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Leadon vale vets weight management programme

Weight management for your Rabbit

Lettuce talk about rabbit food...

Although the word "salad" is frequently associated with the term "rabbit food," your rabbit should not eat this type of meal. Your rabbit needs a healthy mixture of hay and grass of the highest calibre, as well as a range of vegetables, weeds, and leaves. Both grass and hay include indigestible fibre, which is essential for the digestive and intestinal health of your rabbit. It will also maintain the health of your rabbit's teeth. Put your rabbits on your grass to graze as long as they have received the necessary vaccinations and anti-parasite treatments, as this will give them exercise and a healthy supply of fibre.

 

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What to Feed your Rabbit

Your rabbit should be given fresh grass, NOT grass clippings after mowing the lawn. Your rabbit may get digestive issues as a result.

Add carefully chosen veggies, weeds, and leaves to the daily intake of grass and hay:

 

Kale and parsley
Cruciferous vegetables – cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, sprouts
Spring greens
Carrots tops
Pea-leaves
Green beans

 

Appropriate leaves and weeds include:


Dock
Clover
Brambles
Dandelions
Hazel leaves
Fruit-free leaves and twigs

 

Foods your rabbit should aviod:

Sugary treats
Tomato
Iceberg lettuce
Apple
Banana

The opposite of what your rabbit needs, the above foods are high in sugar and deficient in fibre. Rabbits require a healthy diet and constant access to fresh water! Water needs to be changed twice day, more often in the winter to prevent freezing.

 

Rabbits should be active!

 

Rabbits are accustomed to being outside in expansive areas where they may run, jump, and move about. According to PDSA research, 25% of rabbits in the UK are housed in cramped hutches with little to no room to roam. In order to avoid sitting still gaining weight, rabbits require space - let them exercise!

In order to stay fit and healthy, 3 hours of exercise each week is the minimum advised; however, more time is always better! There are ways to urge your rabbit to be active, for instance, you might encourage it to hunt for food as broad rabbits are accustomed to doing so. Encourage them to run, jump, and hunt for food.

What rabbits enjoy doing...

 

Gnawing 

It's crucial to give rabbits things that are safe for them to gnaw on because their teeth are constantly growing. They would benefit from little branches from willow, apple, maple, and birch trees.

Jumping

Given that jumping is a natural aspect of rabbit life, you might want to try providing your pet rabbit access to various levels in their run so they can climb and jump from them.

Exploring habitats

Since rabbits are inherently interested, exploring comes naturally to them. Providing safe toys for rabbits and making rabbit-friendly tunnels will assist foster development. They can't really explore new areas while they are in our gardens, so be sure to provide them with plenty of toys that are appropriate for rabbits so they can look around. To keep their interest alive, you can also cut holes in a cardboard box for them to go through and investigate or get them a rabbit-safe tunnel.

Foraging

Our domestic bunnies don't typically behave like this because we are their main source of nourishment. But according to the PDSA, you may promote this at home by creating "forage trays." Foraging for food would often take up a large portion of a rabbit's day. You can conceal their food beneath crumpled-up newspaper or recently-pulled grass (avoid lawn clippings as these can cause an upset tummy). To encourage this foraging impulse, scatter some food across a clear area of their hutch or hay-filled box outside.

Digging

Rabbits enjoy spending time digging! It makes sense that your bunny would want to dig deeply because they spend their entire lives in burrows that they have dug themselves. Purchase a shallow planter filled with soil so your rabbit may play with that instead of digging up your lawn, which you probably won't want them to do.

 

 

*https://www.pdsa.org.uk/what-we-do/pdsa-animal-wellbeing-report

 

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Leadon Vale Veterinary Centre Ltd