Easter is almost here! You know what that means, right? Many bunnies will be brought home as a holiday gift for the family! If you are one of these people who is thinking of making a bunny part of your family this season, check out why timothy hay and dark leafy greens are a super important part of your new pet’s diet!
First off as we know, rabbits are 100% herbivores. Keeping a balanced diet of the right type of hay and dark greens is crucial as they provide the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients needed to provide them with the healthiest diet possible. For rabbits 7 months and older, grass hay should make up about 80% of their diet, 10% other dark leafy green veggies, 5% healthy pellets, and 0 to 5% healthy treats.
Here is what you need to know about the importance of timothy hay and leafy greens in your rabbit’s diet:
- Keeping timothy hay available for your bunny at all times encourages them to graze which helps them stay physically active and mentally stimulated. This encourages natural behaviors such as foraging and grazing, which may diminish boredom, increase activity, and provide a sense of security for your bunny.
- Fiber, Fiber, Fiber! Timothy Hay is a tall, fibrous grass that is high in fiber and low in calcium. Since it is super high in fiber, it is great for your rabbit’s digestive health. We are all guilty of giving our pet treats but too many treats can lead to obesity and potential diarrhea. Instead, load up your rabbit’s home with timothy!
- Another reason why timothy hay is important is that it helps wear down your rabbit’s teeth. The coarseness of the grass prevents their teeth from growing too long. If their teeth do grow too long, that can become quite painful and can possibly create sores or infections. Another problem that can arise from teeth growing too long is that it can make it harder for your bunny to breathe, as the teeth start to block nasal passages.
- Incorporate those dark leafy greens every day! It is a good practice to select a minimum of three types of greens daily as each green will provide different nutrients and minerals but will also keep their teeth healthy too. A good guideline is to feed a minimum of 1 cup of greens for every 4 lbs. of body weight per day.
- When it comes to timothy hay, just remember – you can never give too much! In fact, timothy hay should make up the majority of your bunny’s diet so go ahead and throw as much as you want in their crate! Keep in mind, most rabbits can eat a bundle about the size of their own body every day.
- Timothy is low in calcium as well, which is good because if rabbits get too much calcium in their diet, their urine can turn chalky and could possibly lead to urinary stones.
In conclusion, timothy hay should be making up the majority of your rabbit’s diet. As stated above, timothy hay helps promote a healthy lifestyle for your bunny and is 100% safe for them to graze on all day. This helps keeps their teeth strong and healthy as well. Make sure to incorporate those dark leafy greens as they provide a healthy balance of minerals and nutrients and keep other treats to a minimum. Please feel free to stop in Fins & Feathers and let us help you with all your dietary questions about your bunny!