Rabbit Nutrition: Nourishing Your Pet to Staying Healthy

Rabbit nutrition comes from their plant-based diet. Rabbits, as we all know are obligate and strictly herbivores. They will feed and must only be fed with plant-based products that are rich in fiber to give them healthy digestive functions and proper body nourishment. Even if rabbits feed on herbs, not all types of herbs can be good for your rabbit. There are some that can be toxic for them that is why knowing which foods are prohibited can help you take care of them better.

Knowing which food must not to be given is also equally important to knowing the kind of nutrients they need. Knowing the sources of these foods will provide for your pet rabbit. We have to make sure that proper rabbit nutrition from their daily diet must be achieved to keep them well-rounded and active pets throughout their life.

Rabbit Nutrition Needs from Their Diet

• Protein

This rabbit nutrition is composed of amino acids essential for proper growth and development of muscles and cell tissues as well as several hormones and enzymes in the body. Rabbits are typically able to produce amino acids in their system, however there are about 20 useful amino acids required by rabbit in order to stay strong and healthy. From these 20 amino acids, 10 of them are the vital types needed by our pet in which they are unable to produce by themselves. These amino acids can only be acquired through the food they eat.

Several of these important amino acids contribute greatly for their growth and reproduction. Lack of these vital amino acids can hinder their health. Sources of protein for your rabbit are fresh grass hay, formulated pellets, and fresh vegetables such as kale, carrot with tops, cilantro, spinach, tomato, and celery.

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• Carbohydrates

Rabbit nutrition requires giving them the kind of energy their body needs as they grow. The source of energy is through loading them with foods that are rich in carbohydrates. Fiber and starch are the best source of carbohydrates. Starch is an efficient source of carbs and it can be digested by your rabbit easily. Examples for this are wheat, oats, and grains. Grains can be fed to your rabbit but with moderate servings as it could lead to enteritis. The carbohydrates from fiber are found in leafy veggies. This is very good for your rabbit’s gut and digestive system.

• Fat

Like carbohydrates, fat is also a source of energy and it aids your rabbit’s body in absorbing essential fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K. Adequate amounts of fat in their system promotes healthy and shiny coat and fur.

Young rabbits, pregnant and lactating rabbits need more fats in their system to provide for their energy needs. Sources of fatty acids are the formulated pellets, supplements, and vegetables like radish seeds, alfalfa, and cauliflower to name a few.

• Minerals

Macrominerals are:
– Calcium
– Sodium
– Phosphorous
– Magnesium
– Potassium

This type of minerals is essential for rabbit nutrition because it helps a lot in the proper heart functions, healthy muscles and bones, enhancing of metabolism and proper circulation of the blood and body fluids. This is given in grams per day.

Microminerals are:
– Copper
– Zinc
– Manganese
– Iron
– Iodine
– Selenium
– Cobalt

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Microminerals must be given in small, milligram measured amounts because too much of these minerals could be bad for your rabbit. These minerals promote energy and metabolism. These are also essential minerals that help fight certain deficiencies that cause major diseases.

• Vitamins

Fat soluble vitamins
-Vitamin A
-Vitamin D
-Vitamin E
-Vitamin K

Water soluble vitamins
-Vitamin C
– B vitamins

These vitamins are all essential for your rabbit nutrition. For the fat soluble ones, Vitamin A promotes growth and maintenance of body tissues. It also promotes better vision. For Vitamin D, it helps regulates your rabbit’s proper calcium absorption. Vitamin E prevents cell oxidation and promotes a healthy immune system and Vitamin K promotes proper blood circulation.

For the water soluble vitamins, the B vitamins promote proper metabolism of nutrients and fatty acids, help filling in certain body deficiencies and more. Vitamin C may not be a problem as many animals, including rabbits, can produce their own vitamin C.

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