rabbit food triangle.png

Rabbits are sensitive critters with a sensitive digestive track to match. Because of their delicate setup and nature, rabbits have to keep a steady flow of food coming in and out of their body. Like most things, a healthy poo is a good barometer of Bun's health and will give you a good indication if something needs to be checked out by a vet. 

If you're interested in the science behind the digestive system of rabbits (I certainly am), there's a lot of great information about how a rabbit's system breaks up food and separates it before exiting the body. Here's some light, casual reading for anyone interested. 

The abridged version, however, is that a well-rounded vegan diet high in fiber will keep Bun in tip-top shape. 

First and foremost, ALL THE HAY:  For rabbits, hay is a primary staple of their diet. According to House Rabbit Society, rabbits should be eating at least one litter tray full of hay every. single. day. It's great fiber for them and helps keep their sensitive GI tracts moving along nicely. 

Honestly, it doesn't matter what kind of hay your rabbit is eating, so long as it's number one. Timothy hay is really popular, but I've found every rabbit is different. The OG Quiet One prefers Oxbow Animal Health's orchard hay all day every day. And it HAS to be Oxbow. We've tried giving her other brands and she turns her nose up. 

Another fun hay fact! If stored properly, hay can last up to a year. It is prone to holding moisture and getting moldly, so keep it stored where air can easily flow through and bugs can't start setting up a metropolis. But for folks who like buying in bulk, if you have a nice storage place for your hay, it has a good shelf life. 

Second is vegetables:  Few things in life make me happy like dicing up a fabulous salad for my foster buns. Green veggies are crucial for them. I like a good base of romaine lettuce and kale, but then I also like to mix it up and add some sprigs of cilantro or parsley, then maybe something fun like some tomatoes or carrots as a salad bonus. One of the many great things about rabbits is they're like mini compost machines; all of my carrot tops, zucchini ends, and strawberry tops get saved and added for any foster buns. 

They can't just eat any ol' veggie scrap, though - not all fruit and vegetables are equal, so be careful with what you add to their bowls; iceberg lettuce might seem like it'd be rabbit friendly, but it's really not. There are great lists out there (again, I gotta plug House Rabbit Society's website), so make sure whatever you're giving your rabbit, it's friendly for their systems. 

Some people think vegetables aren't important, but rabbit-friendly veggies have crucial vitamins they need in order to keep a balanced diet. I've fostered rabbits who needed to gain weight so I'd give them two salads a day, but for rabbits who hold a steady weight, having a salad once a day (about 1cup of veggies) is perfectly fine. 

Pellets:  I go back and forth with pellets. I think most rabbits after a year old could probably do without them, but young growing buns and in certain cases where a rabbit is trying to gain weight, I think pellets are fine. 

Of course, once again, not all pellets are equal. A good quality pellet will be ONLY pellets. There shouldn't be sunflower seeds or corn or other random stuff mixed in; that's added fillers rabbits don't need. Oxbow's Timothy hay based pellet is my go-to and that can be picked up at most pet supply stores. 

Fruits and treats:  These should be given in limited quantity. When I do cut up strawberry tops, I save them in snap container and give them to fosters sparingly throughout the week. Getting special treats are handy when you're brushing their hair or trimming their nails. Treats are saved for very special occasions since they're pretty high in sugar and that can lead to runny poos. 

There's a lot of other fun stuff you can give to your rabbit like certain flowers, hay braids, and chew sticks, but with anything, make sure you're buying from a reputable brand and whatever you give them hasn't been treated with pesticides. I like BinkyBunny for all of the fun treats and accessories I get for any of my buns. 

Always do your research before you give anything to your bunny (I'm always googling if rabbits can have certain foods), but mostly have fun seeing what they like! I never knew I could give my rabbits bok choy or watercress, but alas, you can! It's fun for you, it's fun for your rabbits, and it's also good for them. 

Happy soothing snacking sounds!