Rabbit/Guinea Pig Diet: Grass

With pets, it is always hard to know whether you are doing the right thing for them. I believe that most owners do want the best for their pets, and I think that they all think they are currently on the right path. I personally thought that I had done enough research to know the best diet for my rabbit and guinea pigs. I learnt the 80-85% hay, 10-15% vegetables, 5% pellets rule for guinea pigs, and the slightly lower ratio of vegetables for rabbits. I got the best possible food that I could find on the market in New Zealand, Burgess Excel Guinea Pig and separate Burgess Excel Rabbit food and then I made sure that all pets had a constant supply of hay in their cages.
I guess that as with everything in life, you never stop learning and evolving. Sadly, if you haven't heard I lost my rabbit, Schmutz recently due to his back molars over growing and his health going down hill from there. Schmutz had the above diet most of his life, and he taught me a lot about the amazingness of rabbits. What I had left out of his and the pigs common diet was grass. When he was out in the yard, he spent more time zooming around than eating the grass, and I didn't often pick grass for him as I have dogs and I didn't want him to get any infected strands. I feel like I kind of forgot about the need of grass, since all the pets ate enough hay and vegetables that in my mind they had enough nutrients. I also made sure that Schmutz and the pigs always had some sort of wooden toy in their cage to chew on if needed to wear down their front teeth. I completely forgot that they had more teeth than that. The great thing about grass and hay is that it wears down the back molars, and these are often the forgotten teeth for small pets.
Collecting grass in my dog treat bag.
I have been feeding the pigs grass every second day, sometimes everyday for the past few weeks. I have found that the best part of grass, is that it is free (or fairly inexpensive if you grow your own indoors). Most pet products do have a cost involved, to find good quality hay, food and vegetables can rack up a decent amount of money. The pigs also love it! They go crazy whenever I put the bowl in the cage, and can go through a bowl of grass in about ten minutes. I think they enjoy it more than vegetables!
If I was to take a positive thing out of the passing of Schmutz is that now I am very conscious of how much grass the pigs are getting. I now am growing my own grass inside for the pigs to have, and also going to my mothers home to pick some of her grass for them as she doesn't have dogs. If you have either pigs or rabbits, please feed them more grass. If you don't have your own grass, just make sure that where ever you are sourcing your grass is away from the road, and has not been sprayed. I will be writing up a blog post on how well growing grass inside is going for us. I would love to hear if any of you have tried growing grass inside, and how well it has gone. Leave a comment below.
Sorry, I thought I got a photo of the pigs with their grass. Instead you get
a photo of them enjoying vegetables. 


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