When you’re feeding your pet rabbit you may be inclined just to use pellets. A diet high in pellets can lead to health problems so you will need to substitute other things in as well. Here are some other foods that should be included according to Lianne McLeod, DVM of About.com:
While they may not eat it at first, having hay in their cage is important to a rabbit’s diet. Whether it’s timothy, oat or alfalfa grass, rabbits should be eating some of it by the time they are 6 months old. Eventually alfalfa should be decreased because it is usually intended for younger rabbits.
Who could forget about vegetables, especially the carrots? According to McLeod, vegetables, not pellets, should be making up the majority of a rabbit’s diet. She recommends 2-4 cups of fresh vegetables a day. However, it shouldn’t be just carrots. A variety of veggies like parsley, broccoli and romaine lettuce are all great for a rabbit. McLeod recommends avoiding beans, cabbage, cauliflower, potatoes and rhubarb. Make sure that your rabbit is introduced to vegetables slowly and that no ill-effects happen.
Rabbits like fruit as well and as a treat you can give them up to 1 or 2 tablespoons per day if you choose to.
The role of pellets
As discussed, pellets can be poor for a rabbit’s health and cause problems with obesity and their digestion. However, they can also be good in moderation when fed in conjunction with the vegetable diet above.