Best Food For Guinea Pigs. Guinea pigs are a type of South American rodent but a domesticated species. It has a very robust body and like other rodents, it also has shorter limbs, a big head, eyes, and tiny ears. The feet have soles that are hairless and also claws that are quite sharp and short. Their fur has different colors and textures. Colors vary from white or even black and brown with variations and sometimes even a combined color pattern.
What Do Guinea Pigs Eat
Human food, to begin with, is safe for these tiny cute creatures but this has its own set of restrictions too. Their daily food should include a lot more than just leftovers and scraps from our table.
Guinea pigs are complete vegetarians. Their diet is strictly confined to fruits and vegetables. Dairy products and meat are to be completely avoided. Mostly leafy vegetables and hay form the main part of their diet. These cavy pets need Vitamin C that they cannot produce on their own and it is very important for their health.
Lack or deficiency of it may lead to them falling seriously ill with scurvy. They require around 30-50mgs per day. Vitamin C is required more by the young, ill, and pregnant section of guinea pigs. Vitamin C can be given to them via pellets, vegetables, fruits, or other supplements like tablets rich in this vitamin.
Their teeth are one part of their body that is always growing. That is why it is important to give them fibrous foods like hay or leafy veggies to chew on. Start with small portions to avoid indigestion issues. Leafy vegetables are a must and a very healthy option.
Pellets also are good for them but the amount they feed on needs to be restricted. If they are obese, they need to be given lesser pellets. Choose a good quality of pellets and avoid the ones with nuts, seeds, dry fruits, high sugar content, preservatives, and chemicals.
What Can Guinea Pigs Eat
Best food for guinea pigs. They are vegetable lovers more than fruits. But that doesn’t mean that we cannot give them fruits to eat. These make great supplements for them. You can easily use them as treats too to help with their bonding and training. The following are good choices of vegetables and fruits for a healthy diet to consume which includes:
What Guinea Pigs eat is highly dependent on what you give and when you give. A systematic feeding schedule needs to be made for them otherwise they will keep overeating whenever they can. Feed them in the morning and in the evening. Water needs to be provided for them too. Make sure the water isn’t stale but fresh, filtered, and chlorine-free.
They are prone to heatstroke during the summers so keep the water ready for them in a bottle through which they can easily drink. Wash and keep the bottle clean. The bottles that come with a metal spout is ideal for these creatures. Also, don’t forget to clean the spout as It can gather algae.
Food for guinea pigs. Treats should be given occasionally. The number of treats shouldn’t exceed the actual diet. Some treats may contain sweeteners and coloring so read the contents before purchasing them.
Guinea pig’s fun time is a pleasure to watch and you can give them blocks, balls, and toys, or even chew sticks. They play with these and also won’t get bored easily. Don’t get it toys or balls that are larger than its size or the ones it can chew and eat pieces of.
With the right diet and growth, a regular guinea pig can live up to eight years. It’s also advisable to take them to a vet annually for a check-up.
Fruits For Guinea Pigs
A few bites of bananas as an occasional treat are great for your guinea pigs. However, bananas contain a high sugar content which might lead them to gain weight which is harmful to your furry pet.
Another one of the top search queries include: Can Guinea Pigs eat strawberry? Well as far as small amounts are concerned, you are good to go. Strawberries can be fed as an occasional treat with the leaves. But be careful, the excess sugar in strawberries might cause your tiny furballs to put on extra weight, which is very detrimental to their health.
Vegetables For Guinea Pigs
Can Guinea pigs eat cucumbers? This is one of the most common questions regarding the diet of this animal and the answer is: Yes, they can.
You can feed the entire cucumber to guinea pigs including the flesh, seeds, and skin raw. This is one of the most nutritious foods for your tiny fur ball. Raw cucumbers contain Vitamin C which is included in their daily dietary needs. Some people use pellets as supplements but incorporating them in their food is okay too.
This is one of the best foods you can give your Guinea pigs! And bonus: they love it too.
You can give a slice of either green or red bell peppers to your cuddly animals daily. However, be mindful to remove the seeds first. It is one of the best fresh vegetables for them and one that is easily available everywhere.
Kale is another favorite choice for your fur ball. Kale stems and flowers both can be fed to them as part of a balanced diet. However, you have to properly wash the kale first and make sure it is fresh enough.
This is another vegetable that your little hamsters are sure to love. Parsley is a great source of vitamins needed by your animal. So, you can feed them up to 3 times a week. The fiber content is great for your animal and Guinea pigs to love it too.
Leafy greens such as lettuce, or kale are ideal food choices for Guinea pigs. They contain plenty of fiber along with vitamin C to keep them well-nourished and active. Also, they contain balanced calories so your animals don’t put on excess weight. However, only Romaine lettuce is suitable for Guinea pigs. Don’t feed them iceberg lettuce as the watery vegetable can cause diarrhea, which might even kill your animal
What Guinea Pigs Cant Eat
Although tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C, they are certainly not a good choice for your Guinea pigs. If the tomatoes aren’t ripened properly, some compounds in them are poisonous to these animals. This is due to its small size. For humans, the small quantities of these compounds aren’t that threatening given their size.
Also, never feed the tomato leaves or stem to your animal. It contains the bulk of these poisonous compounds which can seriously harm the Guinea pigs.
Ever heard your mum say that greenish potatoes are harmful to health?
Well, potatoes contain an alkaloid that is present in huge quantities in the green potatoes. Although humans are okay with eating small quantities of this alkaloid, it is fairly toxic to guinea pigs.
Although onions are rich in vitamin C, they are one of the most poisonous vegetables for your Guinea pigs. It can cause some serious harm to your animal. The high concentration of disulphides and thiosulphates is toxic to guinea pigs even in the tiniest amounts. So, always steer clear of onions when feeding your animal.
The pepsin content in an avocado is very toxic to your Guinea pig. Other than that, they are rich in fats which aren’t that great for them either. So, it is a good idea to avoid it entirely.
This might sound like a no-brainer, but we had to put it out there for some of you: chocolate is a big no-no when it comes to Guinea pigs. As are many biscuits, and candies. Although some digestive biscuits might be okay in very small amounts and occasionally
So, steer clear of potatoes whether or not they are green as even good potatoes have enough alkaloids to kill your Guinea pigs.
Avoid foods like onions, garlic, coconuts, raisins, potatoes, corn, and bits of chocolates. Keep hay and veggies available for them daily. These grazers keep munching on them constantly. Make sure to keep their cage and food bowl clean
Fill the bowls with fresh food and water daily. Besides natural foods, you can also purchase food from the store or pet shops. The best pet shop food is pellets and hay. But be sure to purchase the food that is specially formulated for them only.
Guinea Pig Hay
Hay should always be available for them. It needs to be fresh and a regular part of their staple diet. The hay needs to have rich quality and clean along with being dry, sweet-smelling, and completely free from any kind of mold. It should also not be too hard or full of straw.
Meadow hay and orchard hay are good choices. Avoid hay that has large levels of protein and calcium as this can lead to them getting stones. Chewing on hay continuously will help in their teeth development and also in their overall health. Keep the hay stacked in a big box or container. Keep an eye that it doesn’t fall onto the ground or cage as it can turn bad or get contaminated. If the guinea pig feeds on the bad hay, it can lead to intestinal problems.
So, above is a list of good and bad foods for your Guinea pigs. Although some foods might be okay for daily consumption, don’t forget to introduce variety. Your Guinea pigs need a balanced diet that includes different types of food.