Bugs bunny may have lived on carrots but, let’s face it, he could survive anything. In real life, your pet rabbit needs far better care especially when it comes to diet. In fact almost all major diseases in rabbits are in some way related to food. Diet even affects a bunny’s dental health.
For instance, a diet with proper roughage helps wear down a rabbit’s teeth, which is actually very important because bunny teeth grow continuously and need to be kept in check. Without proper roughage, teeth can develop malocclusion problems, which can subsequently lead to trouble with food prehension, as well as abscesses, anorexia, and gastro-intestinal blockages. The most common cause of GI stasis (non motility of GI track) is dental disease brought on by in an inappropriate diet.
What not to feed your pet rabbit.
Did you know that nearly every case of enteric (intestinal) disease is related to diet or feeding practices?
Contrary to popular belief, rabbits do not need pellets. Pellets cause obesity, soft stool and disruption of GI flora. “Gaseous” vegetables like broccoli & cabbage are also not recommended for bunnies because, while gas can cause discomfort in you and I, it can kill bunnies. Finally, seeds and foods that are high in carbohydrates can lead to dysbiosis – a microbial imbalance that kills the micro flora in the GI track – and could even lead to death.
The right diet for your rabbit.
Ideally, bunnies should have unlimited access to timothy hay, as well as 1 to 2 cups of fresh dark leafy greens and grasses a day. A full 80% of the diet should comprise of hay because long stem fibre is important for normal functioning and motility of the GI tract.
In addition, rabbits need access to fresh water. That said, many bunnies are not keen drinkers, so be sure that they can and do drink from a water bowl or bottle.
For more information about feeding your pet rabbit, or just advice on bunny care in general, I’m a bunny lover and would certainly be happy to answer your questions.
If you have any other small pets such as hamsters, guinea pigs, ferrets, chinchillas, rats, mice, gerbils and sugar gliders, rest assured that I’m a veterinarian right here in Richmond and Steveston Village who has experience with even the tiniest of pockets pets. So do be sure to call or drop by the clinic.
In addition, I take a holistic approach to healthcare. By considering both conventional and alternative treatments, your bunny, cat, dog or pocket pet has access to all the best options available.