As pet owners, it is our responsibility to ensure the well-being and comfort of our beloved furry friends. In this blog post, I will explore certain products that should be avoided when it comes to providing for your rabbits, as well as suggest alternative options.
1. Water bottles VS Water bowls
When it comes to rabbits, providing them with fresh and accessible water is crucial for their overall health. While water bottles may seem like a convenient option, they can actually have several drawbacks. Rabbits are naturally inclined to drink water by lapping it up, similar to how they drink from water sources in the wild. This behavior is best supported by using a water bowl. Unlike water bottles, which require rabbits to press their tongues against a metal spout or ball bearing. Water bowls allow them to drink in a manner that aligns with their natural instincts, reducing stress and promoting a more comfortable drinking experience. Maintaining proper hydration is essential for the health of rabbits, especially during warm weather or when they are suffering from illnesses. Water bowls make it easier to monitor your rabbit's water intake. By using a water bowl, you can quickly assess the water level and ensure they are consuming an adequate amount of water.
Always remember to clean the water bowl regularly and provide fresh water to ensure optimal health for your beloved bunny.
2. Sugary store-bought treats VS Hay based treats
While store-bought treats may seem enticing, it's important to be cautious about the types of snacks we offer our rabbits. Just because it’s labelled ‘for rabbits’ doesn’t always mean thats it’s necessary or safe for them. Rabbits have sensitive digestive systems that require a high-fiber diet. Sugary store-bought treats such as yoghurt drops, seed & nut treats and salt licks, generally lack the essential nutrients that rabbits need for optimal health. They often contain artificial additives, preservatives, and colourings that offer no nutritional value. Fortunately, there are numerous healthy and safe treat options available for your pet rabbit. Fresh herbs like parsley, coriander, and basil can serve as nutritious and flavorful treats. Leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, and kale can also be offered in moderation. Additionally, small amounts of fruits such as apples, strawberries, and blueberries can be given as occasional treats. Always introduce new foods gradually and monitor your rabbit's reaction to ensure they tolerate them well.
As a general guideline, treats should make up no more than 5% of your rabbit's overall daily food intake. This means that treats should be offered in small portions and limited to a few times per week.
3. Muesli style foods VS Pellets
Muesli-type foods typically consist of a mixture of various ingredients, including grains, seeds, and dried fruits. The main drawback of this type of food is that rabbits tend to selectively eat the tastier, high-sugar components and ignore the healthier elements. This leads to an imbalanced diet, with rabbits potentially missing out on essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. On the other hand, high-quality pellets like Burgess Excel or Science Selective offer a balanced formulation that ensures rabbits receive the necessary nutrients in every bite. As discussed earlier rabbits have delicate digestive systems which are adapted to a high-fiber, low-sugar diet. Muesli-type foods, especially those with a high content of grains and dried fruits, can disrupt the natural balance of a rabbit's gut flora. This imbalance may lead to digestive problems such as bloating, diarrhea, or even more severe conditions like gastrointestinal stasis.
Remember your rabbits diet should consist of 85% grass/ hay, 10% greens, plants and herbs and 5% pellets. By making informed choices about their food, we can help our rabbits thrive and lead happy, healthy lives for years to come.