Salt consists mainly of sodium chloride. However, it may have other minerals and nutrients. Chloride is a major anionic electrolyte that helps in pH (acid-base) and osmotic pressure balance, electrical impulse transmission, and etcetera..
On the other hand, sodium aids in fluid volume and blood pressure regulation, maintaining electrolyte concentration, signaling (nervous electrical signal transmission), and so forth.
Do bunnies need salt licks, wheels, or mineral blocks?
Rabbits need salt like any other animal. However, if they receive the recommended foods in their correct ratio, i.e., unlimited quality hay, ½ – ¼ cup of high fiber, premium quality pellets, and a cup full of 4-6 different veggies per 2-pound rabbits they don’t need a salt lick you shouldn’t add any to their food.
Pellets have added minerals (including salt), vitamins, and other nutrients to ensure your rabbit has all the necessary nutrients that may be lacking in hay or fresh foods (veggies as well as non-leafy veggies or fruit treats). Don’t forget unlimited clean water.
On the other hand, if your bunnies depend on diets you create, they may require a salt block. You also need an animal nutritionist to help in coming up with a balanced diet so that your rabbits meet all their nutritional needs. Providing a salt lick with other trace minerals will not harm your rabbits. It can be an enrichment, help in teeth wear, reduce boredom, and provide some essential minerals.
Furthermore, salt encourages more water consumption, which will aid in digestion, flushing of toxins, and reduce instances of digestion issues including GI stasis.
Finally, ensure your rabbits should not destroy it out of boredom, not for the lack of it.
Research on rabbits and salt
On requirement, the National Research Council. 1977. Nutrient Requirements of Rabbits, Second Revised Edition, 1977. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, notes that salt contents for up to 0.5% in rabbit diets are safe.
Secondly, research on Water and Salt Intake of Wild Rabbits (Oryctolagus Cuniculus (L)) Following Dipsogenic Stimuli and Sodium potassium and water metabolism in the rabbit: the effect of sodium depletion and repletion concludes that increased sodium chloride administration increases water intake and sodium excretion via urine and feces and vice versa.
Finally, a study on the Voluntary Correction of Sodium Deficiency by the rabbit indicates that rabbits can correct sodium intake with an increase in its appetite when there is a deficiency.
Buying a salt lick
If you need one, ensure it is not high in high in calcium (causes kidney stones) and doesn’t alter the correct calcium to phosphorus ratio.
Also, it shouldn’t have vitamins or any other nutrient whose excesses cause toxicity and avoid it if your bunny has some underlying conditions like heart diseases.
Finally, place it near their water source. Some rabbit feeders such as Ware Manufacturing Hay Feeder with Salt Lick for Small Pets and Kaytee Hay Manger have a place to put it. They will lick it when they feel like it.
6 Best salt lick blocks and wheels reviews
While not necessary for bunnies that have commercial foods, their benefits are not in doubt. Some of the best brands to buy include the following:
1. Lixit Animal Care Salt/Mineral Trace Wheel Blister Pack
This brand by Lixit should be your first choice for small pets, including rabbits and guinea pigs. It is tasty, will also provide trace minerals, and reducing boredom by keeping your bunnies busy or occupied as they role and lick it.
Additionally, it comes with a hanger for mounting it in any kind of rabbit cage or hutch. What else could you need?
2. (4 Pack) Ware Manufacturing Himalayan Salt on a Rope Small Pet Chew Treats
Buy this brand by Ware Manufacturing is a fantastic way of giving your rabbits, chinchillas, and guinea pigs a chance to enjoy every lick of this wholesome Himalayan salt from the ancient sea bed that loaded with lots of natural trace minerals.
You will receive a total of 4 packs, each with a hook and edible Seagrass rope for attachment to any cage or enclosure type. Its small size, i.e., about 1.5 inches deep, 3 inches wide, and 6 inches when hanging, meaning it will fit it any cage.
3. United Pet Group H1389 Salt Wheel Pet Treat, Set Of 2
This brand by United Pet Group has salt and white mineral oil made for hamsters, gerbils, bunnies, and other small animals. You will receive a pack with two which will besides providing nutrients, promote exercise and activity, thanks to its favorable size.
4. Kaytee Mini Salt Savors
These flavorful and tasty Kaytee brand is a convenient, economical, and a perfect way of providing essential minerals to your guinea pigs, gerbils, rabbits, hamsters, and other small animals.
They come in corn, apple, and celery and delightful carrot flavors that your small animals will find irresistible, and each of these wheel savors has a 1.25-inch diameter while their width is about 0.6 inches.
5. Rite Farm Products 4 Salt Mineral Lick Spool Wheels & 1 Hanger Rabbit Guinea Pig Hamster Chinchilla
With this brand from Rite Farm Products, you receive four lick spool wheels and one hanger at unbeatable price offers. Each measures 2 inches in length, 1-inch wide while the hook is 2.75” long and 1.625” in width and can be attached on the wall, floor or ceiling, and it won’t take much space.
The spools have safe and natural essential salt and trace minerals, including iron, sulfur, copper, manganese, iodine, zinc, magnesium, cobalt, among others. It is ideal for guinea pigs, minks, chinchillas, rabbits, and other small pets.
6. Salt Lick Trace Mineral Wheel for Hamster, Guinea Pig, Ferret, Chinchilla, Mice, Rabbit
This all-natural brand will also provide trace minerals and electrolytes required for an optimum mind and body health for your small animals. Its hard texture will help in wearing your pet’s teeth and satisfy their natural chewing urge.
Your pets will like its natural taste, and it is easy to mount since it comes with a wheel holder. Furthermore, its small size, i.e., 2 inches in diameter and an inch thick, meaning it will fit in virtually any cage.
7. SALT GEMS 7.5 lb. Himalayan Animal Salt Lick Pure Natural Pink Block on a Rope for Horses, Deer, Goats, Cattle, and Rabbits & Livestock.
This is a highly rated brand with a long list of nutrients, including iron, magnesium, and potassium. It will last long thanks to the chew-proof strong rope. It is also bite-resistant.
However, although stated as ideal for rabbits and other small pets, its large size about 6-8 pounds make it and other brands such as EXPRIMIR and HijiNa not recommended. Buy them for your horses, cattle, deer, and larger animals.