Animal Supplements -
Rabbit Vitamins & Minerals

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Do Rabbit's Need to Supplement?

Hey Fat Bunny!Do Rabbit's Need to Supplement Their Diet?

Rabbit's fed on the proper diet don't need to add anything else to their feeding regime. However, with the rise of the domestic house rabbit, (not having access to outside foraging), and an increase in 'cheaper' mass produced rabbit food (pellets and muesli), the need for animal supplements has become a necessary part of their daily diet.

But Why? What Do Supplements Do?

Some foods are good for rabbits and some natural consumables found in nature in their raw, unprocessed form can be excellent alternatives to prescribed synthetic medicines and have natural antibiotic properties.

They stimulate and boost the immune system, killing or preventing pathogens from reproducing within the body and increase the natural resistance to infection.

Battle the bugs with this 'super-food' shopping list...

Remedy Cabinet Bunny Basics

Natural anti-biotic compounds are essential for your rabbit's medicine cabinet'.

These animal supplements are a few that my cabinet will never be without!

Colloidal Silver

Colloidal silver is made from natural ingredients which treats and removes viruses, bacteria and fungi without damaging the surrounding healthy cells. It has been used very effectively to treat bacterial, fungal and viral infections in pets just as well as it does in humans.

More here...


Also known as the American coneflower, Echinacea has been used for hundreds of years to strengthen the immune system and fight a variety of infections. It is what's called an immune system stimulant and broad spectrum natural antibiotic.

More here...

Red Raspberry Leaf

Naturally high in magnesium, potassium, iron and b-vitamins, the specific combination of nutrients in Raspberry Leaf extract makes it extremely beneficial and soothing both internally and externally.

Click the image for more...

For a more detailed look at all aspects of bunny health, diet, environment, companionship & longevity check out the revolutionary iRabbit READY System by Kerry Greener of Just Rabbits Limited

A Rabbit's Requirements

Nutrient Requirements

Like all species, rabbits have nutrient requirements that can be met by consuming certain ingredients.

A rabbit’s basic nutrients are protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water, which is the most important.

Let's take a look at each one in more detail...

Important Rabbit Protein

Proteins are made up of amino acids which make up the rabbit's DNA and enzymes. 

Proteins play a role in most cellular functions. In addition, proteins have an important structural role in the body where they make up muscle, fur/hair, nails, and skin. 

Rabbits require proteins in their diet for both essential and non-essential amino acids.

Examples of essential amino acids for rabbits are lysine, methionine, valine, leucine, and isoleucine. 

Rabbits use lower quality proteins than humans. Bacteria in a rabbit's colon produce protein (in the form of more bacterial cells), which the rabbit can use to meet its nutrient needs by practising cecotrophy (consumption of select stools rich in protein and bacterial cells). More on that here...

A rabbit’s protein requirements increase during times of growth, pregnancy, or lactation (milk production).

Energy from Carbohydrate and Fibre

Carbohydrate is a major source of energy for rabbits. Most of the carbohydrate requirement for rabbits is in the form of fibre.

A diet too high in grain or ferment-able fibre, such as oats and corn, can cause enteritis.

High levels of non digestible fibre, such as Timothy grass hay and alfalfa hay, may help prevent enteritis and obesity.

Non digestible fibre is not fermented in the caecum, whereas digestible fibre is fermented by passing though the caecum.

Non digestible fibre is important for dental health because it helps wear rabbits’ teeth. Non digestible fibre also helps stimulate gut motility. Ferment able fibre helps rabbits digest cecotrophs as well as prevents colonization of the caecum by pathogenic bacteria, helping to prevent bacterial overgrowth and decreasing the likelihood of enteritis.

Volatile fatty acids (i.e., propionate, butyrate, acetate) are produced by bacteria in the caecum, absorbed into the bloodstream, and used as energy.

To produce volatile fatty acids, rabbits require crude fibre of at least 12% to 16% DM, depending on life stage: 12% DM for lactation, 14% DM for gestation, and 15% to 16% DM for growth and maintenance.

Pet rabbits need higher levels of fibre to help prevent obesity and hair chewing and to maintain GI health.

A desirable amount of fibre for pet rabbits is 18% to 25% DM.

Low-fibre diets can decrease GI motility, possibly leading to retention of food and hair and to formation of hairballs (trichobezoars).

Rabbits cannot vomit hairballs like some animals can; therefore, blockages can be life-threatening.

You can learn more on the rabbit digestive system here...

Fat in a Rabbit's Diet

Fats are organic compounds that are insoluble in water and serve several important functions in the body. Fats supply energy, provide essential fatty acids, carry fat-soluble vitamins, and are an important part of cell membranes.

Rabbits use fat for energy and to absorb fat-soluble vitamins.

Most foods contain 2% to 5% DM fat, which rabbits can get from a vegetable diet.

Rabbits do not need fat added to their feed.

Fat can increase palatability, but an excess amount can increase the risk of obesity, hepatic lipidosis, and atherosclerosis in the aorta.

Rabbit's Need Vitamins

Rabbits, like humans, require a number of different vitamins. These vitamins can be divided into the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) and the water-soluble vitamins (B complex and C). 

The fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and K. B vitamins are synthesized by bacteria in the caecum and colon and are absorbed by eating cecotrophs.

Vitamins are required in small amounts by the body, and each one has its own function in the body. 

Lack of any one vitamin in the diet can cause deficiency symptoms or illness, while excesses of some vitamins can also be toxic.

Obesity can prevent a rabbit from reaching its anus to eat its cecotrophs, resulting in a vitamin deficiency.

Pelleted feed is usually fortified with vitamins and minerals but to prevent destruction of vitamins A and E due to oxidization, rabbit feed should be fed within 90 days of milling.

The Many Functions of Minerals

Rabbits require about 22 different inorganic elements, known as minerals, in their diet. 

These may be required in relatively larger amounts (macrominerals) or relatively smaller amounts (microminerals or trace minerals). 

The macrominerals include calcium, phosphorus, sodium, chlorine, potassium, magnesium, and sulfur. 

Minerals have different functions in the body. 

  • Calcium and phosphorus are major components of the skeletal system. Calcium plays a key role in organic processes, such as heart function, muscle contraction, coagulation and electrolyte equilibrium of the blood. More on skeletal structure here...

  • Magnesium is a major component of bone, a cofactor of several enzyme reactions and is involved in the transmission of nerve impulses.

  • Sodium, potassium and chloride play key roles in the acid-base regulation of the blood and other body fluids. Potassium is also a cofactor for several enzymes.

  • Copper is involved in iron and energy metabolism, as well as collagen and hair formation. Copper deficiencies result in anaemia, retarded growth, bone abnormalities and loss of hair 'colour' in hair and fur. 

  • Zinc functions as a cofactor of numerous enzymes and is involved in cell division processes. Higher levels are required for reproduction
    and fur production than for maintenance and meat production. Impaired fertility, hair loss and dermatitis are common signs of iron deficiency.

  • Manganese is a co-enzyme in amino acid metabolism and cartilage formation. Deficiency causes a malformation of the skeletal system, including brittle bones, crooked legs and decreased bone density.

  • Iron, a major component of pigments and enzymes, is involved in oxygen transport and energy metabolism. Anaemia occurs with iron deficiencies because of impaired haemoglobin formation, which is the oxygen transporter in the blood.

  • Iodine is a component of the thyroid hormones that regulate energy metabolism. Deficiency results in goitre, an enlargement of the thyroid gland in its attempt at producing more thyroid hormones.

  • Cobalt is its involvement in the structural make-up of vitamin B12. Rabbits are dependent on cobalt because the hind gut bacteria require it for the production of vitamin B12.
    More on a rabbit's digestive system here...

Vitamin & Mineral Animal Supplements

Stock Up Your 'Remedy Room' Today!

If you think you may need additional minerals & salt in your rabbit's diet, you can get blocks and 'licks' here...

Vital Ingredient

Water is the most important nutrient for rabbits and should be fresh and readily available. Rabbits consume approximately 10% of their body weight in water per day.

More about the importance of water here...


Recognizing and meeting their unique nutritional needs of your rabbits can help give them a long, healthy and happy life.

Their diet should also be appropriate for the rabbit’s age and stage in life.

A controlled amount of high-quality grass hay pellets with fresh grass hay, vegetables, and fruits is an optimal diet for a pet rabbit.

You can read more about a rabbit's diet here...

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The Surprising 7 Fundamentals of Rabbit Health

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