Obesity in rabbits is serious, but preventable concern
Proper diet is necessary to prevent health issues like arthritis, heart problems
One of the most common health issues for rabbits is obesity, which owners can prevent with proper feeding, according to Mairwen Guard, a founder of CottonTails Rabbit Rescue.
Obesity in rabbits poses serious health risks, like inability to groom, restricted movement, improper digestion of caecotrophs, arthritis and heart problems. In addition, Guard explained that obese rabbits are more at risk for fly strike due to a wet tail because the rabbit is unable to completely lift itself to urinate.
Guard claims that petfood manufacturers often have misleading feeding guidelines that recommend food levels nearly double the amount a rabbit should consume. She recommended the average pet rabbit be fed the equivalent of two full, flat egg cups of pelleted food, once daily.
"A rabbit’s diet should consist of 70-80% good quality meadow hay, the remaining amount consisting of fresh green vegetables, in a quantity that the individual will tolerate, and a small measured amount of dried food as indicated above," Guard said.