Tuesday, April 2, 2013

'Hare' Care Week; Fresh grass for our fluffy friends

Did you know that rabbits are in fact vegans? Well, in animal terms they are called herbivore, but it is enjoy the same cuisine. Rabbits do not eat animal products, flesh, dairy, eggs etc. Their delicate little stomachs just can’t handle anything other than most plant products.

Your sweet little rabbit needs a proper diet every day for his digestive tract to function correctly. In fact, ninety-five percent of all rabbit vet visits are related to improper diet. Diets for sick, geriatric, baby, and pregnant rabbits differ from the diets for healthy adult rabbits.

Like all animals, rabbits need plenty of clean fresh water that is available at all times. A good diet provides good nutrition and helps to maintain a good body weight. Below is a general guide to their fibre, calcium and carbohydrates intake:
  • High In Fibre - The fibre recommendation for companion rabbits is a crude fibre level of 13-20% with a level of 12.5 indigestible fibre.
  • Low In Calcium - The dietary level recommendation for companion rabbits of calcium is 0.6-1%.
  • Low in Carbohydrates - The overload of rapidly digestible carbohydrates (for example, sugars) in the large intestine increases the likelihood of digestive disorders
source - Rabbitwise

It is always important to make sure your fluffy friend maintains the correct body weight. If your rabbit already eats lots of grass or hay, you’ve taken a major step to help him (or her!) enjoy a long, healthy life. Rabbits not only benefit from eating plenty of greens each day, they love nibbling on a variety of grasses and vegetables.

If you have any leftover Easter Eggs or candy, don’t let you Flopsy tempt you for a bite. They contain no nutrients, encourage bad eating habits, and cause obesity and intestinal upset. Also, it's worth mentioning that chocolate in large amounts can be harmful to rabbits. However, most chocolate products (such as Easter eggs) are sugar-rich and thus, should be avoided. There is research to suggest these items may contribute to fatal cases of enterotoxaemia, a toxic overgrowth of "bad" bacteria in the intestinal tract.

If in doubt of what to feed you fluffy friend, then you can always speak to your local vet or check out this article on our Knowledge Base.

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