Rabbits

Foods to Avoid

As you may already know, rabbits cannot digest animal proteins and there are also a number of plants that can be considered poisonous to rabbits. Read our hints and tips below to find out more.

Quick Tip

Not many people know that rabbits can be trained, this is great for their physical and mental stimulation.

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The Problems with Feeding Muesli

Rabbits fed on muesli-style foods will often selectively feed. This is where they pick out the high starch elements of the diet and leave the rest (typically the pellet /high fibre elements). Selective feeding leads to the consumption of an unbalanced diet. In addition, hay intake and water intake are lower when muesli is fed leading to other potential dental and digestive issues. Over 90% of vets do not believe muesli style foods should be sold for pet rabbits*.

If you are currently feeding a muesli style food to your rabbits you should gradually transfer your pets onto a hay and nugget based feeding plan over a period of between 14 and 28 days, by gradually reducing the amount of muesli and increasing the proportion of nuggets until they have completely replaced the mix. Remember that good quality hay and/or grass should make up the majority of your rabbits’ diet and should be available at all times. Rabbits should also be fed a small amount of leafy greens each day. Please talk to your vet for further information.

*Independent research, conducted by VetSurgeon.co.uk and VetNurse.co.uk, 2013

Did you know?

Rabbits have complex digestive systems. Food is passed through their gut and this is how caecotrophs are produced, rabbits then eat the caecotrophs and the food is re-ingested.

Did you know?

Rabbit’s teeth can grow at a rate of 3mm per week and this is why eating lots of grass and hay helps to wear their teeth down.

Poisonous Plants

There are also several plants that are poisonous to your rabbits, so make sure you don’t feed them to your pets and that there are none growing in your garden.

Some common plants that are harmful to rabbits: autumn crocus, begonia, black nightshade, busy lizzie, buttercup, carnation, chrysanthemum, clematis, cowslip, geranium, hemlock, laburnum, laurel, poison ivy, poppy and yucca. This is not and exhaustive list, if in doubt, don’t feed the plant to your pet.

Fresh Greens

Good: asparagus, basil, cauliflower leaves, celery, chicory, dill, fennel, green pepper, kale, mint, oregano, parsley, red leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, savoy cabbage, spinach, turnip, watercress, dandelion leaves.

Bad: Apple pips, avocado, carrots (whole), cucumber, iceberg lettuce, potato and potato tops, rhubarb (leaves and stalks), tomato leaves, locust pods and beans. This is not and exhaustive list, if in doubt, don’t feed the vegetable/fruit to your pet.

Quick Tip

Offer your rabbits plenty of hiding spaces in their home. Open spaces with no hide-outs could leave them feeling threatened.

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Have a question?

If you have a question, please email us or call us on 0800 413 969. Our dedicated consumer care team are available to answer any questions you may have. If you are concerned about the immediate health of your pet, please seek the advice of your vet as soon as possible.

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