Super snacks for small furries
For our small pets, as well as providing them with the right accommodation, company and food, enrichment should be an essential part of how we care for them.
Burgess In-house Vet, Dr Suzanne Moyes says: “Essentially, enrichment is about helping your pet to exhibit natural behaviours, such as climbing, digging, tunnelling, foraging, chewing and gnawing. This is well established as a way of minimising stress-related behaviours and improving quality of life. Providing treats in innovative ways is a great way for small pet owners to make their pets’ lives more interesting and rewarding by increasing cognitive problem solving and reducing boredom.”
Here are some ideas for you to try out – let us know if you think up some of your own!
HIDE AND SEEK
Encourage foraging behaviour by scattering a portion of your pets’ food in bedding or hay racks, or hiding it in cardboard egg cups, paper cups or small paper bags, so your guinea pigs, rabbits or chinchillas have to work to enjoy their tasty nibbles.
ROLL WITH IT
Fill a cardboard toilet roll with a mix of delicious Chamomile Feeding Hay and Apple Snacks for lots of foraging fun for rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas. With parsley and thyme for extra taste, these treats are packed with natural antioxidants that help support the immune system.
Provide rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas with untreated fruit tree branches, such as apple and willow, for the ideal natural dental chew, to help them grind down their continually growing teeth. Gnaw Sticks, which contain 100% natural, wholesome ingredients and are naturally high in beneficial fibre, provide emotional and social enrichment by keeping your fibrevores busy, while promoting dental health.
Hide leafy greens in small plant pots, hollow wicker balls or dangle them from the roof of your rabbits’ run.
SOCK IT TO THEM
Pushing some food treats into a pine cone will provide hours of fun for hamsters, gerbils and rats.
MIX IT UP
Occasionally change round your pets’ accommodation set-up, such as placing shelves and ropes in different places and positioning food in different locations, as this will stimulate your pet to think.
FIND OUT MORE about caring for your small pets here