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Alfalfa is rich in several vitamins and minerals that enhance the health of small pets and encourage an active lifestyle. An important nutrient to small pets is vitamin K, as it has the capability to clot blood, strengthen bones and enhance digestion. Known as one of the best sources of vitamin K, alfalfa has several benefits for your small pet8.
As an herbivorous animal, rabbits will consume a majority of the various hay and greens offered to them. However, alfalfa is one of the more easily digestible roughage that may be offered to rabbits due to the way in which their digestive system operates. Alfalfa is an adequate source of fiber that leads to better intestinal health2.
As nutritious roughage, alfalfa can benefit rabbits in several ways2:
Providing your gerbil with a balanced diet will ensure an active, healthy lifestyle. An adequate diet requires proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. The increased supply of calcium found in alfalfa maintains bone health, as a loss of bone density is common in older gerbils10.
Alfalfa provides increased amounts of calcium over other types of hay and works best as feed for growing and nursing guinea pigs. In these stages of life, an adequate amount of alfalfa hay or pellets will provide the guinea pig with necessary calcium and vitamins. While the hay should not be provided on a regular basis for mature adults, providing it as a treat or filler is suggested. As guinea pig molars are constantly growing, chewing hay is a natural, healthy means to grinding the teeth down7.
When alfalfa is included in a hamster’s diet, it provides the calcium that is necessary for healthy bone growth and strength. Along with being a nutritious roughage source, hamsters enjoy using the alfalfa as nesting matter7.
Including alfalfa in rotation with other hays will provide the chinchilla with necessary vitamins and nutrients. The chinchilla regularly suffers from calcium deficiencies, leading to decreased milk production, hunched backs and teeth problems. Alfalfa is an alternative calcium source that most chinchillas find flavorsome 7.