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Safe and scrummy snacks for your small furries

We all enjoy a bit of snack-time, and our pets do too. However, it’s important to only give our much-loved small furries treats that are good for them.

So, why not pay a visit to the Burgess Excel snack shop? Along with specially designed food for all manner of small pets, there’s also a range of nutritious and delicious Nature Snacks on offer.

Burgess in-house vet, Dr Suzanne Moyes, says: “Feeding occasional treats provides emotional and social enrichment, keeping our small animal busy and happy. Incorporating healthy and nutritious treats into their diet is good for our small pets’ emotional health, preventing boredom, encouraging natural foraging behaviour and are ideal for hand-feeding, to help you build your special bond with your small furries.”

Take a look at what’s in store:

  • Excel Fruity Feasts are complementary healthy snacks for rabbits and guinea pigs made with tasty banana and blueberry
  • Excel Herby Hearts are munchy morsels of compressed grass, spinach, oregano, basil, thyme, marjoram, dill, rosemary, carrot and apple, suitable for rabbits and guinea pigs
  • Excel Meadow Munchies are compressed high quality meadow feeding hay with yummy dandelion and camomile, loved by rabbits and guinea pigs
  • Excel Sunshine Snacks are healthy nibbles for rabbits and guinea pigs made with blueberry, spinach and blackcurrant
  • Excel Gnaw Sticks are made with made from 100% natural field-grown ingredients, produced in the countryside – willow, apple and hazel sticks – and are great for your rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, degus, gerbils and rats to chomp down on
  • Excel Country Garden Herbs is a delicious blend of naturally air-dried herbs and foliage that’s great to mix through feeding hay for your rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, degus, hamsters and mice

Dr Moyes advises: “While it’s rewarding for both us and our pets to give treats, it’s important to understand what’s safe to feed and what isn’t. Certain foods are toxic to different species, so always consult your vet first. For example, rabbits don’t naturally eat root vegetables such as carrots, and their digestion isn’t designed to cope with them. Dairy products are particularly dangerous for small furries such as guinea pigs.”

Here are some more ideas for safe and scrummy snacks for your small pets. Remember to just feed in small amounts in addition to their pelleted food and always supply fresh water:

RABBITS

  • Basil, broccoli, beetroot greens
  • Cabbage (dark green varieties), carrot tops and roots as a treat, cauliflower (including the leaves), celeriac, celery, coriander, curly kale, courgette (including flowers/excluding leaves)
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Kale
  • Mint, marrow
  • Parsley, pepper, pumpkin
  • Radish greens and roots, rocket
  • Salad leaves, sprouts (but if you get them a sprout tree be careful of how much of the stalk they eat as it’s very tough), squash (any type – including cucumber!)
  • Thyme
  • Watercress

GUINEA PIGS

  • A small bunch of parsley
  • A couple of dandelion leaves (ensure they have not been sprayed with pesticides or are from an area where wild rabbits graze, as they could carry disease),
  • Half a curly kale leaf
  • One small floret of broccoli
  • 1/8th of a green bell pepper

HAMSTERS , MICE AND GERBILS

  • Veg: Carrot, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, chicory, spinach, sweet peppers, cucumber, cress, courgette
  • Fresh herbs: Basil, sage, parsley, coriander
  • Fruits: Apple, pear, peach, melon

CHINCHILLAS AND DEGUS  (a small cube only)

  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Potato
  • Pumpkin
  • Squash
  • Sweet potato

RATS  (a small cube only)

  • Carrot
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumber
  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Peach

Salad days Warmer weather means we’re all craving fresh summer salads – and we don’t want our small pets to feel left out. But what fresh foods are safe for our rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, chinchillas and degus to eat? What foods are harmful and should be avoided at all costs? Read on for expert advice >>


Here are our top tips for hand feeding to build your bond with your small furries:

When your small pet comes forward in their enclosure, don’t try to catch them, start by offering a treat, so your pets learn to come to your hand.

  • Am I in danger? Small pets think anything approaching is a potential predator – even you. Don’t loom over them (as a predator in the wild might), but crouch down to meet them at their level
  • What’s happening? Keep your approach slow and steady – small pets can be easily startled and will simply run for cover. Speak to them in a soft, happy voice as you gradually get closer
  • That looks like it could be tasty! Offer some yummy nuggets or tasty herbs so they learn to associate your approach with something good happening. If your pet won’t come close enough to take food from your hand, lightly toss the food to them whenever they come in your direction. Wait until they come a little closer each time before offering food again, while continuing to talk to them in a soothing voice
  • I think I’ll risk it... If your pet does take the food, sit beside them and continue chatting to them. Then, offer them another treat. If your pet looks comfortable and doesn’t back off, you could try giving them a gentle stroke. Do this every day and your pet will begin to approach you, creating some magical animal moments
  • On my own terms Timid pets may take a while to gain confidence, but every small furry is an individual and it’s essential that they choose to interact with you on their own terms – and it’s that which makes it so rewarding. When your small pet decides that he or she trusts you enough to want to engage in some hand-feeding time with you it’s a great result!

Need nutrition advice?

Whether you have bunniespiggieshamstersgerbils, degus or chins, the Excel 5 Step Feeding Plan has been designed to help pet owners understand the high levels of beneficial fibre required by small animals  to create the perfect feeding plan:

Excel Feeding Hay + Excel Tasty Nuggets + Excel Nature Snacks + Fresh greens + Fresh water = happy small furries

If you’re at all unsure about the best way of feeding your pets or have any concerns about specific nutritional requirements at different times of their life, ask your local veterinary practice for advice. You can also call our expert team on 44 (0)0800 413 969 who’ll be happy to help. They’re available 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. Alternatively, you can use our online form to get in touch.


Are your pets Burgess pets? Join the Burgess Pet Club exclusive offers and rewards.

Burgess small animal food range (our Excel range) has healthy, tasty food for your rabbits, guinea pigschinchillas and degusferretsratshamsters and mice, and gerbils. Designed to prevent selective feeding, and rich in nutrients, discover how our small animal food can help keep your pets happy and healthy. At Burgess, all our small pet food is made using premium ingredients for the best in texture, quality and taste. Due to the diverse needs of our small animals, much research has been conducted to ensure the safety of pet food, and that the right nutritional content comprises it. It’s not surprising then that 92% of UK vets recommend our Excel range.


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