Although most small animals require species specific diets, their basic dietary requirements can be grouped into three different categories; carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores. Carnivores are meat eaters and require high levels of protein, herbivores eat plant based diets and require large amounts of roughage, and omnivores eat both plant and animal based products.
Ferrets are obligate carnivores and require a high protein, high fat, low fiber diet. Path Valley PVF Premium Ferret, 8 in 1 Ultimate Ferret Diet, and Marshall Premium Ferret diet are all formulated to meet your ferret’s nutritional needs.
Chinchillas, Rabbits, and Guinea Pigs are herbivores. They require a diet that is high in roughage such as hay, as well as a species specific pellet mix. There are numerous hay options available such as timothy, alfalfa, and brome; and for the most part, they can be rotated to provide some variety. However, high amounts of alfalfa should not be fed to adult animals as the calcium content is too high.
Guinea Pigs are a unique member of the herbivorous group because unlike Chinchillas and Rabbits, they are unable to synthesize Vitamin C. As a result, they must obtain their Vitamin C requirements from fortified guinea pig pellets, supplements, and fresh vegetables.
Hamsters, Gerbils, Rats, and Mice are all omnivores, meaning they eat both vegetable and animal products. The primary diet options for these animals consist of fortified seed mixes and nutritionally balanced blocks or pellets. Either of these can be the primary component of the diet or a blend of the two types can be fed.
Much like small animal diets, supplements for small animals are also species specific. They range from fatty acid supplements which improve skin and coat to joint support supplements which reduce inflammation and support overall joint health to multivitamin supplements which prevent nutritional deficiencies and imbalances.
Options for Ferrets include FerretVite and FerreTone supplements. FerretVite Vitamin and Mineral supplement is a high-energy daily supplement which contains fatty acids and taurine. FerreTone is a daily fatty acid and vitamin supplement.
Oxbow Natural Science Supplements provide a range of products in formulations for Chinchillas, Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Hamsters, Gerbils, Mice, and Rats. These include urinary care, skin and coat, digestive care, joint support, and multivitamin supplements. They also offer a Vitamin C supplement which is particularly important for guinea pigs.