Nutrition for small pets
It’s just as important that our pets eat a balanced and nutritious diet as it is for people. All animals and people need the right food to stay as healthy as possible, so it’s essential that you get the balance right for your pet. Water is also an important part of the diet of any small pet, and should be readily available and refreshed daily. Follow our species-by-species guide to choosing the right foods for your small pet.
Rabbits require a varied diet high in fibre, including lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, and also good quality grass hay like Timothy Hay. Pellet food can also be used in conjunction with the hay. Fruits and vegetables that are suitable for rabbits are:
- Dark leafy greens,
- Dandelion greens.
Lettuce should NOT be given to rabbits, as it has little to no nutritional value and causes digestive problems due to its high water content.
Guinea pigs require a very similar diet to rabbits, but they also need a source of vitamin C as they are unable to produce it themselves. If fed a vitamin C deficient diet guinea pigs are at risk of developing scurvy.
Ideally you should offer a good quality pellet food, such as Supa Guinea Excel, as well as ad lib Timothy Hay. Fruit and vegetables that have a high content of Vitamin C include:
- Leafy greens, such as kale and chicory
- Dandelion greens
Hamsters require a more basic diet and should be fed hamster food such as Harry Hamster or Supa Hamster Mix. This should be fed with small amounts of fruit and vegetables which should be offered in very small pieces.
Rats require a low fat diet, high fibre diet. Specially formulated rat pellets, such as Reggie Rat or Supreme Select Science Rat, are the best primary foods for your rat. Rats also benefit from small amounts of dark leafy greens and/or broccoli. Don’t be alarmed if your rat appears to eat very little, due to their small size they only require very small amounts of food on a daily basis.
Mice have essentially the same diet as rats but in even smaller quantities. They can also have seeds and grains, but beware the high fat content of these treats!
Ferrets are carnivorous and should be fed only on meat or meat-based foods. Treats should also be made from meat, and you should avoid offering them fruit, vegetables, or anything sugary. Ideally they should be fed on special ferret food such as Ferret Complete, Kibble Ferret or Supreme Science Select Ferret.