A guinea pigs diet should consist of unlimited hay, grass and water. Since guinea pigs are unable to synthesis their own Vitamin C then they must rely on obtaining it from the foods they eat. The best way to contribute towards this is through vegetables. Guinea pigs love their veggies! It can be confusing as a new owner to know which foods to feed their Guinea Pigs and how often. Below we will outline the basics which are discussed further in our nutritional requirements article.
The best type of Hay for your guinea pig is grass hay more specifically Timothy Hay. Guinea pigs need hay to wear their teeth down and to keep the digestive system healthy. A cost effective way is to provide a cheaper hay as bedding and to keep the more expensive grass hay to fill hay racks and containers. Guinea pigs refuse to eat soiled hay so hay racks and containers are essential.
Grass is another type of food that can be fed in unlimited supply. A guinea pigs digestive system is designed to eat foliage and grass is a great source of nutrition.
If you do not have access to fresh grass (they should never be fed lawn mower clippings!) then providing plenty of grass hay is essential.
Vegetables form a very important part to your guinea pigs diet – they provide essential vitamins and minerals whilst also wearing teeth down. Not all vegetables can be eaten daily and some are even limited to monthly due to the high sugar content.
Some owners fall into the trap of feeding the exact same combination of vegetables daily and guinea pigs can often get bored. Guinea pigs are very similar to us humans, they like a wide variety of food to keep things exciting! The recommended amount is between three and five different types of vegetables per day to ensure your guinea pig doesn’t get bored eating the same foods day after day.
Portion size is important even with vegetables. The recommended amount is to provide each guinea pig a matched boxed size portion. This would be a single lettuce leaf or a small floret of broccoli.
Below are the vegetables suitable for daily consumption:
- Peppers any color – 1 Slice
- Celery – 1 – 2 slices
- Cucumber – 1 slice
- Coriander – 1 – 2 springs
- Green Beans – 1 bean
- Gem Lettuce – 1 leaf
These are the quantities for one pig and should be adjusted if you have more than one piggie.
Two to Four times per week
Whilst the above are recommended for daily consumption by your guinea pig, those with a varied diet will be much happier and healthy than those subjected to the same meal day in and day out. The above is a great sample diet to use as a starting base. All the foods listed below can be eaten more frequently:
- Collard Greens
Guinea pigs can also eat certain types of fruit, however this shouldn’t be a daily treat. Fruit has a much higher sugar content that vegetables and should only be given once or twice a week as a treat. Guinea pigs that eat too much sugar suffer from obesity. Some types of fruit also contain high levels of acidity levels and this can cause sores around your guinea pigs mouth.
- Kiwi Fruit
Remember these are a treat and shouldn’t be fed to your guinea pig on a daily basis.
If you have any questions about your Guinea Pigs Diet please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us!