Rabbit Food: What Should I Feed My Pet Rabbit? | Nature | New
A recent report by the veterinary charity PDSA found that there are around one million pet rabbits in the UK, making them the third most popular pet.
Yet despite this, many rabbit owners do not understand the nutritional needs of their pets.
The most important part of a rabbit’s diet should be good quality hay, accounting for between 85 and 90 percent of what it eats.
The PDSA report identified that 31 percent of the rabbits were not getting enough hay. Good quality feed hay, not litter hay, should smell good and be dust free.
A rabbit will consume hay equivalent to its body weight daily, providing it with fiber and keeping its teeth aligned.
The rest of their diet should consist of pellets and leafy greens such as spinach, broccoli, and dandelion greens.
Carrots should only be given occasionally as they are too sweet for daily consumption.
Grass clipping is also not recommended because it can cause digestive problems. I have seen many problems associated with improper feeding and almost all of them have occurred due to the administration of muesli type mixtures to the rabbit.
In these cases, the teeth are not worn out, and selective nutrition leads to calcium deficiency and a host of other dental and gastrointestinal illnesses.
l David Grant MBE was a veterinarian at RSPCA Harmsworth Hospital for Animals. Write to him at Express Yourself, 10 Lower Thames Street, London EC3R 6EN. He regrets not being able to enter into individual correspondence.