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What Do Guinea Pigs Eat

Views: 2024     Author: LONGMU     Publish Time: 2024-03-18      Origin: LONGMU


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What Do Guinea Pigs Eat

Guinea pigs, beloved small pets known for their adorable appearance and friendly nature, require a carefully balanced diet to maintain good health and vitality. As herbivores, their dietary needs consist primarily of plant-based foods.

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Hay is the Foundation of a Guinea Pig's Diet:

Hay is a fundamental component of a guinea pig's daily nutrition. It provides essential fibre that aids digestion, maintains dental health, and prevents common ailments. Guinea pigs should have unlimited access to high-quality grass hay, such as timothy hay or orchard grass, which serves as a staple food source and a crucial element in their diet.

Fresh Vegetables: A Colourful Array of Nutrients:

In addition to hay, guinea pigs should consume fresh vegetables to obtain vital vitamins, minerals, and additional hydration. Here are some vegetables that are safe and nutritious for guinea pigs:

1. Leafy Greens: Dark, leafy greens like romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, and cilantro are excellent choices. These vegetables are rich in vitamin C, which is vital for guinea pigs since they are unable to produce them naturally.

2. Bell Peppers: Colourful bell peppers provide a good source of vitamin C and contribute to a varied diet. Offer small portions of red, green, or yellow peppers to add variety and stimulate your guinea pig's appetite.

3. Carrots: Carrots are a favourite among guinea pigs and provide essential nutrients such as vitamin A. Remember to feed them in moderation due to their high sugar content.

4. Cucumbers: Cucumbers are a refreshing and hydrating option. They are low in calories and can contribute to your guinea pig's water intake.

5. Other Vegetables: Broccoli, celery, zucchini, and cauliflower can be offered in small quantities to provide additional variety and nutrients to your guinea pig's diet.



Balanced Nutrition in Bite-sized pellets formulated specifically for guinea pigs can serve as a supplement to their hay and vegetable intake. These pellets are designed to provide the necessary vitamins and minerals required for optimal guinea pig health. Look for high-quality pellets that are timothy hay-based, as alfalfa-based pellets are too high in calcium and protein for adult guinea pigs.

Fresh Water:

The Lifeline of Hydration Water is essential for any living creature, and guinea pigs are no exception. Fresh, clean water should always be available to your guinea pig. Use a water bottle with a sipper tube to ensure a constant supply of water and to prevent contamination.

In Summary:

Providing a well-balanced diet is crucial to maintaining the health and well-being of guinea pigs. A foundation of high-quality hay, supplemented with a variety of fresh vegetables and limited portions of pellets, ensures that these charming pets receive the necessary nutrients for a healthy life. Regular veterinary check-ups and observation of your guinea pig's eating habits will help you tailor their diet to their specific needs. By offering a nutritious and varied menu, you can ensure your guinea pig leads a vibrant and contented life.

Guinea pigs don't usually overeat, but it's important to provide the proper balance of pellets, hay, and fresh vegetables. Like human beings, guinea pigs cannot make their vitamin C, so they require vitamin C-rich foods in their daily diet. Inadequate vitamin C can lead to scurvy, signs of which include a weakened immune system, abnormal bone and tooth development and growth, and delayed wound healing. An inadequate diet can also lead to obesity, dental disease, bladder stones, and gastrointestinal problems.

Grass hay

An unlimited quantity of fresh grass hay daily is the cornerstone of a healthy guinea pig diet. It should be around 80% of their diet. Guinea pigs need continuous access to hay to aid their digestion and limit the growth of their teeth. For guinea pigs over a year of age timothy or orchard hay is suitable, but for younger guinea pigs alfalfa hay provides more calcium for growing bones.

Commercial food

Choose timothy-based vitamin C-fortified pellets with no seeds or dried fruit added. About 1/8 cup of pellets once a day—supplemented by hay and fresh vegetables as described below—will be enough. Because vitamin C usually degrades rather quickly, it is crucial to also offer your guinea pig vitamin C-rich vegetables and fruit on a daily basis. Buy in smaller portions to maximize the effect of the added vitamin C, as it oxidizes rapidly once the bag is open.


Fresh vegetables can be offered once a day and should be equivalent to 1/2 to one cup total per guinea pig per day. Leafy greens like romaine lettuce, red and green leaf lettuces, mustard or turnip greens, cabbage, kale, cilantro and parsley should comprise the bulk of your pig’s fresh produce. It’s best to provide variety by feeding different greens each day. Vegetables like red or green pepper and broccoli have high levels of vitamin C in them and are great daily options. Add carrots, zucchini, tomato or sweet potato once or twice a week.


Fruit works well as an occasional treat that is offered once a day or several times a week. Kiwis, strawberries, and citrus have high levels of vitamin C. Keep the portion size small since fruit is high in sugar; a small wedge of orange or apple, several blueberries, or a thin slice of banana is perfectly adequate.

Introduce new fruits and veggies gradually to avoid diarrhea. If your guinea pig develops loose stool, reduce the amount of fresh produce for several days, then reintroduce it in smaller portions.


Because guinea pigs are susceptible to developing painful bladder stones, and some bladder stones are comprised of calcium oxalate, reducing or eliminating foods high in oxalates—such as spinach, parsley and strawberries—can provide benefit in guinea pigs who develop calcium oxalate stones. Read a more detailed explanation and consult a veterinarian who specializes in guinea pigs with specific questions about diet. A diet high in fresh hay and plenty of fresh water are paramount to preventing urinary issues in guinea pigs.

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