How Often to Feed Guinea Pigs

how often to feed guinea pigs

Guinea Pigs in good health typically consume food continuously throughout their digestive systems. Therefore, when they suddenly stop eating it’s a cause for alarm.

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Ideal, every guinea pig should receive at least a cup of fresh vegetables per day (excluding root veggies that contain high concentrations of sugar) along with fruit as a treat as they provide much-needed Vitamin C.

Contents

Hay

Hay is an essential element in guinea pig diets, providing digestion benefits, roughage (dietary fibre) and bedding needs. Guinea pigs in the wild spend much of their time foraging and grazing so it’s crucial that their cage has regular access to hay for foraging activities and dental health benefits – chewing hay naturally wears down teeth to prevent overgrown or infected ones!

Timothy hay is the ideal diet for guinea pigs. It contains low levels of calcium and its soft texture reduces eye poke risk. Avoid alfalfa hay as its high calcium content could lead to bladder sludge and stones in adult guinea pigs.

Pellets

Pellets should only make up a small part of a guinea pig’s daily diet; about 1/8 cup per animal. When selecting pellets for supplementing their diets, choose ones with minimal amounts of fat as this may convert into glucose which disrupts their balance in the gut and affect the balance between bacteria.

Make sure that a high quality pellet containing vitamin C is always readily available, and include at least a cup of fresh vegetables each day in their diet – especially leafy greens such as romaine and mustard or turnip lettuces, parsley, and kale as the mainstays for their wellbeing. Other safe choices could include carrots, sweet potatos, red or green peppers and broccoli for variety.

As an occasional treat, indulge in small quantities of vitamin-C rich fruits like oranges, strawberries and kiwis as treats each day as part of your healthy eating regimen. Limiting how much fruit you eat each day may help prevent weight gain.

Fruit

Diets for guinea pigs typically consist of unlimited timothy hay and pellets specially tailored to them, as well as fresh vegetables and fruit that are low in sugar; approximately one cup per day should be dedicated to vegetables such as green and red leafy lettuce, dandelion greens, broccoli stems, carrot tops, cabbage endive kale silver beet plus herbs such as parsley coriander dill.

Fruit choices that are high in Vitamin C such as satsumas, tangerines and clementines should be an ideal selection. Avoid fruits high in sugar as this could disrupt their digestive systems’ delicate balance of bacteria.

Vegetables

Guinea Pigs typically enjoy healthy diets that include hay, pellets and fresh vegetables; each should receive roughly 1 cup per day (not counting treats).

Vegetables should be provided on an ongoing basis so your pet receives all the nutrients it requires, particularly those high in calcium and oxalic acid that could lead to bladder stones. Iceberg lettuce offers little nutritional benefit and should be avoided because it has high concentrations of both.

Spinach, dandelion greens, kale and chard are among the safest greens for your guinea pigs to consume as they don’t cause gas like broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage do. As these vegetables contain gas-causing compounds they should only be given as occasional treats in small quantities and in limited amounts. Be sure your guinea pigs receive sufficient vitamin C in their diet – without enough of this essential nutrient they could develop scurvy.

Water

Guinea pigs require access to fresh, clean water at all times in order to stay hydrated and avoid becoming dehydrated quickly – dehydration can quickly lead to health issues like colic.

Guinea pigs cannot produce vitamin C on their own, so it is vital that they receive this essential nutrient through pellets, hay and fresh vegetables. Guinea pigs also require rough food as their teeth continue to develop while high fiber diets help their guts remain functioning normally.

Some guinea pigs prefer drinking from bottles while others may prefer water bowls; heavy ceramic bowls are preferable as they’re less likely to be knocked over accidentally. When using bottles, make sure they get thoroughly washed as bacteria may build up inside, while avoid feeding iceberg lettuce which contains low nutrients and can lead to diarrhea; additionally rhubarb leaves may contain poisonous oxalic acid which could prove fatal for their wellbeing.