Rabbits tend to munch and eat at all times. Since they are using their cute little gesture just to get whatever they want from their owners, it is truly hard to say “no” to them. They hop and binky all day.
Their activeness means you need to feed them with healthy meals that will supply their bodies with all the nutrients they need. With that, you know your pets will stay healthy and active for the rest of their lives.
While rabbits are food lovers, we can’t feed them with whatever we think they can eat. Owners should be careful and aware of what foods the rabbits can eat and what they can’t.
Likewise, everyone needs to know the right way of feeding the rabbits. You might be asking yourself if you’re overfeeding your pet. Perhaps, you don’t know how much is enough or too much for the animal. Read on and start feeding your pet correctly today.
How Many Times Should a Rabbit Eat?
The correct feeding time for a rabbit will depend on the recommended diet plan for your pet. This plan may differ from breed to breed and individual to individual. In general, however, a rabbit is often fed twice a day, preferably once in the morning and the last one in the evening.
Other factors, such as the food quality and the hunger of your rabbit, will affect its mood significantly. That best explains why it’s crucial to feed your pet on time. Feeding your rabbit at the right time is key to preventing agitation, nipping, and biting.
How long should you feed the rabbit? The amount of time that it will take will depend on the food. Outlined below are the most common and suggested foods that you should offer to your rabbit.
Grass or Hay
Your rabbit must always have a limitless supply of grass or hay in its cage. This animal loves to graze, and to compensate for its behavior, most of its diet should be in the form of hay. The rabbit’s constant eating habit comes with many advantages to its health. One of these is the amount of fiber it gets from grass and the digestive inclinations because a rabbit doesn’t know how to throw up food once it is in its mouth. Therefore, you must always make sure the hay served to your pet is always fresh and new to prevent potential health issues.
Your pet’s meal is incomplete if there is no water. A rabbit must have access to water day and night, just like how other animals do. If not, your pet will end up thirsty or even dehydrated. With its never-ending tendency to hop and playfulness, your pet deserves to have a bowl of clean water to drink. With water, your pet will quickly regain its energy.
You can put the water in a bottle or bowl. If your pet seems annoyed when trying to drink from the bottle, replace it with a bowl. However, if the rabbit is very playful and often knocks over the bowl, just stick with the bottle. Choose the most comfortable option for your pet.
The number of pellets that you can give to your rabbit will depend on its health. However, it should be 25 grams per kilogram of the rabbit’s body weight. The extent of time you should feed the animal with this kind of food will depend on some circumstances. If you fed your pet with more hay, then you should give fewer pellets. However, you can still feed your rabbit with pellets twice a day.
Bear in mind that your fuzzy pet is an herbivore. Although, there are some things you need to avoid in feeding your rabbit. Not all veggies are good for your pet. It’s best to give your pet at least 3 various types of leafy green veggies. The amount must be a cup of green leaves for every 2 pounds of the rabbit’s body weight. You can feed your pet once or in 2 courses: first in the morning and then the last one in the evening.
The fruits are often used for treats and due to their sugar content. Some of the veggies are not ideal for daily consumption like carrots. They are also used as a delicious treat. With this, it must be given occasionally and in small amounts.
Foods that Your Pet Can Eat?
Though your pet is an herbivore, a rabbit should not eat every kind of vegetable or fruit. Some of these foods can be harmful to a rabbit. Here are the foods that you can include in your pet’s diet:
- Mustard greens
Here are also the foods that you should never give to your rabbit:
- Iceberg lettuce
- Dairy products and meat
Foods Depending on Your Pet’s Age
There are several techniques in approaching the feeding strategies of the rabbit according to age. The kind of food a rabbit is still fed depends on whether it’s a juvenile or almost an adult. Here are the foods that you can give based on the age of your pet.
3 to 7 Weeks
A rabbit needs milk with quick access to hay and alfalfa. In the first 3 to 4 weeks of its life, pellets and alfalfa with just nibbles should be given to your pet. These foods are crucial to your pet’s digestive system, but in the meantime, you should give them to the rabbit in minimal amounts.
7 Weeks to 7 Months
At this age, you can introduce your pet to unlimited hay and pellets. You can also introduce vegetables, but only when your pet is at least 12 weeks old.
7 Months to 1 Year
Since a rabbit eats an unlimited amount of hay, it is the right time for reducing the amount of alfalfa that you’re giving to your pet. The pellets must be ½ cup per 6 pounds of body weight. Likewise, ensure that your pet eats veggies or fruits gradually.
1 to 5 Years
Aside from offering unlimited hay, you can also offer ¼ to ½ cup of pellets and 2 cups of different vegetables per 6 pounds of body weight. Before giving more vegetables, be sure that you introduce these foods to your pet gradually and see whether the animal likes them or not. Fruits must not exceed 2 ounces in amount.
6 Years and Above
If your pet is healthy and its weight is within the ideal range, just keep on following the diet plan you have been using for it. If your pet is prone to sickness, give it more pellets to secure its weight. Alfalfa can also help in keeping the ideal weight of your pet, but only when its calcium intake is satisfactory.
Other Things to Remember
Avoid overfeeding or starving your pet. As the owner, you’re responsible for the rabbit’s daily food intake. Doing it in the other way can be harmful to the health of your pet.
Just like humans, a rabbit won’t be willing to eat old and tasteless food. So, make sure that your pet’s food is fresh and always available.
Now that you already know what your pet should see on its bowl, be sure to follow the feeding guidelines. Don’t ever try to feed it with anything that is proven bad for its health.