Rabbits require a well-balanced diet that’s kind to their tiny digestive systems. And, when it comes to rabbit food, we always want to ensure they get the best.
Unfortunately, these days, it can prove challenging to find the best food for your rabbit.
So to help you out, we’re looking into the best rabbit food to buy. In a few minutes, you’ll know what to look for, what to steer clear off and possibly, your bunny’s new favorite food.
What Do Rabbits Eat?
For your rabbit to thrive, it’s essential to ask yourself, “what does rabbit eat?”
Much like many other animals, rabbits stem from wild roots. Since being domesticated, the rabbit diet has undergone a few changes, although it still closely resembles that of their wild ancestors.
Rabbits are small, and natural graze animals. If available, they’ll feed for hours on grass, tree barks, leaves, shrubs, sprouts, fruits, herbs, among many others. Therefore, you should try to supplement with as many of these as possible.
Dry food shouldn’t be their primary source of food. Instead, try to supplement with the following:
- Hay and grass: These are some of the best components to include in your rabbit’s diet. Sadly, if you live in the city, fresh grass is hard to get a hold of, so instead, look for grass hay. This type of hay is high in vitamins A and D, calcium, among many other nutrients.
- Fresh foods: This includes vegetables, greens and herbs. These are fantastic to include in your rabbit’s diet as they add moisture and please bunny taste buds. They may also improve both kidney and bladder function. Aim for leafy greens like romaine lettuce, broccoli, swiss greens, asparagus, carrots, among others.
- Fruits: Although fruits are great, rabbits can get too much. They contain high levels of natural sugar and starch, which can cause obesity and gastrointestinal issues.
- Dry food: House rabbits, who don’t have access to fresh grass or hay, require dry food. This is a good way to prevent nutritional deficiencies. However, make sure you supplement with fresh foods and greens rich in fiber to support their bowels.
What Foods Can Kill a Rabbit?
Rabbits aren’t exactly known for their resilient digestive systems, therefore feeding a rabbit requires care. There are a couple of foods that you should never feed:
- Chocolate: This is a no-no for rabbits. As with dogs, it can be poisonous and is much likely to kill your bunny.
- Yogurt drops: Although tasty for humans, yogurt drops can cause enterotoxemia in rabbits. This is an overgrowth of bad bacteria occurring in the intestinal tract. It’s often fatal for rabbits.
- Bread, cereals, pasta: As well as being high in carbs and sugar, these foods can cause enterotoxemia. They can also cause stomach issues, which could result in expensive vet treatments.
- Avocado: This isn’t on the list of ideal rabbit snacks or fresh greens. You should avoid avocados at all costs as they can be deadly for a rabbit.
Choosing the Best Rabbit Food for Your Bunny
As we’ve just seen, choosing rabbit food isn’t a task to take lightly. To help you out, we’ve outlined some things to consider below.
What rabbits eat differ between breeds. This is mostly due to the varying sizes and personalities.
So one of the first steps to take is to consider the breed and characteristics of your rabbit. For instance, bunnies who are less active by nature require a different diet than those who are more.
If you’re in doubt, it’s always a great idea to consult your vet about what you should feed your rabbit.
Type of Dry Food
There are essentially two basic types of dry food available for rabbits—mixed and pellets:
- Pellets: These are fairly common and popular among bunny owners. They’re mostly made of dried grass or hay, and come in uniform chunks that your rabbit will feed on without picking. You have multiple brands to pick from, but ensure they use as natural ingredients as possible, like hay.
- Mixed foods: As the name gives away, this type consists of a blend of dried and processed components. It closely resembles cereals or muesli, but aren’t necessarily healthier than pellets. With this type, you should be mindful of artificial colors.
Your Rabbit’s Age
The age of your rabbit is another determining factor in what food you choose. Very young rabbits, for example, are delicate and require a special diet. Older bunnies might suffer from specific ailments, needing other nutrients to provide extra energy.
It’s also a matter of chewing. Junior bunnies can’t eat the hard pellets as easily as adults can.
With dry rabbit food, make sure to consider quality. High-quality food contains several vital nutrients that your bunny needs.
The food should also include some of the following nutrients:
- Little fat.
- Vitamins (A, D and E).
- Calcium (in moderate amounts—feeding too much can cause dental issues).
What Is the Best Food for Rabbits?
Following extensive research using our criteria above, we found five of the best foods for rabbits.
Essentials is Oxbow’s flagship line, formulated to support your rabbit’s health and performance. The recipe contains an array of rabbit-approved ingredients mixed into a tasty pellet form.
For starters, the formula is rich in antioxidants, which are essential for overall health. In addition to this, it contains prebiotics and chelated minerals.
What we like about the Oxbow Essentials is that it contains no refined sugars or artificial additives—both of which are unnatural to a rabbit. You also won’t see any fruits, seeds or mystery bits that may wreak havoc in their small digestive system.
Oxbow stresses that it creates the recipes with guidance from veterinarians and nutritionists. It’s suitable for adult rabbits and made in the US.
- Uniform pellets, which are easy to digest.
- Rich in antioxidants.
- Supports digestive health.
- Contains chelated minerals.
- No refined sugars or artificial ingredients.
- Free of fruits and seeds.
- Made in the US.
- The texture may not suit every rabbit.
The Small Pet Select rabbit food is a good choice if you want to spoil your rabbit. This is a hay pellet food, made with high-quality timothy hay.
Small Pet Select boasts that its recipe is a top choice by veterinarians and fellow rabbit owners. The pellets come fortified with vitamins and minerals, essential for thriving bunnies. It’s also high in fiber, supporting a healthy digestive tract.
What’s good about this is that it’s low in calcium and calories. The ingredients included are carefully selected to ensure quality.
One of the pros that we found with Small Pet Select is that it produces everything in small batches. This is to ensure quality and freshness, preserving taste and nutrients.
- Made with premium quality timothy hay.
- Fortified with essential vitamins and minerals.
- Low in calcium and calories.
- Made in small portions for quality and freshness
- Carefully selected ingredients.
- Produced in the US.
- The recipe contains a few filler ingredients.
- Pellets may be too hard for some rabbits to chew.
For your adult rabbit, we suggest this option from Kaytee. The Forti-Diet Pro Health was developed together with an animal nutritional expert, ensuring a balanced diet for your rabbit.
The formula contains a healthy amount of natural antioxidants, supporting overall health, in particular, the immune system. To help your rabbit’s digestive tract, the recipe also provides essential prebiotics and probiotics.
What’s a little different about this rabbit food is the pieces. They’re significantly larger, and crunchier than the ones above. It also promotes natural chewing activity for your rabbit.
Kaytee made the Forti-Diet Pro Health in its US facilities. The pellets come in a resealable bag to help you keep the food fresh for your rabbit.
- Made with an animal nutritional expert.
- Consists of natural antioxidants.
- Includes probiotics and prebiotics.
- Features larger, crunchier pieces.
- Promotes natural rabbit chewing activity.
- Made in the US.
- Comes in resealable bags.
- Contains artificial food coloring.
- Includes fillers.
If you’re looking to give your rabbit some variety in its diet, we recommend Supreme Petfoods. This is a nutritionally balanced mix, formulated for an adult rabbit.
A good thing about this type of mix is that it promotes natural foraging, which, in turn, stimulates appetite. The recipe consists of tasty timothy hay that’s a superb source of fiber. It does contain some alfalfa, so watch out if that’s a trouble ingredient for your rabbit.
Included in the mix are greens, like flaked beans, peas and carrots. There are also whole oats, linseed cake and natural flavorings. Your rabbit receives a healthy dose of minerals and vitamins that are suitable for any breed, including dwarf rabbits.
- Rabbit-friendly muesli mix.
- Promotes natural foraging instinct.
- Stimulates appetite.
- Pellets consist of timothy hay.
- Includes a mix of wholesome veggies.
- Fortified with vitamins and minerals.
- Suitable for all breeds.
- May not be suitable as an everyday food.
- Contains a significant amount of alfalfa.
Lastly, we have another option from Kaytee. This is Kaytee’s Fiesta rabbit food mix—a nutritionally fortified diet suitable for all life stages.
The recipe provides a good balance of nutrients, including prebiotics and probiotics for digestive health. In addition to this, it’s high in greens, grains, fruits and seeds, which offer a great variety of flavors and textures.
The first ingredient is sun-cured alfalfa hay—an excellent source of fiber. In the formula, you’ll also see omega-3, which supports your rabbit’s coat. Another fantastic detail is the included antioxidants. It promotes overall health and strengthens the immune system.
What we appreciate is that Kaytee produces everything in the US and naturally preserves the food for ideal freshness.
However, please note that because this is suitable for all life stages, it isn’t specific. This means that if your senior rabbit requires a special diet, this may not be sufficient.
- Suitable for all life stages.
- Rich in prebiotics and probiotics.
- Includes greens, fruits, grains and seeds.
- Excellent variety of textures and flavors.
- High in antioxidants.
- Made in the US.
- Not sufficient as a life stage-specific diet.
- Contains a few fillers.
What does a rabbit eat? Well, a rabbit’s diet should be carefully balanced between fresh grass or hay, fresh veggies, some fruit and dry food. When looking for the best rabbit food, consider the breed and age of your bunny, as well as the quality of the food.
Our winner today is the Oxbow Essentials Adult Rabbit Food. The formula includes antioxidants and probiotics that support overall health. It comes in reasonably sized pellets, suitable for adult bunnies.