As a rabbit or guinea pig small pet parent, you’re probably already aware of the important role that hay plays in your pet’s diet and overall health. But did you know that there are many different varieties of hay, each with its own nutritional benefits?
WHAT EXACTLY IS TIMOTHY HAY?
Hays can be divided into two categories: grass and legume. Timothy Hay (Phleum pratense), a member of the grass family, is a dried fibrous perennial grass hay native to Europe and introduced to North America by a farmer named Timothy Hanson in the eighteenth century. Hence the name Timothy Hay.
THE BENEFITS OF TIMOTHY HAY
Timothy Hay is the ideal hay for everyday feeding for all types of small animals, including rabbits and guinea pigs, due to its palatability and nutritional qualities. High in fibre, and low in protein, calcium, and calories, Timothy Hay provides your pet with many digestive and dental health benefits:
HIGH IN FIBRE
Timothy hay is very high in fibre. Fibre plays a key role in your small pet’s digestive heath, ensuring its digestive system works properly by helping to keep food moving through the gut and preventing G.I. Statis, all while satisfying your pet’s appetite.
And because Timothy Hay is a fibrous, long-stem grass hay, it provides a coarse abrasive texture that encourages the side-to-side chewing motion necessary to help grind small pet’s teeth down and help keep them trim.
Rabbits and guinea pigs have ever-growing, open-rooted teeth which can easily become overgrown if they’re not worn down. Not only does this cause discomfort, but it can also lead to a condition called malocclusion which causes the upper and lower teeth to become misaligned, making it difficult for the teeth to wear down as they are unable to grind against each other while chewing.
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LOW IN PROTEIN & CALORIES
Just like humans, protein provides small animals with the energy required to build muscle and ensure proper growth. But a diet that’s too high in protein and calories can lead to health issues such as obesity, which in turn can lead to long-term health complications.
LOW IN CALCIUM
Timothy Hay’s low calcium content is beneficial for kidney and urinary health. While calcium is necessary for healthy teeth and bones, too much calcium in the diet can lead to bladder and kidney disease in rabbits and guinea pigs. Bladder and kidney disease is often caused by excess calcium that accumulates in the bladder – commonly referred to as “sludge or sand” – which can cause serious pain and discomfort and can even be life-threatening.
TIMOTHY HAY AS PART OF YOUR SMALL PET’S DIET
A balanced diet that includes hay, high quality extruded food, fresh leafy greens, and occasional treats is essential for your small pet’s health and well-being. Hay is especially important, as it makes up to 80% of your small pet’s diet, and it should be made available in unlimited quantities along with a constant supply of fresh, clean drinking water.
Living World Green Botanicals Premium Timothy Hays, available in Veggie Mix or Herb & Flower Mix formulations, are 100% natural with no additives, preservatives, pesticides, or herbicides. Non-GMO, they combine healthy Timothy Hay with a delicious blend of either herb and flower or dried vegetable inclusions for variety and nutritional enrichment.