Fresh greens, some hay, a fruit treat here and there and pellets are all essential parts of a rabbit’s diet.
In our guide below, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best rabbit food and provide you with a few dry options in our table below.
There is a lot to know about a rabbit’s dietary needs, and while we can’t provide you with any fresh food options (you can head to the nearest grocery store for that), we can show you some excellent hay and pellet options here.
How to Determine Which Food Your Rabbit Needs
In order to narrow down your choices and find the right food for your rabbit, here are a few things you should take into consideration:
- The Rabbit’s Age. “When” and “how much” will be determined by the rabbit’s age.
Baby rabbits transitioning from their mother’s milk have different needs than rabbits of 7 months to a year, and the same goes for mature rabbits and seniors. You’ll need to do some separate research on this, that way when you’re ready to make the purchase, you’ll know which ones from our guide are safe for your little bun.
- Yes, Rabbits Can Choke. It’s important to make sure that the size of the pellets or snacks you provide are manageable for your bunny because anything too large can create a serious choking hazard for them. Rabbits don’t have the gag reflex like we humans and they don’t vomit (they rely on other techniques to help them dislodge foreign objects), so it’s important to keep an eye on bunnies that eat fast or if they’ve just started eating pellets.
Top 6 Rabbit Foods Table
|1. Small Pet Select Rabbit Food Pellets||$$$||4.7|
|2. Kaytee Alfalfa Free Timothy Complete Rabbit Food||$$||4.7|
|3. Oxbow Animal Health Barley Biscuits Bene Terra Organic Food and Treats||$||4.7|
|4. Manna Pro 47531 Small World Rabbit Feed||$||4.5|
|5. Kaytee Supreme Food for Rabbit||$$||4.4|
|6. Kaytee All Natural Timothy Wafer-Cut Hay for Rabbits & Small Animals||$$||4.4|
Wild rabbits spend most of the day grazing, and since the domestic rabbit doesn’t always have the same opportunities to live as he would in the wild, there are definitely ways that you can simulate their natural habits:
- Exercise Pen Outdoors. If you have a fresh, green lawn outside that is free from pesticides and harmful sprays, then it’s a great idea to set up a pen where your bunny can graze freely and get some exercise.
- Outdoor Alternatives. If you don’t have your own lawn space, you can grow some from seed or cut some by hand from a clean lawn and put it in your bunny’s cage. Just be sure to avoid grass clippings, as they can upset your bunny’s tummy and digestion.
Types of Hay
There are quite a few varieties of hay that you can feed your rabbit, including:
- Alfalfa. Alfalfa is a rich type of hay and is higher in calories than some of the other types. This is recommended for baby rabbits as they grow but not for adults, as it can cause them to excessive amounts of weight.
- Barley/Wheat/Oat Hay. This type of feed is best when the seed heads are still green (once they’re golden they don’t offer the same amount of nutrition as the green ones).
- Grass Hay. Timothy grass is the most common type of hay you’ll see for rabbits. It has fewer calories than alfalfa, which is great for domestic bunnies.
For picky rabbits, you might want to add some simple variations to their hay selection every now and then, but in general, it’s best to stick with the one that your bunny prefers.
Pellets or Mixed Foods
Pellets and food mixtures are convenient, but they should not make up the majority of your rabbit’s diet.
When used in moderation, they will help balance your rabbit’s diet (they contain vitamins and minerals that they may not be getting with the other fresh food and hay that you provide them).
Remember that when you present rabbits with mixed food, they have the opportunity to pick through and eat the things that they like, cheating themselves of some important nutrients.
Pellets, on the other hand, have everything that your rabbit needs mixed into one pre-sized chunk.
To us, pellets are the better choice, but it’s up to you and your bunny to determine which works best.
Probably some of the best rabbit food comes directly from the produce section of the grocery store or, if you’re lucky, right from your vegetable garden!
There are plenty of leafy greens and vegetables that your rabbit can eat, including:
- Mustard greens
- Cucumber leaves
- Carrot tops
- Dandelion greens
The list goes on and on!
Top 3 Best Rabbit Food Reviews
The Small Pet Select brand makes some excellent rabbit food, and thanks to the quality ingredients, we’re happy to spend a little extra for this bag.
This is a Timothy grass-based pellet that is high in fiber and low in calories, and since this is a small, family owned business, they dedicate their time to quality assurance rather than marketing and high turnover.
Quantities are limited since they sell directly to the consumer, so you had better get your name on the list if you’re interested in trying it!
This comes in a 5-pound, 10-pound or 25-pound bag, but we recommend that you start small if you’re feeding just one bunny to make sure that they like it and that it agrees with them (those of you with multiple bunnies will probably need one of the larger bags).
An alternative to the Small Pet Select brand is Kaytee, which is quite well known in the rabbiting world.
This is a more cost-effective option, not nearly at the same level as the previous product but still good.
They also use Timothy grass rather than alfalfa (in fact, the label says alfalfa-free since alfalfa is higher in calories) along with plenty of fiber, vitamins and nutrients that create a balanced diet.
It is available in a 4.5-pound or 9.5-pound bag.
If you’re looking for an occasional treat to give your bunny; this is definitely a great choice.
When they say “organic,” they actually mean it. Look on the back of the packaging and you’ll find the official USDA ORGANIC certification printed, which is how you know that you’re purchasing an authentically organic product.
These are barely-based, oven-baked treats, safe for bunnies, guinea pigs and a variety of small animals!
Just rattle the bag and watch the bunnies (or bunny) fly over to you! Yum yum.