The nutritional needs of rabbits change as they grow up and so should their pet rabbit food. Baby pet rabbits require a diet that is low in starch, sugar, and carbohydrates because they can’t digest it. If your rabbit has diarrhea then you are probably feeding a food that is too high in these things which include grains, wheat middlings, grain by-products and soybean meal. Check the feed label before buying your pet rabbit food.
As a result many people suggest feeding baby rabbits timothy hay to prevent diarrhea. However, they do not realize that this grass hay lacks the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that baby bunnies need for healthy growth. Feeding it will prevent your baby rabbit from getting the nutrients found in a balanced pelleted diet.
The solution is to feed your baby pet rabbit a balanced diet that is high in fat and fiber instead of starch. This type of diet mimics “mamma’s milk” that is high in fat but low in sugar. Take care to make sure that the fat comes from whole oil seeds that are high in vitamin E instead of refined vegetable oil or animal fat. Baby rabbits should continue to eat this style of food until they are “teenagers” or somewhere between 4 and 6 months of age. Then you should gradually switch to feeding them a low energy rabbit food that is high in fiber (containing timothy hay) that is designed to meet the nutritional needs of adult pet rabbits.
It is important to continue feeding an adult pet rabbit food that is balanced and designed to provide the minerals and vitamins they need to maintain a healthy immune system, bone health, and an active lifestyle. If you skimp and just feed grass and vegetables they may develop mineral and vitamin deficiencies that lead to muscular dystrophy (meaning they will become partially paralyzed) or other nutritional diseases. Feeding treats is ok as long as they are not high in calories and they are only fed in small quantities.
It’s really that simple! Feeding the right type of pet rabbit food will ensure that your pet rabbit grows and lives an active, healthy and long life. You will avoid nutritional deficiencies and prevent costly vet bills. Furthermore, appropriately feeding these two styles of a balanced pet rabbit food will significantly reduce odor and messes as well as promote a healthy and shiny fur coat.
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