31 Aug 2022

Straw or Hay? What to Feed Rabbits & Guinea Pigs?

Did you bring a guinea pig and rabbit home and want to take the best care of them? Make sure you know what to feed them by following our guide!

Straw or Hay? What to Feed Rabbits & Guinea Pigs?

Guinea pigs and rabbits are fun to play with! However, you will have to feed them well to keep them healthy and happy.

People new to keeping these furry friends at home often face this confusion about what to feed them. And if you are in the same boat, this guide will help you.

You might be under the impression that straws and hay are good for feeding guinea pigs and rabbits. Well, that’s not exactly the case!

Straw and hay have different uses; feeding your furry friend the wrong type of hay can make them severely sick. Read this guide to learn what to feed them and what to avoid if you want to prevent this.

Let’s quickly take a look!

Why Should You Feed Hay To Rabbits And Guinea Pigs?

Two Pet Rabbits Eating Hay

To ensure that your guinea pigs and rabbits have a good diet and their health is always at its best, ensure you feed them good quality hay. And ensure that the supply of hay is constant.

Like humans, a good diet is essential for guinea pigs and rabbits. Otherwise, there is a good chance that you will find them falling sick often.

Hay And Its Types

Two Guinea Pigs Eating Different Types Of Hay

You will need first to understand the dietary needs of your herbivore friends to understand which kind of hay would be suitable for them. You will come across two types of hay: dried grass and dried legumes. These are categorised in terms of the different nutritional content of the hay. Grass hay is high in fibre, while legume hay has a high protein content.

You can opt for Alfalfa, legume hay from the pea family and is often termed lucerne. Even clover hay is a good option for guinea pigs and rabbits. Both these types are made from dry legumes and have a high protein concentration. However, if your pets are obese, try to avoid these options, as they might harm them.

They also have a high calcium concentration, which might lead to the formation of urinary stones in rabbits and guinea pigs.

So, we suggest you try feeding your pets with grass hay instead. This variant has high fibre content and is an excellent bet for both guinea pigs and rabbits. Grass hay encourages the natural behaviour of these animals as they can chew on it for hours. That’s why you can rest assured that it will only do great things for their teeth.

And because of the high fibre content, their digestive system will also get a boost.

Which Hay To Choose For Rabbits And Guinea Pigs?

What Hay For Guinea Pigs

There is no right answer, and we recommend you feed your rabbits and guinea pigs with whichever type of grass hay they like. To improve their health, you can even consider giving them a mix of different types of grass hay so that their vitamins and mineral needs are met.

It is best to avoid legume hay as the primary food source for rabbits and guinea pigs, as it might cause more harm than good. Pro tip: always keep hay in well-ventilated areas to ensure that they do not collect moisture and become wet.

And if you notice any discolouration, we advise you to refrain from feeding that hay to your little pets.

Use Straw For Guinea Pig And Rabit’s Bedding

Two Brown Guinea Pigs Cuddling

Straw is different from hay and is basically the stalk derived from grain crops like wheat. These stalks are hollow and mostly yellow in colour. Differentiating between hay and stalk is pretty easy, as hay is long stems of dried grass and is more likely to have a green tinge.

We suggest feeding your rabbits and guinea pigs hay, not straw. This is because the latter doesn’t have any nutritional value. Stick to using a straw to make the bedding for your pets, as it will help them stay warm during cold winter nights. And there’s no harm even if they nibble on it.

If money isn’t a problem, you can use grass hay as bedding for your furry friends. Just refrain from using Alfalfa for this purpose, as that might harm your pets if they nibble on it too much.

Feed Your Pets The Right Food!

With that, it’s a wrap for today!

If you live in an area where winters are chilly, we suggest that you use straw bedding for rabbits and guinea pigs. On the flip side, collect good quality and fresh hay to feed them and ensure there’s no compromise on their health. And make sure they have access to clean water and an adequate amount of space in their cage.

We can help you select the right food for your guinea pig or rabbit if you need assistance. You can count on our friendly and knowledgeable Planet Pet staff to provide excellent service and care for your furry friend. So, check out our online store today!

Follow these tips, and you can rest assured that your pets will be happy and healthy. If you notice that your furry friends are not looking too well, there might be something wrong with their diet. Please do not delay in that case and take them to a vet at the earliest.

Until next time, take care!

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