6 tips for feeding your pet rabbit

Author: Canadian Living


6 tips for feeding your pet rabbit

Most pet rabbits love a little salad on the side. And that's a good thing: fresh vegetables can form an important part of your rabbit's balanced diet and help it stay hydrated. Sudarshan Deshmukh, Vice-President of the Ontario Rabbit Education Organization, shares her tips on feeding fresh veggies to your pet.

• Introduce new foods gradually and start by offering a small amount. Some rabbits tolerate vegetables well, but, in others, vegetables can produce gas or runny stools (gas may cause a rabbit to shift around excessively, sit hunched up or press its stomach against the ground). You will know within 12 hours if the new vegetable causes any of these problems; if so, cross that one off your rabbit-food list.

• Wash all vegetables thoroughly and make sure all foods are pesticide free — and never give your rabbit spoiled food.

• If your rabbit tolerates vegetables well, offer it at least 3 different types of greens daily (a minimum of 2 cups/500 mL vegetables per 6 lb/2.7 kg of body weight per day).

• Thumper may like one or more of these: Basil, beet greens (tops only), sweet (bell)
peppers, bok choy, cilantro, dandelion greens, dark green/red leaf lettuce, dill, endive, escarole, mint, mustard greens, raddichio, radish tops, romaine lettuce, Swiss chard and watercress.

• You can also try calcium-rich foods such as carrot tops, collard greens, kale, parsley and spinach. Although these contain less digestible calcium per volume than alfalfa hay or alfalfa-based pellets, keep in mind that excess dietary calcium, along with other factors, may cause bladder stones or sludge in some rabbits.

Avoid broccoli, cabbage or cauliflower which may cause gas.

For more information, visit the Ontario Rabbit Education Organization website,

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6 tips for feeding your pet rabbit