Modern Veterinary Care

Steps To Help Your Rabbit Lose Weight

If you take your pet rabbit to the local animal clinic for regular checkups, you can expect that the veterinarian will weigh the pet during each visit. The vet will compare the rabbit's weight from visit to visit, which can often provide an early warning sign if the animal is gaining weight. Should this be the case, your veterinarian may assess the rabbit in a few ways to determine if an underlying medical issue is causing the gain in weight. If not, they'll talk to you about the various things you can do to help return the rabbit's weight to a healthy number. Here are some suggestions that they may provide.

Eliminate Unhealthy Snacks

Rabbits should consume a diet that consists of hay, fresh greens, and pellets. Unfortunately, some rabbit owners also decide to give their pets various snacks — and many of them can promote weight gain. For example, even though apples are healthy for people, they're high in sugar and can cause your rabbit to gain weight if you're giving it pieces of apple daily. Your vet will likely ask you to describe what snacks your rabbit is eating, and it's important to be honest. If the vet hears about snacks that are likely contributing to the rabbit's weight gain, they'll recommend that you eliminate them.

Encourage More Exercise

The vet will also ask about your rabbit's living environment. A good way to lose weight is through exercise, but this can be difficult if your rabbit doesn't have a lot of space to move around in. For example, if you confine the pet to a cage for the majority of the day, it won't be able to exercise to lose weight. Your veterinarian may recommend that you find a suitable and safe space in the home to let the rabbit run free for a period of time each day. This activity can not only help with weight loss but can also improve the pet's quality of life.

Change Its Food

While snacking is a common way for rabbits to gain weight, it's also possible that the pet is getting too many calories from its pellets. You should explain what volume of pellets you're giving the pet daily and what brand you're using. It's possible that the vet might recommend a change, either in the amount of food you give or perhaps even to a different brand that is lower in calories and thus better for weight loss. By implementing these changes, you can expect that your rabbit will steadily lose weight before its next animal clinic visit.

Contact your veterinarian to learn more about pet care