Prairie dogs, despite their names, aren’t dogs but rodents who belong to the squirrel family. These animals are generally named after a dog because their warning calls sound like a bark, and the way they live by burrowing.
What do prairie dogs eat? Keep reading below to know more! These rodents are herbivorous and prefer plant-based food instead of raw meat. This article will deal with this topic and details about prairie dogs.
What do Prairie dogs eat?
What do prairie dogs eat? As prairie dogs are herbivorous, they feed mainly on a plant-based matter such as fruits and vegetables. However, prairie dogs primarily feed on leafy plants or grass, which are high in moisture content.
Through these, prairie dogs can quickly get the much-needed nutritional content for their bodies and are more than sufficient. In simple terms, prairie dogs need a diet that is high in fiber because they are “hindgut fermenters.” Essentially, the digestion of their food occurs due to bacterial fermentation in the lower intestines,
As with all animals, food intake also requires sufficient exercise and a watch over how much the prairie dogs are fed. Too much will cause gastrointestinal disorders and other stomach issues; grass hays are essential for the diet of prairie dogs to ensure they remain healthy.
What fruits and vegetables can prairie dogs eat?
Generally, prairie dogs should be fed grass hays for a proper healthy diet; however, they may prefer insects in some cases, and feeding them as an occasional treat is only recommended. Otherwise, prairie dogs are given the best diet when fed grass or seeds high in fiber.
This, however, can change through the weather changes. During the winters, prairie dogs will mainly feed more on insects and forbs (herbaceous flowering plants), which are highly nutritious. The summer season mainly includes a diet high on grasses and seeds.
In terms of fruits and vegetables, you may feed them occasional greens such as broccoli, green beans, carrots, etc. As only treats instead of including this as a part of their diet.
Do prairie dogs eat apples?
As the diet of prairie dogs mainly includes grasses or plants, you may include apples and carrots in small amounts instead of feeding them too much. Too much of apples may cause obesity and a plethora of health-related problems that will include digestion issues and severe other stomach disorders.
Therefore, it is recommended to feed your prairie dog only plant-based food such as timothy grass to ensure that they receive proper nutrition and are kept healthy.
Can prairie dogs eat pizza?
Does the smell of a pizza attract your prairie dog? Can’t get enough of simply eating grass and wanting to eat it? Can prairie dogs eat pizza? The answer to that simple question is… No, they can’t. Pizza and other foods are mixed with various ingredients and greens that can cause obesity, periodontal diseases, or other liver-related issues.
Aside from that, one must also ensure never to feed a prairie dog actual cat or dog foods as they aren’t made for rodents. Animal proteins, foods high in carbohydrates such as raisins, or human foods such as pizza, as mentioned above.
Will prairie dogs eat bread?
While prairie dogs by themselves are capable of chomping down on anything that piques their interest, it is highly recommended not to feed them bread or any snack items such as chips or nuts as it can rapidly increase weight gain and cause stomach problems in the long run.
Suppose you intend to feed your prairie dog an occasional treat. In that case, sweet potatoes can be a good idea as the rodent is fed in moderation.
This article should be more than enough to clear your confusion about what prairie dogs can eat; however, one should ensure that these rodents are fed just the appropriate amounts of plant-based food, such as grass or hay.
One may also offer prairie dog timothy-based products such as rodent chow, but only two blocks max per week.