What-Does-A-Guinea-Pig-Eat

What Does A Guinea Pig Eat?

A guinea pig is a low-investment pet. It can be maintained with minimum attention. The name might be confusing. It is not a type of pig and does not originate from the African country of Guinea.

Guinea pigs are a common pet in America. They have a gentle and quiet nature. Thus, a lot of people adopt it as a pet. You can find a lot of similarities between humans and guinea pigs. They both are mammals and do not form Vitamin C of their own.

Due to their anatomic similarity with humans, they are widely used as test subjects in scientific experiments.

One of the critical factors associated with keeping a pet is the nutrition of the pet. If you cannot provide your pet with enough nutrition, it will easily fall sick.

The pet's food habit will depend on their nature. It is important to do a little research on their food habit before you bring one into your home because it might require food that is not easily found nearby.

Food Habits Of A Guinea Pig

Food-Habits-Of-A-Guinea-Pig

A guinea pig is commonly recognized as a herbivorous animal but they have the tendency to eat their own feces. For this reason, they are sometimes considered to be omnivorous animals.

Like every other animal, guinea pigs also need a well-balanced diet. It is essential to ensure good health. A well-balanced diet for these animals requires Vitamin B, Vitamin C, fiber, and water.

It also obtains recycled Vitamin B from its feces. Their staple food is grass.

Hay For Guinea Pigs

Hay is one of the most favorite food of guinea pigs. It is high in fiber. Your pet can have an unlimited amount of fiber. Timothy hay, Meadow hay, and Bluegrass are among the top products found in the market which is perfect for your little pets.

Other than that, alfalfa and orchard grass are some great examples of guinea pig food. Timothy hay is the most popular among guinea pig food products sold at the market.

Special care should be provided while giving meadow hay, bluegrass, and orchard grass. Old guinea pigs should not be fed alfalfa grass frequently. This grass has a high amount of calcium. Consider this to be an occasional feast.

Vitamin C For Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs, unlike other mammals, cannot produce Vitamin C within their body. This mechanism is similar to that of humans. They need Vitamin C from external sources. The daily requirement of Vitamin C is 10 mg per day.

If a guinea pig is pregnant, then the amount would be 20 mg per day. This keeps them safe from conditions like scurvy. Vitamin C can be found in high amount in bell peppers.

It has to be noted that you shall never give them juice thinking that it might be a convenient way to provide them with the required amount of Vitamin C. Juice is harmful to them and is totally prohibited.

Pellets For Guinea Pigs

Providing guinea pigs with food pellets is necessary. You can give your pet 1/8th of a cup of food pellets with every meal. The amount of pellet food should be increased for pregnant, sick and newborn guinea pigs.

Pellets contain a very high amount of protein and calcium. You should also maintain extra caution if your guinea pig is more than 6 months. Such guinea pigs might grow stones inside them from consuming excessive calcium.

Guinea pigs less than 6 months do not require such care. They need calcium for bone development.

Safe Vegetables For Guinea Pigs

  • Carrot: Carrots should be fed in a limited amount because of its richness in sugar.
  • Bell peppers: Guinea pigs usually love these, and they are also rich in Vitamin C.
  • Chicory: It is not a common vegetable. The outer layer should be removed before feeding them.
  • Lettuce: There are a variety of lettuces available. Any kind of lettuce is right for these animals.
  • Fennel: It is excellent for the stomach of your guinea pig.
  • Celery: While feeding celery, they should be kept under observation. The strings of celery might result in choking.
  • Beetroot: Beetroot should be fed in a limited amount.
  • Radish leaves: Feed them radish leaves only. Do not give radish by mistake.
  • Eggplant: It is good for your guinea pig if it is ripe. The green portion of the eggplant and raw eggplant is poisonous for them.
  • Pumpkin: Fresh pumpkins are good for them.
  • Tomato: You should not give tomato every day as it is rich in sugar. Also, avoid the green portion if you want a healthy guinea pig.

How To Feed?

The best time to bond with your guinea pig will be while you’re feeding it. So it is essential to ensure a smooth feeding session. There are some tips on how to feed them:

  • Give the guinea pig food to eat from your hands. It will help strengthen trust between you and the pet.
  • Make a feeding routine and follow it properly.
  • Provide hay in the cage daily. You should change the hay that has gone stale.
  • Remember to feed them vegetables daily.
  • Provide fresh water every 12 hours.

Some Tips:

  • Do not provide supplements to your guinea pig. A balanced diet should be enough for your pet. In any case, if your vet prescribes, you can give them the prescribed supplements. It should be the last resort.
  • Keep a water bottle nearby the cage. It should be filled at all times.
  • Keep the water bottle totally clean.
  • Make sure you give fresh food to your pet. Keep food in front of the cage if you are going out for a while.
  • The dish you are choosing for your guinea pig’s food should be made of ceramic. They have the habit of chewing everything even dishes.
  • Make sure your pet is not underfed or overfed. Try to control the food amount accordingly.
  • Keep the water temperature in control. It should not be freezing or boiling.

Food That Should Not Be Given To Guinea Pigs:

  • Food with a lot of sugar content should be avoided
  • Potatoes, corn husks, cabbage, and avocado
  • A huge amount of fruits
  • Citrus
  • Meat or any dairy food (completely prohibited)

Conclusion

Guinea pigs are just like a baby. Their nutrition care should also be exercised just like we do with our babies. You shall not force your guinea pig to eat, and neither should you let it have food in excessive amount.

As time passes by, you will be able to understand your guinea pig’s characteristics and habits. All you have to do is be patient.

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