Information for Small Animals and Exotics Owners

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Guinea Pigs
Hedge Hogs and Prairie Dogs
Ferrets and Skunks
Sugar Gliders
Feeder Mice and Rats

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6169 Jog Road C8, Lake Worth, FL 33467
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Oxbow Animal Health

Being an Educated Pet Parent 


The joys of being a pet parent are great, but so are the responsibilities.  One of the most important steps in being a responsible pet parent is being educated about the dietary and environmental needs of pets.  Oxbow is proud to provide free educational materials for pet owners.  Our species-specific 101 Care Guides offer important feeding and care† information for new pet owners.  Likewise, our Small Paw Prints series of literature are fun, informative resources which cover a wide range of dietary and behavior issues.  All Oxbow literature is available for download on the Oxbow website. 

Just click on the Oxbow logo above.

Text Box: Hay is for Horses and Small Animals
Hay is absolutely vital to the digestive health of your small animal.  It prevents obesity, dental disease, diarrhea and boredom. Unless the hay in your petís habitat is soiled, do not replace it. Replacing it could encourage picky eating!  Many people may think that all hay is the same.  You might be amazed at the differences and some simple facts about herbivore nutrition.  

Hay Selection
Hay should make up the majority of your petís daily diet.
Resist offering the same type of hay. Offer a variety of hay for optimum health.
Hay is a product of nature, so itís normal for each bag to look and feel different.  
The grass hays -- timothy, orchard grass, oat hay etc -- are all similar if not identical in nutritional value, but variable in flavor, texture etc. Think of the different varieties like apples -- the flavor and texture a Granny Smith differs from a Macintosh differs from a Red Delicious (to the point that some of us think the delicious is inedible!) but nutritionally they are all apples.

Oat hay as an option for *people* with allergies and it seems to work better for them. The orchard grass is a nice sweet, soft hay. Tomothy is the standard. Oxbow's packaging calls out the flavor and texture differences. 
Alfalfa is a legume, like clover, and is a high protein, high calcium hay. We recommend alfalfa hays and alfalfa based pellets for young growing rabbits and guinea pigs, as well as pregnant does, or rabbits in poor condition. As an adult maintenance diet, timothy or other grass  hays and timothy or grass based pellets are better options.  Many people may think that all hay is the same. They  are always amazed when I trot out some simple facts about herbivore nutrition.