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Timothy Hay: a treat that provides major health benefits to small pets!

 

 

What is Timothy Hay?
 
Timothy hay is a natural perennial grass that is native to Europe. When cut and dried late in the season it is high in fibre and low in protein and calcium. It is widely regarded amongst vets as one of the best hays to feed most small pets, and should form an integral part of the diet of rabbits and guinea pigs in particular.                                                                                                                        
 
It’s good for their teeth
 
Timothy hay promotes natural chewing behaviour and helps to wear down the cheek teeth, which over time have evolved to grow continuously in small herbivores, due to the large amount of grinding they do when chewing their food.   The consumption of this hay encourages and helps to maintain the dentition of your small pet. 
 
It’s also beneficial for their gut
 
It is great for the intestinal tract of most small pets due to its high fibre content; it reduces the incidence of soft stools, and helps with bloating, stimulates the digestive system and helps to prevent obesity.  It also helps maintain the health of the urinary system. 
 
Guidelines on the amount to feed
 
Timothy hay can be fed freely and should be made available at all times.  It also enriches the animal’s environment and imitates their natural habitat by encouraging foraging, and in doing so provides mental stimulation.  If timothy hay is the main diet of your pet, fresh vegetables and pelleted foods should also be offered alongside it.
The versatility of Timothy Hay means that you can confidently offer it as a treat, use it as a dental aid or provide it as the staple food for your small pet without being concerned about weight gain. Always remember to follow your vet’s advice regarding the diet of your pet. If in doubt, ask!