What Does A Guinea Pig Eat? A Beginners Guide
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
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
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:
Food That Should Not Be Given To Guinea Pigs:
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.