Top-Notch Nutrition for Your Pocket Pet

You’re ready to join the ranks of pocket pet owners, although you’re still on the fence about which species you’ll choose. While each pocket pet’s habitat and general care requirements are similar, their diets vary. For example, a guinea pig sees a specific food as a gourmet delicacy, while a hamster’s tummy can be upset by the very same treat. Once you choose your pocket pet, your Matthews veterinarian will give you specific details on his nutritional needs. Read more for the little guys’ general food preferences.

Gerbil Feeding Preferences

Your gerbil thinks his pellets are rather boring, so he spices them up with fresh fruits and vegetables. Carrots, broccoli, and dark greens are perfect. Feed your gerbil with a heavy ceramic dish he can’t turn over, and remove leftovers before they spoil. Or, since gerbils like to forage, sprinkle the food on his bedding so he can stash it around his enclosure. Locate these scraps quickly, too. Remember this little guy needs daily fresh water from a handy drip device.

Hungry, Hoarding Hamster

Your hamster also wants some extras added to his pellet diet. Ask your vet if you can add carrots, lettuce, spinach, and apples. Avoid toxic foods like apple seeds, green tomato bits, raw beans, parsley, and sprouting potatoes. Choose morning or evening feedings, but always keep food in your hamster’s bowl. Remember that if his bowl is empty, he has probably hoarded some food around his cage. Don’t let his food spoil. Make sure your hamster can get daily fresh water from a drip container.

Guinea Pig Gourmet Fare

Guinea pigs also like fresh vegetables with their pellets; and the diced veggies also give your pig vital Vitamin C. Kale, cabbage, and fruits are great; but avoid oranges and other sugar-loaded citrus fruits. Once each week, mix in chopped carrot, sweet potato, or zucchini pieces. Add the fruits and veggies slowly to keep your guinea pig from developing diarrhea. If that occurs, ramp down the produce for a few days, and bring it back in tiny amounts. Your guinea pig also needs fresh water from a drip container.

Pet Rat Pellets or Alternatives

Since you can’t find good rat pellets everywhere, ask your vet about feeding your pet rat a top-quality, low-fat dry dog food. Blend in a small amount of seed/grain mixture. Don’t feed your rat candy, corn, carbonated and caffeinated drinks, chocolate, and onions. Also forbidden: junk food, peanut butter, and taffy. Your rat will, however, appreciate lots of daily fresh water from a drip container.

If your little pet’s food preferences suddenly change, your Matthews vet can help you revamp your little guy’s diet so he continues to be a well-fed little rodent.

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