Best food for guinea pigs
Guinea pigs have a few very important requirements when it comes to food. And as long as you supply these daily requirements, your guinea pigs should live long and healthy lives. The best foods for guinea pigs are a mixture of hay, pellets and vitamin C rich veggies.
Hay is roughage, and guinea pigs need this roughage 24/7 every single day in unlimited amounts.
The type of hay is important too. You cannot give an adult guinea pig alfalfa hay because it is rich in calcium which can lead to bladder stones. This is only beneficial to babies up to six month old and pregnant sows.
Meadow fresh hay is the best type of hay to give your guinea pigs. It must be soft without any prickles or sharp bits as these can poke their mouth and eyes. Straw is not acceptable as it is very sharp and causes hay poke and sometimes mouth sores.
Hay can be used as bedding, or kept tidily in a hay rack or container. NEVER buy a rack with holes that your guinea pig could get its head stuck in.
This wire hay rack is very dangerous because guinea pigs love to burrow into the hay and will try to squeeze inside the bars, possibly getting its head stuck. Many cavy owners are warning people against this after having had this accident happen. If you were not around, the guinea pig could suffocate to death.
Guinea pig pellets are a specially made mix with the nutrition and vitamins that are needed on a daily basis. Pellets are not essential, you can make up this nutrition in veggies, but pellets are recommended to make up the nutrition that your cavy needs.
Its is very important that you pick the right kind, some companies care only about the sales of the product, not what is in it! Some of the products that are sold in pellets are terribly bad for guinea pigs and can lead to health problems.
You will rarely find the perfect pellets as nearly all companies contain one or more of the below ingredients, but make sure that there is not too much of one thing.
Things to Watch out For!
• Animal products
• Beet pulp
• Corn products
• Seeds, Nuts, or Oils
• Rice Bran or Rice Flour
• Vegetable Fibre
• Corn syrup
• High fructose corn syrup
• Propylene glycol
• Food colourings
• Propyl gallate
• Potassium sorbate
• Sodium nitrate, or sodium metabisulfate
• Butylated hydroxyanisole
• Lots of wheat
• Lots of soy
List from guinea pig lynx
Which Pellets should I get?
Read my reviews on guinea pig pellets here! Oxbow is the most highly recommended brand of pellets in the guinea pig world.
Few people seem to realize that guinea pigs need to have once cup of fresh veggies everyday! They must have a variety of vegetables that make up the quota of vitamin C.
Why is vitamin c so important?
Guinea pigs cannot make their own vitamin c, like we can, so they have to eat the right amount of veggies to be able to get it. The best foods for guinea pigs are carrots, cilantro, romaine lettuce, capsicums, zucchini, endive and cherry tomatoes are all very good for a daily basis.
For every other day, you can give them cucumber, chickweed, chard, a small bit of fruit and arugula. It is important to check before feeding them anything different as some vegetables like rhubarb are poisonous.