Guinea pigs need plenty of chewable material to wear down their ever-expanding teeth, and grass serves as both an effective chew and source of Vitamin C.
Make sure you feed them safe grass (timothy hay or Orchard grass are great options) that has not been exposed to chemicals or animal urine, and avoid feeding wet grass as this could lead to digestive issues for them.
Grass is good for their digestive system
Guinea pigs are natural herbivores and grass is their preferred food source in nature, so it is crucial for their wellbeing that fresh, nutritious grass be part of their daily diet.
Grass can often be more nutritious than hay for guinea pigs due to its higher Vitamin C content – essential since they cannot produce this essential nutrient themselves. Furthermore, unlike hay which can contain pesticides or chemicals used as spraying solutions for crops like wheat or soyabean crops sprayed on it, fresh grass is safe to be eaten by them.
When introducing fresh grass for the first time to your guinea pigs, it is wise to start slowly and increase their time outdoors gradually. This will enable them to adjust and avoid stomach upset while monitoring their poop for consistency and solidity.
Grass is good for their teeth
Grass can help wear down guinea pig teeth while providing them with valuable Vitamin C supplements – something all guinea pigs require for healthy development.
Be cautious of using mowed grass clippings as they contain chemicals which may be toxic for guinea pigs. Instead, fresh green grass from either your garden or freshly cut outside should be ideal.
Although hay should form the bulk of their diet, adding in fresh grass will provide them with additional variety and more closely reflect their natural habitat. When first introducing fresh grass, gradually increase their time outdoors by starting slowly.
Grass is good for their fur
Guinea Pigs often prefer eating hay over fresh grass, but giving them some fresh grass if available will still benefit their dental and immune health. Fresh grass helps wear down back molars while improving dental health as well as helping prevent certain diseases while strengthening immunity systems.
If you plan to allow your guinea pigs to feed on freshly cut grass, ensure it’s clean and dry – as wet grass could breed mold and bacteria, as well as being hazardous if exposed to chemicals or animal urine.
Grass is good for their bones
Guinea Pigs in their natural environment spend much of their time grazing on grass foraging for food, which provides plenty of roughage that helps wear down their teeth and prevent dental problems while providing important fiber sources in their diet.
However, eating too much grass can upset their stomachs and lead to bloat. This condition known as “sour crop” could become life-threatening.
If you plan on feeding your guinea pig grass, make sure it is free from pesticides and insects before doing so. Also make sure that it has been cut three to four times before giving to them as this will ensure no harmful contaminants or insects remain present in it.
Grass is good for their eyes
Guinea pigs were prey animals at the bottom of the food chain, meaning that guinea pigs in the wild were always vigilant for predators. Sleeping with eyes open would allow them to quickly detect any imminent threats and ensure their safety.
If your guinea pig’s eyes appear dull or cloudy, consider changing to something less dusty for bedding and providing ample vitamin C sources such as fresh vegetables or pellets with added vitamin C.
If your guinea pig’s eye appears crusty, protruding or ulcerated it indicates there may be an underlying health problem that needs urgent medical treatment and immediate veterinary advice is required.
Grass is good for their ears
Guinea pigs living outside, or in an outdoor enclosure, should have access to grassy areas for running and playing. This gives them a different texture and sensory experience while engaging their natural behaviors such as grazing and nibbling.
Guinea Pigs require regular doses of hay in their diet to help wear down their continuously growing teeth, provide fiber and nutrition, and alleviate boredom. Fresh hay should always be available and replenished every day.
If your guinea pig has ears with excessive dirt or wax build-up, speak to your vet as they may suggest specific solutions to help clean out their ears and remove earwax from within their canals.
Grass is good for their feet
One of the best things you can do for your guinea pig is providing them with access to fresh grass every day – this will allow them to explore in an enclosed outdoor space while at the same time keeping their feet healthy.
Avoid lawn fertilizers and chemical sprays as these may be hazardous to guinea pigs. Instead, grow guinea-friendly grass indoors or outdoors.
Many guinea pigs will develop hard, crusty callouses on their feet known as spurs – this is completely normal and should not be taken as an indication of poor husbandry; however, left untreated they could turn into serious issues known as “bumblefoot”.