The Complete Rabbit Care Guide
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"Discover Everything You Need To Know About Your Pet Rabbit!"
by Andrea Austin
Pellets are a great starting point, but they are only a portion of an overall balanced diet. Rabbits also love to consume vegetables, and many vets recommend giving pet bunnies a small amount of a variety of veggies each day.
Here are some veggies rabbits love:
- Alfalfa sprouts
- Brussels sprouts
- Green peppers
- Peppermint leaves
- Radish tops
- Wheat grass
While you may have seen bunnies crunching down on carrot sticks in the cartoons, its important not to give only carrots or to overfeed too many carrots to your pet. Carrots contain vitamin A, and too much of it can cause problems. On the other hands, vitamin A is essential to good nutrition, so aim for one item that contains it per day. Besides carrots, some veggies that contain vitamin A are:
- Beet tops
- Romaine leaves
- Dandelion greens
Be careful not to give your rabbit too many vegetables, as they are high in water content and can cause diarrhea or loose stools. If this happens, reduce or eliminate veggies from the diet.
Moreover, do not give your rabbit so many veggies that he starts to eat them only and neglect his pellets. Veggies should be a supplement, not a main dietary staple.
While you should give your rabbit more veggies than fruits, some fruits can be a nice treat for your pet. Only give him fresh fruit, never canned (which often has added sugar). Again, give only small amounts, as too much can cause watery stools.
Rabbits tend to like apples, bananas, kiwi, and strawberry. Papaya and pineapple are also great choices, as they both contain papain, which is an enzyme that helps to keep rabbit hairballs at bay.
Hay is an essential component of a rabbits diet. One reason why is that feeding a rabbit hay on a daily basis seems to reduce rabbits tendencies to pull out and consume or chew on their own hair, which leads to (sometimes very dangerous) hairballs.
Buy high-quality grass hay, timothy hay or clover hay. Avoid alfalfa hay, as it can sometimes be problematic and has been shown to increase the risk of bladder stones.
Like all creatures, rabbits need fresh water in order to survive. Change water daily or at least every two days. When you change the water, also wash the water bottle or dish thoroughly to get rid of bacteria.
You may want to use a water bottle that can hang on a cage, as this can reduce the messiness factor. If you prefer to use a bowl, make sure it is sturdy and heavy enough so that your rabbit will not overturn it.
Though it may sound funny, rabbits can actually benefit from yogurt just the same way that humans do. Yogurt is proven to reduce the bad bacteria in the body, balancing out the good bacteria in the process. Many rabbits seem to like yogurt and accept it as a part of a balanced daily diet.
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