Eating is a guinea pig’s favorite activity, much like sleeping is a cat’s favorite activity. Because your guinea pig will spend almost all of its waking time eating, you can trust it to take extremely good care of your lawn if you provide it with a diet consisting primarily of grass and place it in a mobile hutch that it can move around outside. Because guinea pigs will eat nearly any combination of natural fruits, veggies, and pellets, providing proper nutrition for your pet is a fairly simple and straightforward task. However, a single guinea pig may have a somewhat different interest in food than another, and this is at least partially owing to the fact that their preferred diet is virtually completely determined in the first few days of life.”
The following are some of the things that guinea pigs enjoy eating the most: parsley, sweet peppers, carrots, apples, green vegetables, tomatoes, oranges, lettuce, hay, and grass. All guinea pigs enjoy these meals. Because vitamin deficiency in guinea pigs is extremely prevalent, the most important thing that you can do for them is to make sure that their diet contains a wide variety of foods. When it comes to providing food for your guinea pig, another essential point to keep in mind is that you should seek immediate medical attention for your pet at the first sign of even the slightest illness. They are small creatures, and it does not take much for them to become quite ill if their problems are not addressed to when they do not receive treatment.
Guinea Pigs require a high fibre diet, meaning that hay or grass should be available at all times. This is as a snack, as opposed to their normal daily dietary requirements, like fresh fruit and vegetables, etc. Things like Clover and Lucerne should not be allowed as they are very high in protein and calcium. The use of hay encourages longer chewing times, which helps to keep their teeth and gums in a healthy state. As you can see already feeding your guinea pig does not require a lot of effort, just a few simple guidelines need to be followed to get the best out of your pet.
Always include fresh leafy green vegetables in their diet. Change the variety 2 or 3 times a day, and make sure to introduce any subtle differences slowly, as this avoids any potential for gastric upset. There is also a need when feeding your guinea pig, to include a source of Vitamin C. Without enough Vitamin C in their diet they can end up with Scurvy. The Vitamin C requirement should be satisfied through the consumption of the fresh green vegetables however small doses of fresh citrus fruit will also boost their intake.
Most pet stores and stockists of pet food will supply dry pellets, much like they do for cats and dogs. These should only be used as a dietary supplement as opposed to a main food source. Like all other commercially manufactured food products, they normally consist of a very high level of fats and carbohydrates, and are very low in fibre, at around 15%. Natural is always best, but as a treat, the pellets can be a good snack food. If your guinea pig is pregnant, she will require a higher than normal dose of Vitamin C, so if in doubt about this, please consult your vet for more advice on feeding your guinea pig.
Giving your guinea pig nutritious food is an essential part of providing proper care for it, since this will play a role in determining its overall health. It’s not enough to just give guinea pigs grass to eat when it comes to feeding them. If you are worried about your pet not eating enough or not eating a diet that is healthy and balanced, it is crucial to grasp what the actual requirements are for them.
Here is a simple guide to feeding guinea pigs that you can follow:
It is important that healthy eating habits and foods are introduced early in the life of the guinea pig. This is because guinea pigs are creatures of habit. They tend to be picky eaters and it can prove to be impossible to introduce new food when they are older.
The main guinea pig food that cavy need is grass. They are herbivores and they tend to graze throughout the day. Also, grazing continuously is important to keep their teeth from growing too large. Your cavies will love it if you could provide them with a steady supply of fresh grass throughout the day in addition to any food pellets that you may give them. Timothy hay is a popular grass for guinea pigs. Alfalfa is another one, although some experts discourage feeding too much alfalfa in mature cavies because it may lead to obesity and bladder stones. It should be noted that alfalfa, when eaten in moderation, provides cavies with amino acids, protein, fiber and calcium that they do need.
A diet of grass need to be supplemented by a moderate amount of fruits and vegetables. Cavies need sufficient amounts and a good balance of vitamins C, D, A, E, potassium, phosphorous, calcium and magnesium in order to grow healthy and strong, and these vitamins and minerals can be gained from fruits and vegetables. Some of the fruits and vegetables that you can feed your guinea pig include broccoli, apple, carrot and celery as you can learn from this “Can guinea pigs eat apples” article from Petsium.
A pregnant and lactating cavy will have higher nutritional needs that a non pregnant, non lactating female.
Don’t be surprised if you observe your guinea pigs eating what appears to be their own feces. Cavies produce soft pellets in their feces called cecotropes which they eat directly out of their anus. Cecotropes provide the B vitamins, fiber and bacteria that cavies need in order to properly digest and absorb the nutrients from food.
Give your guinea pigs access to fresh potable water daily. Installing water bottles in your guinea pig hutch or cage is a hygienic way of ensuring a steady supply of water throughout the day. Replace the water daily.
Do not give human food. Guinea pigs are not equipped to handle and digest human food. Giving it to them can cause sickness and death. Do not be tempted to feed them out of your own plate.