The Perfect Diet for Exotic Pets

What a controversial subject! Everyone seems to have the required knowledge to recommend a specific food for their (or others') exotic pets. Comments such as 'I read about the diet on a website' or 'so and so recommended this food' seems to be enough to get a pet owner to switch to a new 'fad' diet in the blink of an eye.

Exotic pet diets are like every other diet for humans that you hear of in advertisements or on the news, or talk shows. There is a 'new' or 'better' one that comes along every month, each one claiming it is better than the next and will do things that none of the other diets that you have tried before do. Exotic pet diets are no different. There is no one specific food that is the best, and not one food that provides something special that other food combinations won't. Many diets available for Sugar gliders or hedgehogs or Prairie dogs or other exotic pets will provide the necessary nutrition for a healthy long life.

The focus needs to be on providing healthy foods in the proper portions, offer good quality, and a good variety. Follow some basic guidelines for required elements in the diet and there is an excellent chance that your pet will live a long and healthy life.

Pets (or humans for that matter) do not always eat the foods that are best for them. Some foods that are very tasty may not be nutritionally balanced, they may provide too much fat, protein, or sugars. It is up to us as the providers of our pet's diet to hold back on offering the foods that are not as healthy. No, your pet may not like to eat certain foods as much as others, just like young children do not like to eat their vegetables. It's up to the parent to make sure they are consumed. The same with our pets ... it's up to the owners to provide high quality nutrition and not replace those foods with low quality (more appealing) foods when our pets turn their nose up at the healthy stuff.

The majority of the time when a pet turns his nose up at a new food is because that pet has been spoiled by being fed a diet either high in fat, or sugars. Once they establish a taste for these foods, it takes a little patience to break them of the bad habit. Leave new foods in the cage with you pets for 24-48 hours, offering nothing else to eat. If you replace a new food with the food they have been used to eating, after 8 or 12 hours, then you pet will know that if he/she holds off on eating the new food you will come running in with the other food soon enough!

Be patient. Give the new foods a chance, you will find that the majority of the time, your pet will adapt to the new food only after a day or two.


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Notice: Exotic Nutrition cannot provide specific care guidelines on an individual basis. Please contact a veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitation clinic.


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