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and 2:30pm-6pm

Thursday & Saturday 8am-noon

Doctor's hours are by appointment.

To make an appointment, please call

1120 Maricopa Hwy.
Ojai, CA 93023


Rabbit Nutrition

The leading problem affecting rabbits is poor diet. Too many rabbit owners feed excessive amounts of pellets, which are a highly concentrated, high-calorie food source that contains inadequate fiber. Consequently, not just obesity but chronic digestive upsets occur. Rabbits cannot vomit, but they develop soft stools, diarrhea with or without depression and anorexia. If they go without eating for more than about 48 hours they can get fatty liver disease.

Although hair balls are thought to be common, they are not. With the exception of Angora rabbits, 99% of rabbits thought to have hair balls really are suffering the consequences of a poor diet.

Recommended Foods

For the mature rabbit we recommend restricted pellets amounting to a maximum of 1/8 to 1/4 cup for each five pounds of body weight. Rabbits can be given free choice, however, of grass hay daily, which is sold either as "mixed grassy hay" or "Timothy hay." Rabbits should not be given alfalfa, which is high in calcium and can lead to problems.

You can also give dark fibrous leafy greens, such as kale, mustard greens, carrots, parsley or dandelion greens, and vegetables including carrots, green peppers, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. We like to give one heaping cup of greens and vegetables per 5 pounds of body weight daily. Give at least three different kinds of leaves or vegetables a day to prevent boredom and to give the animal a better balance of nutrients, which vary among these different foods. Be sure to wash all of these types of food well to remove any pesticide residues.

In addition, rabbits can receive one tablespoon of fruit per 5 pounds of body weight daily. They particularly enjoy strawberries and other berries as well as apples. Bananas are too high in calories, but would be good if a rabbit is too thin or is recovering from a problem and needs more calories.

Rabbits should not receive sugary treats, which contribute to obesity, or high grain treats such as crackers and bread which can cause abnormal fermentation in the gut and an overgrowth of "bad bacteria" resulting in serious, often fatal diarrhea.

More unusual and exotic pets:

• Guinea Pigs
• Green Iguanas

• Nutrition for Your Pet Bird