Rabbits eat a plant based diet. Rabbits pellets are made to give your rabbit a healthy diet. It’s important you know which pellets are best for your pet rabbit. I get asked all the time by people why their rabbit won’t eat certain pellets. So, why is my rabbit not eating her pellets?
If your rabbit isn’t eating her food, she could be sick. Or she might be bored with her pellets. Always purchase the best quality pellets for your rabbit, saving money isn’t worthwhile if it jeopardizes your rabbit’s health. Pellets should be predominantly fiber, the more the better. If your rabbit isn’t eating her pellets, maybe she needs more water. Last of all, if your rabbit refuses to eat her pellets, or much food at all, he could have GI stasis, an illness that rabbits are prone to when they don’t drink enough water or have a poor diet.
What Should I Look For In Rabbit Pellets?
Rabbits eat plants like vegetables, herbs, a little fruit and grass hay. They can also eat rabbit pellets. Good quality rabbit pellets should have at least 22% fiber, not over 14% protein, and 1% fat. Always read the label before you buy your rabbit pellets. Rabbit pellets are high in carbohydrates. Many of the commercial brands include a lot of alfalfa which is higher in calories and high in protein. Rabbit pellets are a great way to supplement your pet rabbit’s diet. But they are fine without pellets as long as you provide them with healthy vegetables, hay and freshwater. Many rabbit owners feed their rabbit’s pellets and fresh vegetables.
How Much Should I Feed My Rabbit?
It’s important to give your rabbit a certain amount of food every day. Overfeeding your rabbit can cause her to gain weight which can lead to health problems. Here are guidelines for feeding your rabbits.
Adult rabbits: Unlimited amount of timothy hay mixed with oat hay, 1/4 cup of pellets per day per every 6 pounds of body weight of your rabbit, several servings of fresh vegetables, 2 cups per 6 pounds of body weight of your rabbit.
Don’t give your rabbit unlimited pellets Overfeeding your rabbit can cause obesity or intestinal problems. It also causes rabbits to stop eating their hay.Hay is essential for a rabbit’s digestive health. Your rabbit should eat her weight in hay every day.
Why Is My Rabbit Not Eating Her Pellets
Sometimes your rabbit stops eating her pellets because he doesn’t like the flavor. You might need to change the brand of pellets. You can also try soaking the pellets in water so they’re softer for your rabbit to eat. Timothy hay pellets are also good for rabbits, because they are full of fiber for your rabbit’s digestive system.
What If My Rabbit Isn’t Eating?
If your pet rabbit isn’t eating, it could mean she’s ill. Rabbits can become ill in a short amount of time. Here are some things to be on the lookout for if your rabbit has stopped eating.
Check your rabbit’s water-If your rabbit isn’t drinking water, she won’t eat. Check her water bottle to make sure it’s working. Make sure the water is clean. Rabbit owners say that rabbits drink more water from a water bowl than a water bottle. The bowl should be made from a heavy material so your rabbit can’t throw it around.
Check your rabbit’s poop-Your rabbit’s poop can tell you a lot about your rabbit’s health.
- If your rabbit isn’t pooping or pooping very little, she could have a GI stasis, a deadly illness that causes the digestive system to slow down or stop.
- If the poop hangs together like strings, your rabbit could ingesting a lot of fur.
- If your rabbit has diarrhea, he needs more fibrous hay and a probiotic to help get her gut’s flora back to normal.
- Blood in her stool could mean he has an infection in her digestive tract.
If your rabbit’s appetite is off-If your rabbit’s appetite is off, but she’s still eating and drinking and he’s active, keep an eye on her. Give her a little cilantro or parsley. Also, increase her hay and water intake. She should be back to normal in a few days.
What Is GI Stasis?
GI stasis is when the substance in the digestive tract gets compacted and unable for your rabbit to pass it. Bacteria also gets into the system and can cause damage to organs.
Causes of GI Stasis:
- High starch diet with low fiber- overfeeding pellets gives your rabbit too much starch and carbohydrates. She needs a mix of healthy vegetables, herbs, hay and lots of water.
- Stress-Rabbits get stressed out. If its noisy and loud, your rabbit can get scared. Rabbits have heart attacks from sudden loud noises like a dog barking beside her cage.
- Pain such as dental pain, urinary tract infections or gas
- Lack of exercise-Rabbits need exercise to stay healthy. Allow your rabbit to graze in your backyard only if your grass is free of chemicals. Always stay outside with your rabbit while he grazes in case he wanders off or a predator shows up.
Signs of GI Stasis:
- Small amount of fecal matter pellets
- No fecal matter pellets
- Loss of appetite
- Hunched over as if pain in stomach
If your rabbit has GI stasis symptoms, take her to the vet immediately. Your vet will determine if your rabbit has an illness and prescribe a treatment. The treatment will include fluids, pain meds, antibiotics to fight the bacteria and anti-constipation meds.
How Do I Prevent My Rabbit From Getting GI Stasis?
You can prevent your rabbit from getting GI Stasis. Here’s some things you can do to keep her digestive system healthy.
Hay based diet-First, be sure your rabbit eats a large amount of hay everyday. Eating hay gives your rabbit fiber for her digestive system and keeps her teeth trimmed. Rabbits ‘teeth grow continuously throughout their life. If your rabbit’s teeth aren’t kept trimmed, he can develop health issues. Healthy eating can prevent GI Stasis in your rabbit.
Regular vet visits- Give your rabbit regular vet checkups. Your vet can look for any changes to your rabbit’s health you might not notice like infections or dental issues. Your vet can look for symptoms of GI Stasis plus other digestive problems which rabbits are prone to get.
Rabbit’s house- Evaluate your rabbit’s house. Your rabbit’s house should be big enough for her to stand up, turn around and stretch out completely. If your rabbit hops around inside your home, bunny proof your house covering cords, putting plants up high off the floor and closing doors to rooms where you don’t want your rabbit. Rabbits love a clean house. Keep her litter box cleaned out. Put straw in the house for bedding, a hay rack filled with hay so your rabbit can much on it anytime he wants. Keep your rabbit’s water bowl filled with water. Her digestive health is related to good healthy foods and drinking lots of water.
Can I Rabbit Survive Without Pellets?
There’s a big controversy about whether rabbit should eat pellets. Many rabbit owners say that rabbits should eat fresh vegetables, herbs, grass hays and water. They suggest that pellets aren’t necessary because they’re high in fat and carbohydrates with some hay. The other side of the argument says that rabbits pellets are healthy and should be given to rabbits at least as a supplemental food. Whichever side of the argument you land on, a healthy diet is important for your rabbit’s overall health. Rabbits are prone to digestive problems. A slight change in diet can give her diarrhea. Rabbits are also prone to stress and stress causes stomach problems. If you give your rabbit pellets, here’s some ways to incorporate them into your rabbit’s diet.
Treats-Give your rabbit pellets for a treat.They love pellets, because they are higher in carbs which taste good.
Extra dinner -Give your rabbit pellets as an extra part of her dinner. Her main food can be vegetables, herbs, hay and water. Supplement with pellets, just a few otherwise your rabbit will gain weight.
Training-Many rabbit owners use pellets as a reward when they teach their rabbit a trick. They don’t give her too many of these, but it’s a nice way to incorporate pellets into your rabbit’s diet.
What Kind Of Pellets Should I Buy?
Purchase good quality pellets. Saving money with cheaper pellets could cause your rabbit to get sick. Buy the best quality pellet you can afford, your rabbit’s health depends on it. Look for pellets with high fiber content, the higher the better. Compare the labels of pellets to see which one offers the most fiber.
Never purchase pellets with seeds or nuts. Some pet stores sell mixed, fancy pellets, but it’s best to buy plain pellets are healthier. Skip purchasing pellets with additives or grains which your rabbit doesn’t need in her diet.