Diet Requirements for Pet Rabbits

Mainstream media has led many of us to think that rabbits only like carrots. While carrots are an acceptable part of their diet, they shouldn’t comprise the entire thing.

Rabbits are very abundant in the wild. When they’re foraging for their own food, they consume all sorts of fruits, vegetables, plants, and grasses. Domesticated rabbits, on the other hand, are not always exposed to the same. If you own a rabbit and are concerned about the diet of your pet, you may want to consider the following:

Fresh Hay

Hay, of any variety, should be the primary diet of the rabbit. Loaded with calcium, Vitamin A, and D, hay is not only packed with nutrition but is also good for their teeth. It won’t hurt to mix the different types of hays every now and then, but be sure not to use alfalfa. Alfalfa hay is a legume and has way more protein and calories than what is needed by pet rabbits.


Water is very important for rabbits. Without an adequate supply of this, their intestine will gradually desiccate. It is often difficult to notice that a rabbit is dehydrated. This is because there are times they look hydrated from the outside, but unknowingly, their intestinal tract has already gone very dry. Be sure to let your rabbit drink plenty of water from a thoroughly washed vessel.

Rabbit Treats

When it comes to treats, rabbits need to have a lesser amount, as they typically have no substantial nutritional content. Giving these treats, while taken as a good gesture, serves no beneficial purpose and can even cause them harm in the future.

It is often difficult to lay off handing out treats, especially when you are training your rabbit to do tricks. However, one should try to limit it at best. Starchy and sugary foods have the potential to contribute to fatty liver, obesity, and other complications. Try to lie low on these treats and offer fruits like apples, mangoes, or bananas instead.

Leafy Vegetables

Next on the list are leafy greens. Pretty much any vegetable that is safe for humans is safe for rabbits, too. If you are not sure how much you should feed them, you can use the 1:2 ratio, which translates to 1 cup of greens for every 2 pounds your rabbit weighs.

Foraging Material

These products are now readily available in pet shops. Packets of flowers, twigs, and dried leaves help add some spice into their hay. By burying these in their hay, you’re giving your pet the pleasure of foraging, which is something that is innate to them.

Dangers of Improper Feeding

It is not a good idea to neglect the diet of your pet. No matter how cute they are, Rabbits, like many other animals, have the tendency to shed their calm demeanor when there is sufficient cause. Lack of a proper diet is known to affect a pet’s attitude, and you shouldn’t test them. Keep yourself safe by feeding them on time with a balanced meal.

Pet rabbits are pretty easy to take care of once you learn the basics and develop a routine. Like any other pet, all they need is some attention, food, and shelter. If you aren’t ready to spend your hard-earned cash and time on these furry little creatures, it's best to reconsider your decision to get one.

By Jordan Walker


About the Author
Jordan is the lead content curator for Coops and Cages as well as other pet-related blogs. His passion for animals is matched with his passion for “attempting” to play the guitar. If you would like to catch more of him, you can visit his Google+ or Twitter accounts.