The healthiest rabbit diet is unlimited fresh hay (Orchard grass,Timothy are great),a 1/4cup good quality pelleted rabbit food (per 5 lbs of bunny)and fresh leafy, long-stemmed greens, like carrot tops (not the carrots), cilantro, parsley and mint.
Here’s how to remember what’s best…anything we humans can chew and digest is a treat for a rabbit. That includes pellets and veggies. Treats can make your rabbit fat, unhealthy and shorten their life expectancy.
*These are general guidelines. Please ask your veterinarian to confirm if this diet works for YOUR rabbit.
- American Pet Diner Timmy Pellets
- Oxbow Essentials Adult Rabbit Food
- Oxbow Essentials Young Rabbit Food (for rabbits under 1 year old)
- Purina High-Fiber Pellets
Avoid rabbit foods that contain dried fruit, nuts, and colored bits, as these are unhealthy for your bunny.
Adults, teenagers and babies should have an unlimited amount of fresh hay daily — timothy, oat, or orchard grass for adults. Alfalfa is for babies only. Hay is nutritious, as well as critical roughage for prevention of life threatening fur blockages. A cat litter box filled with hay works well. Stuff empty, unbleached toilet paper rolls with hay to give your rabbit a project!
Provide unlimited fresh water daily, either in a water bottle or a crock that can’t be tipped over. Adult rabbits should also have an assortment of fresh greens daily. Make sure greens are washed and haven’t been sprayed. No beans, potatoes, rhubarb or corn. The closer to nature the better. Avoid yogurt drops and other sugary treats, as well as human crackers and sweets. A small piece of banana, apple, raisin, or berry will send your rabbit into bunny heaven!
If your bunny hasn’t been on a healthy diet, you will need to make the switch gradually. A rabbit’s digestive system is very sensitive, so avoid drastic changes.
Babies & Teenagers: 7 weeks to 7 months
- Unlimited alfalfa pellets
- Unlimited fresh hay
- At 12 weeks, start introducing leafy green vegetables, 1 at a time, in quantities under 1 oz
Young Adults: 7 months to 1 year
- Introduce orchard grass, timothy or oat hay. Decrease alfalfa.
- Gradually switch from alfalfa to timothy-based pellets.
- Decrease pellets to 1/4 to 1/2 cup daily per 6 ponds of body weight.
- Gradually increase daily veggies
- Treats should be limited to no more that 1 to 2 tablespoons per 6 pound body weight every other day
Mature Adults: 1 to 6 years
- Unlimited orchard grass, timothy or oat hay
- 1/4 cup timothy-based pellets daily per 6 pounds of body weight.
- Up to 2 cups leafy green vegetables daily per 6 pounds of body weight.
- Some rabbits may need more or less than these amounts. Please consult your vet for individual guidelines
- Treats should be limited to no more that 1 tablespoons per 6 pound body weight every other day
Senior rabbits: Over 6 years
- If sufficient weight is maintained, continue adult diet.
- Frail, older rabbits may need increased food to maintain weight. Annual blood work-ups are highly recommended for geriatric rabbits. Please consult your veterinarian.
Select at least three kinds of vegetables daily. A variety is necessary in order to obtain the necessary nutrients, with one each day that contains Vitamin A, indicated by an *. Add one vegetable to the diet at a time. Eliminate if it causes soft stools or diarrhea.
- Bok choy
- Carrot tops* (Carrots themselves are a treat)
- Collard greens*
- Dandelion greens and flowers (no pesticides)*
- Fennel Tops
- Mustard greens*
- Peppermint leaves
- Radish tops
- Raspberry & blackberry leaves
- Romaine lettuce* (no iceberg/light greenleaf)
- Wheat grass
* = Contains Vitamin A, please give ONLY one each day
- Alfalfa, radish & clover sprouts
- Beet greens (tops)*
- Kale* (!)
Treats – VERY LIMITED!
- Apple (remove stem and seeds)
- Orange (including peel)
Sugary fruits such as bananas and grapes should be used only sparingly, as occasional treats. Bunnies have a sweet tooth and if left to their own devices will devour sugary foods to the exclusion of healthful ones. Don’t let them guilt you into giving the a whole banana!