The best rabbit food (and overall bunny diet) consists of three main components: hay, pellets, and vegetables. Wild rabbits, on the other hand, only eat grass and wild plants like dandelions. How do you decide which rabbit food brands are best? Always start by reading the ingredients and researching the brands.
Best Rabbit Food Hay Brands
Rabbits should have access to grass or hay all day. In fact, 80 to 90 percent of a pet rabbit's diet should be high-quality hay (dried grass). Any of these types of hay are appropriate for your rabbit. These can also be mixed together as several different hays can even out differences in nutritional values. Pay attention to which types your rabbit enjoys most.
Best Timothy Hay
Alfalfa King is a family-owned company. They grow their hays in Central and Western Nevada. The hays they sell are double-compressed for freshness and hand-packed to ensure quality. The company doesn't use any pesticides.
Best Meadow Hay
Oxbow Animal Health sells 100 percent certified organic grass hay that is grown all-naturally without any chemicals. They design diets for rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, and other small pets. This brand also carries a variety of hay types that are grown at a handful of family farms. Pet owners like the sage green color, and customer reviews reinforce the product is great for picky rabbits.
Best Orchard Hay
Small Pet Select makes sure animals get all the possible nutrients from their products. All the ingredients they work with are in their natural form. They partner with an expert, Dr. Gary Pusillo, for their formulations (including pellets, parasite control, and remedies). This brand is what pet owners turn to when their animals have a hard time eating.
Should Pet Owners Buy a Bale Instead?
Buying hay by the bale is also a cost-effective alternative to commercial brands. A local feed store will have bales of rabbit hay, but pet rabbit owners should do some research in advance and watch the types of hay their bunny loves before buying an entire bale.
Best Rabbit Food Pellet Brands
If you want a healthy rabbit, then you need to pay attention to the ingredients.
- Pellets must contain hay for high-quality roughage, protein, necessary vitamins, phosphorus, calcium, and essential trace minerals. Protein levels of these pellets should range from 12 to 20 percent.
- Look for brands that list grass before cereals (e.g., wheat, oats, corn, or maize).
- Calcium is also essential for young and adult rabbits. The optimal calcium content for adult rabbits is 0.6 percent.
With that in mind, there are wonderful pellet food brands on the market that should make up a small percentage (20 percent) of a rabbit's diet. The high-quality ingredients are what stand out for these five rabbit pellet diets. The protein content and the ingredients vary slightly, but these brands offer lines that are popular because of the good levels of nutrients for pet rabbits.
Sherwood Pet Health
The founder of Sherwood Pet Health works with veterinarians on substantiating the health claims found on all their food packaging. The company focuses on understanding the relationship rabbits have with plants, which led to their approach to formulating a healthier rabbit food. The brand is also a member of the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians (AEMV).
Wild Harvest offers a specially formulated, enriched diet that ensures adult rabbits receive vitamins, minerals, fiber, and fat. The reviews from rabbit owners emphasize that bunnies love the wide range of ingredients. Their rabbits eat this diet over treats, and this feed includes both alfalfa and timothy hay.
Small Pet Select
In the hay section above, the brand review includes details about a partnership with an expert, Dr. Gary Pusillo, for their formulations (including pellets, parasite control, and remedies). Many testimonials on the website talk about the rabbit pellets and how they smelled and appeared fresh, unlike other store-bought brands. They also offer a non-GMO, soy-free pellet diet.
Supreme Petfoods has experts in veterinary medicine and nutritionists involved in the formulation of all of Supreme's recipes. Many reviews and testimonials mention that this brand's rabbit pellet diets are made in dedicated vegetarian facilities and use the finest natural ingredients. They also support animal welfare and pet rescues.
BunnyNature's objective is to produce the ideal healthy food for small mammals, based on their original habitats and needs. The ingredients come from sustainably managed companies that treat the environment with respect. The company's Facebook page has information for pet rabbit owners and provides customers with an opportunity to leave reviews. This food is made in Germany but can be ordered online.
Are Rabbit Pellets Really Necessary?
Nope! Yet some rabbits are picky and boycott hay. Pellets help with finicky rabbits and also provide enrichment opportunities. What rabbits need is the long fiber that hay provides to maintain healthy digestion.
Add Fresh Veggies to Your Rabbit's Diet
Supplement your rabbit's diet with fresh vegetables. One cup per four pounds of body weight daily is appropriate for a pet rabbit. Some options for veggies that rabbits like include:
- Sweet potatoes
- Turnip greens
Going Beyond the Rabbit Pellet
Providing fresh water every day is another important part of a rabbit's diet. The best rabbit food and overall diet consists of hay, pellets, and certain veggies. While rabbit pellet food is only 20 percent of the overall mix, it's a great way to keep your rabbit busy as foraging is a natural behavior. Always have hay available in your rabbit enclosure as that helps pet rabbits maintain healthy digestion.