“My guinea pig always had digestion problems and its coat had this dull kind of fur that didn’t appear healthy. I didn’t know I was feeding my guinea pig pet the wrong diet until I came across an article titled ‘best guinea pig food for good nutrition’ then I knew better.”
These words were shared by one guinea pig owner to one ‘pet owners group’ on social media.
The same mistake can happen to you as well which can be unfortunate to your pet.
You might think that feeding different types of vegetables is a whole diet for your guinea pig pet. This type of food has a small part in a guinea pig diet, while the significant portion of your pet’s nutrition would be left hanging if not included in it.
If you have full knowledge of a proper diet for your piggy friend will ensure a lifetime of health and happiness. It can, therefore, give you its 10-years full life.
Something to note about this pretty small animals is that it can be picky in its eating. It can select what to eat and to leave what it seems not to like.
It is therefore essential to feed it with a variety of foods that will cover all the vital nutrients for its growth and healthy life.
Table of Contents
- #1 Grass Hay
- #2 Vegetables
- #3 Fruits
- #4 Vitamin C
- #5 Treats
- The FAQ on Guinea Pig Food
#1 Grass Hay
There are various types of hay but, grass hay is the best and for all-around age of a guinea pig life. Grass hay will add fiber to your guinea pig to get proper digestion.
If you don’t feed your guinea pig with enough fiber, it will get health co such as diarrhea. Such a complication can be fatal since it will get dehydrated and starve.
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Besides good digestion, grass hay also is excellent for the dental health of your pet. Munching on the stalks of hay will help in wearing off its teeth which if not checked can lead to overgrown teeth. Overgrown teeth cause soreness to the mouth and become a hindrance to proper feeding.
For a young growing guinea pig, a pregnant piggy or lactating one, alfalfa hay should be included to add calcium in their diet. But, calcium is not safe for an adult guinea pig.
No all vegetables are safe to feed your guinea pig. Therefore, you should know the right ones to feed it and the wrong ones to avoid.
The safe vegetables are easy to find since they are the ones you have in your kitchen. Some of these vegetables are:
- Beetroot (the root part only)
- Whole corn
Some of the unsafe foods that you should avoid feeding your guinea pig are:
Use different types of safe vegetables but in small amounts for distribution of nutrients and vitamins. 3/4 of a regular cup of vegetables is enough for your guinea pig per day.
It is important to note that a guinea pig doesn’t make its vitamin C which is vital for its health. Therefore, ensure to feed it fruits that will supplement various vitamins.
Unlike vegetables, fruits contain sugar, and therefore, you should use moderately but with different varieties for different nutrients. Once a week of 1/3 regular cup is enough.
#4 Vitamin C
As mentioned, guinea pigs need vitamin C for healthy bodies which their bodies can’t make. They are certain foods you can give your piggy which will ensure the provision of this vital vitamin.
Such are foods are:
- Bell peppers
- Seedless kiwi fruit
- Fresh green-leafy lettuce
- Guava among
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You can also raise vitamin C in your guinea pig diet by giving vitamin C supplements which are water-soluble to use in its drinking water. The good thing about vitamin C is that you cannot overdose since your pet will eventually pass what it does not need through urine.
Vitamin C deficiency may lead to ruffled fur, loss of appetite, weight loss, and lameness due to painful and swollen joints. In severe cases, there will be nasal bleeding, bleeding gums, and infections.
Please don’t forget to get some treats for your guinea pig friend if you want to see those happy popcorn dances.
But, be careful not to overdo them since most of them contain sugar. Once in a while is not bad.
You can try Kaytee Timothy Biscuits Baked Treat
However, as mentioned earlier on, guinea pigs are fussy in their feeding. You wouldn’t want to buy something they will sniff and walk away.
Try out with little bits of different kinds of eats to find out which is their favorite. But, with the food you feel is vital for their health be insistence and within no time it will acquire the taste and begin to like it.
The FAQ on Guinea Pig Food
Q: Which are the best fresh foods for a guinea pig?
A: Your guinea pig will eat almost all the vegetables you use in your kitchen apart from just a few. The best ones are broccoli, carrots, kale, beetroot (the root part), cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, whole cob, and many others.
Q: Is it safe to introduce new food to my guinea pig?
A: Introducing new kind of food to your pet’s diet must be gradual since for the digestive system to get acquainted with the food. You will continue adding the amount as the days go by while watching it closely how it behaves and especially in its droppings, whether there is a problem in digestion.
Q: Is it normal when a pig eats its droppings?
A: You shouldn’t worry about that, it is quite reasonable. Guinea pigs will turn back to eat its droppings. A guinea pig has two different kinds of droppings.
The first one is dry and hard which is the normal dropping. Then, there is this other kind which is much soft. This second type is not fully digested and therefore still contains fiber and nutrients. Your little friend knows it, and that is why it will ‘recycle’ its droppings by feeding on them when still fresh.
Q: Why is vitamin C essential in a guinea pig?
A: A guinea pig can’t make its vitamin C. It sources the vitamin from its daily food. You should, therefore, make sure that in their diet there is some food rich in vitamin C. You can also try out whether your pet would like vitamin C supplement which you can add in its water.
Q: What types of foods are poisonous to a guinea pig?
A: Many common plants might be toxic to a guinea pig pet. However, the earth’s nature has millions of different plant species that differ with regions.
You should always investigate a particular plant you are not sure about before making it food for your piggy friend.
Here are the most common toxic plants that you will need to steer your little friend away from them:
- Many others
You should not feed your guinea pig what you don’t know or not sure.
Besides providing healthy food, your piggy friend needs company. Get another guinea pig of the same sex to keep it company. You can also visit it whenever you are free to give it a sense of belonging.
To prevent it getting lonely to depression, get a cage that has a little balcony that it can stand and watch the activity outside. When it gets tired, it will always retrieve back to its hideout.
Remember to throw in a toy or two for its exercises and a chew toy for its dental health. That way, you will get to enjoy nonstop popcorn dances with the squeaky noises, signs of a happy guinea pig.
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