Rodent Treats

Small mammals such as rats, guinea pigs, and hamsters are increasingly becoming popular pets as they don’t take up too much space and are great fun to watch. These small pets are still a big responsibility and each has its own needs to keep them healthy and happy in your home. One of the most important things for these pets is diet. Most of these pets are herbivores, meaning their diet consists of solely vegetables, fruit, and plants. Rats and hamsters however are omnivores meaning they are healthiest when they eat a mixture of fruit, vegetables, and protein.


A great way to bond with your pet is through treats; you may find that a tasty treat can even help you teach your pet a few tricks! Rats especially are very clever critters, their naturally inquisitive nature and love of interacting with their owners make training easy and fun. Treats make training a positive experience for your small pet, offering a reward for the desired behaviour you teach them to perform.


Why buy treats? Can’t I just make my own?

Giving your pet treats in the form of their favourite herb or fruit is fine in moderation, but making your own treats can be time-consuming and a natural diet can be difficult to replicate at home. Guinea pigs for example require vitamin C in their diet, as, unlike rabbits, they can’t make their own. Guinea pig snacks should include a good vitamin C source to help with this. 


Remember, pets can be greedy! Most can suffer from obesity, as just like a human choosing crisps over a salad, your pet will always eat the tastiest food first. Monitoring their food intake is easier when giving manufactured treats so you can be certain of what they are eating and how much, which will help keep their weight down. 


It is also important to remember that not all fruit and vegetables are safe for your small furry. Tomatoes, beans, and citrus fruits can be fatal to your hamster whereas avocados and potatoes will harm your guinea pig. Rats should never eat raw Brussel sprouts, raisins, or citrus fruits either. Keeping this in mind, offering already made treats will give you peace of mind as manufacturers have experts that help make their treats as nutritionally balanced as possible with safe ingredients. 


What to look for when choosing a treat

The best rat treats, hamster snacks, and other small pet nibbles are made from ingredients that taste good but are still relatively healthy. High sugar content will upset the delicate balance of your pet’s digestive system as well as contribute to poor dental health. 


Look for treats that are high in fibre as these will support the gut. These also have the added benefit of lasting longer than just giving your pet fruit, so will them occupied for longer. Natural oils such as linseed improve the coat and skin, keeping your pet looking their best and their skin in good condition. 


Treats to keep your pet busy

Your pet needs mental stimulation. Boredom can lead to serious health problems such as obesity, as your pet will merely fill their time by eating. Obesity leads to heart problems and arthritis as the extra weight puts pressure on their delicate joints. Bored pets will also begin to over groom themselves which can lead to self-mutilation, skin infections and wounds as well as a potential intestinal blockage from hairballs. 


Treats such as Oxbow’s Timothy Club Bungalow, Club Carrot, and Timothy Mat all provide mental stimulation whilst being made from 100% premium Timothy hay, a great source of fibre. These treats can be hung up around your pet’s cage or just hidden in their hay or bedding to be flung around and played with.

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