If you walk into any store that sells food for rabbits and guinea pigs, you will probably find shelves full of grain, hay and muesli mixes. Often these foods are labelled as rabbit AND guinea pig foods, but many people do not realise that rabbits and guinea pigs, although both herbivores, have very different dietary requirements. Therefore, mixes that claim to cater for both species are just not suitable and can lead to dental disorders, incorrect bone development (for growing animals) and digestive malfunctions!
What you need to know about hay:
Hay should be fresh and available 24/7. There are many different types of hay and they all have a purpose. It is important to know what to feed, and when to feed your pet.
Rough, high fibre hay is great for maintaining teeth and encourages natural behaviour like foraging and chewing. High fibre hay is also critical for a healthy and functional digestive system. Fibre Rich Fescue replicates the type of food rabbits eat naturally.
We recommend Fresh Cut Lucerne for guinea pigs as it is higher in protein and calcium than fescue. Lucerne is also more suitable for growing animals, pregnant or lactating mothers and those animals with a medical requirement for higher protein.
What you need to know about pellets:
Quality pellets that are specifically made for guinea pigs or rabbits, like Rabbit and Cavy Origins, are important in every stage of your pet’s life. Pellets should only make up 20% of the diet and overfeeding pellets in both rabbits and guinea pigs can lead to obesity and other medical conditions.
Lastly, but most importantly:
Fresh, clean water should be available at all times. Vetafarm recommends sanitizing water containers, food bowls and hutches. They should be cleaned and then sprayed with a disinfectant, like Vetafarm Hutch Clean at least once a week.