Riverside Veterinary Clinic

Rabbit Diet

The Best Diet For A Rabbit Diet

1) A constant supply of grass and good quality grass hay (eg Eragrostus hay). In the wild, rabbits chew grass for up to 20 hours a day. Their teeth grow constantly throughout their lives, and without plenty of chewing, their teeth will not be worn down adequately. Sharp spurs on the back teeth and overgrown incisors may result.


2) A small amount of commercial rabbit diet and / or rabbit pellets that have high fibre (18 – 24%), lower protein levels (about 15%) and low fat (2 – 3%). If the food is too low in fibre and too high in protein, digestive problems such as diarrhoea may occur. Do not give an unlimited supply of commercial diet as the rabbit may leave the high fibre pellets and overeat on carbohydrate rich ingredients, causing obesity. Adult rabbits should have no more than a quarter of a cup of pellets daily.

3) A small amount of leaves and fresh vegetables. (Approximatey one heaped cup for every 2,5kg of body weight)
For example basil, coriander, dhanya, mint, rocket, parsley and watercress. The leaves from     beetroot, broccoli, carrots and radishes are also beneficial. Lettuce is comprised of mainly     water and has little nutritional value. Avoid cabbage as it can cause bloating.

*Wild plant leaves
For example clover, dandelion and blackjack.

For example beetroot, broccoli, carrots, celery, cauliflower, green beans, green pepper, pea     pods and sweet potato. Carrots can be suspended from the cage roof to act as edible toys     and increase time spent eating.

4) Water

Rabbits need access to water at all times. Water intake is approximately 10% of body weight daily. Drinking bottles are easier to keep clean than water bowls and they avoid wetting of the dewlap, which can lead to a moist dermatitis. Drinking bottles must be regularly checked to ensure that they are functioning properly.


  • sudden changes in diet as this may cause digestive problems.
  • onions, avocado and potato peelings as these can be toxic.
  • mouldy food.
  • sugar-rich treats, for example biscuits, cake or sweets.
  • high acid-containing fruits (a small amount of apple is recommended).
  • Supplements. If the rabbit has a good diet, extra vitamin and mineral supplements are not required. Large amounts of calcium can predispose the rabbit to urinary calculi in the kidney or bladder.


62 Soofie Saheb Drive,
Durban North,

Consultations by appointment

Monday - Friday: 07:45 - 17:45
Saturday: 08:00- 11:45
Sunday: Closed
Public Holidays: Closed

Contact Us

Tel: 031 563 6565 / 66

Sherwood After Hours Emergency Clinic:
031 207 1300