- Hay accounts for 80 percent of their total caloric intake.
- Fresh vegetables and herbs account for 10-15 percent of their daily calorie intake.
- Pellets account for 5-10 percent of their total caloric intake
- Water should be fresh and clean (at least 100-300ml).
- Occasional: Only a small amount of treatment is required.
Any new Guinea pig owner can become overwhelmed by the conflicting information and facts that are available, so I decided to compile everything that I have researched and found to be effective for me into a single guide for you guys to use as a resource.
Due to the fact that every human being has a unique set of tastes and preferences I believe the same is true for Guinea pigs as it is for humans. Every Guinea pig is unique in its own way. Among other things, I’ve observed that some guinea pigs enjoy apples and tomatoes, while others do not.
Consequently, this guide is not intended to provide you with the exact food you should feed your Guinea pig, but rather to assist you in developing your own Guinea pig diet that is tailored to their taste and preferences.
A guinea pig’s diet must contain a variety of foods in order to meet their nutritional needs on a consistent basis. It is also critical to provide them with a wide range of dietary options in order for them to remain fit and healthy. A single food-based diet will not provide them with the nutrients they require and will eventually result in their ill health.
Specifically, I’ve created a Diet proportion that I’ve discovered works wonders for these pets in general. A good suggestion based on the nutritional requirements of Guinea pigs is provided in this guide, rather than a hard and fast rule to adhere to.
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Guinea pig daily diet:- Recommended proportion of food types in Guinea pig diet
This is the portion of the diet that a guinea pig should be able to consume on a daily basis, according to my recommendations in general.
We will go over in detail all of the different types of foods that guinea pigs can consume from the list above further down on this page.
I’d like to share one important point with you that I believe all beginners should be aware of. It is not recommended to make drastic dietary changes to guinea pigs all at once. Any significant change in their diet can result in a variety of health problems, the most common of which is stomach upset.
It is suggested that you introduce a gradual change in their eating habits. Begin by introducing new foods in small quantities alongside the staples of your diet. Once they are comfortable with it, you can increase or decrease the amount as needed in the future.
It is necessary to introduce variety into their diet, but this should be done gradually over a period of time. Allow your Guinea pig plenty of time to become acclimated to the new diet, and never force them to eat something they don’t want to eat.
Hay- The Most Essential Part of Guinea pig Diet
Hay is the primary source of nutrition for Guinea pigs. Fresh, clean, and dry hay must be provided to them at all times as this is an essential part of their nutritional needs. The fact that it helps them meet their fiber requirements in the body is critical for the health of their digestive system.
Their digestive system may become inoperable if they do not consume the recommended amount of hay. Chewing hay also assists them in wearing down their back teeth and keeping them in proper alignment, which is important because Guinea pigs are constantly growing.
What kind of hay should be given to a Guinea pig is a common question.
There are usually two types of hay that are commonly fed to Guinea pigs, and they are as follows: Alfalfa hay and Timothy hay, both of which are referred to as Orchards/Meadow hay, are two types of hay.
Alfalfa hay is actually a legume rather than a grass, as the name implies. It contains a significant amount of calcium and protein. This hay is appropriate for young Guinea pigs up to the age of 12 months old (Nursing period).
During that time period, their body grows at a rapid rate, and providing them with some additional protein and calcium aids in the development of a well-balanced body. Alfalfa hay is also suitable for pregnant Guinea pigs, as it provides them with the additional nutrients they require during this time of their lives.
Alfalfa hay should not be fed to Guinea pigs on a regular basis. They can develop bladder stones and other health problems if they consume an excessive amount of calcium in their diet. It is recommended that Timothy hay be provided to them on a regular basis. Although this can be given in small amounts on an as-needed basis to maintain a healthy diet balance, it is not recommended.
- Keep in mind that if you are feeding young guinea pigs Alfalfa-based pellets, you should avoid providing them with hay at the same time. It’s also important not to feed them any hay that smells moldy when you first get them. Always provide them with clean, fresh hay of high quality.
Timothy hay or Meadow hay
Timothy hay or Meadow hay is the best grass hay for any Guinea pig, and it is also the most nutritious. It is suitable for all adult Guinea pigs and should be provided to them on a regular basis as part of their diet. Always make certain that the hay you are using is of high quality.
If you look at the hay, you will notice that it must be green with pliable stalks, free of molds, and free of dust and debris. Guinea pigs are susceptible to respiratory diseases, so it is important that the hay you are providing them is of high quality to prevent these diseases from developing.
Always check the packet for the label “dust extracted” to ensure that you are getting what you paid for.
- Please keep in mind that you can easily find high-quality hay at any pet store in your area, or at significantly lower prices online. Some shop owners are not aware of the requirements of Guinea pigs and will attempt to persuade you to purchase Alfalfa hay instead. It is your responsibility to make the proper selection.
- It is also recommended that you do not feed your Guinea pig straw. It is too rough to use as fodder, and it is too dangerous to use as bedding, either.
You can check out the importance of Good Quality Hay in this article.
Vegetables and herbs that Guinea pig can eat
The consumption of vegetables and herbs is an important part of any Guinea pig’s diet. Hay, like most other parts of their diet, is extremely important for them, but it is also critical that they have a good balance of other vitamins and minerals in their diet. It is impossible for any Guinea pig to survive on a diet consisting solely of Hay or pellets over the long term.
On a daily basis, they should be provided with a varied diet consisting of a mixture of 5-6 different types of vegetables and herbs. This will ensure that they are able to meet their body’s nutritional requirements for the entire time they are alive. If you want to keep your Guinea pig healthy, you should feed them a low- to moderate-calcium diet. Vitamin C and magnesium are commonly found in vegetables, and vegetables with a high calcium content are even better.
It is our goal to achieve a sensible balance of all nutrients in our diet. It is critical to provide your Guinea pig with a Vitamin C supplement in their diet because their bodies are unable to produce Vitamin C on their own. In addition, unless you have a medical necessity, you should avoid serving a low calcium diet because it can lead to calcium deficiency and other health problems in the long run.
It would also depend on your water quality. If you live in an area where the water contains a high concentration of calcium, you should stick to a low calcium diet and supplement with other pellets to meet their nutritional requirements. If your area has normal water, like the United Kingdom, you can follow a diet consisting primarily of vegetables and fruits.
What quantity of vegetables should we serve our Guinea pig?
The amount of vegetables and herbs that should be consumed daily by a Guinea pig would range between 30 and 50 grams. It is entirely up to you whether you want to serve them with vegetables once or twice a day, depending on your time constraints and preferences. However, we recommend that you keep an eye on the food that is served and remove it before it goes bad. Whatever you do, make an effort to establish a routine for it so that they become accustomed to it.
What are the vegetables that Guinea pigs can eat?
Listed below is a list of vegetables and herbs that can be consumed by Guinea pigs that are high in Vitamin C:-
- Carrot ( tops/leaves)
- Any bell pepper
- coriander or cilantro
- Celery leaves
- Mustard green
I’ve also included a list of vegetables with low vitamin C content that are suitable for a Guinea pig’s diet, including:-
- Celery Stalks
- Any lettuce except iceberg
- Green/Belgian Endive
- Mixed salad
- Corn on the cub
- Radishes (small bits)
- Please introduce only one new vegetable at a time to give your pigs enough time to become acclimated to the new diet.
- Always include at least one vitamin C-rich food in your diet.
- Always make sure to thoroughly wash your vegetables before serving them to your Guinea pigs.
- Do not serve them in excess of the recommended amount as this may result in health problems such as diarrhea, kidney stones, obesity, and other problems.
- Keep in mind to only serve fresh vegetables and to remove them from their cage before they go bad.
A balanced simple diet for Guinea pig
In this case, serving your pet with the proper balance of Vitamin C, Magnesium, and other minerals is what I mean by a balanced simple diet.
An example of a well-balanced diet for a Guinea pig can be found here:
Servings per Guinea pig:-
- 1 small slice of pepper broccoli or cauliflower, steamed or raw (Anything that contains a lot of vitamin C)
- Any one herb in a small amount of any other herb:
- An herb such as coriander, celery, or parsley can also be used (Something high in mineral)
- 1 small quantity of spring green vegetables such as bell peppers, lettuce, and other similar vegetables (These are balanced with nutrients and good for daily serving.)
- One vegetable or fruit of your choice (once a week) that you enjoy ( Small quantity not exceeding the recommended diet preferred to be approx 10 grams or so.)
An example of a Guinea pig diet is shown below for illustration purposes only. You can use any vegetables you want in place of the ones listed above, depending on what your pigs prefer.
You can introduce seasonal vegetables into their diets once in a while to provide their taste buds with a breath of fresh air. Remember to keep the quantity under control in order to avoid any long-term health problems.
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Fruits for Guinea pig
Understanding the dietary requirements of a guinea pig is essential to providing them with a well-balanced diet. Fruits, indeed, are an important part of their daily nutrition. Despite the fact that many people are opposed to them, it is important to understand that fruits are high in vitamins and minerals.
Providing your pet with the appropriate amount of food will assist them in meeting their dietary requirements for those essential vitamins. Introducing fruits also aids in bringing about a change in their taste perception, which keeps them content.
What are the fruits Guinea pig can eat?
Guinea pigs can eat a wide variety of fruits, with the exception of some of the more exotic varieties. The following are examples of fruits for Guinea pigs that are high in Vitamin C:-
We have also listed other fruits that are significantly less rich in Vitamin C and higher in other nutrients that are equally important for guinea pigs. These fruits are as follows:
- Passion fruit
The items on the above-mentioned list are merely suggestions for what can be served to a guinea pig in the future. The type of fruit they will enjoy eating will be determined by their personal preferences. We recommend that you conduct some tests on these fruits. Make sure you change it gradually, perhaps once every two weeks or so, to allow them to become acclimated to the new routine.
What quantity of fruits serving is right for your Guinea pig?
Because fruits contain a high amount of sugar, it is important to carefully monitor the amount of fruit consumed. In contrast to vegetables, you cannot serve them with a handful of the same quantity.
I would recommend only serving a small portion of the meal once a week. The quantity must not be greater than the size of a small matchbox or, for example, a slice of apple in weight.
Always make sure to keep a close eye on your guinea pig whenever you are serving them with a new fruit or vegetable. Because every Guinea pig is unique, different fruits may have different reactions to them.
If you notice any changes in behavior or anything suspicious, contact a veterinarian as soon as possible to have it evaluated.
How to prepare fruits for your Guinea pig?
First and foremost, you must always wash your fruit thoroughly before eating it. This ensures that if there is any chemical present in it, it is completely removed from the product.
Even if you purchase organic fruits, make sure to wash them thoroughly because any harmful substances that may have adhered to them during transportation should be removed.
After washing the fruit, pat it dry with a kitchen towel to remove any excess moisture.
The next step is to cut them into portions that are appropriate for the serving size.
If you’re serving any hard fruits, such as apples, it’s probably best if you chop them up first. Sometimes large pieces of food are difficult for guinea pigs to consume, so chopping them into small pieces can be very beneficial.
You’ll have to experiment to see what works best for your pet.
- It is possible that providing your Guinea pig with more fruits than is necessary will result in serious health problems for him. Diabetes and obesity are the two most common problems that such Guinea pigs encounter.
- Exotic and stone fruits should not be served to Guinea pigs because some of them can cause an allergic reaction in their system. You should not serve any fruit at all if you are uncertain or unable to obtain information about whether a particular fruit should be served or not. As an illustration, consider the avocado.
- If you provide your Guinea pig with an excessive amount of fruit, this can result in a fungal or bacterial infection in their mouth. Lip sores (Cheilitis) are another potentially fatal disease that can occur as a result of it.
- The consumption of strawberry greens and organic banana skins provides the guinea pig with the same amount of vitamins and minerals as humans do. Moreover, it is a favorite food of Guinea pigs as well.
Make certain that you thoroughly wash each and every piece of fruit that you serve them. Any pesticides or chemicals found in fruits can be harmful to the health of guinea pigs.
Pellets for Guinea pigs
The consumption of hay is a staple diet for any Guinea pig, but on occasion it is necessary to provide them with Pellets that have been specifically designed for them. When served in the appropriate quantity alongside Hay and fresh vegetables, it will aid in the provision of balanced nutrients to their bodies, which they will require.
Pellet is derived from the same plants as Hay, namely Alfalfa and Timothy. It is then ground up and further processed, after which nutrients and supplements are added to them in order to create a well-balanced diet for consumption. Pellets must be chosen with care, just as hay must be chosen with care. The alfalfa pellets would be excellent for the young and pregnant Guinea pigs, and the Timothy would be excellent for the adults.
Pellet feeding is a common cause of obesity in dogs, so don’t be overly generous with them. If you notice that your Guinea pig is becoming overweight, you should stop giving them any treats and reduce the amount of pellets you give them. When it comes to Guinea pigs, being overweight can be a serious problem. As a result, don’t be overly generous with it.
It is recommended to serve with pellets and vegetables all at the same time, ideally in small portions twice a day on an empty stomach. This will ensure that the guinea pig receives fresh food and that the food does not become contaminated by their feces or mice attacks while on the premises. Also, try to serve each pig in a separate bowl so that they don’t have to compete for food. As a bonus, this will ensure that every pig receives their fair share of food, thereby resolving the problem of overeating.
What quantity of pellets a Guinea pig can eat every day?
It is recommended to serve pellets in small quantities (10-20 gram per Guinea pig) to avoid overfeeding. Instead of trying to feed them all at once, divide the meal into two portions. Also, make sure that the Guinea pigs have an adequate supply of hay available at all times so that they can eat whenever they want to.
How to choose a high-quality Pellet?
It will be of no use if the pellets served to Guinea pigs do not contain sufficient nutritional value for them. The pellet must contain at least 20 percent or more fiber and 15-16 percent crude protein to be considered acceptable.
If at all possible, purchase a Guinea pig that has been supplemented with vitamin C because, unlike other animals, the Guinea pig does not produce its own vitamin. Vegetables and fruits are the only sources of nutrition for them. In this case, the addition of a vitamin will be a welcome addition to their diet.
- Food is frequently placed on the feeder by Guinea Pigs when they are eating, so it is recommended that you serve it in a rather large container with an even larger diameter. As an alternative, a heavy ceramic container can be used to ensure that the container does not tip over while they are munching. This will prevent the food from being spilled and thrown away completely.
- Please keep in mind that while pellets and vegetables provide them with the nutrition they require, they are not a substitute for hay. Hay that is both fresh and of high quality must be provided to the Guinea pig at all times.
- Please avoid dry mixes made from a variety of dried vegetables if at all possible. Dried mixes, on the other hand, allow the guinea pig to choose which bits and pieces to eat and which to leave alone. As a result, your Guinea pig’s diet is not balanced. Additionally, some of the mixtures contain nuts, which are not suitable for Guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs, like all other living things, require access to fresh and clean water at all times. It doesn’t matter whether you give them water in a bowl or a bottle; what matters is that they have access to enough water at all times, no matter what.
Can You Give Guinea pig tap water?
When it comes to drinking tap water, you can give them anything you want as long as it doesn’t contain any chemicals or purifying agents. It is preferable to give them filtered water rather than distilled water.
Because you have no control over how much water is consumed, do not add any minerals or additives to it. Aside from that, adding any minerals to water makes it a breeding ground for algae, which is detrimental to the health of your Guinea pig.
Always make an effort to empty, clean, and then refill the Guinea pig’s water container. This provides you with two advantages:
- Neither bacteria nor any other type of contamination can be found in the water.
- You can keep track of how much water your Guinea pig consumes.
Monitoring your Guinea pig’s water intake will assist you in determining whether or not your guinea pig is healthy. Any change in their water intake will serve as a warning that something may be amiss with them.
We have an in-depth guide that will teach you everything you need to know about it:
Treats for your Guinea pig
The addition of treats to your Guinea pig’s diet results in a change in their diet as well as the development of a new bond with them. It is extremely beneficial in the training process. When it comes to serving them with treats, however, you must exercise extreme caution. It may make you feel very happy to hand-feed them the treats, but doing so in excess can lead to Overweight and Obesity in the long run.
Providing them with treats should only be done on an as-needed basis. As an alternative, you can provide them with some new, fresh vegetables and fruits as a special treat. This will ensure that they have a nutritious diet, and it will also allow you to enjoy feeding them. There are many commercial treats available for them, and you can choose from any of them if you so desire.
You should also introduce treats one at a time over a period of several weeks, rather than all at once. This will help to ensure that your guinea pig’s digestive system becomes accustomed to the food you are feeding it.
After learning about the foods that your Guinea pig can eat, I hope you will be able to design your own custom diet for your pet that is tailored to his or her tastes and preferences. The primary goal of this guide was to help you understand the types of food that you can feed your Guinea pig, as well as the appropriate amounts of each type of food. If you found my article to be of assistance, please forward it to your friends and family.
If you are a beginner and would like to learn more about them, you should also read the following articles:
All of the fundamental information about Guinea pigs.