Hay plays a huge role in keeping the gut in small animals such as rabbits, hamsters, and guinea pigs. It helps to add fiber to the diet that allows the gut to move and pass the rest of the food that was eaten. Hay also helps to regulate the weight of small animals.
When it comes to dental health, everyone knows that rabbits and guinea pigs need to chew to help keep teeth short. These little friends have teeth that do not stop growing, if they aren't offered an item to chew they will start to grow out of control. Having hay helps to grind down teeth while they are eating.
Small animals also need to be stimulated mentally just like cats and dogs. adding hay to their diets aids in that. Having that bit of hay helps to encourage their foraging behavior which keeps them mentally stimulated.
Need help in finding the a great hay choice? There are a wide variety of hays that will keep your little pal's attention! Grass hays such as timothy or orchard hay, are for adults since the fiber is higher and the protein and calcium are low. Legume hay (like alfalfa hay) is for the young, ill, or nursing littles. These types are high in fiber and high in protein and calcium. Grass hays are interchangeable to help provide more nutrients to their diets. Once you have found the hay you like, switch it up - there is not just one hay that is the "perfect" hay. Offering different hays add texture, flavor and it reduces picky eaters.