Rabbit Awareness Week is organised each year by a coalition of partners, including Burgess Pet Care, various vet bodies and charities. Each year Rabbit Awareness Week focuses on highlighting one key welfare issue to help improve the lives of UK rabbits.
This year the focus is on rabbit diet, and specifically the problem with muesli style diets. Research has shown that muesli-based diets encourage selective feeding, where rabbits eat some (high starch/sugar) components of the muesli diet while rejecting the more fibrous pellets. This can increase the risk of dental disease, obesity and sticky bottoms (which increases the risk of fly strike).
High quality feeding hay or grass should make up the vast majority of your pet rabbit’s diet.
Fibre from feeding hay and fresh grass is really important for:
- Dental health – Rabbits’ teeth continually grow and chewing good quality hay will help wear them down.
- Digestive health – Fibre keeps a rabbit’s gut moving reducing the risk of gut problems.
- Behavioural Health – in the wild rabbits spend 70% of their time foraging, they need access to hay and grass to be able to express their natural behaviour.
Your rabbit can be fed a small quantity of nuggets and fresh greens as well. See this website for more information.
To change your rabbit’s diet, you should transition their food slowly over a four week period. Your rabbit should always have unlimited access to high-quality feeding hay and fresh water.
For more information about rabbit health check out our fact sheet. We are also offering free rabbit health checks throughout June at both our Torquay and Paignton Vet Surgeries.