Do Guinea Pigs Need Hay?
Today, pet owners are very cautious about their pet diet, and they always analyze what are benefits of the food before introducing it to their pet. That’s why whether guinea pig needs hay or not is the most searched thing by people who have recently adopted a guinea pig.
Thus, our today post will tell you do really guinea pigs need hay and if yes, what benefits they can have from hay and which hay is best for guinea pigs.
Do Guinea Pigs Need Hay?
Guinea pigs are herbivores, and that’s why it means that yes, they need hay. Even vet says that hay is one of the vital parts of guinea pigs diet. It might surprise you if you don’t provide hay to your guinea pig; he/she will become sick. Moreover, you might have seen somewhere guinea pig chewing on hay as they love to chew on hay through a day. Hay is also known as one of the popular diets for guinea pigs.
That’s why it is always recommended by the vet that every guinea pig owner should give fresh hay to their guinea pig so that their pet always stays healthy and fit.
What are the Benefits of Hay to Guinea Pigs?
Giving hay to your guinea pig for feeding has various health benefits. Hay is a rich source of fiber, and also have a low amount of calories. There are different types of hays, and some of them are very high in calcium, protein, and calories that can make your guinea pig suffer from various health problems. However, if you choose right hay for your guinea pig, then your pet can have many health benefits. Here, we are going to mention all benefits of feeding hay to guinea pig:
Improve Digestive System
Hay can help in regulating your guinea pig digestive system and thus, if your pet is suffering from digestive problems, then feed your pet hay and you will see a change in your pet health. However, make sure that the food you give to your guinea pig should be appropriately processed. Otherwise, your pet can suffer from stomach problems, like diarrhea.
Improve Teeth Health
As you may also know that guinea pigs teeth grow continuously and if you don’t do something to prevent your pet teeth from growing too long, then you will not be able ever to keep your pet teeth short. Luckily, if your pet feed or chew on hay, then it can help in keeping his/her teeth length short. You might be surprised to hear that guinea pigs can face tremendous difficulty and can be very painful while eating if they have too big teeth.
Improve Natural Behaviors
Guinea pigs are natural grazers, and hay can help in improving natural behavior in your guinea pig, such as grazing and foraging. So, it is a great benefit that you can give to your guinea pig if you give hay to your pet.
So, hay has ultimate advantages for guinea pigs, and now, it is your responsibility as good guinea pig owner to offer right hay to your pet.
What are different types of Hay for Guinea Pigs?
Guinea pigs like to eat fresh hay, and there are different kinds of hay from which kind guinea pigs can have benefit.
Timothy Hay (Grass Hay)
Guinea pigs love timothy hay, and it is also their favorite one. Luckily, this hay is readily available from various pet stores, and you can also buy timothy hay in bulk. Also make sure to buy clean, good-quality and fresh hay for your pet. Hay you buy should be grassy and smell sweet. It is highly recommended by the vet for guinea pigs. It is low in protein and calcium that make good hay for guinea pigs. Also, it is drier as compared to other hays, and that’s why it is an ideal choice if you want to store hay for a long duration of time.
Alfalfa Hay (Not grass, but a legume)
It is also readily available, and it contains a high level of calcium and protein. A protein present in alfalfa can give health benefits to guinea pig. However, calcium can create problems for your pet, such as it can cause bladder stones in guinea pigs. It is also low in fiber, and that makes it easier for guinea pigs to digest it, especially for young ones. However, it does not aid in maintaining a digestive system of guinea pigs that are adult. If Guinea pigs that are pregnant, alfalfa hay type is the right choice.
It comes in pet stores occasionally, and it is a little bit higher in protein and lower in calcium. It is also known to have health benefits for guinea pigs as timothy hay.
It is also very different hay, and it contains less protein as compared to Timothy and orchard. However, it contains a higher level of calcium than other hays.
What are the traits of the right guinea pig hay?
No doubt, choosing right hay for your pet is difficult, and that’s why, here, we are going to mention a few things that right guinea pig hay has it.
- Good hay is soft, pliable and leafy, along with having a grass-like shape.
- Good hay is naturally green, and it is not yellow in color.
- Hay that smells good and has no smell of mold, burns or dust is okay.
- Good hay is free from any dust, trash, and weeds.
However, the best you can do is contacting your vet and ask him/her to suggest right hay for your guinea pig. If you ever make to change in your pet diet, then you must do gradually. Otherwise, it can disturb your pet digestive system very badly.
Thus, hay is the essential diet for guinea pigs, and you can feed grass hay to your pet every day. Don’t take your pet diet lightly and be careful about what you are going to feed him/her.
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