The Best Rabbit Food for Good Health

Featured image for best rabbit food article.

Finding the best rabbit food isn’t always easy.

This article brings you the top rabbit foods for keeping your rabbit healthy.

We found Oxbow Animal Health Bunny Basics Essentials to be the best rabbit food in 2018. To find out why, keep reading!

Comparison

Image Name Score
Oxbow Animal Health Bunny Basics Essentials 5
Adult Healthier & Happier 4.9
F.M. Brown’s Tropical Carnival Gourmet 4.7

Making sure you’re using the right rabbit pellets is crucial in keeping your bunny fit and strong. This considered, we’ve ranked the items in the table above based on a mixture of personal experience and consumer research.

The Eight Best Rabbit Foods

Best Rabbit Food Section.

DHA Omega 3’s and antioxidants are good qualities to look for in a rabbit food, these help support brain function, a healthy heart, vision and a healthy coat. Finding something with a high bioavailability of nutrients will help your rabbit to develop a strong immune system.

It’s important you find a high protein and fibre food to help support your rabbit gaining a healthy muscle mass. These are a few of the many considerations you should make before committing to purchasing a rabbit food. It’s important you take these considerations into account to help you pick pellets that keep your bunny healthy and happy.

Below is a list of the 8 best rabbit foods:

Oxbow Animal Health Bunny Basics Essentials

Rabbits need high fiber to keep their digestive system working correctly, and vitamins and minerals to boost their health.

This is a great example of a food that gives these qualities.

Essentials adult rabbit food combines the necessary fiber with steadied nutrients to ensure a balanced diet, served with oxbow loose grass hays.

The founder of Oxbow Animal Health, John Miller created the industry’s first timothy hay-based food for rabbits. This food is built on the same basis.

It’s assuring for any owner to know your rabbits’ diet is in good hands.

The timothy base is complimented by a great level of protein, essential fiber healthy fats and carbohydrates.

F.M. Brown’s Tropical Carnival Gourmet Pet Rabbit Food

This great rabbit food is what Brown call Vitamin-Nutrient-Fortified. This means it was specially formed, for meeting your rabbits daily dietary needs.

The food comes with omega fatty acids, and good bacteria which is beneficial for your rabbit. This is because they support and help stimulate good digestion. Ultimately, it helps your rabbit to get the most out of the nutrient dense ingredients.

This food can be considered as nutritionally rich as they come. It contains over 30 unique gourmet ingredients. This includes fruit, vegetables nuts and more. Meaning your rabbit can get the complex carbs, vitamins, minerals and fiber that it needs.

This food is great for supporting your buns immune system. With fresh veggies that contain antioxidants, they will aid in supporting your rabbits healthy immune system.

This is also great for ensuring your rabbits oral health. It contains specially formulated ZOO-Vital®Biscuits for healthy teeth and gums.

Vitakraft VitaSmart

This food comes rich in Timothy grass, essential fatty acids and omegas. This is also considered one of the best rabbit food for protein. A nutrient needed for consistent and healthy muscle growth.

Contains the formula for a complete and balanced nutrition, making this product one of the best foods for supporting your rabbits health through healthy nutrition.

This product is designed with the right vision in mind, to provide complete health and well being for your rabbit.

It’s always great to know that the manufacturer is making the food with good health for your rabbit being the ultimate end goal.

The health benefits of this food isn’t limited to rabbits of certain ages and can be utilised by rabbits regardless of their developmental stage.

With a well balanced feeding program which supports both healthy growth and optimizing health and wellness for rabbits of all ages.

Kaytee Timothy Complete Diet for Rabbit

Kaytee Timothy Complete food was developed by animal nutritional experts, to ensure your rabbit gets the proper nutrition for a long healthy life.

Timothy Complete is in pelleted form, made with hay extracts selected by hand. With essential vitamins and minerals.

This food comes high in fiber, and with protein levels lower than that found in Alfalfa this food helps with supporting your rabbits digestive health.

With the food being made from timothy hay which is lower in calcium than other grasses, it may decrease the likelihood of urinary tract problems and other health issues relative to rabbits.

The manufacturer hold over 150 years of nutritional experience. As the consumer this gives you a real sense of assurance, knowing that you’re rabbits diet is in safe hands.

SupremePetfoods Russel Rabbit Food

This food is composed of a mueseli-style mix, stimulating rabbits appetites keeping it healthy and satisfied.

Alfalfa is included in this food as a source of fibre and calcium. Other vegetables are also included. This means that you can be safe in the knowledge that your bun is getting the protein, vitamins and minerals it needs.

Containing Timothy Hay (a great source of fiber) we know your rabbit is going to love this one. With a special formulation to keep rabbits fit on both the inside and the outside.

As well as being nutritionally balanced, this food comes with no added sugar. Your rabbit will find it just as tasty, without any of the negatives that adding sugar can bring.

If you’re the owner of a slightly smaller rabbit, fear not. This food is suitable for all breeds of rabbits including dwarf rabbits.

Ecotrition Essential Blend

The Ecotrition Essential Blend Food for Adult Rabbits brings another nutritionally rich option to the table.

Made up of a mixture of healthy ingredients, it’s scientifically formulated to help your rabbit flourish.

Contains a delicious mix of your rabbits favourite vegetables, fruits, hays and grains.

These are carefully chosen and blended with a variation of bright, vibrant pellets. Allowing your pet to meet nutritional requirements, and delivering the required daily stimulation.

These quality ingredients are fortified with a collection of vitamins and minerals for growing and upholding overall health.

Also with antioxidant nutrients and fatty acids for excellent nutrition in a small animals diet.

Adult Healthier & Happier by Sherwood

This is a hay-based food, and is free from grain and soy. The food boasts containing the perfect amount of long-strand fiber.

It’s a great choice for your rabbits daily diet as it’s a low calorie, and a balanced meal.

Providing you follow the daily guidelines, this means that you can feed your rabbit safe in the knowledge that you aren’t accidentally over feeding them.

Another benefit is that it provides extra Timothy grass hay. This supplies essential nutrients needed for optimal health, and is advertised to aid your rabbit in achieving a healthy weight.

Whether your rabbit is currently an unhealthy weight and looking to change that, or you’re looking to maintain its’ current healthy weight, ”Health and Happier” is a great source of nutrients for your rabbit.

This product is made by a company with good transparency, and a real enthusiasm for rabbits and their health.

Supreme Selective Fortified Rabbit Food

This is a great product given rabbits needs for a high fibre diet.

With rabbits natural diet containing mostly grass, which contains about 25% fiber, this is something that pet rabbits need to suplement.

This product has 25% fibre so that you can provide a high fibre diet, that will help keep on top of your rabbits complex digestion system. Afterall, house rabbits don’t always have access to grass. Supplementing the fiber it misses from grass with this food is a great option.

What’s also great about this rabbit food is that it comes full of natural ingredients like linseed with both Omega 3 and 6. This will help keep your rabbits skin and coat healthy.

The food also contains natural prebiotics which helps in promoting friendly bacteria.

High levels of sugar can lead to obesity and dental problems further down the line so this. In Selective rabbit food, there is no added sugar. This means you can rest assured knowing that your rabbit is eating a healthy meal with all the nutrients to ensure a balanced diet.

Rabbit Food Buyers Guide

Rabbit Food Buyers Guide Section.

In this section of the post we go into some of the details that you need to know before buying rabbit food. Hopefully this section helps you learn something you don’t already know. Don’t worry if you haven’t got time to read this section, any of the rabbit foods listed in this article are sure to be a great purchase.

Benefits Of Finding Good Quality Rabbit Food

Pellets are going to be an important part of your bunny’s diet. The average pellet contains a healthy mixture of hay and other nutritional ingredients that can be a hassle to find in other food sources. They are rich in fiber, protein, and are designed to make your bunny stronger and happier.

Some of the best rabbit pellet brands contain ingredients that help fight off disease and infections that you rabbit might get from lower quality foods.

Another reason why rabbit pellets are a good choice is that they are easy to add to the diet. Pellets are simple enough that even amateur rabbit owners can learn about their benefits and how they work in a short time. Extensive research is still recommended, however, this is a simple gateway for the busier type. All you would have to do is make sure that you know how much or how little is right for your rabbit. Pellets are easy to add and subtract when it comes to proportion control.

Rich In Nutrients

Even if you are the type of owner that combines pellets with other foods for your rabbit, it works as a great supplement because of how packed it is with nutrients, vitamins, etc. Unlike some of the other methods of feeding that you may know of, rabbit pellets are cost effective. They are also more likely to last a lot longer because they are a dry food and don’t have any water or liquids being held inside of them.

Even though rabbit pellets have many benefits that can help with your pet’s digestive system, bowel movement, protection against disease, etc, it takes a lot of research and knowledge to know how to properly incorporate this into the diet. The unfortunate thing about pellets is that you need to know about the best brands to avoid having the rabbit consume low-quality foods that are packed with fake “nutrients” and harmful dyes.

What Makes The Best Rabbit Pellets

First off, do not purchase pellets that have corn as the main ingredient. Corn is safe for rabbits to consume, however, pellets that contain corn are more likely to age faster and become stale. Speaking of aging, make sure that you check the date on the packaging.

Your rabbit probably won’t want to eat the pellets if they aren’t fresh.

There is a big chance that the corn that is in the pellets have been coated with a harmful chemical to keep insects away. This isn’t safe for the rabbit to consume.

Do not buy pellets from a pet store either. You can find them online or elsewhere for half the price. Another important tip regarding bagged pellet brands is that all of the pellets in the bag should look the same. They should be the exact same color and size.

If they aren’t this means that there have been other mysterious feed mixed in with yours. When in doubt, contact the company or the manufacturer to make sure that this isn’t the case. Even though this isn’t an impossibility, don’t think that these companies would do this on purpose. It is just a good idea to make sure that you double check because in most cases, they won’t.

What About Nutrition?

The amount of fiber that you need in a pellet is debatable. But is simple to decide on which to choose. A pellet with a protein percentage of less than 20% is fine for owners that are still raising your rabbits. This is ideal for any type of pellet, really.

This is crucial because it helps the rabbit with muscle development and growth.

The protein amount in a pellet should be around at least 16%.

A little more is ideal for rabbits that are pregnant and breeding. It encourages growth and milk production.

When it comes to purchasing rabbit pellets, look for the ones that are riches in protein. This is a good choice for any rabbit of any age or gender. When you are actually feeding the rabbits, the amount you give them depends on what the health situation.

It also goes off of how well you’ve kept their diet in the past. You would need to give them less if they’ve gained a significant amount of weight and very little if they are maintaining it well. Weight gain is heavily related to the ingredients that come in the pellets as well.

There’s no set amount of any ingredient that you should look for in pellets because it really depends on the rabbit. If you ask other rabbit owners, every one of them will have a different answer. However, the general information you just read should be enough to get your foot in the door.

Pellets that have more natural ingredients and coloring will always beat the ones that are clogged with artificial flavoring and fake nutrients. Those types only exist for the dollar, not your rabbit’s health. Remember that pellets aren’t the only food your rabbits will eat either. They are perfect for combination meals.

How to Implement Pellets as Part of a Balanced Diet

Though pellets are a wonderful addition to your rabbit’s diet, they shouldn’t be the main focus. Some rabbits can go without pellets while some prefer them in a mix of other foods. But in general, it should only take up 10% of the regime. As far as the rest, you should have about 19% of the fiber in diet along with a low fat intake and a low calcium intake as well. Fiber should be the highest, while fat, protein, and calcium should be lower.

When you buy your pellet mixes, make sure the mixes aren’t stuffed with seeds, any type of nut, or aged fruit. And one thing you should make sure your pellets never ever have is alfalfa. This is not ideal and can harm your rabbit in the long run. Instead, buy pellet mixes that contain a lot of hay and grass. This is a healthier option that will also last longer.

You can add pellets to a diet that consist of an acceptable amount of greens, fruits, weeds, roots, and other natural consumable foods. Just make sure that you check to see if these are safe. Don’t just grab some weeds from your yard. Try to order some or grow a safe and healthy batch yourself.

DIY is always better than second-guessing products that you have no idea of where they came from and what they were made with.

Why Use Rabbit Pellets?

Pellets are there to help the rabbits catch up on anything they missed from the main meal. Some rabbits actually enjoy eating raw and fresh foods that are organic, rather than store-bought. One mistake you shouldn’t make though is combining pellets with starchy foods. This is the best way to lead your rabbit to obesity, and obesity can be passed on to the rabbit’s babies. Instead, consider supplements if the diet isn’t natural.

Precautions Before Adjusting A Rabbits Diet

Before you decide to switch your rabbit’s diet around, keep some of the old food and mix it with the new food. The majority of the mix should be of the old, while about 11% of it should be the new food. Gradually add more of the new and less of the old until you see fit. This slow change should last about a week for up to two weeks max. You don’t want the rabbit to get used to eating two mixes of old and new. If you aren’t able to mix this because you already discarded the old food, bring the new food in very small amounts. Once a week has gone by, your rabbit should have gotten used to the new meal.

If you make this change too fast you will notice it in the bowels. They will have a softer texture and will come out faster than usual. This is because your rabbit’s system is very sensitive to new foods or foods with new ingredients. Another precaution you should take is keeping the pellet balance as exact as possible. If your rabbit has access to unlimited pellets, this can lead to obesity, problems with teeth and gums, bowel issues, loss of appetite, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and many other health issues that can eventually become fatal.

Do the Best Brands Mean the Best Rabbit Pellets?

You might be a little confused about which brand to pick. This is because there are so many to choose from, but many of these pellet brands only offer benefits to the company’s salary. They put effort into making the pellets look visually appealing instead of having them appeal to the wellness of your rabbit. Ignore brands that use fancy verbiage such as “gourmet” and “premium”. Dismiss the copy, be attentive with the nutritional facts on the back side of the bag. From what you read earlier, you know what to look for as far as ingredients. No corn, no alfalfa. And depending on the age and development of your rabbit, you can add or take away from what you need to be included in the diet.

Oxbow Rabbit Food

As far as what brands are the best, Oxbow is the most popular and healthy brand you can decide to buy. The Basic Oxbow rabbit pellets are ideal for adult rabbits. The main ingredient that outshines the others in this particular pellet brand is grass hay. It also contains other ingredients that are completely natural and acceptably heavy on fiber. They also produce the famous Oxbox Critical Care, which you can read our review of here.

If you’re not a fan of Oxbow, you can also try other brands. Some of which including Allen & Page, Burgess, and Fancy Feed. These brands are renowned because they carry the proper amount of every ingredient you need to satisfy your rabbit.

Myths surrounding carrots and lettuce

Rabbits have a complex digestion system and the right diet is crucial in ensuring that this works as it should. The first food that springs to peoples minds when they think of rabbits are carrots. However, fruit and vegetables are too sugar dense to be a rabbits primary form of calories, so are certainly not the best rabbit foods for their health.

Another food commonly associated with rabbits is lettuce. Certain lettuces such as Iceberg lettuce shouldn’t be given to rabbits. Lactucarium within these can be harmful to rabbits in large enough quantities.

The more water in the lettuce, the worse. This is because there’s so much water that they offer a very small amount of nutritional value. Look out for the lighter shaded lettuces are these are typically the ones that are water dense.

Darker lettuces with more leaves and fibre can be fed to rabbits. However, it is important to slowly introduce it to your rabbits diet, as too much to quickly may lead to digestive problems. As a general rule of thumb, too much lettuce of any kind can lead to digestive problems for rabbits.

Portion control

It is important to control the amount of commercial food you feed your rabbit. You need to prevent your rabbit from over eating “out the bag” foods. Otherwise, you might find that your rabbit loses its appetite for its natural grazing. Remember, grazing is important normal behaviour for a rabbit, lack of this can have a detrimental effect. This brings us on to hay and grass.

Grazing

Rabbits need to graze on hay or grass (or both) as the main part of their diet. They need to be able to chew on something natural through the day (such as hay or grass) to control teeth growth and manage their complex digestion system.

Hay is the single most important part of your rabbits diet.

Hay is the most important part of a rabbits diet. In terms of nutrition the foods listed in this article are some of the best rabbit food for keeping your bunny healthy, but they are in no way a replacement for hay.

It’s said that rabbits need hay and or grass for about 80% of their diet. It’s important that you base the rabbit food in this article, around your rabbits hay intake. As mentioned portion control for other food can ensure they still have their natural appetite for grazing hay and grass throughout the day.

Hay is an essential part of any pet rabbits diet. If you don’t have access to grass, Hay can work as a substitute or be fed in addition. If you’re unfamiliar with hay, ryegrass, timothy and cocksfoot (among others) are generally referred to as meadow hay.

Typically nutritional values of hay are broken down as follows:

  • Between 30% and 35% Fibre
  • Between 6% and 17% Protein

It is important to note that straw is not to be confused with hay as straw is not recommended to be fed to rabbits. This is because Straw is low in nutrients, using this as a hay substitute or a grazing food can lead to deficiencies.

Grass is a nutrient rich food found in your rabbits natural habitat

Grass provides a great balanced protein intake, with digestible fibre not to mention some vitamins and minerals. You should allow your pet rabbit to graze for several hours during the day. However, this can often be a difficulty for house rabbits.

Grass should be grazed from the ground, or fed fresh cut. Do not feed your rabbit lawnmower clippings as they ferment at a rapid rate, leading to digestion implications.

Typically nutritional values of grass are broken down as follows:

  • Between 20% and 25% crude fibre
  • Around 15% protein

How much food does my rabbit need to eat?

There is no set in stone answer for this question sadly. There are a wide variety of factors that can affect intake that your rabbit needs. These can include size, age and temperature of living environment. Often growing rabbits can eat up to twice the amount of calories consumed by an adult.When it comes to guidelines, there’s very little published literature on pet rabbits. Remember, you need to be very cautious of even the best rabbit foods when it comes to portion sizes.

Rabbits that have low energy requirements, and are fairly inactive but even those in high temperatures are susceptible to obesity. This is a fairly simple concept, as rabbits would use much more energy in the wild than they would in an indoor environment. So house rabbits burn less calories than wild rabbits therefore, they require less calories.

If you think your rabbit may have issues with weight, and you’re concerned about it’s weight try portion control. Measure how much food you are feeding your rabbit and monitor its weight gain or loss. It’s possible you may be overfeeding or underfeeding your rabbit for it’s level of activity, with portion control if this is the case you can alter the portion size accordingly.

Final Thoughts On The Best Rabbit Foods For Good Health

Getting your rabbits diet correct is fundamental in maintaining overall health but specifically in the dental and digestive health. The best possible diet for rabbits is one that mimics that of a natural grass based rabbits’ diet in the wild. Grass and Hay should make up the majority of your rabbits diet. Something as simple as giving your rabbit healthy food can prevent all sorts of health related issues in the future.

New foods being fed to rabbits of all ages need to be introduced very gradually into their diet.

If you are introducing new foods to stop your rabbit eating an unwanted item this removal must also be done gradually.

It’s fine to feed treats to rabbits. However, this should only be done in small quantities and on rare occasions. Excessive amounts of treats can lead to obesity and digestive issues.

For mental stimulation and tooth wear providing your rabbit with branches or twigs can be a good idea. They will find enjoyment from gnawing them. General rules for this would be that you can offer branches from any tree that we eat the fruit from. For example, apple or pear trees. It’s important to make sure the tree has not been sprayed with any chemicals.