Rabbit Nutrition

Your rabbit is an herbivore, which means he eats only plant material. Herbivores need to have food moving constantly through their digestive systems to avoid health problems. A diet of mostly hay provides the fiber necessary to do this. Add fortified pellets daily to round out your rabbit’s healthy diet.

Hay
Hay is absolutely vital to the digestive health of your rabbit. It prevents obesity, dental disease, diarrhea and boredom. Your rabbit should have unlimited access to quality grass hay. Unless the hay in your pet’s habitat is soiled, do not replace it. Replacing it could encourage picky eating! Your rabbit should eat a pile of hay the size of his body every day.

Rabbits less than a year old can receive alfalfa hay in addition to grass hay. After one year, alfalfa hay should be used only as a treat. Pregnant and nursing animals or rabbits recovering from illness have higher nutritional requirements, so they might benefit from alfalfa in their diets.

Hay Selection

  • Hay should make up the majority of your pet’s daily diet.
  • Resist offering the same type of hay. Offer a variety of hay for optimum health.
  • Hay is a product of nature, so it’s normal for each bag to look and feel different.

We recommend stocking at least two of these Oxbow varieties of all-natural farm-fresh hay: Western Timothy, Orchard Grass, Oat Hay, Alfalfa Hay, Brome Hay and Botanical Hay.

Pellets
A complete fortified pellet helps you make sure your pet is getting all the vitamins and minerals required for a healthy diet. A high-fiber pellet is best for your rabbit.

Pellet Selection

  • Choose a pellet designed especially for rabbits.
  • Pick an age-appropriate pellet for your pet.
  • Avoid mixes with nuts, corn, seeds and fruit. Rabbits cannot digest and metabolize these rich ingredients. Also, providing these tempting foods in abundance along with healthy foods could encourage your pet to choose tastier, less healthy foods over healthy hays and pellets.
Treats and Veggies

Treats are a great way to bond with your rabbit. You love giving treats and he loves eating them! However, the main purpose of a treat should be to encourage interaction between you and your pet. Offering too many treats can encourage your pet to refuse basic foods and rob him of nutrition. Contrary to popular belief, rabbits don’t need a steady supply of carrots and other sweet treats such as yogurt drops and seed sticks. Offer all-natural treats only after your pet eats basic foods. Rabbits also can have vegetables, but consider vegetables a treat. Vegetables such as romaine, bib and red leaf lettuce are good choices. Avoid iceberg lettuce and limit the following foods: spinach, collard greens, parsley, kale, dandelion greens and mustard greens. Do not feed more than one teaspoon a day. As with any new food, be sure to introduce new vegetables slowly to avoid upsetting your pet’s stomach and causing diarrhea.