Bugs Bunny loves to eat carrots. And with that, we assume that carrots are what rabbits ever eat. But then, carrots are only one of the vegetables that rabbits can consume and digest. Like any other pets, it is expected that proper diet be observed. They should not be plainly fed with grass or carrots for that matter. It is important to take note that a variety of food is necessary to meet the needs of your pet rabbit. And this food can be found in different forms such as vegetables, pellets and hays. This variety of foods can be eaten by your pet rabbit in combination. But it should be in proper proportion and amount to assure that it will meet the pet rabbit’s dietary needs.
Rabbit foods are sources of vitamins and nutrients essential for the growth and development of pet rabbits. Usually, a rabbit’s diet consists of foods high in fiber and low in protein. This specific diet is necessary to aid in proper digestion and prevents digestive problems such as diarrhea, etc. With this, it is important for the owner of any pet rabbit to be knowledgeable about various foods and its corresponding serving proportion suitable for daily intake.
Vegetables should comprise the majority of the pet rabbit’s diet. Basically, a pet rabbit must consume a total of 2 – 3 cups of fresh vegetable per day. If planning to add new variety of vegetables, be certain that the new vegetables should be added one kind at a time. This is done in order to detect any reaction towards a specific vegetable. The recommended vegetables are carrots, broccoli, lettuce and turnips to name a few. Also it is advised for pet rabbits to avoid eating cauliflower, potatoes, cabbage and beans for it is said to cause diarrhea.
Though may not be considered as a main source of nutrient, hay should be present in a pet rabbit’s diet. Hay, together with vegetables, is a good source of fiber needed for digestion. Pet rabbits may not necessarily prefer to eat hay immediately but this can be resolve by introducing hay slowly and adding it in every meal. Alfalfa hay, which is high in calcium and protein and low in fiber, and grass hays are commonly given to pet rabbits.
Pellets are recommended for pet rabbits due to its high calorie content essential for balanced nutrition. However, pellets can never substitute vegetables when it comes to providing sufficient nutrients. Pellet intake of pet rabbits should be regulated based on the rabbit’s weight. A rabbit weighing 5- 7 pounds is only given 1/ 4 cups, while ½ cup for 8 – 10 pounds and ¾ cups for 11 – 15 pounds. Pellets should never be taken in excess because this may result to obesity and weight problems.
Rabbits, like humans, need appropriate amount of nutrient to function properly and survive everyday. Anything which is taken less or in excess of a certain food group could cause harm to your pet rabbit. Thus, it is essential to maintain balance in terms with the food they consume.