What to feed a sick rabbit

Last Updated on June 22, 2023 by Admin

Rabbits just like most domestic animals can get ill which often results in loss of appetite. Regardless of whether they’re sick or not, bunnies need to eat day and night in order to keep their digestive tract running. If they can’t eat on their own, then syringe feeding is usually the best option. However, what many owners might be wondering is, what to feed a sick rabbit. This article looks at a sick rabbit’s diet and general care in great detail.


What can rabbits eat when sick?

Prior to feeding your rabbits, it’s pivotal to have them checked with a veterinarian who’ll administer the right medication. So what exactly should you feed a sick rabbit? Since sick bunnies can’t eat even their favorite treats on their own, syringe feeding them soft food or puree is recommended. In other words, the syringe inserts soft food directly into your bunny’s mouth with ease. Below are some of the healthy and nutritious puree or mushed food a sick rabbit should eat at intervals per day.

  • Soaked Pellets

Soaked pellets are a great nutrient source for your sick rabbits. For those that are younger than 7 months, alfalfa-soaked pellets are normally recommended. On the other hand, feed your sick adult bunny with Timothy hay pellets instead. Soak a pinch of your rabbit’s pellets in warm water to make a mash, then add it to the feeding syringe.

Feed your sick rabbit 2 to 4 ml per serving and if your bunny swallows, after a couple of hours increase their portion to 5 to 10 ml. The daily dose will entirely depend on your rabbit’s body weight.  2 to 4-lb dwarf rabbits should consume between 45ml to 90 mL, while medium-sized rabbits weighing between 5 to 8 lb consumption should be around 112.5ml to 180ml. Lastly, large breeds that weigh 9lb and above should consume between 202.5 ml to 225 mL of soaked pellets per day. This dose should mainly be served 4 to 6 times a day. However, do consult with your vet beforehand.



  • Vegetable puree


Another diet to feed your sick rabbits is mushed dark leafy vegetable puree of either Arugula, carrot tops, celery, broccoli leaves, bok choy, romaine lettuce, kale, dandelion greens, or mustard greens. You can blend the veggies using water to keep them mushy before feeding your sick bunny. Feed them between 5 to 10 ml of veggie puree using a syringe per serving every 2 to 3 hours 4 times a day until your pet regains its appetite.



  • Fruit puree

Fruit puree is also a great food option to feed your sick rabbit. However, the amount you feed your bunny should be limited due to the high sugar content found in fruits. Some of the nutritious fruit mash we recommend are apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, cucumbers, and pawpaw.  Use two tablespoons of fruit mixed with water before serving your bunny. The recommended dose is usually 5 ml three times a day.



  • Water

Since rabbits usually drink twice or thrice more than they feed, it’s essential to keep them hydrated even when they’re sick. Provide them with 8 to 12 ml of fresh drinking water using a syringe four times per day. Feeding them soft food isn’t enough to keep them hydrated since a healthy rabbit typically drinks around 50 to 150 milliliters of water in a day. Lastly, not only does water keep them dehydrated but it also prevents urinary tract and kidney infections.


How do you feed a sick rabbit using a syringe?

With your rabbit’s head facing straight, gently place the syringe nozzle in the middle of its mouth without pushing it down its throat, then gently press the plunger. After every mouthful, remove the syringe to enable your rabbit to chew or swallow water/food.



Providing your ill bunny with proper medication and a consistent supply of food and drinking water will contribute immensely to their full recovery. Hopefully, your question on what to feed a sick rabbit has been answered.


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