Exotic Pet Health Tip from Dr. Stephanie!

Feeding tips for Guinea Pigs, Rabbits, and Chinchillas.


There are many commercially available diets for these critters, including treats and snacks, so what and how much to feed can be confusing. These animals have modified gastrointestinal tracts that require a high amount of fiber to function properly. As such, the bulk of their diet should be grass hay. This is easy to find at pet stores, and my recommendation is to offer Timothy Hay rather than alfalfa, and fed on a “free choice” basis – meaning they can’t have too much.

The other component of the diet is pelleted feed produced specifically for each species, and these tend to be alfalfa-based, which is higher in protein. These pellets should therefore be fed in limited quantities, usually about 1 Tablespoon per day for a GP/Chinchilla and 1/8 to 1/2 cup per day depending on the size of the rabbit. Fresh veggies and fruit should be offered only in very small quantities, as a treat, since the higher water and sugar contents can disrupt their GI tract. We encourage you to contact us to set up a wellness exam and discuss the more specific nutrition requirements for your pet, as these can vary by species, size, age, reproductive status, and activity level.

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