What Can Rabbits Eat?
Rabbits have specific dietary requirements to ensure their overall health and well-being. While hay forms the foundation of their diet, it's important to provide a balanced mix of hay, treats, vegetables, and fruits to meet their nutritional needs.
We'll explore the recommended breakdown of a rabbit's diet and the various foods they can safely consume!
Hay: The Essential Staple
High-quality hay should make up the majority of a rabbit's diet, around 80%. It provides essential fiber, aids in digestion, and helps maintain proper dental health.
The RSPCA recommends that hay "should be the main source of fibre in a rabbit or guinea pig's diet as it helps to regulate the gut flora and prevents dental disease as well".
Rabbits teeth continue to grow through out their life and eating hay helps grind them down so they stay in check and don't lead to issues. In short, hay is critical for your bunny....but what type?
Some oaten hay
What type of hay is best for rabbits?
- Oaten hay: Rabbits love oaten hay and is a perfect option for adult rabbits (those aged 7 months or older). Checkout "Is Oaten hay good for rabbits" for more information.
- Lucerne hay: Lucerne hay is high in protein and is suitable for baby rabbits or as a treat. Checkout our Lucerne box for more details.
- Timothy hay: Timothy hay can be used as an alternative or compliment to oaten hay. It is a grass hay native to Canada. These blog post have more information on Timothy.
Vegetables: Nutrient-Rich Options
Fresh vegetables are an important part of a rabbit's diet. They provide additional vitamins, minerals, and hydration. Here are some vegetables suitable for rabbits:
- Lettuce (romaine, green leaf, or butterhead)
- Celery (including leaves and stems)
- Cucumber (with seeds removed)
- Spinach (sparingly)
Feed a variety of greens daily - ideally 5-6 different types, such as cabbage, kale, broccoli, parsley and mint. Get creative!
This rabbit food pyramid is a nice visual reference to help you remember!
Fruits: Sweet and Juicy Treats
Fruits should be given as occasional treats due to their natural sugars, not more than 5% of their diet. They provide a tasty variety and additional nutrients. Here are some fruits that rabbits can enjoy:
- Apple (remove seeds and core)
- Kiwi fruit (in moderation)
- Apricots (remove pits)
- Small portions of banana
- Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)
Fruits should be offered sparingly, as they are typically higher in sugar and should not exceed 5% of a rabbit's overall diet.
To learn more about specific fruits and if they can be fed to your rabbit check out this comprehensive guide on fruits that are safe for rabbits, refer to this article from Hay Carter's Corner: What Fruits Can Rabbits Eat?.
Pellets:Pellets can be good for rabbits in small quantities, but they are not a necessary part of a rabbit’s daily food intake. If pet rabbits are given a balanced diet with grass-based hay and a variety of leafy green vegetables, they can still be healthy on a pellet-free diet.
Pellets should be fed sparingly and be included in the 'treats' category of your rabbits diet. Mix and match some pellets with a few pieces of fruit to keep your rabbits diet interesting for them.
Hay should make up the majority of your rabbits diet - 80% or so of their daily intake.
Fresh vegetables can be given to your rabbit everyday for variety in their menu and makeup around 20% of their daily diet.
Fruits and pellets should be fed as treats sparingly to your rabbit and make up only 5% of your rabbits food.
Remember, when introducing new foods to your rabbit's diet, it's important to do so gradually and observe their response. Every rabbit is unique, and individual sensitivities may vary. If you have any concerns about your rabbit's diet or specific food items, consult a veterinarian for personalized guidance.
To further explore topics related to hay and rabbit nutrition, visit Hay Carter's Corner: