Guinea pigs enjoy snacking on fresh grass, but care must be taken when choosing its source. Avoid grass that has become overly moist as this will quickly rot, as well as sources such as pet urine and lawnmower chemicals which could pose potential threats.
Ideal, grass should be grown on your own for your guinea pigs; however, if this is not feasible then consider purchasing high-quality hay products like Oxbow.
Grass is a natural food
Guinea pigs typically enjoy feedings of hay and pellets as the foundation for their diet, however fresh grass provides additional nutrition. Like hay, fresh grass contains fiber-rich and sugar-low nutrients to support your pet’s digestive health; plus it’s high in Vitamin C for protection against scurvy.
Pet stores or growing it yourself is another option, providing that it has not been treated with chemical fertilizers. When harvesting fresh grass early morning when it’s damp and wet is preferable as this may cause colds in guinea pigs that come into direct contact with it.
Guinea pigs should have access to fresh grass through either a movable lawn cage or securely fenced area in the yard, starting with short sessions as they first venture outside and gradually increasing it over time for longer grazing sessions. This will prevent them from becoming overwhelmed and will reduce stomach issues.
Grass is a natural fiber
Guinea pigs need plenty of roughage for proper development, and grass can provide it. But be mindful about which variety you feed to your guinea pig: clippings may contain chemicals or other potentially hazardous materials that could harm it; similarly, grass that has been cut by lawnmowers will rot quickly and may encourage fungal infections.
As they contain too much calcium, you should steer clear of alfalfa and clover grass for your guinea pig’s diet. Timothy grass is a better choice; it originated in Europe but is widely grown worldwide today.
As well as feeding them grass, your guinea pig needs other forages like dandelion greens and other leafy vegetables in small amounts; too much could upset its stomach.
Grass is a natural abrasive
Fresh grass that guinea pigs eat outside acts as a natural abrasive on their teeth, helping to ensure optimal dental health and provide essential vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, this source can add variety to their diet by adding flavors. When selecting fresh grass as food source it must be free from chemical fertilizers or pesticides; additionally make sure it’s regularly raked over – certain plants and weeds can be toxic for guinea pigs so it is best to beware when picking fresh grass from this source.
Guinea Pigs should only receive grass in small quantities to avoid upsetting their stomachs or leading to back molar malocclusion. Alongside grass, offering leafy vegetables like alfalfa cubes, carrot tops and dried fruits such as apples once or twice weekly may help promote gastrointestinal health and prevent obesity as these foods should only be offered once or twice per week – otherwise excessive quantities could lead to obesity and gastrointestinal problems in their pet.
Grass is a natural source of calcium
Guinea pigs should only be allowed outside on fresh grass that has not been treated with fertilizers or any other chemicals, and must always remain inside a cage when venturing outdoors – as their surroundings could contain prey animals such as birds and wind gusts that might harm or be lost them – it is wise to gradually increase the time they spend outside on fresh grass over time.
Your guinea pig would appreciate grass and weeds as more natural sources of sustenance than expensive hay, making their mealtime experience more like that of their wild ancestors living in South American meadows. This will also allow your pet to gain exposure to more variety in terms of plants in their diet compared to hay alone.
Generally speaking, you should avoid feeding your guinea pig legume grasses (such as alfalfa) which contain high concentrations of calcium that could lead to excess weight gain in their bodies. Also avoid giving your guinea pig any mowed grass clippings as these could ferment and lead to digestive upset in their digestive systems.