Most rabbits maintain a healthy weight on their own, but you might find yourself in a situation where you need to increase it. Weight loss in rabbits can be a sign of an underlying health issue, so we’re assuming you’ve had your rabbit checked and are seeking a healthy brand to increase weight safely.
We’ve chosen seven brands of rabbit food commonly purchased to increase weight. We’ll tell you what we liked and didn’t like about each brand as well as what our rabbits thought about it. We’ve also included a short buyer’s guide after the reviews where we look at what ingredients are good for gaining weight and which ones to avoid.
Join us while we take an in-depth look at weight-gaining food for rabbits and discuss calories, fats, alfalfa, fiber, safety, and lots more to help you make an informed purchase.
A Quick Glance at Our Favorite Choices in 2024
|Manna Pro Small World Complete
|Oxbow Oat Hay Small Animal
|Sherwood SARx Plus
|Sherwood Pet Health Adult
The 7 Best Weight Gain Foods for Rabbits
1. Manna Pro Small World Complete Rabbit Food – Best Overall
The Manna Pro Small World Complete Rabbit Food is our pick for the best overall weight gain food for rabbits. This brand delivers food that’s high in fiber for a healthy digestive tract. It also includes plenty of vitamins and minerals that will help boost your pet’s immune system if there is an underlying weight loss issue. There are no corn products or harmful preservatives that can cause health problems for your pet.
We liked the Manna Pro Small World Complete Rabbit Food, and our rabbits enjoyed it as well. The only negative thing we could say is that there was a lot of dust in the bag.
2. Oxbow Oat Hay Rabbit Food – Best Value
Oxbow Oat Hay Small Animal Food is our pick for the best weight gain food for rabbits for the money. This low-cost food uses oat hay, which is nutritionally like western timothy hay. It’s high in fiber, and our rabbits enjoyed the oat grain seed heads. This food is also great for dental care as it helps wear down and clean their teeth. It provides variety to your pet’s diet, can help them gain weight, and you can also use it as bedding.
We liked the low cost of Oxbow Oat Hay Small Animal Food, and most of our rabbits ate it without a problem. The only thing we didn’t like was that a few packages we ordered were of a much lower quality than the others, and we wished they were a little more consistent.
3. Mazuri Timothy-Based Rabbit Food
Mazuri Timothy-Based Rabbit Food is our premium choice weight gain food for rabbits. This brand provides us with a nutritionally complete food that removes the need to purchase any additional supplements to keep your rabbit healthy. Besides top-quality pesticide and preservative-free ingredients, Mazuri also fortifies their food with Lactobacillus and Enterococcus sp. probiotics that will help with digestive health and the immune system. Flaxseed oil provides omega-3 fatty acids that will help with your pet’s eyesight as well as promote a shiny, healthy coat. The resealable bag enables you to keep the food fresh for longer and makes it easy to pour.
The downside to Mazuri Timothy-Based Rabbit Food is the same as many healthy brands. Some rabbits won’t like it and won’t eat it. We tried several methods of introducing the food, but no matter what we did, there were a few rabbits that wouldn’t even try it.
4. Sherwood SARx Plus Bunny Food
The Sherwood SARx Plus brand is a bit of a recovery food meant to nurse sick rabbits and those who are experiencing weight loss back to health, but some people also like to use it as a weight gain food. It’s a complete meal and contains a balanced set of vitamins and minerals. This meal is a powdered formula that you mix with water to the desired consistency. It’s soy and grain-free and contains ingredients meant to stimulate the appetite and increase energy.
The thing we didn’t like about the Sherwood SARx Plus brand was that about half our rabbits wouldn’t eat it without some sort of extra added to it, like a piece of fruit. Also, our rabbits would make a giant mess of this wet food if we fed them unsupervised. It would get on their fur, and they would track it around on occasion.
5. Sherwood Pet Health Adult Rabbit Food
Sherwood Pet Health Adult Rabbit Food is a high-quality food that supplies your rabbit with 100% balanced nutrition that uses natural vitamins and chelated minerals. It contains a mixture of grasses and legumes that help with dental and digestive health.
Sherwood Pet Health Adult Rabbit Food changed the smell of our rabbit’s waste for the worse in our opinion despite claims that it improves odors, but that is just our opinion. Also, this food contains alfalfa, which is high in calcium and can lead to bladder stones. If your rabbit’s weight loss is due to urinary tract problems, this might not be a good food to use for gaining weight.
6. Science Selective Rabbit Food
Science Selective Rabbit Food delivers balanced nutrition to help keep your pet healthy and energetic. It contains a mixture of high fiber grasses and alfalfa can help add the required calories needed to add a few pounds to your rabbit.
The downside to the Science Selective Rabbit Food is that it contains a lot of alfalfa, which is high in calcium and can lead to the formation of bladder stones. If your rabbit is experiencing weight loss due to problems with the urinary tract, this food may not be the best choice to feed this brand to your rabbit.
7. Wild Harvest Wh-83544 Wild Harvest Advanced Nutrition Diet For Rabbits
The Wild Harvest Wh-83544 Wild Harvest Advanced Nutrition Diet For Rabbits brand is a food that’s different from many others on this list in that it’s more of a box of mixed treats than general food. This brand is a mix of several grains, nuts, and fruits suitable for rabbits and other small animals. It’s fortified with antioxidants that will help boost your pet’s immune system to keep them healthy. It also adds plenty of fiber to promote a healthy digestive tract.
Some of the problems we experienced with the Wild Harvest Wh-83544 Wild Harvest Advanced Nutrition Diet For Rabbits brand was that there is a lot of fruit, which can easily upset your rabbit’s digestion. Our pets also tended to sort through it, only eating the bits that they liked and leaving behind the rest. This sorting led to a lot of waste, and many crumbs in each of the bags we reviewed magnified this problem.
Let’s discuss the best ingredients and methods you can use to put weight on your rabbit.
According to The Rabbit House, rabbits have excellent digestive systems and rarely have weight issues. If you notice your rabbit losing weight, it could be a sign of an underlying health problem, and you should take your pet to see a vet.
Pellets, or dry food, is the easiest way to increase the weight of your rabbit. These foods have plenty of nutrients and calories, so we usually only feed our rabbits 1/8 to 1/4-cup per day. Increasing the pellet count will almost always increase weight, but you want to do it carefully with healthy food that doesn’t contain harmful ingredients.
If your rabbit is an adult, you can also use foods that target baby rabbits, and sometimes breeding rabbits, to get the extra nutrition. This additional nutrition per pellet also means your rabbit won’t need to eat more food gain weight, and there may be more care taken in the manufacturing of the food for baby rabbits.
Alfalfa is a type of grass that has a high nutritional content, but it also includes dangerous calcium, which can lead to bladder stones in some rabbits. If your rabbit has lost weight because of complications due to bladder stones, you may want to consult with a veterinarian before using alfalfa for weight gain.
We usually only recommend fruits as snacks for rabbits because they have sensitive digestive systems that have a hard time with the fermentation process that happens when they eat fruits. It can cause them to develop painful gas and other digestive problems.
If your rabbit isn’t eating, fruit can be a great way to entice them into taking a few bites. Rabbits usually like fruit, and they may start to eat again in some cases. If your rabbit is already eating, adding some extra fruit treats to their diet can help increase weight, but you will need to watch out for signs of gas and other digestive problems.
Most rabbits enjoy oats, and they can help get even the most stubborn rabbit eating again. Oats are also one of the fastest roads to increased rabbit weight. However, they supply almost no nutritional value to your rabbit, so most people shy away from them and opt to treat with fruit instead. PETA list oats as one of 15 foods that could harm or kill your rabbit.
If your rabbit needs to gain weight, you can feed them about 1 teaspoon per day mixed with water. Oatmeal is also good for blending in medicines or other ingredients your rabbit might require.
Changes in Diet
As we have said many times in this short guide, your rabbit’s digestive system is extremely sensitive and easy to throw off balance, so it’s essential to make any dietary changes slowly over several days. If you are changing the food or increasing new foods like fruits or oats, give your pet slightly more each day and work up to the correct amount while keeping a close eye on your rabbit for any signs of problems.
When trying to add weight to your rabbit, often, the best solution is to increase their normal pellet intake slightly. We normally only give rabbits a small amount, so any increase is bound to add weight. We recommend changing the diet in tiny amounts to give your pet time to adjust and only use the highest quality food. Manna Pro Small World Complete Rabbit Food is our top choice and is a perfect example of high-quality food that will add weight without introducing undesirable ingredients or chemicals. Oxbow Oat Hay Small Animal Food is an example of low-cost hay that can also help increase weight naturally.
We hope that you have enjoyed reading this guide and that it has helped you choose a suitable food for your pet. If you know people that can benefit from this information, please share these best weight gaining foods for rabbits on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured Image Credit: Elizabett, Shutterstock