Whether you’ve just brought home you first pet rabbit, or whether you’re a seasoned rabbit veteran, one of the most important questions to ask when considering rabbit care is – what do rabbits eat? Now, it’s important to note that domestic rabbits and wild rabbits have different needs in this regard – this article will be exploring what kind of rabbit food domestic rabbits like to eat.
Best Rabbit Food
So then – what do rabbits eat? Whilst pet rabbits do enjoy a whole range of different foods, there a few staples in a rabbits diet that are required to provide a good nutritional foundation:
Grass and Hay
Good quality grass or hay should make up 90% of a rabbits diet. This may sound like a lot (and it’s true that pet rabbits require an almost unlimited amount of grass/hay!), but rabbits have evolved to survive in the wild by grazing on grass and other green leafy plants. Pet rabbits’ digestive systems need grass and hay to work properly, and should therefore form the foundation of a rabbits diet.
Luckily, grass and hay are both relatively cheap and easy to come by. If you have a good rabbit run, your pet rabbit can run around a graze on grass to it’s hearts content in your garden. See our roundup of the best rabbit hutches available here. If you don’t yet have one, you can check prices on the best rabbit hutch here.
Whilst rabbits love to graze, sometimes it’s just more convenient to feed your rabbit hay inside of it’s hutch or home. Hay is cheap, can be stored easily and is found in all good pet stores. There are lots of different hays available, and you can check out our favourite rabbit food hay here.
There are a large variety of packaged rabbit food products available to purchase in pet stores, however not all of them provide the best rabbit diet. So called “rabbit mixes” are prepared with the intention of appealing to the owner rather than the pet rabbit itself, and are high in sugars and starches that can be harmful to your rabbits health if used long-term.
Rabbit “pellets” however are an easy way to provide your rabbit with the recommended amount of nutrients, fibre and protein needed for a healthy diet. Each rabbit pellet is formulated to contain an even amount of nutrients, so that your bunny can’t pick out it’s favourite pieces and leave the rest. You can see our favourite rabbit food pellet mix here.
Whilst pellets can be a good way to improve your pet rabbits diet, it’s not the best rabbit food – it’s important not to over-do it. Rabbits should only eat a small handful of pellets each day, otherwise they won’t eat enough grass and hay.
Can rabbits eat apples?
Pet rabbits love to eat fresh fruit such as apples, bananas, apricots and strawberries. Apples are a particularly good choice, as they’re high in fibre and provide a solid substance for your rabbit to chew on! However, apple and other fruit should be kept as an occasional treat, rather than a staple of a rabbits diet. The high sugar content can cause obesity if eaten too often. If your rabbit likes to eat apples be sure to cut the apples into small, manageable pieces to make sure that it isn’t left to rot in your rabbits home.
So – what do rabbits eat?
In summary, the best rabbit food requires grass and hay to make up the majority of your pet rabbits diet. Rabbits love to graze on grass and leafy vegetables in a rabbit run, and love to snack on hay in their hutch or home. Pellets are a convenient way to provide your rabbit with the extra nutrition needed for a healthy rabbit diet, but shouldn’t be overused. Fresh fruit such as apples can also be sparingly as a treat.
So what are you waiting for? Your bunny is getting hungry!