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Essential rabbit food for happy bunnies

Rabbit Awareness Week is between 18th & 26th June this year, so to mark the event we’re inviting rabbit owners to visit Strathmore Veterinary Clinic soon for a check-up with our vet nurses, to make sure your bunny is in tip-top condition.

This year we’re focussing on what you feed your rabbit and offering our advice about the best foods, as a balanced diet is essential to keeping these small creatures healthy and happy.

The right food can help rabbits maintain:

  • Clean, strong teeth
  • Normal gut functions
  • General wellbeing

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The best rabbit food is simple and fresh

Rabbits should ALWAYS have access to clean drinking water (changed twice every day), plus:

Hay – Choose a good-quality type such as meadow hay, timothy hay or orchard grass. Ideally, a mix is best, as this provides a variety of flavours and balances out any nutritional differences. It should be fresh, dust free and constantly available, as rabbits can eat their own body size in hay on a daily basis.

Dried food – Provide good quality pellet food. AVOID muesli-style food, as it increases the risk of dental disease, gut problems and malnutrition. If you’d like to know more about this, our nurses will be happy to explain.

Fresh food – Every day, morning and evening, rabbits need a large handful of fresh, washed greens. This can include vegetables like asparagus, basil, blackberry leaves, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot tops, cauliflower, celery, courgette, cucumber, mint, parsley, salad peppers, radish tops, rocket, spinach, swede, turnips and watercress. Anything new should be introduced gradually.

Fruit and carrots are NOT recommended for regular consumption, as they’re high in sugar – but can be given as an occasional treat. And despite the popular stereotype, lettuce should not be fed to rabbits, as some varieties can be harmful. You should also avoid lawn clippings, but fresh, growing grass is fine.

Danger signs if rabbits stop eating

It’s important that any diet or feeding problems are spotted early, as rabbits can develop life-threatening gut problems very quickly if they stop eating. It could also be a sign that they’ve developed a dental problem.

Look out for weight loss, runny eyes, dribbling or wet fur around the mouth and chin or dirty fur around the rear. If you spot any of these symptoms, or an obvious lack of appetite, give us a call on 01264 352323 to make an urgent appointment.

Talk to us about rabbit feeding

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