Over 1 million households in the UK own 1 or more rabbits, but most of these owners don’t know the correct diet and their proportions to help keep the rabbit happy and healthy.
At least 85-90% of the rabbit’s diet should consist of hay and/or grass and they should be fed roughly the same amount as the size of the rabbit. Most Bunny owners tend to feed them on a generic rabbit food which can cause long term complications such as dental, digestive and weight problems.
The hay helps to grind the rabbits teeth down preventing dental problems such as spurs, which if not treated quickly can cause the rabbit to have digestive problems such as gut stasis, which is the number 1 cause of death for rabbits (23%). The digestive tract has to always be digesting food for the rabbit to stay in tip top condition, the hay takes a long time to digest properly therefore ensuring there is always some food in the digestive tract.
Rabbits can be selective feeders so if a rabbit is being fed on muesli based food, they can pick out their favourite parts. This means that the rabbit is not getting all the nutrients that it needs, food is being wasted and it can also lead on to obesity, then teeth problems and then gut stasis. Obesity is commonly seen in rabbits. If obese this can evolve in to joint problems, inability to groom, flystrike and even a short lifespan.
If you are unsure about your rabbit’s diet and what to feed, pop in to see us at The Vet where we can recommend what’s best for your furry friend and give them a full health check.