Educational Articles

Nutrition

  • This handout provides general information on feeding and training your puppy, nail care, and hiccupping.

  • Our knowledge of bird nutrition is constantly evolving. This is due both to heightened awareness of the importance of nutrition and to increased research. As with all other animals, birds need a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals and water.

  • Rabbits are herbivores and are considered nibblers, in that they eat continuously. They have complex digestive systems and are very efficient at processing food. They also have very specific dietary needs. If you introduce new foods too quickly, or feed inappropriate food choices, the rabbit's normal digestive flora (normal bacteria) will be disturbed and may lead to a sick rabbit.

  • Gout is a disease in which the metabolism of uric acid is defective. Uric acid is a breakdown product of nitrogen, formed when protein is metabolized in the body. Uric acid is the form in which reptiles excrete their nitrogen wastes.

  • Dystocia (difficult birth or egg binding) happens when the female reptile is unable to pass her eggs or fetus. It is a reasonably common problem in reptiles and can be life threatening. It is a problem seen with snakes, turtles and lizards. It is caused by a variety of factors.

  • All of the pet rodents must be fed a good, high quality rodent chow (nutritionally balanced pelleted food) available at pet stores. Many veterinarians also recommend offering hay to the rodents; check with your veterinarian about this first.

  • Our knowledge of bird nutrition is constantly evolving. This is due both to heightened awareness of the importance of nutrition and to increased research into birds different needs. As with all other animals, birds need a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals and water. Different species of birds often require different foods.

  • There are NO vegetarian snakes; all species are carnivores. The diet depends on the species. Some will specifically eat warm blooded prey (rodents, rabbits, birds), while others eat insects, frogs or amphibians, eggs, other reptiles, fish, earthworms, or slugs. Snakes swallow their food whole.

  • Sugar gliders are omnivorous in the wild. In the wild they eat the sap and gum of the eucalyptus and acacia tree plus pollen, nectar, manna (a sugar deposit from the sap oozing from wounds on tree branches or trunks), honeydew (sugar secreted by sap-sucking insects) and a wide variety of insects and spiders. Fruit is not a big part of their diet.

  • Taurine is a type of amino acid, and amino acids form the main constituents of all proteins. Taurine is exclusively found in animal-based proteins.