Some people believe that if their pet rabbits enjoy rice cakes, they should be allowed to eat them. But rice cakes and similar carbohydrate foods are not good for rabbits. A steady diet of fresh pellets, vegetables, fresh hay and clean, fresh water will keep your rabbit healthy and content. Rabbits are strict herbivores, and their digestive health must be guided carefully.
Hay is for Horses (and Rabbits too)
Rice cakes and similar treats do not give your rabbit the roughage it needs. Fresh rabbits pellets and alfalfa hay or timothy hay are the best foods to provide it with roughage. These foods help clear out the swallowed fur that creates hairballs, as well as other blockages. Apple tree twigs also provide healthy roughage.
Your rabbit can still enjoy a treat or two, but only now and then -- never as a steady part of its diet. High-carbohydrate and processed foods, including breads, crackers, pretzels, cookies and cereal, should always be avoided. Be aware that many pet store treats are advertised as safe for rabbits, but are actually high in fat and sugar. Yoghurt chips are not good for your rabbit, and chocolate is a poison to it.
Safe, Healthy Treats
Fresh fruit is a safe, occasional treat for your bunny. While fruit does not have processed sugars in it, it does have fructose, a natural sugar that should not be overdone. Only feed your rabbit fresh (not dried) and freshly washed fruits that are grown naturally without pesticides. These can include strawberries, raspberries, apples without the seeds, pineapple and bananas. Rabbits also enjoy treats such as tomatoes, melons, celery, cabbage, carrots, lettuce and cucumbers.
Fresh Vegetables: A Rabbit's Delight
Choose at least three different vegetables to feed your rabbit every day, trying new vegetables in small amounts until you are sure it can digest them properly. Some healthful choices include basil, broccoli, bok choy, alfalfa, radish and clover sprouts, the tops of beet greens, brussels sprouts, cilantro, clover, collard greens, endive, green peppers, kale, parsley, mint, dark romaine lettuce (but not iceberg or light-coloured leaf lettuces), spinach and watercress.
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