If you own a guinea pig or want to get one, it is important that you know what they eat.
A proper diet is absolutely essential when it comes to maintaining your pet’s health. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about feeding these animals.
Essential Foods for Guinea Pigs
First we will cover the essential foods that your guinea pig needs on a regular basis. These foods will keep your pet happy and healthy for years to come.
All guinea pigs need to consume a good amount of hay on a daily basis to remain healthy. This food will give your adorable little pet the fiber it needs every single day. It is also good for keeping their teeth from getting too long.
It is very important that you give your guinea pig hay that is dry, fresh and clean. If you notice any mold or a strange smell coming off the hay, you should throw it out. The fact is that feeding your guinea pig tainted hay can cause a severe negative reaction.
Timothy hay is a good choice when it comes to feeding your guinea pig. This hay has lots of fiber, which is crucial for maintaining your pet’s digestive system.
Guinea pigs should also be given special pellets that are specifically formulated for these animals. You’ll need to look for pellets that include lots of vitamins and minerals that will keep them healthy.
When you are searching for the right pellet product for your guinea pig, you’ll want to take a close look at the label on each one. This will allow you to see what exactly is in each food before making a final decision.
These pellets provide your guinea pig with vitamin C, which is absolutely essential for maintaining their diet properly. A vitamin C deficiency can significantly shorten your pet’s lifespan, so you’ll want to keep that in mind. Look for pellets that are packed with this vitamin.
3. Fruits and Vegetables
While fruits and vegetables will not make up a majority of your guinea pig’s diet, many of these foods are still good for them. It is important that you know which specific foods can (and should) give to your fluffy pet.
It’s not a good idea to give your guinea pig too many fruits, but a little bit can help supplement their diet. These foods are typically packed with vitamins that can do wonders for their health.
Some of the best fruits for these animals include:
You can give your guinea pig up to a cup of vegetables on a daily basis, and they can really help with maintaining their overall health.
Some of the best vegetables for guinea pigs include:
- Carrots/carrot tops
- Dark leafy greens
- Red bell peppers
- Romaine lettuce
The vitamins and minerals that these vegetables contain are good for your pet in a variety of ways.
Treats should only make up about ten percent of your pet’s overall diet. Giving your pet too many treats can lead to excess weight gain, which is not good for their health.
While fruits and vegetables can make for a good guinea pig treat, there are other options to consider. You might also want to give your pet a salt lick, which they tend to love.
There are also cecotropes, which are basically pellets that are packed with certain nutrients that benefit these animals’ digestive system. A guinea pig will poop out these pellets and eat them right away. It might seem strange and disgusting, but it is highly beneficial to your pet.
You will have lots of options when it comes to commercial guinea pig treats, so make sure that you take the time to look through your options. Make sure that you look at the label of these treats to check the ingredients.
Foods You Should Never Give Your Guinea Pig
There are also certain foods that you should never give your guinea pig. It is important that you know which foods to avoid giving them.
Some of the foods these animals shouldn’t have include:
- Peanut butter
- Corn kernels
- Iceberg lettuce
Tips for Feeding Your Guinea Pig
There are a number of tips you should remember when it comes to feeding your guinea pig, including:
- Keep track of how much your guinea pig is eating so you will immediately notice any changes in its eating habits.
- If your guinea pig is eating more or less than usual, it could mean there is something wrong with them.
- Watch your pet closely for a negative reaction when giving them a food for the first time.
- Always check the ingredients of any commercial guinea pig food before buying it.
- Guinea pigs are herbivores, and they need a balanced diet with different foods on a regular basis.
- Timothy hay is an essential part of a guinea pig’s diet, and it helps with regulating their digestive system.
- You should also give your guinea pig pellets that are specially formulated to match their nutritional needs.
- Some of the best fruits to give your fluffy pet include kiwi, cucumbers, peaches, apples, and strawberries.
- Some of the best vegetables for these animals include kale, dark leafy greens, artichokes, red bell peppers, and peas.
- A few foods that you should never give your guinea pig include rhubarb, chocolate, onions, and mushrooms.
- It is a good idea to keep track of how much your pig is eating on a daily basis. This makes it easier to catch changes in their eating habits.
- If you give your pet a new food for the first time, keep a close eye on them to see how they react to it.