Let’s talk about obesity in rabbits

Obesity is a common problem in our bunnies, just like it is in other pets.

A rabbit’s diet should be mostly hay (about 80-85%), with the rest made up of a small amount of good quality pellets and a handful of rabbit safe veg. If bunnies don’t get access to this, or have too many treats, they can easily become overweight. Obesity can also occur if bunnies don’t have enough exercise, usually because the area they are kept in isn’t big enough. As well as obesity, this can also lead to other problems such as hock sores from being stood/sat in one place for too long, as well as other obvious issues of boredom etc.

Obesity in rabbits can have lots of severe consequences for them. If they are overweight, they are often unable to groom themselves properly or eat their caecotrophs. This can lead to them not getting enough nutrition, as well as causing a dirty bum which can lead to issues such as flystrike. Obesity can also result in too much fat around a rabbit’s organs, which can put excess pressure on them and make them have to work harder than they should.

How can you tell if your bunny is obese? A good way to do this is to body condition score. You can look at their overall shape and fat cover, just like the photo, and feel how much fat they have over their ribs and spine. If your bunny feels overweight, try cutting down the number of pellets and veg they get by a quarter. You can also make sure they have access to plenty of space to exercise and give them lots of toys to play with to keep them moving. Sometimes you’ve got to be cruel to be kind and remember you are doing it for the health of your bunny.

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