Guinea pig diets should consist primarily of vegetables and greens for optimal health. There is an array of vegetable species suitable for consumption by these aquatic mammals.
Your guinea pig needs access to fresh leafy greens and herbs on a daily basis, in addition to fresh timothy hay for optimal health.
Lettuce is an excellent source of vitamins A, K and potassium – as well as being low calorie and sugar free! Be sure to provide your guinea pigs with a range of leafy green vegetables and herbs every day for maximum benefit.
Romaine lettuce is one of the most nutritionally dense types of lettuce for guinea pigs. Packed full of vitamins C, A and B6 along with calcium and iron content as well as lower levels of oxalates and nitrates than other varieties, it makes an excellent food choice.
Butter lettuce (commonly known as Boston lettuce) can be provided to guinea pigs safely, although it contains less vitamin C than its counterparts romaine or red leaf lettuce. Iceberg lettuce should be avoided as its lack of essential vitamins may cause digestive issues in guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs love carrots, so offering yours in small doses periodically may help improve its diet without leading to tooth issues. Too many carrots may lead to dental issues for your pet.
These tasty treats are an excellent source of Vitamin C and make a nutritious addition to the diet of guinea pigs, but too much calcium in their regular consumption could cause bladder stones.
Try feeding your guinea pigs leafy green vegetables that provide Vitamin C such as romaine lettuce and muscalin mix, collard or turnip greens, and kale for optimal nutrition. These produce have higher levels of Vitamin C than cabbage and radicchio, although smaller amounts should still be provided to your pet.
Timothy hay should form the mainstay of any guinea pig’s diet, and should always be provided to aid digestion and slow tooth development. Fruits and vegetables such as lettuce, red leaf lettuce or kale provide ample amounts of vitamin C – providing daily options with daily benefits.
Other vegetables to include when feeding your guinea pig include brussels sprouts and cabbage; however, due to high calcium and oxalate content these foods could potentially lead to bladder stone issues in some guinea pigs.
Fresh veggies that are safe for guineas include romaine lettuce, sweet bell peppers (with seeds and cores removed), kale, carrots and parsley (both curly leaf and flat leaf varieties are fine), mint as well as other minty herbs like mint. When it comes to cost efficiency, purchasing bulk from markets or farm shops or growing your own can help lower your expenses significantly.
Avoid foods known to cause gas, including cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy and collard greens as well as any high in calcium, phosphorous, sugar or vitamin C content such as cheese. Instead try including different vegetables regularly throughout your week for maximum benefit.
Guinea pigs love tomatoes, and most varieties can be consumed safely. Just be sure to remove the stems and leaves as these may contain glycoalkaloid poisons that could prove hazardous to their health.
Guinea Pigs also enjoy eating cucumber without its seeds, spinach, carrot tops, dandelion greens and parsley as these contain high concentrations of vitamin C as well as calcium, phosphorous and some potassium.
Many vegetables contain too much starch or calcium for Guinea pigs with bladder stones to tolerate, and should only be fed once or twice weekly at most.
Guinea pigs require vegetables as part of their daily diet and fruit as an occasional treat to provide variety. You should offer your guinea pig approximately one cup of fresh veggies and fruit every day. Leafy greens like romaine, red and green lettuces, kale are ideal options as daily options, with tomatoes, red peppers and carrots providing ample Vitamin C; spinach provides moderate calcium and phosphorous intake, while turnip greens contain moderate levels of Vitamin C to offer variety as treats occasionally.
Small amounts of eggplant should not cause an allergic reaction in most guineas, as it contains both Vitamin C and fiber as well as nasunin, an ingredient believed to protect against brain injury and chronic diseases.
Guinea Pigs can consume other vegetables such as green bell peppers (without seeds or cores), romaine butterhead lettuce (bib lettuce) and squash as they contain low calcium and oxalates, high levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Your pet should avoid eating foods such as cabbage, beetroot and sprouts as these contain high concentrations of calcium and oxalates that could contribute to bladder stones. Cruciferous vegetables should only be given as occasional treats as these contain both oxalates and phosphorus that may lead to digestive discomfort in some individuals.