What do Guinea Pig’s eat?

Your Guinea Pig’s diet

Guinea pigs require a specific diet to stay healthy. They’re herbivores and can only eat plants. Grass hay like timothy or orchard should be the primary part of their diet. Hay keeps your guinea pig’s digestive tract healthy and helps prevent obesity, teeth problems, and boredom. Alfalfa isn’t recommended for your guinea pig unless they’re pregnant, a baby, or your veterinarian orders it. They should have an unlimited supply of hay. Hay makes up 70-75% of their diet. Timothy-based pellets should supply 20-25% of their diet and provides your guinea pigs with the fiber, vitamins, and minerals they need. They need 1/8 cup of pellets every day. Never buy pellets with seeds, nuts, corn, or colorful pellets, as they can choke on these small pieces. These pellets make it harder for your guinea pig to digest them. Be sure you don’t overfeed them pellets because it can lead to obesity and shouldn’t be a replacement for hay. 5-10% of their diet should consist of fresh vegetables. You should feed them 1 cup of vegetables a day. You can divide feeding into two times during the day. Vegetables provide your guinea pigs with the vitamins and minerals they need, including Vitamin C, as they can’t make it themselves. Always rinse the vegetables with water before feeding them to your piggies. Treats and fruits should make up 5% or less of their diet. Treats or small pieces of vegetables are a great way to bond with your piggies. Never feed treats that have yogurt, fruit, seeds, or nuts.

You should know

Small pieces of fruit should be given only once or twice a week because of the high sugar content. The sugar can give your guinea pigs sores in their mouth and make them obese over time. Your guinea pigs should always have access to fresh, clean water. Water should be replaced from their bottle or bowl once a day, and the bottle or bowl should be rinsed out and cleaned before refilling.

Recommended vegetables to feed your guinea pigs include:

  1. Red/green leaf lettuce
  2. Romaine lettuce
  3. Kale
  4. Spinach
  5. Bell peppers
  6. Carrots
  7. Tomatoes
  8. Parsley/cilantro
  9. Radicchio
  10. Broccoli
  11. Cucumbers
  12. Celery

Recommended fruits to feed your guinea pigs include:

  1. Apples/pears
  2. Bananas
  3. Melon
  4. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries
  5. Oranges
  6. Kiwi
  7. Mango

What not to do

An imbalance in their diet can cause life-threatening illnesses. When you give new foods to your guinea pigs, make sure you do it gradually and do not give a lot because it can upset their stomach and cause them to stop eating and become sick. You shouldn’t feed your guinea pig anything that’s processed, has fats, sugar, or an animal by-product.

Foods that you should never feed your guinea pig include:

  1. Chocolate/candy
  2. Caffeine
  3. Onions
  4. Garlic
  5. Potatoes (although they can eat sweet potatoes)
  6. Mushrooms
  7. Iceberg lettuce (doesn’t offer nutrients, mostly water)
  8. Avocados
  9. Nuts/seeds
  10. Corn kernels
  11. Peanut butter
  12. Rhubarb
  13. Meat
  14. Dairy products
  15. Bread

In case of emergency

If you suspect your guinea pig has eaten something it shouldn’t eat, you should reach out to your veterinarian immediately. Guinea pigs don’t have the reflex that makes you throw up, so they’ll have to digest the food. While waiting to see the veterinarian, you should monitor your guinea pig for any signs or symptoms of illness and keep a note of this.

Have you ever caught your guinea pig doing this?

Did you know that guinea pigs eat their poops? They have two different types of droppings and will eat one called cecotropes. These droppings have nutrients from the food that they didn’t properly digest. If they don’t eat these droppings, they can become nutrient deficient. Cecotropes also have bacteria that are helpful to your guinea pig’s gut flora. If you happen to catch your guinea pig doing this, you should never stop them, even if it looks a little weird. When your guinea pig is sick, sometimes it can be helpful to feed your guinea pig another pig’s healthy droppings to help reset their stomach.

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