Sunday, July 1, 2012

PETFO: Bunny Basics (Diet)

Bunny Basics: Diet 
Pictured above is my very fat rabbit who I love with my whole heart, Annabelle. After getting her from a hoarding situation she learned one thing quite well -- to eat EVERYTHING. Having two rabbits is amazing, but having one rabbit who is a petite little muscle man and one that is a chubby lady can be a little difficult when it comes to having a diet which benefits both parties.

Water. Water. Water. Water is super important for both humans and animals, but I'm putting this first since it has been so hot lately. Oscar and Annabelle are indoor rabbits, but they still drink SIGNIFICANTLY more in the summer months than in the winter time. It's important to change water twice everyday and make sure it's cold. When it's really hot, I put one or two ice cubes in their water bottle.   

 For my rabbits to have a healthy diet and to make sure they are both eating enough I start with the basics -- Hay 24/7. Hay helps rabbits with their digestion as well as keeping their fur healthy, especially in the months where they shed, the hay helps the excess hair shed easier.

 My rabbits eat Kaytee Timothy Hay since they are both 2 - 3 years old they no longer need Alfalfa hay which is necessary for younger rabbits. I check their hay rack every morning and evening to see how much they are eating in addition to filling it up if it's empty. I typically only fill it once in the morning and the whole rack lasts through the evening.

(Oscar has always been a little camera shy)

I cannot stress enough how important it is to get the blandest looking pellets there are for your rabbits. The ones with all the seeds and colorful little chunks are great to look at and your rabbit will love you and adore you forever, but the colorful little chunks are chunks of unhealthiness for your little rabbit. My rabbits eat Forti-Diet Rabbit Food by Kaytee

I originally bought my rabbits food that looked like fruit loops but as I learned more about rabbit care, I realized how unhealthy it was for them. Instead, I add color to their meal by:

Kale, Broccoli, Cucumbers, Dark Lettuce, Parsley, Basil, Carrots (only right before bed when they go into their room when I ask), mainly anything easily accessible that I can get at a local market. For more click here on what rabbits can and cannot eat.

Alternative Snacks & Fruit
I personally give my rabbits raisins when they're being extra good or when I'm trying to train them (which is possible!).  The occasional strawberry, raspberry, or apple too is always great. Usually after they have one they're very hyper and binky ALL over the place.

Other snacks I give my rabbits are pine cones (make sure they are not sprayed with any pesticides) and crunchy leaves during the fall. These snacks are just fun little treats that are seasonal, but I can't help but pick up a pine cone when I see one to give to them!

And as a special bonus, my dog, Clover:

Happy July!

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