Choosing your guinea pigs food each day can often seem rather complicated! We frequently get asked how to plan out a guinea pigs meals to ensure they are eating healthy without being bored. The internet often offers a variety of conflicting information.
This is why we have decided to put together our “Ultimate Guinea Pig Meal Planner Guide” Before reading this guide its useful to read our other articles on Guinea Pig Nutritional Requirements along with What to feed your guinea pig.
The Wheekwell Guide is our version of “The Eatwell guide” which is a document produced in the UK that shows how much we should eat everyday. It also includes the different food groups humans should be eating from.
The Wheekwell Guide shows what your guinea pig should be eating everyday and which vitamins they require. Its a simple, easy to use guide for new owners and a reference point for guinea pig veterans owners!
The Wheekwell Guide Overview
This chart shows your guinea pigs general daily requirements. These quantities are what you should aim for daily.
As you can see 80% of your guinea pigs diet should come from Hay. Grass hay in particular is the best for wearing down teeth and aids a healthy digestive system.
10% Should come from dried guinea pig pellets. Not all pellets are equal so aim to buy the ones that are not too high in calcium as this can lead to kidney and bladder stones. An easy way to check if your guinea pig has too much calcium in their diet is to watch out for milky white deposits in their urine.
Choose pellets that also have vitamin C added since guinea pigs are unable to make their own like us! Our favourites (and the ones we have used for all our guinea pigs) are Excel Burgess Nuggets.
Its important to remember that fresh water should also be included for your guinea pig!
The remaining 10% of the Wheekwell Overview chartsis for vegetables and herbs which we will cover in greater detail below:
The Wheekwell Daily Plate
We have created the Wheekwell Daily Plate to show how to choose your meals for your guinea pig friends. There are also suggestions included as to what to choose for each category.
The below is the recommended amount each day for one guinea pig. We feed our guinea pigs vegetables and herbs twice a day.
One Vegetable High in Vitamin C
Guinea pigs need to be fed Vitamin C rich foods daily in order to keep healthy and ward off disease. If your vet has advised you that your guinea pig has a Vitamin C deficiency then its especially important to provide them with foods rich in Vitamin C. One portion is one chunk, slice or several leaves for the leafy vegetables.
- Celery Leaves – Chop into small chunks and remove “vein” to avoid chocking
- Collard Greens
- Swiss and Red chard – Can cause diarrhoea
- Spinach – Use caution as too much can cause kidney and bladder stones
- Kale (curly or plain)
- Brussels Sprouts – Introduce slowly as may cause bloating
- Peppers – sweet or bell. Any colour –
Introduce slowly as may cause bloating
One herb rich in Minerals
Minerals are essential for healthy guinea pigs and the best way to provide these for your piggy is using herbs. Never feed your guinea pig dried herbs or frozen. Fresh is best and they are very easy to grow. One portion is a sprig or two.
- Parsley (curly or plain) – It is high in calcium though
- Dandelion Greens – Ensure these are free from animal urine if collecting from the wild.
One portion Mineral and Vitamin C rich vegetable
Cabbage type vegetables are great for this requirement! They contain both magnesium and Vitamins however they can cause bloating. Below are a selection of vegetables for this category. One portion is one slice, chunk or a few leaves.
- Broccoli – Stems best to feed opposed to florets. Can cause bloating.
- Cabbage – Can cause bloating.
- Cauliflower – Can cause bloating.
- Corn on the cob
- Spring Green – the mildest of the group and able to be eaten almost daily.
Other Green Stuff
The last guinea pig requirement is just some plain old greens to keep it interesting! Its vital to get your guinea pigs used to a wide range of foods when their young as they tend to get rather fussy when they are older!
- Lettuces – Red, green, butter, romaine but NEVER iceberg as it has no nutritional value.
- Carrots – Contain high amounts of Vitamin A which can cause liver problems
Introduce dietary changes slowly and always with other food, never on its own. Keep a close watch over your guinea pig and during its health check to watch for any changes.
Remember to consult your vet immediately if you think something may be wrong with your guinea pig.