A balanced diet increases the health of humans, so it’s the same with animals as well. If you want to limit the number of visits to the vet, you need to choose the best rabbit pellets for your bun.
However, if you start searching for rabbit pellets you will get lost from the variety of brands that is out there. It is challenging to make the right choice of rabbit food, especially with the shelves in stores full of all types of rabbit pellet brands, and each of them claiming to be “premium” and containing “all-natural ingredients”.
But, that is why we are here, to make that journey easier and shorter for you.
In the content below, we reviewed some of the best rabbit pellets, listed their good and not so good qualities, and chose our top pick.
Nevertheless, before we continue with the reviews, let’s take a look at what you need to take into consideration before you choose a food brand.
Before making a choice, few things to consider…
Even food brands for humans have distinctive features, different ingredients, and various ways of making food. The same goes for rabbit food as well. What qualities does a good rabbit pellet brand have? You are a few words away from the answer of this question.
Read the ingredients list
A good brand of rabbit pellets needs to consist of the appropriate balance of ingredients to keep the digestive process running properly and maintain your rabbit’s health by giving it all the nutrients it needs.
If the brand contains nuts, dried fruits, or anything that is colored and crunchy, then it is not the right choice for your bun. While those items are good for people, they don’t give anything to the rabbits.
Rabbits are herbivore creatures, and if you observe them in nature you will see that they rarely eat fruits, nuts, or other fatty foods. They eat a mix of grasses, but it is very difficult for a pet owner to mimic the diet of a rabbit that lives in the wild because it is challenging to obtain a constant supply in the necessary quantities. Therefore, substitutions like hay (dried grass) are necessary.
The feed has to contain natural ingredients to protect your bun’s health. Rabbits in nature consume a variety of other plants, leaves, but sometimes they would eat grains and fruits as well. Pet owners can’t replicate the ample spectrum of plants a rabbit in the wild can access, but they can choose dry food which will be a source of nutrients and vitamins.
What is the main ingredient?
I think you can guess the main ingredient that should be listed on the label. Yes, you are correct. It is a good quality of grass hay. The hays would be such as timothy or alfalfa. This is the single most important ingredient for your rabbit’s dental and intestinal health. The health and digestive benefits from hay are similar to those of fresh grass. This is the prime source of fiber.
Rabbit food brands that are grass-based complement the bun’s nutritional needs more closely and rabbits find them very tasty, even if they don’t look colorful and appear “boring”.
Moreover, if you have an adult rabbit, timothy hay pellets are a better choice. Their fiber content is higher and they have less calcium and protein, as it should be for a balanced diet of an adult rabbit.
But, if your bun is younger, then alfalfa-based pellets are going to supplement the nutritional needs because they have more protein and calcium, but less fiber. Also, alfalfa hay pellets would be appropriate for disabled rabbits as well because they may have a reduced appetite, and it may be difficult for them to keep on weight.
When choosing between timothy and alfalfa hay pellets, consider your ball of fur’s condition and age. If you aren’t certain, you can always consult with a vet.
Fiber, fiber, fiber…
Fiber content is one of the two most important nutritional pieces of information. The crucial part of keeping your rabbit happy, healthy, and alive longer is to ensure their digestive tracts keep working, while at the same time you balance between indigestible fiber and nutrition.
Rabbits have longer digestive tracts, and they break down and process cellulose slower. A diet higher in fiber helps to prevent the cecum to be impacted by stimulating cecal-colic motility.
Consequently, fiber is essential for your bun’s healthy digestion and the fiber content in rabbit pellets should be checked. Especially disabled rabbits need an adequate quantity of fiber because they don’t move around as much. They will need enough fiber to keep their system working and prevent blockage in their gastrointestinal tract.
Great, we know that fiber is extremely important, but how much fiber should the feed contain? It needs to have at least 20%, but the ideal amount is 25% and more.
Did we mention protein?
Bunnies don’t require animal protein, and they aren’t even able to process it. So, one thing you need to make sure is that the brand you choose doesn’t contain animal protein.
If you are buying small amounts of pellets that are taken out of a big bag and put into a smaller one, you’ll need to ask to read the nutrition label on the big bag.
Furthermore, the content of the protein shouldn’t be higher than needed because if your bun consumes an excessive amount of protein it could lead to enteritis.
So, what is the right amount of protein rabbit pellets should contain? If your bun is an adult and healthy, then 12-14% is a sufficient amount. If you have a younger bun (younger than five months) then it will need higher protein content, 16%, to support their growth.
Okay, but what about fat?
The fat type in the feed should be vegetable-based because when rabbits consume animal fat they develop symptoms similar to atherosclerosis. Vegetable oils are easier to digest and have higher energy value.
In addition, rabbits need fat for energy and to absorb fat-soluble vitamins. Fat can boost palatability, but you need to be careful with the amount because it can lead to obesity, atherosclerosis, and hepatic lipidosis.
You don’t need to add fat to their diet, because rabbits don’t need a lot of fat. The amount shown on the label should be 1 – 1, 15%.
Last, but not least, calcium…
You bun won’t need a lot of calcium content in its diet. If your rabbit is healthy, then the content of calcium in the pellets should be around 1 – 2%. But, if your bun has any issues with its bladder or kidneys then the content has to be even lower, 0.5%.
Now, let’s take a look at our top five rabbit pellets.
Our top five rabbit pellets
Oxbow Essentials Bunny Basics/T Adult Rabbit Food contains mainly timothy hay, so that means it has the essential fiber content. Moreover, the added vitamins (Vitamins E, B12, A, D3) and minerals (Zinc, Magnesium, Calcium) aid in further maintaining your adult bunny’s health.
This particular type of rabbit pellet is specially made to fulfill the nutritional needs of an adult rabbit. Younger buns have greater nutritional needs than adults because of their growth stage. Furthermore, Oxbow Essentials Bunny Basics/T Adult Rabbit Food is not intended for bunnies that pregnant, nursing, or active.
Even though it contains the necessary quantity of fiber, protein, and fat ratios, the Oxbow Essentials Bunny Basics/T Adult Rabbit Food needs to be given to your bunny in addition to unlimited grass hay.
The size of the packaging ranges from 5 to 25 pounds. So, if you have a family of bunnies it would be more economically affordable to get a bigger bag.
- Great fiber content (25-29%)
- Excellent source of vitamins and minerals
- The packaging is available in larger quantities
- The protein content is a minimum of 14%
- Minimum fat content is 2%
- The pellets may become dusty
- Some buns don’t find it tasty
- They list only the minimum amount of protein and fat; it may contain more
- It contains some traces of wheat and soybean, which might not be preferred by some owners
Kaytee has been a well-known brand for a long time. They offer high-quality pet food in general.
This Kaytee product offers an alternative to timothy based pellets. Kaytee Supreme Fortified Daily Diet Rabbit Food is produced without any artificial colors or flavors, and it contains natural grains.
The taste of the pellets is different and many bunnies enjoy it quite a lot. This is a great choice if your ball of fur doesn’t enjoy the timothy based pellets.
Since it is naturally preserved and it isn’t made with any artificial preservatives, it is very good and safe for your rabbit’s health.
The adequate amount and variety of vitamins and minerals helps to increase the immune system and ensures healthy growth.
The crunchiness of the pellets satisfies the need of the bunny to chew and aids in keeping its teeth healthy and trim.
Kaytee Supreme Fortified Daily Diet Rabbit Food is filled with fiber-rich ingredients, but your bun will still need a daily supply of hay for proper digestive health. These Kaytee pellets have protein from premium whole grain sources which are great for your rabbit’s skin and coat health, as well as for its muscle development.
- Good fiber content (min 12% – 17%)
- Minimum protein quantity is 15%
- Minimum fat content is 2%
- It doesn’t contain any artificial color and flavor
- It is naturally preserved
- Contains natural grains
- Very affordable
- Not every bun will enjoy the taste
- Pellets might be crushed
- This particular type might be more suitable for younger buns because of the higher content of calcium and protein
- Minimum quantity of fat and protein is put on the label; it may contain more
Mazuri is another brand that offers high-quality exotic pet food. Their formulas have been tested at various universities, zoos, and breeding facilities.
As the title says, Mazuri Timothy-Based Rabbit Food’s basic ingredient is timothy hay which meets all nutritional requirements of rabbits. It has higher fiber content which supports the digestive system and contains lower levels of protein.
With its variety of vitamins (Vitamins E, A, B12, C, D3) and minerals, you won’t need any additional supplementation to maintain your bun’s health.
Another important ingredient in this particular rabbit food is probiotics which promote further support of gastrointestinal health.
Let’s not forget the flaxseed, a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which is great for your bun’s skin and coat.
If you have more bunnies running around, they have bigger packaging available as well (25 pounds).
- It is a great source of fiber (min 18% – max 22%)
- It contains a good amount of protein (min 14%)
- The fat content is min 1.5%
- It comes in bigger packages as well
- It has probiotics for gut health
- The Omega 3 fatty acids from the flaxseeds are great for the coat and skin
- It has a great range of vitamins and minerals
- Some bunnies might not eat this food
- This food contains molasses which may not be preferred by some pet owners
- The maximum content of fat and protein is not listed
Science Selective Adult Rabbit Food is offered by Supreme Pet Foods. They provide a variety of pellets for rabbits, each suited to the nutritional needs of the rabbit’s age.
Supreme Pet Foods try to use as much recycled material for packaging as they can, and they are also involved in some local charities.
These pellets have a high quantity of fiber and are alfalfa hay-based. Science Selective Adult Rabbit Food is another great choice if your bun doesn’t like timothy hay-based pellets.
It offers an additional range of vitamins (Vitamins A, D3) and minerals that support your bun’s health. Moreover, this rabbit pellet contains a good amount of protein as well. Although, the fat content might be a little bit higher than necessary (min 4%).
The linseed oil in the pellets contributes to the health of the skin and coat. Furthermore, this food is enhanced with probiotics for digestive health support.
- It has very good fiber content (max 25%)
- It contains a great amount of protein (14%)
- It has vitamins and minerals that contribute to a balanced diet
- The pellets have linseed oil, which is good for your rabbit’s skin and coat
- The probiotics in the food help with your bun’s gut health
- It has a higher content of fat (min 4%)
- The nutrition label doesn’t have information on maximum fat and protein content
- It may not be suitable for all bunnies
Another great feed by Kaytee on our list, but this one is timothy hay-based. It offers an amazing quantity of fiber which aids in the work of your rabbit’s digestive system.
Furthermore, its content of micronutrients gives additional support to your bun’s health and balanced diet.
The feed contains molasses that make the pellets more palatable but don’t forget to take into consideration your bun’s dental health.
In addition, the pellets have long strand hay, which will fulfill your rabbit’s need to chew.
Kaytee Timothy Complete Rabbit Food doesn’t contain any artificial colors or flavors. It has probiotics to further increase your bun’s gastrointestinal health.
- It has excellent fiber content (min 20% – max 25%)
- The protein quantity is very good (min 13%)
- It contains min 1.5% fat
- The broad range of vitamins and minerals increase your bun’s health
- The price is very acceptable
- It has probiotics that aid in maintaining your rabbit’s gut health
- Optimal calcium quantity
- They don’t state the maximum values of protein and fat
- The pellets have molasses, which may impact your bun’s dental health
- It is not suitable for wild rabbits
- Some bunnies may not like it
Before we reveal our choice, we would like to mention a couple of more things you need to keep in mind.
Whichever rabbit pellet you choose, make sure that your bun’s diet mainly consists of hay, fresh veggies, and water. The rabbit pellets should be only a supplement and make up for any nutritional deficiencies.
Furthermore, when you change from one food brand to another, make the transition gradually. Start with a mixture of the old and new food, and slowly increase the quantity of the new food over a period of seven to ten days.
And now, the great reveal…Our choice of rabbit pellets is Kaytee Timothy Complete Rabbit Food. Why? Because of several reasons, it has a great minimum to a maximum value of fiber content, the minimum quantity of fat is very good, it is very affordable and it contains all necessary nutritional ingredients that help support your bun’s health.