4 Things You Didn’t Know about Feeding Pellets to Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, and Chinchillas

Herbivores, such as pet rabbits, guinea pigs, and chinchillas, have special digestive systems that require some special considerations. Here are four things I bet you didn’t know about feeding pellets to these guys!

  1. Did you know you would need to feed your pet 20-30 different foods daily to replicate the nutrients found in a quality pelleted diet? Fortified pellets include a balance of vitamins and minerals, as well as beneficial fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. We’re lucky that we can feed such a convenient, nutritious food to our pets!
  2. Alfalfa-based pellets should be avoided for the majority of healthy, adult rabbits, guinea pigs, and chinchillas. It’s too high in protein, energy, and calcium, and can lead to potential health problems. Did you know these animals eat primarily grass-based diets, but alfalfa is not a grass hay? It’s a legume!
  3. Avoid foods that contain added nuts, corn, seeds, and fruit. The digestive system of rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas is not designed to handle the simple sugars found in these foods. If you see one of these items listed in the first four ingredients on a package of food, don’t buy it. They may look appealing to you and even your furry friend, but they’re not necessary and can even be harmful.
  4. Go easy on the treats. Pets are like people—they will pick out their favorites and leave the rest. This isn’t a problem if everything you’re feeding is healthy and nutritious. But if you offer too many treats, your pet will fill up on those and leave less room for the fiber and pellets they need instead. Also, many treats contain too much sugar and can lead to diarrhea or other digestive problems.

What do you feed your rabbit, guinea pig, or chinchilla?
How many treats do you provide?

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