Pet Obesity Awareness Day is coming up on the 12th! Obesity is a huge problem with our animal companions. Many people want to love and pamper their pets, which is wonderful. Of course, we all know that our animal pals love food. Unfortunately, these things don’t always mesh well. It’s actually very easy to overfeed a pet rabbit. That can quickly lead to obesity, which is just as dangerous for bunnies as it is for dogs and cats. (And for that matter, people.) A Louisville, KY vet discusses bunny obesity in this article.
Floppy’s Natural Eating Habits
In the wild, bunnies are constantly foraging and grazing. They actually spend a lot of energy just going about their day-to-day bunny business, whether they’re running away from potential threats, foraging, or just keeping warm. Pet bunnies still have that urge to graze, but are much more sedentary, and can easily pack on extra weight.
Floppy may look cute if she’s a bit chubby, but the detrimental effects on her health are anything but. Those extra pounds put a lot of strain on your pet’s heart, and can exacerbate and contribute to many health issues, such as arthritis. Your furry pal may also have trouble reaching her back end to clean herself. That increases the chances of her getting flystrike, which is very painful and very dangerous, and very unpleasant.
Determining Your Pet’s Weight
To be fair, it can be hard to gauge body condition on a long haired rabbit. The ultimate authority on Floppy’s body condition is going to be your vet. However, if you can’t feel your pet’s ribs at all, there’s a good chance that she’s overweight.
Floppy’s diet should consist mostly of grass hay, such as Timothy hay. She can have pellets for her main meals, but you’ll have to be careful with portions. Many pellets are very concentrated, so it’s easy to overfeed her. As for treats, small amounts of fresh veggies and fruits are fine, as long as you don’t go overboard. Ask your vet for specific recommendations, including safe and unsafe foods.
Do you have a chubby bunny on your hands? Talk to your vet before changing her menu. Rabbits must lose weight slowly to be able to do so safely.
Do you have questions about your bunny’s health or care? Contact us, your Louisville, KY animal clinic, today!