Guinea Pigs

Guinea Pig Information

Guinea pigs are fussy about their food and tend to stick to their favourites. they are strict herbivores eating nothing other than plant based food only.

They will forage throughout the day and consume large quantities so it is important that they always have grass, hay and food available.

Pellets

Avoid muesli mixes at all costs, these are detrimental to your pets health.There excellent guinea pig pellets/nuggets on the market.

Hay & Grass

Hay is the most important part of your pet’s diet. It helps keep the teeth worn down and satisfies his need to chew. It also provides necessary roughage that keeps the gut going.

Leafy Vegetables & Fruit

There should always be a little bit of fresh leafy vegetables for them to feed on.  As a treat, your pet may enjoy fresh fruit like kiwi fruit, oranges, grapes, strawberries, peaches, apricots and melons.

Supplements

Your guinea pig needs to have vitamin C to be a happy and healthy pet. Not providing this important supplement can be fatal. Luckily there are many supplements available such as our herb mixes, the Meadow Berry option being the highest in vitamin C.

Water

Guinea pigs drink a lot of water and a dry diet increases the need for water. Always provide more water than you think your pet will need.A water bowl is the best option for drinking.

Harmful Foods

Not all vegetables are good. Avoid spinach, peanuts, beet tops, potatoes, iceberg lettuce, onions, garlic, cabbage and broccoli. Never feed your pet chocolate or sweets

Hay & Grass

Grass or hay contains a large amount of fibre which is vital for your guinea pigs digestive system whist also promoting good dental health. Guinea pigs teeth constantly grow and as such require large amounts to keep teeth trimmed. Not providing unlimited fresh hay or grass their teeth will over grow causing dental disorders, reduce eating and lead to deadly digestive issues.

Fresh hay or grass must be provided in unlimited quantities, available at all times and not be provided in compressed formats such as biscuits, pellets etc.

Types of hay

Timothy hay (Burgess UK brand provides this, which we have in stock),oat hay, teff hay and orchard grass.

Caution:

Alfalfa (Lucerne) is not so much a hay but rather a legume, which contains a large amount of calcium, providing this to adult guinea pigs can lead to bladder stones, bladder sludge and other issues.

Alfalfa (Lucerne) can be provided in addition to hay to pregnant, nursing guinea pigs who need the calcium for bone development of their babies, or to the baby guinea pigs younger than 6 months of age.

Allergies:

Please test that you don’t have allergies to hay before getting a guinea pig, this is one of the main reasons that guinea pigs are dumped, re-homed or sent to shelters.

If you are unsure whether you have allergies to grass hay, buy a bag of grass hay (Timothy, teff and oat) and keep it open in your home to test for any reaction.

Pellets

Guinea pigs should never be fed muesli mixes as they cannot properly digest corn, peas and seeds. These types of mixes are low in fibre and will lead to dental issues, deadly digestive disorders and a nutritional deficiency. Feeding these mixes will shorten the life span of your guinea pig.

Avoid cheap based pellets as these contain a large amount of alfalfa (Lucerne) which can cause bladder stones and other issues due to the high calcium content.

Feed your guinea pig non muesli mixes such as Burgess Excel nuggets, oxbow guinea pig food & science select. These can be fed daily and in addition to hay and grass.

Feeding:

1/8 cup per guinea pig per day.

For pregnant, nursing or guinea pigs younger than 6 months of age, pellets should be available all day due guinea pigs requiring the extra calcium for development.

*Please note that these are guidelines.  If you have questions about your pet’s daily feeding regimen, please contact your veterinarian for more specific feeding information.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is important to the health of guinea pigs. Unlike humans and other animals they are unable to produce their own and require food sources to provide them with this essential vitamin.

Your guinea pig requires around 10-30mg of vitamin C a day.

Food sources provide some vitamin, but we suggest providing supplements to the daily diet, especially for the old or sick guinea pigs.

Our herb mixes contain a large amount of vitamin C whilst also providing for a healthy tasty snack.

Please DON’T provide the following:

  • Any vitamin drops from pet stores to put in water or on food, this is so bitter and it will deter your guinea pig from eating and drinking and they are also ineffective.

  • Chewy vitamin C tablets sold at pet stores, these are high in sugar and will lead to other health problems.