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Transitioning Your Rabbit to a New Food or Hay

There are many reasons why you might need to change your bun’s food or hay. For example, your rabbit could have reached adulthood, or you might have allergies to the hay variety he is eating. No matter the reason, according to both Best Friends Animal Society and the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), it's essential to make the change slowly. We'll explain why slower is better and tips for making the transition easier for you and your rabbit.

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Don't Rush Diet Changes

Rabbit Food Pyramid

When you make changes to your rabbit's diet it's important to remember how sensitive their gastrointestinal (GI) systems are. Transitioning too quickly may lead to GI Stasis or another health issue. As a result, the PDSA recommends implementing the changes over two to four weeks.

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Transitioning Food or Hay 101

The PDSA also had some wonderful suggestions for each type of food: pelleted, fresh food (vegetables), and hay.

Pelleted Food

🐰 Feed a small amount of the new food on the first day, mixed into their current food. 

🐰 Gradually increase the new food and reduce the old food day-by-day until your rabbit has adjusted to their new diet.

Fresh Food

🐰 Start off with just a tiny amount to see if your rabbit enjoys the taste and watch for any signs of a stomach upset. 

🐰 If everything goes well, slowly increase the amount every few days until it’s a regular part of their diet.


🐰 If you are introducing hay for the first time, it might take them some time to start eating it but keep persevering. It's well worth it for your rabbit’s long-term health. 

🐰 Offer it to them fresh every day and try different types of hay to tempt them.

🐰 You can also sprinkle some of our Herbal Blends in the new hay to "spice up their life," as the Spice Girls say.  We recommend letting your bun try the Herbal Blend first by itself before adding it to their hay.

Herbal Blends Sampler

Do you have any other suggestions to help your rabbit through food or hay changes? We’d love to hear about them from you. Please comment on our socials or email us.

DISCLAIMER: The links and information are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Small Pet Select of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual.

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