Healthy Eating for Pet Rabbits
This week, advice from Dr. Keri Franco
Help keep your pet rabbit healthy by feeding an appropriate diet. Rabbits need a high fiber, hay-based diet. Young animals can eat alfalfa, but adults should be fed timothy or oat hay. Hay-based rabbit pellets are fine, but should not be the sole source of nutrition. Aim for one-eighth to one-quarter cup of pellets per five pounds of body weight per day in addition to unlimited fresh hay, which should always be available.
Also, one to two cups of vegetables per five pounds of body weight can be given daily. Feed a variety of dark leafy greens and avoid vegetables high in starch and sugars. Fresh fruit should be limited to one-to-two tablespoons per five pounds of body weight per day. Feed high-fiber fruits such as apple, blueberry, and melon, and avoid sugary fruits such as bananas and grapes. Rabbits have a sweet tooth and will favor these fruits over healthier varieties. For a list of recommended vegetables, visit the house rabbit society’s webpage at www.rabbit.org or contact your veterinarian. Introduce any new foods gradually, one item at a time. A healthy, hay based diet can keep your rabbit’s teeth and digestive tract in good health throughout his or her life.
Dr. Keri Franco, is an associate at Crescenta Valley Veterinary Hospital. She has six years experience, including a year long internship in Zoo, Exotic and Wildlife animals. CV Vet Hospital is located at 3254 Foothill Blvd. La Crescenta. (818) 249-0022 CVVET.com