Are you a new guinea pig owner?
Do you know for a fact that your guinea is getting all the proper nutrition?
Do you want a review of everything your guinea pig should be getting on a daily basis?
Well, you’re in luck! I have created a comprehensive guide to walk you through everything your guinea pig should be eating on a daily basis!
1. Plenty of FRESH, CLEAN Water
First and foremost you want to make sure that your guinea pig has access to water 24/7. This water should be fresh, changing it at least once a day is going to guarantee this; however, I recommend that you change it twice a day. Personally, I change my guinea pig’s water once in the morning and once in the evening when I give them their pellets (morning) and veggies (evening).
You also want to make sure that the water bottle your guinea pig is drinking from is clean and doesn’t have any mold build up. I clean all the water bottles once a week with water, a cleaning brush and Q-Tips, and disinfect them in the dishwasher once a month. (I don’t use soap in the dishwasher, the hot water is enough to make sure they are clean!)
2. Fresh Hay 24/7
Your guinea pig should also have access to fresh hay at all times. Why? Because not only is this your guinea pig’s main source of food, but a good quality hay keeps them healthy and their digestive tract running smoothly! So, make sure the hay that you are buying is a high quality hay!
So what type of hay should you get?
If your guinea pig is under 2 months of age or pregnant, they should be eating alfalfa hay primarily. This type of hay is higher is protein and caloric content, timothy hay on the other hand is higher is fiber content but lower in protein and calories. If your guinea pig is older than 2 months and is not pregnant, then they should be eating timothy hay.
Now, not all timothy hay is going to be equal. I have tried so many kinds of timothy hay and have found that my guinea pigs prefer Small Pet Select Timothy Hay. It is the freshest hay I have found and you get a lot for the price you pay. You end up paying more in the long run if you buy from your local pet store.
How much hay should you give them?
As much as they want! 🙂
3. Pellets with Vitamin C
Each guinea pig should ONLY get 1/4 cup of pellets each day. Over feeding your guinea pig will lead to obesity which can lead to other health problems. Again, these pellets should be high quality, made from timothy hay (despite age or pregnancy status), and contain STABLE vitamin C.
The best brand of pellets that I have found are from Oxbow or Small Pet Select.
A lot of piggie parents as me about using liquid vitamin C in their piggy’s water. I tend to shy away from liquid vitamin C being added to water for two reasons:
1. This form of vitamin C is highly unstable and thus breaks down, no longer providing the health benefits to your piggy.
2. Not all guinea pigs will drink the water with the added vitamin C, thus leading them to become dehydrated and not receiving adequate amounts of vitamin C.
Overall, it’s best if your guinea pigs get their vitamin C from their pellets and fresh veggies.
Why do guinea pigs need vitamin c?
Like us humans, guinea pigs can not produce their only vitamin c. If they do not receive adequate supplies of this vitamin, they will ultimately end up with a life threatening condition known as scurvy.
4. Fresh Veggies
Guinea pigs also require 1 cup – 1 1/2 cups of fresh vegetables each day. These vegetables should be washed and chopped and provided once daily (or throughout the day if you prefer).
Leafy greens (Romaine NOT iceberg lettuce) should be the bulk, with a sprinkling of carrots, celery, cucumber, and other veggies added in.
You can find vegetables that are high in vitamin C to provide to your piggy as well that aids in them receiving enough vitamin C.
Not all vegetables are safe for your guinea pigs to eat on a daily basis. Click this link >> Safe Food List for a free downloadable PDF of a list of veggies safe for your piggy and how often they can eat them.
5. Fruits and Other Treats
Fruits should only be given to your guinea pig once a week, as the high sugar content can cause obesity and diabetes. Treats that you find at the Pet Store should also be given sparingly.
*Caution: Stay away from treats with seeds and nuts, these are NOT good for your guinea pig despite them being found at the pet store!*
What veggies and treats do you feed your guinea pig? Comment down bellow!
As always, if you have any questions, you can reach out to me on any of the social media platforms or simply shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Ashlee + Piggies