A well-rounded and diverse diet is key to a healthy pet rabbit. We carry a mix of the highest quality rabbit foods available, including those with Timothy Hay.
Baby and young rabbits have different dietary needs than adult rabbits. While most rabbits you will find at a shelter will be adults, sometimes the rabbits purchased from breeders or pet stores may be younger. And if you have a rabbit who has an unexpected pregnancy, you may end up raising some baby rabbits you didn’t plan for.
The health of your rabbit is closely linked to its diet. As strict herbivores and natural grazers, rabbits need to be fed a high-fiber ration to keep their gastrointestinal system going moving slowly and steadily. The diet must be at least 18% fiber, and 22% is not too high. Rabbits that are not fed a diet high enough in fiber are at risk of and : two of the most common causes of death in pet rabbits.
A Balanced Diet for Pet Rabbits!
Small Pet Supplies: Rabbit Diets - Drs. Foster and Smith
Rabbits are strict herbivores, which means they only eat vegetable materials. Rabbits require a high-fiber diet for proper digestion and to prevent enteritis. Most commercial diets are designed for rabbits to reach market weight quickly; therefore, these diets are high in protein and calories. However, many feed companies have realized the need for pet rabbit diets with reduced amounts of protein and calories to help pet rabbits live long, healthy lives. Volatile fatty acids (i.e., propionate, butyrate, acetate) are produced by bacteria in the cecum, absorbed into the bloodstream, and used as energy. To produce volatile fatty acids, rabbits require crude fiber of at least 12% to 16% DM, depending on life stage: 12% DM for lactation, 14% DM for gestation, and 15% to 16% DM for growth and maintenance. Pet rabbits need higher levels of fiber to help prevent obesity and hair chewing and to maintain GI health. A desirable amount of fiber for pet rabbits is 18% to 25% DM. Low-fiber diets can decrease GI motility, possibly leading to retention of food and hair and to formation of hairballs (trichobezoars). Rabbits cannot vomit hairballs like some animals can; therefore, blockages can be life-threatening. Animal feed does not have to be approved by the FDA before shipping. However, if a food company violates the law, the FDA has the authority to take action. The FDA recommends that rabbit feed companies follow the Model Regulations recommended by AAFCO. The FDA works cooperatively with state and local partners and with AAFCO to ensure uniform feed ingredient definitions and proper labeling. Rabbit feed companies should have veterinarians and nutritionists working to develop diets for pet rabbits. From birth until 10 days of age, rabbits typically nurse once daily; after this, they continue nursing and start eating solid food and cecotrophs. Rabbits are weaned around 4 weeks of age. Alfalfa-based pellets and alfalfa hay can be fed during the growth phase and then discontinued. Full-grown rabbits do not need the extra nutrients that growing rabbits need. Pet rabbits should be switched to an adult diet at 7 to 12 months of age.