With any pet, whether it be a dog, cat, horse or budgie for that matter, treats are always welcomed and appreciated. You can encourage positive behaviour, treat them to something yummy every now and then, and simply spoil them because well, they’re your pet!
This is the same for small animals. Rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, gerbils and any other type of small pet love to gnaw and munch on something tasty. In moderation, treats are completely fine, but it’s knowing what treats are best for your small pet so that you can still deliver some nutrition through this deliciousness.
In today’s article, we’re going to explore the top treats for small animals. That’s right, by identifying what delicious treats are best for your little friend, you can stay rest assured that you’re not feeding them high volumes of fat, sugar and salt in their treats.
Why Is Being Selective on Pet Treats Important?
When choosing treats for your small animals, it’s crucial that you are aware of their ingredients beforehand. Obviously, giving an animal a large amount of any treat will encourage weight gain, so we do recommend only giving treats on rare occasions.
Additionally, treats that are high in saturated fat will also cause your small animal to gain weight, which, in turn, can cause further health problems such as heart disease in the future. That’s not the only thing that you should look out for either.
High in corn products mean that they are full of unburnable calories and products with artificial flavours and colourings can proceed to an unhealthy balance to a pet’s diet. It’s all about knowing your pet, what’s inside a treat and ensuring that you’re moderating your animal’s intake.
Treats for Rabbits
Let’s start with these long-eared cuties. In a rabbits diet, veg, dandelion leaves and hay are all very much suitable. In terms of treats, fruit such as apples, grapes, pears, plums and strawberries are all safe to feed to your rabbit but ensure that these are in small quantities as they’re high in sugar.
An example would be giving 1/8th of apple to your bouncy mate. Another point to consider is how many carrots you’re feeding your rabbit. Yes, like Bugs Bunny, carrots are a favourite for these guys, but they actually contain a lot of sugar and calories but next to no good quality fibre to encourage digestion. Both fruit and carrots are okay occasionally, but not as a daily diet.
Its also recommended that you steer away from muesli as rabbits will pick out the tastier parts of these mixes, leading to teeth disease from not being gnawed enough and gut problems from not getting enough fibre.
For a shop-bought treat recommendation, it would have to be Natural’s Treat Sticks which are the best treats for rabbits because they’re made of natural ingredients such as dandelion leaves and strawberries and are highly beneficial when getting the gut moving through a high volume of fibre.
Treats for Hamsters
Next, we have treats for hamsters. Hamsters, like rabbits, tend to pick out the fattier parts of a meal too. Yes, they love sunflower seeds, but these are high in fat and shouldn’t be their only source of food. Vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, squash, cucumber and lettuce are just a handful of the veg that you can give your hamster instead.
Also, fruits such as apples, pears, bananas, grapes and most berries are delicious for hamsters; in small quantities due to the sugar content. Never give your hamster citrus fruits as these can be highly damaging to their health. In terms of natural treats, scrambled egg, whole-grain breads and cereals are all great options.
If you want to pick up a treat for your tiny friend on Pets At Home, Selective Naturals Woodland Loops are ideal because they’re 100% natural with dandelion and rosehip, have no added sugar and are high in fibre. An all-around scrummy treat for your little ball of fur.
Treats for Guinea Pigs
Similarly to the treats for rabbits, guinea pigs also need a hay-led diet so that their teeth are kept at a healthy length, and their gut is always being moved. Additionally, romaine, spinach and parsley always go down well as a natural treat, as well as sweet potatoes, carrots and zucchini on an occasional basis.
In terms of fruit, again in small quantities and not regularly, blueberries, apples and banana are all suitable for these squeaky little guys. When finding another delicious snack when you’re out and about, Woodland’s Apple and Pansy Hearts are 100% natural again and have no traces of honey or glue – making them nutritional, tasty and cute for your little piggy.
Treats for Rats
Rats, although not everyone’s cup of tea, can be marvellous pets. And unlike what you see in films, they don’t live off scraps from your bin! Instead, rats should be fed a combination of fresh fruits, veg and rat pellets or rat cubes for a needed source of protein and low-fat content.
Examples would be apples, pears, banana, melon, citrus fruits, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, bok Choy, parsley, celery, fresh corn and plenty of others. At all times, avoid seed and grain mixes as these are very high in fat and sugar, and rats are unfortunately prone to becoming overweight and malnourished through these contents.
Cereals, grains, biscuits, sweets and cooked pasta are a great alternative for a treat. Failing that, Vitakraft Wild Berry Drops are favoured too. These droplets are made with only premium quality ingredients, are free from artificial colourings, flavours and preservatives and are sugar-free. Suitable as a snack between meals; your little ratatouille will be sure to enjoy these.
Treats for Gerbils
Lastly, we have gerbils. These little guys are ridiculously cute and also need the right kind of nutrients in their food. Fruit such as pear, melon, oranges and apple and veg such as cucumber, pumpkin, fennel, and carrot are all ideal for your gerbil. Please note that feeding your gerbil rhubarb or grapes is never recommended as these are highly poisonous to all rodents.
In terms of other treats for rodents, Tiny Friends, via Pets At Home, have Gerbil Yummies that consist of cheese and Cranberry. These healthy little bites are perfect for gerbils and are always made fresh in the Tiny Friend’s Farm in Suffolk.
We hope that you’re now all clued up on the top treats for small animals! All small animals have big personalities, and they all enjoy a treat from time to time. By ensuring that you’re taking extra caution when choosing the best snacks for rodents and any other small animal, you will always have a happy and healthy little pal.
Are you looking for treats for your small animal because you feel guilty that you are leaving them behind for a few days? There is no need because with a fantastic pet carer, you and your pet are instantly given comfort. Here at House My Pet, we have pet sitting services that are ideal for those short trips away. Whether you want someone to visit your home to take care of your little friend(s) or you’d prefer a home boarding service, we’re your answer.
All of our pet carers are fully licensed, insured and have the relevant experience when handling small animals. You can stay confident that your best friend will be given the same love, care and attention as you’d give them while you’re away. Especially through our pet matchmaking system that ensures the designated pet carer is suitable for the abilities, needs and preferences of you and your pet. For more information on how we can take care of your small animal and how we choose the ideal service provider, get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org.