For a variety of small pets, the best diet you can give them is one that includes plenty of Timothy Hay. Dried from a natural, perennial grass, Timothy hay is healthy and inexpensive. It is great for their digestive system and helps wear down teeth that are constantly growing.
Fibrevores such as rabbits, chinchillas, guinea pigs should always have an unlimited access to large quantities of fresh timothy hay. Timothy hay can even benefit smaller animals such as hamsters and gerbils, and should be given a small handful two or three times a week.
Hay is so fibrous it should make up a large part of a small pets diet. It’s important for the proper functioning of your small pets’ digestive system, and as chewed hay moves through the small and large intestines, the high fibre content helps the passage of food.
This type of hay should be the main source of food offered to your rabbit, chinchilla, or guinea pig and as your pet chews the hay, it helps to wear down and clean their constantly growing cheek teeth; there are the large grinding teeth at the back of the mouth. To compensate for this wearing, cheek teeth have evolved to grow constantly throughout the animal’s life. So it’s important to keep hay readily available to your rabbit and is essential to help wear down teeth. Other chewing items such as food cubes can also be provided.
The diet of Hay should be few with fresh vegetable, a small amount of nuggets and importantly fresh water.
As with most foods, no two hay types are the same, they have different structures and nutrient content. This is the same for timothy and alfalfa. Both types are sold as food for small pets, each type plays its own part in your pets dietary needs, and shouldn’t be substituted one for another. The difference is that alfalfa is rich in calories and calcium and timothy is much less-fattening and contains less calcium. For example you can feed a pregnant rabbit alfalfa hay, but as soon as an animal reaches around 7 months of age then their diet should be switched to a strictly timothy hay diet. If you’re unsure you can always consult your local vet.
Because it’s so versatile as a dietary food and a dental aid, Timothy Hay is a great source of food for many small pets.