruits and Vegetables
This is the easiest mistake to make. And that’s because rabbits are so cute, and they love their fruits and vegetables.
Give the cute bunny what he wants right?
Fresh fruits and vegetables can certainly have a place as rabbit food. But they need to be kept to a minimum.
Bugs Bunny taught us that a rabbit should always have a carrot. But that was actually way too much sugar for Bugs Bunny.
An apple is a very healthy treat for you! But it should only be a special and occasional treat for your rabbit. The natural sugars in fruit can cause your rabbit’s teeth to rot. They also contribute to obesity and digestive problems when a rabbit gets too much!
Small Pet Select has healthy treat options that are made with Timothy hay!
Skimping On Hay
A common mistake people make is that they actually overthink their rabbit food. The truth is, if all you gave your rabbit was unlimited high-quality Timothy hay, they would be just fine! More than fine actually. They would thrive.
Of course, there are cases where rabbits have special needs but in most situations, a rabbit would benefit from eating more Timothy hay. Timothy hay should be a free choice food which means it’s always available to your rabbit. The far majority of your rabbit’s diet should be Timothy hay. So, when it comes to rabbit food when in doubt, go with hay.