How to feed your guinea pig…..

The diet you feed your guinea pig is of the utmost importance. There

are a large number of commercial foods on the market and whilst these

foods contain the right nutrients, they do not have enough dietary

fibre which can lead to obesity and dental problems which can both

shorten your guinea pig’s life.




The ideal diet should consist of 70 per cent good quality hay; 5 per

cent commercial guinea pig food and 25 per cent fresh fruit and

vegetables. This almost mimics the diet your guinea pig’s ancestors

would have had in the wild and will help keep your pet in the optimum

of health.

If your guinea pig starts to chew his fur and the vet has checked him

out for mites, it could be because he is not getting enough fibre in

his diet. Your vet is the best person to advise you on this.

A diet consisting of purely dried food is not healthy as these dried

foods are full of protein and excessive protein can cause kidney

stones, leading to kidney failure. Never feed your guinea pigs rabbit

food as some commercial rabbit foods contain pellets that are toxic to

guinea pigs. Also, guinea pigs need vitamin C and rabbit foods do not

contain sufficient vitamin C for them.

Guinea pigs cannot make their own vitamin C and problems can occur

especially if they are old, sick, pregnant or feeding young. Fresh

greens are a good source of vitamin C but if you are concerned contact

your veterinary practice who will be able to advise you.

Good food

Apart from lots of good quality hay and a small amount of dried food,

guinea pigs love fruit, vegetables and other plants. Foods that are

good to feed include cucumber, melon, cabbage, carrots (including

leaves), cauliflower (including leaves) celery, broccoli, parsley,

green and red bell peppers, and strawberry leaves.

Guinea pigs also love grass so if you have a lawn you won’t need a

lawn mower. However, never put your guinea pig on wet grass as this

can cause him to catch a cold and never put him on grass that has been

treated with anything (e.g. weed killer or lawn treatments). This

will be toxic to your guinea pig and he could die.

Bad food

Avoid apples as they can cause mouth ulcers and blistering around the

mouth due to the acid in them. Also avoid tomatoes, tomato leaves and

potatoes, which are poisonous to guinea pigs. Lettuce can cause

diarrhoea and in severe cases lead to death. Meat, cakes, biscuits,

chocolate and dairy products also need to be avoided.

Never feed your guinea pigs plants picked from the roadside as these

can be poisoned by exhaust toxins.




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