Pet Rabbit Diet
You determine your pet rabbit diet, which is very important. You need to feed them every day, make sure the food is fresh and that your rabbit has no problems eating it.
The easiest way to feed your pet a balanced diet is to use a commercial rabbit pellet. These pellets are made from alfalfa or timothy hay. When you buy pellets, make sure they are a nice bright green. Old pellets tend to turn gray-green or tan in color. Look at the protein percentage. Pets do fine on a 14% to 16% protein pellet.
Measure the pellets. Rabbits can get fat from overeating. This leads to an unhealthy pet. Small breeds like Netherland Dwarf rabbits stay perfectly healthy on 1/4 cup of pellets per day and a handful of hay. Baby rabbits of all breeds should have pellets available around the clock to support their rapid growth.
Hay is another important part of your pet rabbit diet. If your rabbit gets alfalfa pellets, give him timothy, oat or orchard grass hay. If you give your rabbit alfalfa pellets and alfalfa hay, they can get too much of the same nutrients.
Hay also provides fiber, which keeps your pet's digestive system healthy. Rabbits clean themselves like cats, so they swallow fur. The hay moves that fur through their system before it can form a mass.
Rabbits cannot spit up fur balls, so fiber is really important. Hay also entertains your rabbit. Chewing on strands of hay is a great way for your rabbit to spend his time when he's not sleeping or playing. To make it really entertaining, try stuffing some hay into an empty toilet paper roll. Your rabbit will have a wonderful time chewing and pulling.
Some people like to give their rabbits fresh vegetables. Your rabbit will enjoy it, but too much can give your pet diarrhea or other intestinal problems. Fresh foods should be limited to leafy or woody treats, like dandelion leaves, blackberry leaves, spinach, carrot tops, parsley and unsprayed apple tree twigs.
Herbs and wild greens offer more nutrition than garden vegetables. Keep the fruit to a minimum. A small slice of apple is more than enough sugar for one treat. Too many sweet treats can upset the gut flora and give your rabbit an upset digestive system.
Pet store treats are usually lacking in nutrition. Likewise, you don't want to buy pellets with colorful bits in it. The colorful bits are put in for your benefit, not your pet's. You are better off getting plain rabbit pellets that are a fresh green color.
If you notice your pet is not eating normally, see a vet with rabbit experience about your pet rabbit diet. The rabbit may have a digestive problem or they may have a dental issue. Attending to these problems early is important to resolving them.
Keep a close eye on your pet at all times. Rabbits are very good about hiding how they feel until it has progressed to an advanced state. If you keep track of what your pet eats, you'll be able to catch any problems early.
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