Our guinea pig family grew from two to SIX and we have so many questions about guinea pig feeding time like: what do they eat?
CLICK HERE to read about our surprise guinea pig pregnancy!
What do guinea pigs eat?
Guinea pigs are herbivores and will graze on fresh hay and leafy green vegetables throughout the day. Fresh water and a commercial guinea pig pelleted food should also be provided. Fruits can be offered occasionally as a treat.
We have learned so much about what our guinea pigs, Theo and Remmy, can and can’t eat. Each of them has their favorite foods and I’m sure yours will too. Theo likes green peppers and Remmy loves to munch on broccoli.
If you are like us, then you may be feeling a little bit confused about what to feed your guinea pig.
You are not alone!
We had no idea so we spent a lot of time researching guinea pig diets to make sure we are feeding our new guinea pigs the best foods for optimal health.
Guinea Pig Diet
We put together the following list of our guinea pig’s food requirements:
- High quality commercial pellets
- Vitamin C tablets
- Leafy green vegetables and limited assorted fruits
- Fresh water
What do I feed my guinea pigs daily?
1. Unlimited amounts of hay
Give your guinea pig access to fresh hay 24 hours / day. Hay is necessary to keep your guinea pigs digestive system working properly.
We like to put some of the hay in a hay rack or hay bag to keep it clean and off the floor. We also put some hay on the floor – our guinea pigs love to burrow in it while they eat. The problem is they also like to poop where they eat so we wanted to give them
We read that timothy hay is the best choice for guinea pigs in general; however, we after a few weeks of feeding it to our guinea pigs we found out that our daughter is allergic to it so we switched to orchard grass.
It worked out great since our guinea pigs seem to like it a lot better and it has a nice sweet smell.
Theo and Remmy’s favorite is Oxbow Orchard Grass Hay. CLICK HERE to check the price on Amazon.
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Guinea pigs teeth are constantly growing. Chewing on the hay keeps their teeth clean and worn down so that they don’t get too long. This can lead to dental problems and prevent your guinea pig from chewing their food.
Store hay in a cool, dry place to keep it fresh and prevent mold. We use a plastic tub.
2. High quality commercial pellets
We learned that high quality commercial pellets should be offered as a supplement to your guinea pigs main diet of hay and veggies.
The recommended amount to feed your adult guinea pigs is approximately 1/8th cup of high quality pellets daily. For our pregnant guinea pigs, guinea pig babies and guinea pigs younger than 6 months the recommendation is to allow your guinea pig access to pellets at all times.
Most resources we found recommended a pellet over a mix so that your guinea pig isn’t able to pick and choose his favorites out of the bowl.
Theo and Remmy really like Oxbow Essentials young guinea pig food. CLICK HERE to check the price on Amazon.
We remove the food bowls daily and thoroughly clean them before we replace the food dish with fresh pellets.
One thing we read that we will keep in mind as our guinea pigs get older is: if you notice your guinea pigs leaving a lot of pellets behind each day then you may be overfeeding them.
3. Vitamin C supplement
We had no idea that our guinea pigs would need a vitamin C supplement since like humans they are unable to manufacture this vitamin on their own.
Guinea pigs can develop a condition known as Scurvy if they don’t get enough vitamin C in their diets. Yikes!
We found vitamin C supplements available as both a tablet and drops that you can add to their water; however, we decided to opt for the vitamin C tablets since we want to make sure that each of our guinea pigs gets the recommended amount daily.
The recommended amount of Vitamin C is to provide 30 to 50 mg daily.
Our guinea pigs each get one Oxbow Vitamin C tablet in the morning. They must taste good because they gobble them up right away!
CLICK HERE to check the price on Amazon.
4. Leafy green vegetables and limited assorted fruits
Our guinea pigs love to munch on the fresh veggies and fruit that we feed them.
We learned that the recommended amount of vegetables and fruit to feed your guinea pig is about 1 cup daily – primarily made up of leafy greens like romaine lettuce, spinach or kale.
Here is a list of our guinea pig’s favorites:
- Romaine lettuce
We read that you can feed some fresh fruit, but to do so in moderation since most fruits contain a lot of sugar and can lead to diabetes.
5. Fresh water
We weren’t sure of the best way to provide fresh water to our guinea pigs. Do we use a water bottle or a water dish?
Guinea pigs can drink water out of a bowl; however, we read that it is probably not the best option since the water bowl can become dirty or tipped over pretty easily.
We decided to use water bottles since they are easy to keep clean and allow us to monitor how much water our guinea pigs are drinking.
The first water bottle we purchased was made of plastic and after a few weeks it began to leak so we invested in two more water bottles, this time we chose glass water bottle like the one shown below. CLICK HERE to check the price on Amazon.
What do you feed your guinea pig?
What are some of your guinea pigs favorite foods?
Leave a comment below and let us know!
Theo and Remmy