Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hungry, Hungry Rabbit

My boyfriend tells me that Walter is getting fat. Like a good mama, I insist he’s just maintaining a healthy weight - it’s good to have some meat on your bones! Right?

But how do I tell if my rabbit is really gaining too much weight? Per my last entry, I certainly can’t scoop him up and hold him while standing on the scale, so I’m never exactly sure of his actual weight. And, the last time he was weighed was his first vet check-up, which was five months ago when he was still a very baby bunny. Walter’s done a lot of growing over the past few months, maturing from a newborn bunny into a full-grown adult.

I am starting to notice that he’s beginning to get that telltale fat bulge on his chest that indicates that maybe he’s put on a few too many pounds. It’s the only way for me to know that he’s gaining weight. I found this chart, taken from the Pet Food Manufacturer’s Association website, very helpful:

Walter is probably about a 3.5, according to this scale. So if I want him to be a solid 3, where do we cut back on his food intake? And what’s the appropriate amount of daily food for a seven month old rabbit? Some sources tell me to offer my rabbit an unlimited amount of pellets and fresh veggies until he reaches one year of age, while others suggest cutting back to one-half cup of pellets per six pounds of body weight, but sources vary with regards to how many vegetables he should receive each day. What’s the right amount here?

I’ll admit that I probably spoil Walter with too much food. But who can resist a rabbit that jumps for joy at the sight and smell of a brussel sprout?!

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