Fibre – The Essential Ingredient to Keep Your Bunny Happy

Rabbits have quite specific feeding requirements and these should always be followed very carefully to ensure that you are doing the very best for your pet to maximise diet and health. The actual diet itself is fairly simple in its content and as soon as you become accustomed to these requirements you will understand exactly about the importance of fibre in your rabbit’s daily diet.
Fibre plays an extremely important part in the ideal diet and it is the main component of the daily feeding plan; without this your rabbit can very quickly become extremely ill and sometimes this omission can even have fatal consequences. Like some of their relatives in the animal world, rabbits require two types of fibre in order to keep their digestive system constantly working therefore moving through the gut at all times. They actually require two types of fibre as their internal system is unable to extract the necessary fibre on the first ingestion so it is expelled naturally then eaten for a second time (these dropping are called caecotrophs) so in effect they cannot extract enough nutritional benefit from the first intake of indigestible fibre and rely upon the second intake to supply the missing nutrients. This may sound fairly complicated to the uninitiated but it is a perfectly normal procedure and is followed by several other rodent type creatures. If they fail to receive this method of feeding the consequences will be very unfavourable to their general health and well being.
It is possible to find commercially prepared specialist rabbit foods on the market today and these have been very carefully formulated to ensure that all the nutritional aspects of the diet are taken care of especially the digestible and indigestible fibres. You may have seen a variety of muesli type foods at your specialist or local pet food suppliers and whilst these look very attractive in their packaging you must be extremely cautious when using these foods and never use them as the main ingredient in your rabbits daily diet. As a very occasional treat, your rabbit would be very happy to have them in small amounts but on the whole they can sometimes do more harm than good. Rabbits naturally have a likening for sweet foods and can quickly become selective feeders if given the opportunity so remember that the starch and sugar content of this type of rabbit food is likely to be very high and will provide no real nutritional benefit and also run the serious risk of causing your pet to become overweight in a relatively quick space of time if they are not used responsibly.
Another mainstay in the daily diet is a supply of fresh grass and hay as these also provide a source of fibre as well as helping to act as a dental file which is very advantageous as rabbits teeth are constantly growing and these foods help to wear them down to a comfortable level. So, by all means also include small portions of fresh fruit and vegetables to supplement the fibrous foods and also to add variety to your rabbit’s diet but the main emphasis should be on ensuring that you definitely include the necessary fibres to keep your pet healthy and happy.

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