Bunny Eats and Treats
Let’s Start With Eats…
Navigating the right bunny diet isn’t too different from whipping up a fun recipe — one part “this”… 2 parts “that”… and WALLA! It’s really just a matter of getting those pieces down.
But sometimes, those parts can slightly vary depending on your own bun. You see, each rabbit may have its own specific dietary needs depending on how their body responds. It’s kinda like how some of us aren’t quite as tolerant to certain foods as others.
Well, your bunny may be less tolerant to certain foods, which is why we say there could be some trial and error involved. But as long as you pay attention to your own bun’s health and start with a simple rabbit diet formula we’re about to share, you’ll be able to nail down exactly what your bunny needs in no time.
So, we’ll make it really simple. Start with this chart…
This is it. You shouldn’t deviate too far away from this formula — 80% hay, 10% fresh veggies, 5% pellets and 5% healthy treats.
In fact, we found the only way you should ever make changes to this formula is by adding more hay or limiting the other items. Never take hay away from their diet.
The name of the game here is Hay, Hay and more Hay.
Technically, your rabbit can live on a 100% hay diet. I mean, that’s what rabbits typically eat in nature. And some house rabbits have such a sensitive little digestive system, that hay is really all their tiny bodies can handle.
But many house rabbit experts would say that adding fresh veggies and pellets to your bunny’s diet (if they can handle it) can make sure they’re getting a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals.
Now, a little more on hay…
How Do I Know If My Bunny Is Getting Enough Hay?
This part is easy peasy…
You start by giving your bun an unlimited amount of hay. That’s right! Hay gets free refills… it’s always “happy hour”. That means you never need to measure the amount of hay to feed your bun. Just give them as much as they want. That’s it!
You see, if you measure the correct amount of veggies, pellets and healthy treats… your buns will automatically eat the right amount of hay they need. And we’ll get to measuring out those amounts in a minute…
But what type of hay should you give your rabbit?
The most common types of hay are Timothy Hay, Orchard Hay, Bluegrass, Oat Hay or Rye Grass. And always stick with a hay that has low protein and calcium, since too much of those things can cause health problems in your bun over time.
And although you may have your own preference on who to buy from, we don’t recommend the big brand pet food companies. Why? Well, we feel they just don’t take the extra love and care to make sure their products are 100% safe. You really don’t know where the hay is coming from.
In fact, here’s a couple hay suppliers we buy from:
(Note: We get zero monetary compensation for recommending these brands)
– Small Pet Select
– American Gold
Measuring Out The Right Amount Of Veggies And Pellets…
First, I have a question… Do you know how much your bunny weighs? Do ya?
If you don’t, then we recommend grabbing a scale, picking up your bun (hah, good luck!), setting them on the scale… and have fun trying to get them to sit still long enough to get their weight.
But honestly, you should be taking your bun to a qualified rabbit vet who will usually give you their weight at every visit. (But that’s a whole other convo)
Now, once you have your rabbit’s weight, all you need to do is use this formula to see how much fresh veggies they should be eating every day:
1 Packed cup per 2 pounds of body weight
So if you have a 4 pound rabbit, you’d be giving them 2 packed cups of fresh veggies per day. But you may ask… “What if my rabbit is 4 ½ pounds or 5 pounds?”
We find that the safe bet is starting with the lowest amount per two pounds and going from there. Remember, your bunny can live 100% on a hay diet. Giving them a few less veggies per day will be just fine.
And in case you’re wondering, here’s a great guide from The House Rabbit Society on what kinds of veggies to feed your bunny.
Now, to the pellets…
Just like with veggies, you’ll need to know your rabbit’s weight. And since you’ll either have that from your rabbit vet or going through the lovely nightmare of getting your bunny to sit still on a scale, we’ll give you the formula right here:
¼ to ½ Cup per 6 pounds of body weight
Now, I know that there’s quite a variation there. But just like with veggies, start on the lower end and adjust as needed. Because remember… The name of the game here is hay.
The time of day on when you feed your bunny these veggies and pellets can depend. Some bunny parents give everything all at once, and some split it up into a couple meals per day. We typically do the 2 meal per day thing, but there’s really no right or wrong way to do it.
Just make sure it adds up.
Now, What About Treats?
We’ll make this part as simple as we can…
Give them treats sparingly. Just like how us humans would love to smash a whole bag of chips or cookies… our buns just looove junk food. So be careful.
We typically recommend hay-based treats and a limited amount of fruit — like 2 Tablespoons of fruit for every 5 pounds of rabbit.
And NEVER, EVER give your little bun chocolate, seeds, cookies, crackers, breads, cereals, pastas, yogurt drops or any other type of “human treats”. Some of these things can actually kill them. (I know… it’s pretty scary)
Your bunny has a primitive little digestive system that just can’t handle certain foods. We always say… When in doubt, stay on the safe side and stick with those hay-based treats.
But if you want to give them some fruit, here are some “bunny safe” options:
- Apple (any variety, without stem and seeds)
- Cherries (any variety, without the pits)
- Plum (without the pits)
- Berries (any type)
- Banana (remove peel; no more than about 2 1/8 inch slices a day for a 5 lb rabbit…they LOVE this!)
All good stuff!
Now, we have one last thing to go over here…
Your Bunny Drinks…
Water. Yup, that’s all your little bun should be drinking.
But see, that’s usually never a problem for bunny parents. The problem comes when talking about how you should give them water. We’re going to shoot it to you straight here…
Please DO NOT make your bunny use one of those water bottles with the metal ball to drink from. I mean, come on… Would you want to drink from something like that? It’s just annoying.
Rabbits actually drink by sucking up the water into their mouth. That’s why we recommend using a standard pet water bowl — preferably one that’s heavy enough so they can’t tip it over.
And when you let your bun drink out of these types of bowls, it’s actually sooo cute to hear them drink. Oftentimes, we’ll end up muting the TV when one of our buns starts drinking water. Seriously… you can hear it from the other side of the room.
So, hopefully this gives you a decent guide to start from with bunny eats, treats and drinks. But really, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to know more, subscribe below to get frequent bunny parenting tips directly to your inbox.