The Healthy Rabbit: What Vitamins Does Yours Need?

There's a lot to consider when feeding your rabbit for optimal health. In addition to making sure your pet is getting the correct amount of food with the right portions of protein, fat and fiber, you need to make sure your rabbit's also receiving the vitamins and minerals needed to be healthy. There are a variety of vitamins and minerals and a variety of foods they can be found in.

Common Vitamins Rabbits Require

  • Vitamin A: Rabbits who don't get enough vitamin A may suffer nervous disorders and be more susceptible to certain diseases. Vitamin A is commonly found in green foods and fish liver oils, so deficiencies are uncommon.
  • Vitamin B: Deficiencies in vitamin B are even more unlikely because in addition to being found in green foods and fish liver oils, it's produced by bacteria in the intestine of the rabbit. When deficiencies do occur, they lead to poor growth and reproductive problems.
  • Vitamin C: Rabbits can synthesize vitamin C in their bodies, so deficiencies of vitamin C are basically impossible and don't need to be worried about.
  • Vitamin D: Similar to humans, vitamin D is produced by rabbits when they're exposed to sunlight. Its presence in common foods is limited to certain hays, but it is present in large quantities in fish liver oil if supplementation is necessary. Deficiencies of vitamin D can lead to severe rickets and poor growth.
  • Vitamin E: Care needs to be taken to not over do it with fish liver oil supplementation, since the oil can actually breakdown the vitamin E found in foods and lead to a vitamin E deficiency. Such a deficiency leads to muscular dystrophy, but should be easy to avoid since vitamin E is present in cereal grains and fresh greens.