Over 80% of UK pet rabbits are suspected to not be eating the correct diet. This failure is due mostly to Rabbit Muesli which is typically a sugary, incomplete diet. Rabbits are fussy and will often eat only their favourite parts of the muesli and leave out essential nutrients. Muesli also causes serious dental issues as it does not wear down their teeth as other foods do.
We recommend switching your rabbit to a diet of:
- 85% fresh hay and grass. As a general rule, your rabbit should consume its own size in hay or grass every day. While fresh grass is the best option, we also recommend good quality dry hay such as Timothy or Meadow hay. You can buy this online or from pet shops, but do make sure that it is free of grit, dust and damp.
- 10% fresh washed vegetables and herbs. See a full list of safe and recommended options compiled by Rabbit Welfare UK here.
- 5% of supplementary rabbit nuggets. The best quality you can afford, and remember to follow the instructions on the bag when feeding. Rabbit muesli, pellets or nuggets should never be given as a substitute to hay or grass.
- Rabbits should always have access to fresh clean drinking water.
If you are changing your rabbits diet, please do this gradually, over the course of 2-4 weeks, by replacing small amounts of muesli with hay and grass and leafy greens.
We also recommend that you avoid giving carrots and fruit to your bunny. Contrary to popular belief, carrots are actually incredibly high is sugar. A carrot for a rabbit is like a whole bar of chocolate for a human! Too many carrots can cause weight gain and gut problems – so give them to your bunnies only as special treats.
If you have questions about your rabbits’ diet, or you are concerned that they are not receiving all of the required nutrients, please do not hesitate to get in touch and have a chat with a member of our veterinary team.
Further information resources:
- BVA leaflet- https://www.bva.co.uk/uploadedFiles/Content/
- RSPCA – https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/rabbits/diet
- Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund – https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rabbit-diet/
- Fairly Beloved Animal Care – http://fairlybelovedrabbitcare.org/