Rabbit Awareness Week 2018 – Moving Away from Muesli
This year, Rabbit Awareness Week is all about promoting a natural, healthy diet for domestic rabbits.
As pets, rabbits are quite poorly understood and there are lots of widely-held misconceptions about their needs and how to care for them. Certainly the most important one of these is about what they should be eating.
Feeding your pet rabbit muesli can encourage selective feeding, which basically means your rabbit will choose to eat the parts which are high in sugar and starch, but may avoid the fibrous protein parts. This can lead to a number of harmful health conditions including:
- Dental disease
- Reduced poo which can potentially lead to gut stasis
- Sticky droppings which can potentially lead to flystrike
Last year’s annual PDSA PAW report showed that approximately 25% of owners are only feeding their rabbits muesli - that’s a lot of bunnies eating a diet which isn’t necessarily good for them!
So, what should your rabbit be nibbling on?
The simple answer is… hay!
A diet consisting of 95-90% hay is the healthiest diet for your rabbit. Their stomach’s are extremely well designed to get the most of eating fibrous grass (which they also use for their bed!)
You can also supplement your rabbit’s diet with some high quality rabbit nuggets and fresh greens such as dandelion, celery and cauliflower leaves, and occasionally fruit and veg such as carrot tops, pipless apple, banana and spinach.
The rabbit awareness week website has lots of great information about what to feed your rabbit, and advice about how to transition your rabbit from a muesli based diet. Let’s make sure 2018 is the year of the happy bunny!