|Dahlia came to us in April from the humane society.|
|Jasmine also came to us from the humane society. She and Dahlia were surrendered by the same home.|
You take your new bunny home, and he is just the cutest thing you've ever seen. He gobbles down his pellets. He stands up and begs for treats. How can you resist? If you haven't done research on proper bunny diet, chances are you are feeding your new friend food that will eventually kill him.
What do you feed your bunny? Does it say "Fiesta", "Gourmet", or "Garden Blend"? Does it look anything like this?
Is the answer yes? THEN YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR BUNNY'S DIET.
|A while back, we had a guinea pig surrendered with all of these items. This is everything you DON'T want to feed your guinea pig.|
Don't forget - our furry friends need plenty of exercise too. Just like us, if they never get to move around, they gain weight. Make sure your companion gets plenty of out of cage time each day. And trade in that little cage for a spacious pen, so they can move around even when they can't be out and about in the house.
How do I know if my bunny is overweight?
The best thing to do is to take your bunny to a rabbit-savvy vet for a checkup. Your vet can give you guidance on whether your pet is at a healthy weight or not. For a start however, you can take a look at this guide:
Of course, sometimes you can just tell.
|Another recent arrival|
Okay, I'll admit that even all of us "healthy bunny weight" advocates make comments about the cute chubby bunnies. But we also know that they need to go on a "bunny diet". The effects of bunny obesity are very real and very hazardous.
According to an article on the House Rabbit Society website, obesity can cause these problems:
- Cecal smearing (bunny is not able to reach cecotropes)
- Fatty liver disease
- Sore feet
- Heart problems
- Lung problems
- Bladder sludge
- Difficulties in reading radiographs
- More complicated surgery
Okay, I admit my bunny is overweight. What do I do about it?
One of the best things to do is talk about any major diet change with your rabbit vet. You can start by cutting out any unhealthy treats. Are you someone who feeds lots of carrots? Carrots actually have a lot of sugar, and that surprises most people. They should be considered a treat. Throw out the yogurt drops and honey/seed sticks. You can stop all pellets for a bit and just feed hay along with their daily salad. One thing you don't want to do is introduce a bunch of new food at the same time, as this can upset your bunny's digestive system. Introduce new foods slowly.
In the end, your adult rabbit's diet should look like this:
- Unlimited amount of grass hay (timothy, orchard grass, etc. - NOT alfalfa)
- A limited amount of high-fiber, low-fat PLAIN pellet. Use a measuring cup so you know exactly how much your rabbit is getting each day. HRS recommends 1/4 to 1/2 cup per 6 lbs of body weight for an adult rabbit. Click this link for details.
- A minimum of 2 cups of greens per 6 lbs of body weight. Again, click this link for HRS recommendations.
- HRS recommends no more than 2 oz of fruit per 6 lbs of body weight per day.
|"Pumpkin Bites" from the Bunspace Store. Bunnies love these!|
In short, we all know that it's hard to say "no" to that cute little begging bunny face sometimes, but it's so much better to keep your pet healthy. Believe me, they will be much happier in the long-term for it.