What Do Rabbits Like to Eat

Rabbits are quickly becoming popular pets for people with cat or dog allergies. Rabbits are cute, can be housetrained and require little or no maintenance. 'What do rabbits like to eat?' is a question that may have many new rabbit owners puzzled who want to feed their pet the right food, but aren't sure where to start.

Good rabbit food

When rabbits are awake, they spend a good deal of their time eating. Rabbits require a diet that is high in fiber, low in fat and sugar, modest in protein and with a proper balance of vitamins.

  • Grass should always be available to your rabbit. Depriving him from food, even for one day, could kill him. Grass is a source of fiber, which rabbits must have for their digestive systems. Not all grass, however, is good grass for rabbits. You have to be sure that the grass is dry and has not been treated with pesticides.
  • Hay is equally important to rabbits. It provides them with additional roughage for their bowels. Timothy hay is the most popular choice among rabbit owners. Occasionally, you can feed your rabbit alfalfa hay, but it should only be given as a treat, as this type of hay is too high in calcium.
  • Pellets should also be a part of your rabbit's diet, but used sparingly. Too many pellets are equal to you eating fries and cheeseburgers all the time. The food might be tasty, but it's too rich. Pellets should only be fed to rabbits in small amounts.
  • Vegetables are a tasty addition to your rabbit's diet, but should only be fed after the animal is six months old. Introduce vegetables gradually, as a sudden diet change might upset your rabbit's digestive system. Ignoring this requirement could lead to diarrhea and illness. The best vegetables for rabbits are carrots, watercress, parsley and wheatgrass. While lettuce is not exactly bad for a rabbit, it should be given as a treat, as too much might cause diarrhea.
  • Fruit is loved by rabbits and will make them love you. However, too much fruit can cause diarrhea and should only be given as an occasional treat. Feed your rabbit apples, berries, cherries and peaches.
  • Water is an obvious necessity for all creatures. Make sure your rabbit has access to water at all times. Depriving animals of water is not only cruel, but can lead to intestinal damage, severe illness and ultimately death.

Dangerous food for rabbits

Whether you keep your rabbit inside or out, certain foods should be avoided.

Clover is especially dangerous, as it causes gas. Since a rabbit cannot pass gas, he will bloat and die. Cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli are equally bad, as they cause bloating, too. In addition, keep your rabbit from gaining access to the following: tomato leaves, potato tops, rutabagas, honeysuckle, poppies, tulips, bluebells, buttercups, delphiniums, foxglove, deadly nightshade, snowdrops, fairy primrose, jasmines, primulas, dahlia, hemlock, iris, ivy, larkspur, arum lilies, anemones, daffodils and all bulbs. All of these could potentially kill your rabbit, should they be ingested.

What do rabbits like to eat? Take your cue from what rabbits get to eat in the wild. When in doubt, talk to a veterinarian or a knowledgeable person in a pet store.

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