It’s okay to mix up your guinea pig’s diet components as long as you feed them proper foodstuff. Normally, pet ration should include a variety of nutritious goods with pellets, hay and vegetables as basics.
Guinea pigs are great companions, particularly for newbie pet owners and families. These cute little animals are easy to care for and aren’t much picky about food. However, you should keep in mind to feed your pet properly for them to live a long, happy life.
Guinea Pig Diet List
Guinea pigs are herbivores; hence it would be no trouble to provide their food. You should feed your pet twice a day, once at morning and once at evening. Try to keep feeding time constant and steady so the animal learns to wait for food on certain times. This will also reduce their hunger during the day, and they won’t eat too much if a meal is delayed somewhat. Irregular meal times and inconsistent eating can harm your pet’s overall health and damage its digestive system.
Being herbivore doesn’t mean your guinea pig has to eat a 100% green diet. A perfect diet for rodents in general consists of commercial pellets (found at pet shops), hay, fruit and vegetables. They also need about 5 ounces of water on daily basis.
- Hay: Hay is an essential component of guinea pig diet. Remember to keep hay available for your pet through the day and not just for meal times. Hay provides enough fiber required for proper digestion and the roughness prevents excess teeth growth. According to Humane Society, Timothy hay or plain grass hay will work perfectly for guinea pigs.
- Pellets: There’s a wide variety of pellets produced for various pets, from birds to dogs. Guinea pigs have their own specific pellets. These products are technically a balanced combination of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and other required substances. Vets recommend you to let your guinea pig munch on about 1/8 cup of pellet per day. It’s best to consult a vet or reliable pet store staff for exact recommendations, but you can split this amount between two meals during a day.
- Fruits: You want to be a little more cautious toward fruits when it comes to pet feeding. Excess sugar (even natural kind found in fruit) isn’t recommended, but proper amount will provide a good pack of vitamins and fibers. Add small pieces of fruits such as apples, pears, berries, peaches, etc to your guinea pig’s food. Each piece should be at room temperature. However, you shall never count fruit as a main course; think of it as a mere snack.
- Vegetables: Vegetables are an inseparable part of guinea pig diet. Best choices are leafy, dark green veggies such as spinach, lettuce, kale, etc. You can also add tasty pieces of sweet potato, bell pepper or carrots few times a week.
Tip: Although vitamin C is vital to guinea pigs, they’re unable to produce it themselves. Make sure you provide enough vitamin C through pellets, vegetables, fruits and vitamin supplies. If your pet is getting old, you might want to consider adding vet-prescribed supplemental vitamin premix to its food since old guinea pigs don’t absorb vitamins effectively.
Guinea Pig Diet Don’ts
Avoid feeding your guinea pig animal-based products, seeds, kernels (due to choking hazard), gassy veggies such as cabbage and broccoli, and nutrient-poor foods like iceberg lettuce. Salty and mineral blocks are another major no-no’s for pet diets. Keep in mind to avoid anything with onions, garlic, fatty substances, dairy, caffeine, bread and potatoes. Treats found at stores also provide little to zero nutrients so we recommend you to stick to natural and nutrient rich treats instead.
How to Serve and Clean Up Guinea Pig Food
Choose a hardy, ceramic dish to serve food for your guinea pig. Plastic plates and dishes aren’t recommended since they might flip over if the animal leans on its edge. Keep the dish clean and remember to always check for ragged or chipped edges since any dish imperfection might potentially hurt your little pet.
Serve fresh food at every meal, spoiled or moldy food can make your pet ill. Food should not sit in the dish all day until it rots. Plus, the animal’s manure or bedding might fall in the food dish. Remove pellets that have not been consumed after an hour, and don’t leave vegetables or fruit out for longer than a day. Wash your pet’s dish regularly and always provide clean water. Also, place your guinea pig’s food bowl in an area separate from its bathroom area.