FAQ Friday #5: Why does my small animal need something to chew on?
I guess even fish are never too old to learn something new. Today I learned that many small animals have special teeth (called open-rooted teeth) that grow continuously. Some pets with teeth that never stop growing include:
- all rodents (degus, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, jirds, mice, and rats)
The teeth of these animals have evolved over time to help the break down the tough, fibrous foods they eat. All that chewing also promotes good digestion. If their teeth stopped growing, they would soon be worn to nubs, so the open-rooted system works for them.
But, this means these pets also need hard items to chew on to grind and shape their teeth. If they don’t have proper chews, their teeth can grow misshapen or get sharp edges that can cause small cuts and mouth infections (ouch!).
The Animal Store carries a wide selection of chews that will help keep your pet’s teeth healthy. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. Keeping a variety of chews on hand and switching them out occasionally will keep your pet interested in chewing on the right things. This is important, especially for larger animals, like rabbits, which may decide to chew on your furniture or toys instead of an appropriate chew toy or treat.
As Kenn says: “Give them something you want them to chew on, or they’ll find things you don’t want them to chew on.”
Chews come in many different material, shapes, and flavors. Ask us which ones are best for your pet. Hope you learned something new today, too. School’s out.
Posted on March 30, 2012, in Animal Store Staff, Animals, FAQ Friday, Kenn Bearman, Pet Information, Pets, The Animal Store and tagged Bunnies, Chews, Chinchilla, Degu, Gerbils, Guinea Pig, Hamsters, Jirds, Mice, Pet Health, Rabb, Rats. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.