Rabbit Food Buying Guide

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Rabbit Food Buying Guide

Rabbits are an enjoyable pet to bond with and look after, but like any pet they need the right nutrition to ensure that their health is at its best. There is a range of rabbit food available in normal stores and online, which some buyers may have difficulty finding.


A buyer may not also know what is suitable for their rabbit, or what type of feed is needed for which season. This guide aims to inform the reader about the different types of rabbit food that is available and how to purchase rabbit food on eBay.

Introduction to a Rabbit’s Dietary Needs

In the wild, rabbits tend to live on a diet of fresh grass, weeds, fruit and leaves. This diet is similarly replicated by dried bought foods. The main focus of a rabbit’s diet is high fibre and rabbits will need to eat a lot of hay, which can make up to 75% of their dairy requirements.

Feeding a rabbit the wrong food can cause health problems, such as misaligned teeth and problems with obesity and digestive conditions. As a rabbit’s teeth continually grows, it will need hay or grass type foods to help wear down them down. The hay will also aid digestion with other food.


Muesli style foods are not ideal food for rabbits, as these can cause teeth and digestive problems for the animal. The common myths of rabbits eating only carrots and lettuce are untrue, and these foods only supplement a rabbit’s diet.

How to Decide What Food Your Rabbit Needs

It is vital to balance what the rabbit eats every day, as eating too much pellet/commercial food can lead the rabbit to gaining weight and not eating enough hay. The most common factors when deciding what to feed a rabbit will be:

· The Rabbit’s current size and weight

· The season, and if the rabbit is kept inside or outside.

· Age of the rabbit

· How much exercise it gets

· If the rabbit is nursing bunnies or is pregnant

These are the main factors to consider, but if the rabbit has an existing medical condition or illness it is advised that the buyer consults an experienced animal expert about what they should feed their rabbit. Basic rabbit food can be broken down into the main three groups:

· Hay

· Dry/Mixed food

· Fresh ‘greens’ like fresh vegetables.

The amount to feed your pet will differ in relation to such factors as the rabbit’s age and its level of activity, etc. The buyer should check with their vet what ‘greens’ are suitable to feed to their rabbit too.

How Much to Feed a Rabbit

The following table breaks down how much a rabbit should be fed, depending on their weight. This is a guideline only:

Size of Rabbit

Weight of Rabbit

Ration of Dried Food

Dwarf

500gm-1kg

25g-40g

Small

1kg-2kg

40g-70g

Medium

2kg-4kg

70g-115g

Large/Giant.

4kg-8kg

115g-200g

This portion of food should be served in a heavy, earthenware bowl, which should be cleaned out after every use. Rabbits will need feeding twice a day: in the morning and in the evening. The rabbit can be given fresh fruit and vegetables during the day to supplement its diet. It should be encouraged to eat hay; generally enough hay for a rabbit is amount the same size as the rabbit itself. Rabbits that are kept outside, especially in cooler climates, may need more pellet feed to help them maintain their weight, as they are burning energy to keep warm.

It’s important not to change rabbit’s diet instantly, as this could cause upset for the animal’s stomach. It is advised to mix the new food in gradually over the period of a week or two until the new food is completely introduced.

Having the rabbit weighed regularly ensures that any dietary changes can be monitored, and if the rabbit is gaining weight the problem can be addressed immediately.

The Different Types of Rabbit Food

Dried rabbit food isn’t difficult to source on the Internet, but there are many brands available and it is important to understand what the different types are. There are a few terms the buyer needs to understand when selecting rabbit food:

· ‘Complete’ means that all of the rabbit’s needed daily nutrition is in this food.

· ‘Complementary’ means that the food doesn’t contain all of the nutrition the rabbit needs.

The following table lists the most common rabbit food found:

Pellets/ Nuggets

These are specially blended to allow maximum nutritional benefit for the rabbit, whilst preventing it from eating only the flavours that it likes. The size and type of Rabbit pellets will depend on the animal’s weight and the nutrition content needed for the rabbit.

Hay/Grass

A dried out grass that makes up most of the rabbit’s diet; a good quality Rabbit hay will ensure the rabbit will stay in the best health possible. Some hays, like Alfalfa hay, is rich in iron and other supplements and is good for growing rabbits, but this might be too rich for older rabbits. It can be a good idea to mix some of this hay with basic hay if the rabbit prefers the taste of Alfalfa hay.

Muesli

This is not actually a cereal, but rabbit muesli; it is a dried food made up from different bits of dried food. This can be given as a treat to a rabbit, but not for the long term as it might selectivity eat only a few pieces.

Rabbit Treats

Rabbit treats can be used to train a rabbit or reward good behaviour, these however are not a supplement, nor should the rabbit be fed treats exclusively.

There are many feeding accessories to be found that can make feeding easier for the owner. Automatic rabbit feeders can be programmed to reveal a pre-weighed amount of food at certain intervals, which is useful for owner who might be away in the early morning or late evening when a rabbit needs feeding.It is also advised to hang the hay near the rabbit’s bedding to encourage it to maintain a tidy hutch. This can be done by using a small rabbit hay hanger.

How to Buy Rabbit Food on eBay

A few years ago, buying pet food online was seen as a strange idea, but now as nearly anything can be bought online, pet food is becoming more available. Browsing online at the range of rabbit food available allows the buyer time to make an informed choice. The buyer can compare several different types of rabbit food and eBay is the ideal place to start the search. The buyer can use some of the following pointers to help them get navigate the site efficiently:

· The buyer can start on the eBay homepage and use the search word function by typing ‘rabbit food’ into the search bar. This will bring up a range of listings matching the search term. If they are after something quite specific then they can type in terms like ‘mixed pellet rabbit food’, etc.

· ‘Categories’ is another way to refine searches on eBay. The buyer can start by selecting the ‘Home & Garden’ tab on the left hand side and then click on Pet Supplies and select Rabbits. There are further subcategories to help refine the search.

· The buyer also needs to be aware of where the food product is coming from and should check the list of ingredients carefully. To stay safe when purchasing anything on eBay the buyer should always use a safe payment system.

· Keep an eye out for some of the latest eBay deals on rabbit food, where the buyer can find rabbit related products at amazing discounted prices, and often with free postage.

Conclusion

Quality rabbit food is essential for keeping a rabbit in top health; good food will benefit its coat and teeth in many ways. It is important to be educated when selecting and purchasing food that is nutritionally good for rabbits such as oaten hay/grass. eBay’s choice is extensive and any pet owner can find what they need to keep their pet the picture of good health.  Finally, always remember, when buying rabbit food, to do so via PayPal, as the transaction will be covered by eBay’s buyer protection programme.

 
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