Small, soft, and totally cute – dwarf rabbits inspire with great character and a sweet appearance. Anyone who keeps dwarf rabbits as pets, however, assumes a great responsibility that should not be underestimated. It is important to keep the animals in a way that is as species-appropriate as possible and to meet the requirements and needs of the animals so that the munchkins can do well and live long and happy life. This is very important not only in relation to the home because dwarf rabbits need a lot of space and do not feel comfortable in small cages. You should also pay attention to the furnishings of the rabbit housing because they not only need sufficient freedom to run, but also enough variety with a little house and possibly other toys and climbing opportunities. Of course, keeping with conspecifics and a lot of variety should not be missing either. But the feeding must not be neglected under any circumstances.
Dwarf rabbits are among the animals that eat small amounts of food from time to time throughout the day. For this reason, it is important to always provide the animals with a certain type of food, while other types of food should always be available. In this article, we explain which rabbit food should be given and how often in order to provide the animals with a balanced and ideal diet.
Which food should be given and how often?
Dwarf rabbits need different foods to stay healthy at all times. It is important to offer the animals a balanced and healthy diet, which should also be varied.
Fresh water must be provided every day and can be served in a small bowl, bowl, or in a special drinking bottle. However, it is important to ensure that the bottle does not drip. On warm summer days, you should check regularly during the day whether there is still enough water available for the animals, as the need for liquid is much higher at this time of the year. However, don’t be surprised if your dwarf rabbit doesn’t drink as much. This is perfectly normal. In the wild, rabbits absorb the liquid from the dew or the liquid in the plants, so especially dwarf rabbits that are fed green fodder do not drink as much water.
Hay is particularly important for dwarf rabbits and should be available in large quantities at all times. It is important to give the hay fresh every day so that the animals can always choose the best hay. This is how healthy animals leave the less good hay lying around. The hay that is still available the following day should therefore be disposed of in order to offer the rabbits only high-quality products. The hay is vital for the animals and is used for healthy digestion, but should not lie on the ground. It is therefore best to use a special hay rack that you can simply hang in the cage or put to the side. This feed is particularly rich in vitamins, fiber, nutrients, and minerals, making hay arguably the most important part of a dwarf rabbit’s diet. However, make sure to feed only high-quality hay.
Green fodder/meadow green
Green fodder should be fed regularly. However, it is important to start slowly with getting used to fresh green fodder, as animals that are not used to this food quickly react with diarrhea and abdominal pain. It is therefore advisable to start slowly and gradually increase the rations, even if your animals have not been able to get fresh green fodder for a long period of time, as is the case in winter for example. You can feed your rabbits anything you can find in a wild meadow. Dandelions and various herbs are particularly popular. But grasses also belong on the daily schedule. Here you can go ahead and spoil your animals with fresh greens every day. However, it is important to collect this freshly. If stored incorrectly, the feed could become mouldy, which would be harmful to health and can lead to illness. Meadow green is particularly rich in vitamins and other essential nutrients. In the future, dandelions and the like may be given daily and will in no way harm the animals. It is best if you give your rabbits enough food so that even after the first storm there is still some food left over for the rodents to use at a later date. Another particularly important property lies in the fact that the green fodder is rich in liquid and thus covers the daily liquid requirement of the animals.
Fruit and vegetables
When feeding fruit and vegetables, it is also important to gradually get the animals used to this new food, because there is a risk of diarrhea as a result. Of course, fruit is particularly popular with animals, but this does not mean that it is just as healthy. Fruit contains a lot of sugar and sugar is harmful to animals in the long term and especially in large quantities. In addition, dwarf rabbits react with diarrhea to too much sugar, and getting used to the food doesn’t change anything. However, there is nothing wrong with a delicious piece of apple. However, this should not be the case every day. Once a week, for example on Sunday as a small feast, is completely sufficient here.
It’s different with vegetables. Carrots and lettuce are not only rich in vitamins and other nutrients, they also taste particularly good and add a great variety to the animals’ diets. Especially in the cold winter months or on wet autumn days, vegetables are ideal to replace the green of the meadow. Leafy vegetables, such as the different types of salads, are particularly suitable. Tuberous vegetables, on the other hand, should be avoided if possible. As soon as the dwarf rabbits have gotten used to the vegetables, they can be fed daily, just like the greens of the meadow.
Branches are very popular with rabbits and are important for keeping the animals’ teeth at the ideal length. This is mainly due to the fact that dwarf rabbits are among the animals whose teeth grow continuously. If these become too long at some point, the rabbits can no longer eat properly, injure themselves and experience severe pain. For this reason, it is advisable to provide the animals with various dried branches at all times. If your dwarf rabbits are already sufficiently used to green fodder, a branch with fresh leaves is a nice change, but should not be on the daily menu and should only be fed once a week.
Dried animal food
Dry food is part of the daily feeding routine for many dwarf rabbit owners. However, this is food that is particularly rich in fat. In addition, feeding often leads to an excess energy intake, which in turn means that your rabbit quickly becomes overweight. Many rabbits do not eat dry food because they are hungry, but out of boredom and even select the best and tastiest things, so that the remaining dry food often stays where it is. If your rabbit gets enough green fodder, branches, and hay every day, feeding the dry food is usually not necessary and should be fed in small quantities at most once a day. This dose can be increased in winter. Unfortunately, the individual ingredients of the different types of feed only very rarely correspond to the actual natural needs of the rabbit, but are enriched with dyes and the like and contain additives that the animals in the wild do not eat.
Every animal loves to be spoiled with little treats in between and of course every animal owner would like to offer their darling something great. However, if possible, yoghurt drops and the like should not be fed at all. These contain only few nutritional values and hardly any vitamins but have a high fat and energy content, which can lead to obesity in the animals.
|lining type||Characteristics and frequency of feeding|
|water||give fresh every day
make available continuously
in the bowl or the bottle to hang up
in the summer put out new water several times a day
|Heu||make available continuously
new hay is enough every day
remove the old hay daily
important for animal digestion
important for the teeth of dwarf rabbits
only feed good quality hay
rich in vitamins minerals and other nutrients
Feeding ideally in a hay rack
only feed good quality hay
|Green fodder or meadow green||should be fed daily
get the animals used to the green fodder slowly
gradually increase the dosage
it is best to always collect them fresh on the meadow
can be served in large quantities
rich in important vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other nutrients
suitable as sole feed
always feed so much that after the first meal there is still something left over
|vegetables||can be fed daily
especially leafy vegetables are healthy (salads)
ideal alternative to meadow green in winter
get the animals used to the food slowly
Rich in vitamins, trace elements, and nutrients
Bulbous vegetables are enough
Feeding in sufficient quantities daily in winter
contains a lot of sugar which the animals cannot tolerate
a piece of apple is not bad
Rabbits often react with diarrhea
|dried animal food||Feed only when necessary, in small amounts, as green fodder is usually sufficient
often does not meet the needs of the animals
contains too many additives
Rabbits often only eat the best and tastiest parts
contains a lot of fats
|treats||if possible, do not feed at all
contains few nutrients
rich in fats and energy
leads to fattening of the animals
does not occur in the wild
As with other animals, it is just as important with dwarf rabbits to consider the individual needs of the animals and to adapt their diet. Since rabbits in the wild usually only eat roots, branches, and green fodder, it is not a problem to base their diet on them, so that the industrially produced feed can be dispensed with, at least for the most part. The amount of green fodder can also be adjusted to the hunger of the animals because there are no disadvantages to be feared here as long as the animals have become accustomed to the food.