Diet: are you feeding your rabbits the right way? Read this to be absolutely sure

With digestive system disorders so common in rabbits, it's important to feed them the right diet. Here are vet Alison Logan's essential recommendations

Grass - but make him work for it
Letting your rabbit graze on your lawn not only provides him with nutrition, but also mental stimulation and exercise. No rabbit should spend all his time in a hutch. Do not, however, be tempted to feed grass mowings, which may have started to ferment. No lawn? Try growing grass in trays for your rabbit.

Good quality hay or dried grass
As with fresh grass, these should be available round-the-clock to provide indigestible fibre, vital for the proper working of your rabbit's gut: probably the single most important factor in your rabbit's diet. After all, just look at what wild rabbits spend their time doing. Hay or dried grass need to be bought in small quantities to avoid becoming stale.

Water: the fresher the better
It's critical that a fresh source of water is always available. Water in a bowl is susceptible to contamination and may be knocked over. A drinking bottle provides clean water, but can your rabbit drink from it? Also, if it drips it will not last as long as you would expect and the area below it will become wet.

Greens: cabbage leaves, etc
In addition to grass, small quantities of cabbage leaves are a good idea, and carrots (roots and tops) will go down well, as will nasturtiums, dandelion leaves and herbs such as basil and parsley. Rabbits enjoy the peelings from apples and pears, and the grated fruit can be used to tempt a sick rabbit to eat.

Supplementary feed
Any manufactured rabbit food fed alongside hay should be in pellet form to avoid selective feeding, and of such a length as to encourage chewing. A rabbit fed a muesli-type feed will tend to pick out only those ingredients he likes, which can result in him eating an unbalanced diet. Offer only a small amount to avoid your rabbit becoming overweight.

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