How to Feed Your Dwarf Rabbit

Wild rabbits feed mainly on fresh or dry green plants, bulbs, and food plants from the fields, but rarely on grains; therefore, fresh feed is always the healthiest food for dwarf rabbits. Food plants, vegetables, and fruit have a high nutrient content and are rich in protein and calcium.

Suitable food plants: dandelions (primarily the first tender little leaves), meadow grass (especially the young grass blades), ribwort, broad-leaved plantain, vetch, hogweed, goosefoot, and colts­foot. Wild raspberries, wild strawberries, wild blackberries (only the tender young leaves and two to three fruits as treats), alfalfa, clover (only a little, since it sometimes causes bloating), young stinging nettles, and chamomile. Note: Only collect plants that you are familiar with. Unsuitable places for collecting are the edges of heavily-traveled roads (polluted with auto emissions), parks in which many dogs are walked (disease transmission through urine and feces), chemically treated fields, and meadows that have been sprayed with weed killers. Good places for collecting are meadows that have been left in a natural state, especially in conservation areas and city green spaces, fallow fields, land that is not used for agriculture; areas that have been allowed to go wild, in the woods or at the edge of the woods; in the yard if no poisons have been used there.

Suitable plants from the kitchen and garden: carrots, kohlrabi (leaves and bulb), fennel, celery, corn salad, dandelion, endive, broccoli, radish (leaves only), chicory (sugarloaf), spinach, celeriac, Jerusalem artichoke (leaves and bulb), soybean and pea greens, young corn ears (rich in calories!). Especially healthy are culinary herbs such as pars­ley, dill, lovage, savory, chervil, marjoram, and sage. Fruits, especially apples, a small pear, and now and then a strawberry or raspberry, also taste good to the rabbit.

Not recommended are: salad cucumbers, toma­toes, zucchini, eggplant, beets, raw potatoes.

Poisonous are: potato sprouts and raw beans.

Food for Nibbling

To wear down its constantly growing teeth, a rabbit always needs something to chew on. Fresh branches are very popular with dwarfs. Branches of hazelnut, hornbeam, alder, willow, linden, maple, ash, and fruit wood (unsprayed!) are very suitable.

Dried whole grain bread (not too strongly sea­soned and salted) or a piece of flatbread also are very well liked by dwarfs. Special gnawing sticks are available in the pet store. Make sure that these gnawing treats con­tain plant ingredients’such as vegetables, herbs, and green plants.

Drinking Water

Fresh water is the best drink and must always be available.

To keep your dwarf drinking properly:

  • Fill the drinking bottle with fresh, room-temperature water every day.
  • Filtered water should be used whenever possible.
  • Let heavily chlorinated water come to the boil and cool before offering it.
  • When there is a high nitrate content, use uncarbonated mineral water.
  • For vitamin deficiency, the drinking water can be enriched with a preparation available from the veterinarian or the pet supply store.

Filed Under: Pets & Animals


About the Author: Fred Goodson has a passion for pets and animals. He has 4 dogs and is planning to have another one. He is also a blogger who writes about pets and animals. Currently, he is living in New Jersey.

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