Best Rabbit Food

Updated July 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best rabbit food

Last Updated July 2020

Rabbits might be common pets, but their care is more complex than many people realize. One of the simplest steps you can take to improve your rabbit's health and well-being is switching to an appropriate rabbit food of high quality. But what constitutes a quality rabbit food, and how do you know which one to choose? 

One of the most important factors to learn about is the difference between rabbit pellets and rabbit muesli-style food. The reason: muesli food isn't recommended by rabbit experts. You should also learn more about the kinds of ingredients to expect in rabbit food, recommended nutritional content, and what else you should feed your rabbit beyond commercial rabbit food. 

All this might take more thought and effort than just picking a rabbit food at random, but your bunny will thank you for it. This guide contains all the relevant information to help you select the perfect rabbit food for your furry friend.

To keep it fresh, don't buy more than six weeks’ worth of food for your rabbit at a time.

Key considerations

Pellets vs. muesli

You've probably noticed two distinct types of rabbit food on the market: pellet food and muesli food. Rabbit pellets are simply brown pellets of compacted hay and more, whereas muesli rabbit food contains some pellets plus flaked maize, seeds, peas, dried fruit, and other bits and pieces. Given how much more interesting muesli looks compared to pellets, you'd be excused for thinking muesli is the best choice for your rabbit. In fact, the reverse is true. 

Muesli rabbit food is the junk food of the bunny world, containing unnecessary starchy components that many rabbits will pick out first, leaving behind the more nutritious pellets. Rabbits need the high fiber content of pellet food, so feeding a muesli-style food could ultimately lead to dental and digestive problems. 

Ingredients

The natural diet of a rabbit is predominantly grass with the occasional foraged root vegetable or cereal crop (such as wheat or oats). Wild rabbits would very rarely eat nuts, seeds, or fruit, so these types of ingredients have no place in commercial rabbit food. Instead, the bulk of the pellets should consist of grass hay, such as Timothy hay. Alfalfa hay is a little too rich for most adult rabbits, so it isn't usually the best choice. Along with the hay, pellets may contain small quantities of cereal (such as wheat) and legumes (such as soybeans). Plus, commercial rabbit food is fortified with a wide range of vitamins and minerals to get your bunny all the nutrients she requires. 

CAUTION

If your rabbit is reluctant to eat or is eating less hay than usual, it could be a sign of dental problems. Take her to see a vet right away.

Features

Fiber content

Rabbits require plenty of fiber to stay healthy, so a quality rabbit food should contain ample fiber. The absolute minimum fiber content of an adult rabbit food should be 18%, but higher is better. 

Protein content

It's important your rabbit gets enough protein but not too much. Adult rabbits require rabbit food with a protein content between 12% and 14%. Rabbits under five months old are growing extremely quickly and therefore require higher protein levels to support their growth — around 16% is ideal. 

DID YOU KNOW?

Rabbits naturally forage for food, so sprinkling food around their hutch or run will keep them occupied longer.

Accessories

Food bowl: Kaytee Paw-Print PetWare Bowl
Although it's great for rabbits to be able to forage for their food when possible, sometimes you need a food bowl to contain the mess — for instance, if your rabbit is roaming free in your house. When not filling it with food, you can use it as a water bowl, and with an adorable bunny print, there's no question who it belongs to. 

Hay: Small Pet Select 2nd Cutting "Perfect Blend" Timothy Hay
Hay is an important part of a rabbit's diet, as it provides roughage to reduce the risk of hairballs and other digestive blockages. In fact, your rabbit should constantly have access to fresh hay. This Timothy hay from Small Pet Select is of excellent quality, and rabbits seem to love it.

Treats: Kaytee Yo Chips
On an average day, your rabbit should eat nothing but pellets, hay, fresh vegetables, and the occasional piece of fruit, but it's okay to offer treats every so often to help with training or bonding. These berry-flavored treats are suitable for rabbits six months and older. 

EXPERT TIP

While you should offer your rabbit unlimited hay, offering unlimited rabbit food will lead to obesity, so portion it carefully.


Staff  | BestReviews

Rabbit food prices

How much should you expect to pay for an average 4- to 5-pound bag of rabbit food? While you can find some bargains, price is usually an indicator of quality. 

Inexpensive: You can find some basic rabbit food for less than $10 a bag, but generally, the quality of these foods isn't great. 

Mid-range: Mid-priced rabbit food tends to cost between $10 and $15 a bag. Most of these are of decent quality, but you may find some muesli foods that are best avoided. 

Expensive: The costliest rabbit food is priced between $15 and $20 a bag. This includes foods with top-quality ingredients or certified organic ingredients. 

Tips

  • Don't necessarily trust the portion guidelines on the package of your rabbit food. An average-size adult rabbit really only needs to eat 1/4 to 1/2 cup daily (plus hay and fresh vegetables). The recommended portion sizes may be larger since rabbit food manufacturers want to sell more rabbit food. 

  • Rabbit food should contain plant-based ingredients only. Rabbits are herbivores, which means they only eat plant matter (though added vitamins and minerals are fine). 

  • Consider using a treat ball. You can make feeding time more interesting by loading rabbit pellets into a treat ball so your bunny has to work harder and engage her brain to find it. This goes down well with rabbits' natural foraging behavior. 

  • Always check the nutritional analysis of your chosen rabbit food. Don't listen to empty marketing claims such as food being "all natural" or "gourmet," as these terms don't mean anything concrete; they’re not a guarantee of high-quality food. 

Even if your rabbit has access to fresh grass, she still needs a varied diet, including rabbit food pellets and fresh vegetables.

FAQ

Q. Should rabbit food make up the bulk of my rabbit's diet? 
A. While it's important to feed some rabbit food daily to help ensure a balanced diet, it's by no means the only thing you need to feed your rabbit. All rabbits should have constant access to quality grass hay or oat hay, as the fiber is important for their digestive system. You should also feed your rabbit a variety of fresh vegetables, particularly leafy greens but small amounts of root vegetables are good, too. Fruit is nice as a treat but should be limited due to its high sugar content. Adult rabbits generally need no more than 1/4 to 1/2 cup of rabbit food daily per 6 pounds of weight. 

 

Q. What vegetables might my rabbit enjoy eating? 
A. Rabbits might enjoy eating all kinds of vegetables, but the healthiest vegetables for them to eat are leafy greens and green herbs. This includes lettuce, cabbage, kale, basil, parsely, collard greens, endive, and carrot greens. Root vegetables, such as carrots, make a nice treat but shouldn't be offered too often due to their high sugar content. Offer new greens gradually because too much at once could cause a stomach upset. 

 

Q. How do I switch my rabbit to a new food? 
A. Rabbits are sensitive to changes in food, so stopping one food cold turkey and switching to another right away could wreak havoc on your bunny's digestive system. Instead, you should switch foods gradually over the course of 10 days, replacing around 10% of the old food with new food on the first day. Increase this amount by 10% each day until you've completely replaced the old food with the new. 

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