For the unfamiliar, feeding a rabbit may conjure up an image of a little fluff ball munching on a carrot like a cigar. But the reality is that these creatures have specific nutritional needs, just like us, and they need the best rabbit food to keep them happy and healthy. The challenge is that various food options are available, and you have to sift through the noise to know what will be best for your pets.
It’s important to know that domestic rabbits aren’t any different than their wild counterparts. It means that the instinct to graze throughout the day is still there, even if you’re providing the food for them. Rabbits also need a specific balance of food types, which can feel intimidating to new owners.
If you’re worried that you might choose the rabbit equivalent of fast food, don’t fret. Our buying guide will help you better understand your rabbits’ needs. We also recommend some of our favourite options to help narrow your choices.
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Best rabbit food: At a glance
How to choose the best rabbit food
What types of rabbit food make a healthy diet?
As previously mentioned, rabbits have a unique balance of food they need for optimal health. Rabbits primarily need fresh hay or grass to graze on throughout the day. It should make up between 85-90% of their daily diet.
The second most prominent part of their diet should be fresh greens and vegetables. “Leafy greens are all great”, explained one long-time rabbit owner we spoke to. “Things like fruits and even carrots are good but only in moderation, and avoid anything with seeds or pits.”
Pellets should only make up about 5% of your rabbit’s diet. “Generally speaking, it’s best to keep it simple in terms of pellets”, our expert said. Avoid seed mixes or muesli-style foods, as rabbits tend to pick and choose the parts they like. Chances are they will opt for pieces high in starch or sugar, ultimately losing out on important nutrients. The benefit of pellets, also called nuggets, is that the rabbits eat all ingredients, not just the fun stuff.
What features should I look for in a good rabbit food?
There are certain features you should take into consideration when shopping for rabbit food.
- There are different types of hay and pellet bases available, but they’re not all equal in nutritional value. For example, alfalfa-based pellets have higher calories and lower fibre content. Instead, look for Timothy Hay, which has a healthy dose of the nutrients rabbits need.
- Avoid colourful mixes and instead opt for uniform pellets. As previously stated, rabbits tend to pick and choose what they want out of a food mix rather than eating it all.
- Uniform pellets are an easier way to satisfy nutritional needs.
- Hay and grass are important not only for rabbits’ nutrition but also for their teeth. Since rabbits’ teeth continue to grow throughout their lives, chewing on fibres like grass and hay helps to grind them down. That said, remember that freshly cut grass is toxic for rabbits.
Finally, always pair your rabbits’ food with a good amount of fresh water and ensure they get enough hay to match their body size on a daily basis. Pellets are intended to complement your rabbits’ natural grazing habits.
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The best rabbit food you can buy in 2023
1. Supreme Selective Naturals Grain Free Rabbit Food: The best overall rabbit food
Price: £8.18 | Buy now from Amazon
This grain-free rabbit food ensures rabbits get just what they need. Designed to mimic a natural diet, it is high in fibre and made with Timothy Hay, which is both nutritious and delicious for your pet.
The ingredients are all-natural and chosen to ensure your rabbit gets all the vitamins and minerals they need on a daily basis. Among them are garden vegetables and forage that your rabbits would opt for in the wild. The ingredients also help to provide healthy levels of fibre, promote healthy digestion and maintain a healthy weight.
There is no corn and no wheat included, and no added sugars. The formula does include natural linseed, which helps promote healthy skin and a beautiful, glossy coat. Overall, this food provides a wholesome snack for your rabbit.
Key specs – Size: 1.5 kg; Type of food: Pellet; Protein: 14.0%; Fibre: 22.0%
2. Burgess Excel Feeding Hay with Dandelion and Marigold: The best rabbit feeding hay
Price: £8.44 | Buy now from Amazon
High-quality hay is the cornerstone of a rabbit’s healthy diet. It’s imperative for everything from proper digestion to proper tooth wear. Rabbits are meant to eat, at minimum, their body size in hay on a daily basis. With that said, this feeding hay absolutely meets your rabbits’ needs.
The base of the mixture is Timothy Hay, which is a great source of fibre. It also includes dandelion, which helps maintain urinary tract health and marigold, which helps strengthen the immune system. The one-kilogram bag of hay is compressed and expands as much as eight times its compressed size.
This brand of hay is both grown and packaged in Yorkshire. It is dried in a barn and has dust extracted to prevent respiratory issues. The ingredients are all-natural and, when paired with the Burgess Excel recommended diet, makes the perfect choice for any rabbit.
Key specs – Size: 1 kg; Type of food: Hay; Protein: Not specified; Fibre: 35% crude fibre
3. Burgess Excel Adult Rabbit Nuggets with Mint: The best pellet rabbit food
Price: £26 | Buy now from Amazon
Intended to be a complementary pairing to rabbits’ fresh hay diet, this nugget food helps provide necessary nutrients. Designed to prevent selective feeding, these nuggets ensure your rabbits eat everything they need, not just the sugary or starchy pieces.
The ingredient formula for this food includes a natural prebiotic, which helps promote digestive health in your rabbit. It’s also bolstered with vitamins and minerals. These added nutrients encourage healthier eyes and skin and a glossy, healthy coat. There are also natural antioxidants that help to improve the immune system.
As an added appeal, the nuggets also include mint for an even more enjoyable taste. Rabbits only need about an egg cup’s worth of nuggets per day, meaning this bag will last for a very long time. Paired with lots of feeding hay, fresh greens and fresh water, your rabbits will be healthy and happy.
Key specs – Size: 10 kg; Type of food: Pellet; Protein: 13%; Fibre: 19%
4. Supreme Selective Timothy Hay: The best UK-grown rabbit food
Price: £14 | Buy now from Amazon
It’s always reassuring to know where your food comes from, and even better when it’s from a local source. Now, you can be equally reassured about your rabbits’ food. Supreme Selective provides high-quality Timothy Hay and grasses grown here in the UK.
The grass is harvested so that the long stems remain intact, ensuring that none of the important nutrients get lost in the harvesting process. It also comes from the first cut of the year, resulting in the strongest and tastiest grass. The hay goes through a special process to guarantee top quality. It’s spread in the field six times over three days to help retain nutrients.
The damp hay is raked, bailed, and machine dried for up to eight hours. Finally, the hay is hand packed. Every step of this process is designed to retain as many nutrients as possible, providing the best quality Timothy Hay.
Key specs – Size: 2 kg; Type of food: Hay; Protein: 9%; Fibre: 25-30%
5. Burgess Excel Tasty Nuggets Adult Rabbit Food: The best adult rabbit food
Price: £30 | Buy now from Pets At Home
An adult rabbit has done its growing, but it still has dietary needs to maintain optimal health. These nuggets are an ideal balance of both digestible and indigestible fibre. The former provides your rabbits with essential nutrients, while the latter helps both with digestion and grinding down teeth.
The ingredients are blended to form small nuggets that your rabbits can snack on, preventing them from selective feeding. The formula is fortified with healthy fats, proteins and phosphorus, which helps develop strong bones and muscles. Along with essential nutrients, the nuggets have added vitamins and minerals for optimal organ function.
This rabbit food can help improve rabbits’ metabolism and strengthen their overall immunity. It works well as a daily supplement to a regular diet of hay and fresh greens, helping your pets achieve optimal digestive and dental health.
Key specs – Size: 10 kg; Type of food: Pellets; Protein: 13%; Fibre: 19%