As has always been said, salt is an essential element of every rabbit’s diet. Suppose you might think that you need to provide bunnies with a salt lick for their nutritional diet plan.
In that case, you feel that there is nothing wrong. Buying these tiny creatures a salt lick will surely make them healthy and happy.
However, while sodium is a vital component of every rabbit’s diet, these boo bears must consume salt moderately. Are you torn between getting your pet bunny a salt lick or not?
If that is your dilemma, we are here to help you. Come along and discover what rabbits want in this ultimate care guide.
Do Rabbits Need Salt Licks?
Owning a pet rabbit requires a considerable commitment. One of the day-to-day puzzle questions involved is whether or not it needs a salt lick.
You might be thinking that their food only has a low amount of salt. The easiest solution is to buy your cuddle bud salt licks available to solve the salt component gap.
So, do rabbits need salt licks? Indeed, rabbits do need some access to salt in their food diet. However, salt lick is not a vital element of your bunny’s diet. Your bunny does not need to rely on it.
If your rabbit has a well-maintained and balanced diet, they do not need salt blocks. Rabbits can absorb the daily sodium that they need from a wholesome and healthy food diet.
Nutritious edibles mean that a pet rabbit’s diet should contain timothy hay, fresh green leaves, and vegetables. You can also top high-quality pellets with fruits.
The thing is this. A well-rounded diet should offer your bunny all the nutritional elements, vitamins, and minerals that they need. In other words, rabbits do not need supplements like salt licks. If you provide them with a healthy and balanced diet, this will be sufficient for your rabbit.
Why is there Salt Lick Available in the Market?
Then you might be asking, if your chubby bunny does not need a salt lick, then why do pet shops still offer tons of salt licks. There is confusion, then. So, what is the purpose of salt licks, and should you buy them?
Long before high-quality pellets are out on the market, owners feed their pet rabbits a diet that they have formulated. Most often than not, this would be an organic diet that has a slight amount or no salt at all.
Because of this, experts formulated salt blocks to address the bunny’s food imbalance. However, nowadays, all the high-quality pellet feeds on the market already have enough minerals that your cuddle bud needs.
To quickly grasp if your bunny needs salt block, click the link, and watch the video.
Do Rabbits Love Salt Licks?
Naturally, your pet rabbit possesses the instinct to know if they need to get an increased amount of salt. In other words, rabbit knows if they do not have enough salt or minerals in their body.
As such, bunnies will love and enjoy licking salt blocks to fill the gap in their food diet. If your bunny feels that they have sufficient salt intake, it will most likely ignore salt blocks.
Nonetheless, you may still find your rabbit licking salt blocks. In that case, your bunny may enjoy licking salt blocks for other reasons than their food diet.
These little boo bears love licking salt licks because they like the smell and taste. On the other hand, bunnies love salt blocks because they think of them as quick snack bites, treats, or toys to play with.
Are Salt Licks Harmful to Rabbits?
In general, salt licks are not recommended for rabbits since they can get enough salt for their food diet. But salt licks are not necessarily harmful or dangerous to rabbits. Whether domesticated or wild, rabbits are pretty well at regulating their salt intake.
Because of this, you will find your pet ignoring salt licks. Or they may lick salt blocks if they are having a wonderful time doing it. So, in short, salt licks will not threaten your bunny.
In fact, over the years, salt blocks have become a solution to fill the shortfall in rabbits’ nutritional elements. Since rabbits need sodium, salt licks can provide this essential element because some food does not contain adequate salt.
In addition, owners often use salt licks to enrich rabbits. Most of the time, rabbits need some toys to play with to give them fun and entertainment. Since rabbits are susceptible to teeth problems, a salt block can significantly help wear down their teeth.
Further, because rabbits can regulate their need for sodium, they can prevent overeating by themselves or drink water to compensate. While your bunny can dictate if they want salt, it would still be best to ensure their sodium intake is in moderation.
Why do Rabbits Need Salt?
While we know that salt is a crucial component in every rabbit’s dietary needs and that salt blocks are excellent at addressing sodium deficiency, this questions us. What does salt do for rabbits?
Like humans, rabbits need salt because it has a vital role in their overall biological functions. Salt helps balance fluid, the transmission of nerves, and the operation of muscles. Along with that, salt promotes particular parts of the heart and metabolism.
Where do Rabbits Get Their Salt?
Typically, rabbits get their daily dose of salt from high-quality pellets. Wild rabbits often get nutrients such as salt from leafy green vegetables, bark, twigs, and soil. However, in reverse, our bunnies do not consume the same food.
For this reason, experts recommend a fortified and high-quality brand of pellets. Pellets will give them the essential nutrients that their body needs to stay happy and healthy.
While bunnies have the majority of their salt component from pellets, sodium can still be found anywhere in every food that your rabbits eat. Bunnies can also find salt in hay and vegetables. On top of that, water also has an amount of salt unless you provide your pet bunnies with pure and distilled water.
But in case you are opting to go for a pellet-free diet, your bunny will then need salt licks. Giving these cuddle-boo bears salt blocks can provide them with a source of sodium.
How Much Salt Do Rabbits Need?
There is no concrete source of how much salt rabbits should consume every day. According to Nutrient Requirements for Rabbits (1977), made by the National Research Council, they said that rabbits’ safe and adequate salt consumption is 0.5% of their everyday diet.
But overall, all of the latest studies have confirmed that rabbits can work well on their own. They have their mechanism to control the salt component within their body system.
On top of that, they can quickly get rid of it through urine and feces. If necessary, they can even drink water to compensate.
Since rabbits have their way of correcting or filling up their sodium deficiency, they can increase or decrease it according to their overall satisfaction and needs.
Can Rabbits Get Overdosed with Salt?
While you may think if your rabbit will get and consume too much salt, do not worry. Your bunny will know if it eats enough salt. These bunnies can regulate their salt levels when they reach the needed sodium.
If your bunny has an excess of sodium, it will drink plenty of water to lower salt. Rabbits will dilute the salt with water. Plus, they can eliminate the excess salt through urine and feces.
Do Rabbits Need Mineral Lick?
Mineral licks are composed of various trace minerals. These trace minerals include iodine, copper, manganese, zinc, and sodium chloride. Mineral licks are not essential for rabbits with a balanced pellet diet like salt licks.
However, mineral blocks also do not pose any threat or danger to rabbits, even though they are harder to resist eating than salt licks.
Further, research shows that rabbits who lick mineral blocks most likely have an increased appetite and weight. But there is no further study showing the potential long-term consequences of mineral block consumption.
Suppose you are confident that you give your bunny pet a complete, high-quality commercial food diet. Then, you don’t need to be anxious. Experts even do not recommend adding vitamin and mineral supplements to your rabbit’s full feeds.
Like other pets, if your rabbit consumes too many vitamins or minerals, it can develop toxicities such as vitamin imbalance.
What to Feed Rabbits?
The staple of every rabbit’s diet should include long-stemmed fiber such as hay. Hay should make up about 80-90% of your bunny’s nutritional plan.
Since rabbits are plant-based eaters and grazing animals, unlimited access to fresh hay every day is required. The best types of hay are timothy hay, oat hay, brome, and orchard grass.
On top of that, pet parents should feed their bunnies with a few high-quality pellets. In choosing shots, a higher quantity of fiber is better.
Further, some of the favorite foods of rabbits are herbs and veggies. Pet parents can feed adult bunnies not more than two cups of fresh vegetables every day.
You can also feed your rabbits fruits at least once or twice a week from time to time. Owners can give them a quick bite such as treats to train and reward your chubby bunnies.
Now you reach the end and discover that salt is essential for every bunny’s diet like other animals. Plus, salt proves to be vital in your rabbit’s daily activities. It is needed to help them live a satisfying and fulfilling life.
While there is little study on how much salt a rabbit needs, research proves that these tiny creatures have their way of controlling their salt intake. So, we should not be worried about that.
Plus, salt licks are not even harmful. If you then choose to give your rabbit a salt or mineral block, the good news is you can. But the final decision is on your pet bunny if they will love it or not.