The three most common rabbit health issues are linked to poor quality diets, according to new research compiled by Supreme Petfoods.
A survey of 230 UK vets from Supreme’s database in July of this year found that the three most common health conditions in rabbits are dental disease, gastrointestinal stasis and obesity, all of which are linked to diet. Supreme goes on to say that, despite substantial improvements in nutritional knowledge among rabbit owners, 57% of rabbits are still being fed inappropriately.
Dental disease was seen most frequently, with 75% of vets reporting that they see affected rabbits regularly, while nearly 90% saying that rabbits often received inadequate quantities of hay. The survey also revealed that feeding poor-quality concentrate foods, with low fibre and added sugary ingredients, is commonplace, and that many owners did not recognise the importance of high fibre nutrition with no added sugar.
Supreme’s marketing director Claire Hamblion explained that educating pet owners is crucial. She said: “Owners want to do the right thing, but all too often lack of awareness about nutrition leads to poor health and wellbeing.
“The great news is that progress is being made – 79% of vets say that nutritional knowledge among rabbit owners has significantly improved in the last 10 years, which is in part due to the invaluable expertise shared by pet retailers. We’re keen to build on this and are proud to offer not just high-quality species-specific nutrition but a range of educational materials and free samples to help retailers engage with their rabbit-owning customers”.