Discover which foods are good for your rabbit’s teeth
February 7, 2024
Did you know that your pet rabbit’s teeth will continually grow for their entire life? To maintain your furry friend’s oral health, it is essential that you provide them with the correct nutrition that supports natural wear and tear. In this article, Vet Jürgen Theinert explores the foods that Edgewood Vets recommends to help keep your rabbit’s teeth healthy and strong.
Foods that are good for rabbit oral health
Vet Jürgen Theinert wants to help rabbit owners in Essex understand exactly which foods, and things you can probably find in your garden, will really help to maintain your rabbit’s dental health.
The importance of hay
According to Jürgen, hay is the cornerstone of a rabbit’s diet and plays a vital role in maintaining dental health. The fibre in hay encourages constant chewing, which naturally grinds down your rabbit’s teeth. Jürgen recommends offering a variety of hays like timothy, meadow, or orchard grass to keep their diet interesting and ensure they receive essential nutrients.
Fresh leafy greens
Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and romaine lettuce are not only packed with vitamins and minerals but also provide the necessary crunch to help wear down your rabbit’s teeth. These greens should be a daily part of your pet’s diet. You should avoid ice-berg lettuce as these can make rabbits feel unwell.
Jürgen wants rabbit owners to get excited about herbs like parsley, coriander, and dill, as these serve as tasty additions to your rabbit’s diet while promoting healthy teeth. The act of nibbling on herbs encourages natural dental maintenance.
Twigs and branches
These might not seem the obvious choice, but Jürgen recommends incorporating safe twigs and branches from fruit-bearing trees like apple, willow, or pear into your rabbit’s environment. These act as natural toothbrushes, providing both dental and enrichment benefits.
High-quality rabbit pellets can be part of your rabbit’s diet, but they should not be the primary focus. Choose pellets that are rich in fibre and low in calcium, as an excess of calcium can lead to urinary tract issues.
Fresh vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers, and celery can be given in moderation as occasional treats. They offer both dental exercise and nutritional value.
Jürgen wants rabbit owners in Essex to be aware: whilst some calcium is essential for rabbits, an excess can lead to urinary problems and kidney stones. Therefore, it’s important to avoid high-calcium foods like alfalfa hay (sometimes called Lucerne hay), which is suitable for young rabbits but not for adults. Also, remember that fresh, clean water is essential for all aspects of your rabbit’s health.
Maintaining your rabbit’s dental health is not just about providing the right foods; it’s also about ensuring a well-balanced diet. Contact our rabbit vets at Edgewood Veterinary Group to discuss your rabbit’s nutritional needs and don’t hesitate to contact us on 01621 828381 to book a dental exam for them.