This is a question that more than 7760 of our readers have been asking us! Luckily, we have found the most appropriate information for you!

Just because you love your guinea pig as much as family doesn’t mean you can feed her straight from your table. While some human food is safe for your guinea pig to eat, feeding guinea pigs should involve far more care than just giving them table scraps.

That means that they just eat fruits and veggies—no dairy, eggs, meat, or insects for these little guys. Any guinea pig owner needs to keep two important things in mind when choosing food: Guinea pig pellets should include Vitamin C to keep your pet healthy. Most owners will opt to feed their guinea pigs store-bought pellets and hay. Some alfalfa hay is acceptable but it contains too much calcium to be the main part of your pet’s diet. Guinea pig hay needs to be stored in a cool, dry place to stay clear of mold or mildew. Opt for plain pellets rather than a mix, as this prevents your guinea pig from just picking out the tasty bits and ignoring the healthy ones! Fresh fruits and veggies are great treats and supplements for your guinea pig. Always be sure to clean up any uneaten fresh foods at the end of the day to avoid mold or rot. Always avoid feeding your guinea pig sweet or salty human “junk food,” even if none of the ingredients are toxic. It’s generally best to stick to feeding your guinea pig a diet of hay and high-quality pellets, with occasional treats of fresh fruits and veggies.

Guinea pigs are herbivores, so their diet should be one based on high-quality guinea pig hay, pelleted guinea pig food and limited amounts of fresh vegetables and fresh fruit. An imbalance in nutrition can cause chronic diarrhea, obesity and diseases of the heart, liver or kidneys. Gradually introduce new foods to your guinea pig’s diet as abrupt or significant dietary changes can cause problems (such as diarrhea).

Feed your guinea pig on a consistent schedule, twice a day, morning and evening. Guinea pigs will overeat if given the chance, so, to prevent obesity, remove pelleted food that is left uneaten after one hour and discard fresh fruits or vegetables that are left uneaten after 24 hours. Fresh, filtered, chlorine-free water must be constantly available, especially during warmer weather, as guinea pigs are susceptible to heat stroke. Guinea pigs require this kind of fiber for proper digestion; therefore, it must be available at all times. Chewing on hay also helps to wear down your guinea pig’s teeth, which grow continuously. Pellets : Commercial is specially formulated to provide balanced nutrition with the ideal dosage of Vitamin C and other essential nutrients. Choose pelleted food that has been veterinarian-tested and approved and follow the feeding instructions on the packaging as a guide. Romaine lettuce (never iceberg lettuce) Carrots and carrot tops Peas Broccoli spears Spinach Artichokes Kale Tomatoes (not the stems or leaves) Green and red bell peppers Other dark green veggies Wash all produce thoroughly to remove traces of harmful pesticides and avoid serving vegetables cold. Oranges Apples Pears Strawberries Blueberries Kiwi Papayas Peaches Cucumbers Some commercially produced treats contain artificial sweeteners, sugar or salt, so carefully read labels when selecting healthy options for your pet.Since your guinea pig’s teeth grow continuously, you should provide a variety of fun chews, including sticks, toys, balls, blocks and treats made especially for small animals. Cecotropes : Nature has provided guinea pigs with an unusual method for supplementing their unique nutritional needs. Cecotropes are small, soft pellets that contain nutrients absorbed from plants during the digestive process. While this process may look bizarre or even revolting, you must not discourage it as cecotropes are a necessary part of your guinea pig’s diet. Some foods can be poisonous, some are too high in fat or sugar, some are a choking hazard, some have no nutritional value, some can cause gas and some can cause bloat. A short list of the foods to avoid feeding your guinea pig includes: Chocolate (or anything else containing caffeine) Onions Garlic Mushrooms Iceberg lettuce Avocados Nuts Potatoes Seeds Corn kernels Peanut butter Rhubarb Cabbage Bok choy Dairy products Bread Meat You should also never offer your guinea pig any plants, flowers or grass from your yard or garden as they may contain pesticides or other hazards; many houseplants are also toxic, so always supervise your little pet when they out of their habitat. Pellets and treats fortified with Vitamin C should provide your guinea pig’s daily needed intake, but there are also additional options. Supplementing with treats in the form of citrus fruits and vegetables allows you to provide Vitamin C from natural sources, while still giving him the opportunity to enjoy the diversity and fulfillment that comes from a well-balanced diet.

Giving in may seem like the easy way out — after all, guinea pigs are fairly cheap and low-maintenance pets, all things considered. That’s until you get one home and realize something: You have no idea what they eat.

Fortunately, guinea pigs don’t have a particularly exotic diet, and you can easily find their food at your local pet store. That doesn’t mean you don’t have choices, however, and in this guide, we’ll walk you through exactly what you should feed these furry little cuties and why. Image: PxHere While you may feel that variety is the spice of life, your guinea pig is unlikely to agree. Hay is extremely important for guinea pigs, and you should include it in their diet even if you give them other foods as well. Three primary types of hay are suitable for guinea pigs: Timothy, orchard, and oat. You may be able to offer it as an occasional treat, or it may prove useful if your guinea pig is pregnant or suffering from certain diseases. The most important thing to keep in mind when feeding your guinea pig hay is to make sure there’s no mold on it. Image: Peakpx You’ll find guinea pig pellets in just about any pet food store. A good reason to offer plain pellets rather than ones with fruits or seeds is that guinea pigs can be picky eaters. If there are bits that are particularly scrumptious mixed in with the plain pellets, your pig may just skip over the boring, nutritious parts and only eat the good stuff. You’ll want to offer them the pellets twice a day but pick them up after about an hour, as guinea pigs will gladly eat themselves into obesity if given the opportunity. Just as a reminder, feeding your guinea pig pellets doesn’t mean you can stop giving them hay. You can also give them veggies like bell peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli every day, as these are chock-full of vitamin C. Foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, and zucchini are also good but should be given more sparingly — once or twice a week should be plenty. Be sure to wash the veggies before serving them, as you don’t want your guinea pig to eat anything with pesticide residue on it. Iceberg lettuce Onions Garlic Mushrooms Potatoes Seeds Corn Bok choy Rhubarb Cabbage Image: Peakpx When shopping for your new pet, you’ll undoubtedly run across treats that are made specifically for guinea pigs. The shape is important too — a round treat will encourage foraging, which is good for your pet’s physical and mental health. However, eating their own waste is extremely common in guinea pigs, and it’s actually fairly healthy, as it maximizes the amount of nutrients that the animals get from their food. While mineral wheels shouldn’t be too dangerous for your guinea pig, they’re most likely a waste of money, so there’s no sense taking the chance. These animals are perfectly happy eating the same thing every day, so you shouldn’t need to enroll in culinary school to keep them fed. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand.

When Should I Feed My Guinea Pig?

At the most basic level, guinea pigs are herbivores. That means that they just eat fruits and veggies—no dairy, eggs, meat, or insects for these little guys. Fresh hay and fresh leafy vegetables should make up the bulk of your guinea pig’s diet.Any guinea pig owner needs to keep two important things in mind when choosing food:That said, it’s also important not to transition your guinea pig’s diet too quickly. If needed, be sure to go slow while you transition your guinea pig from her original diet in her old home or from the pet store to a healthier diet.You might also catch your guinea pig eating her own poop, but don’t be alarmed! Guinea pigs actually produce two different types of feces. One is soft and nutritious, and the guinea pigs re-ingest this to get more nutrients. Rabbits do the same thing!The other type of poop is harder and is produced after the food has been digested twice. That’s the poop that you clean up when you clean your guinea pig’s cage!

Feeding Guinea Pigs Store-Bought Food

Most owners will opt to feed their guinea pigs store-bought pellets and hay. Be sure to purchase pellets that are specifically formulated for guinea pigs.For hay, a mix of timothy, orchard, and oat is best. Some alfalfa hay is acceptable but it contains too much calcium to be the main part of your pet’s diet. Guinea pig hay needs to be stored in a cool, dry place to stay clear of mold or mildew.Supplement your guinea pig’s hay with a small amount of high-quality pellets. Opt for plain pellets rather than a mix, as this prevents your guinea pig from just picking out the tasty bits and ignoring the healthy ones!

Guinea Pig Care: What Can Guinea Pigs Eat

What guinea pigs can eat

What Do Guinea Pigs Eat: An Overview

Guinea pigs are herbivores, so you can put back that filet mignon. They just want to munch on the juiciest, most succulent plants they can find.However, there’s more to it than just giving them fresh foliage every day. There are two main requirements that guinea pig food must satisfy: it must be fibrous and it must have plenty of vitamin C.It needs to be tough and fibrous because guinea pig teeth never stop growing. As a result, they need something that will wear their little chompers down over time, because overgrown teeth can rip into their gums and cause abscesses.Most mammals can manufacture their own vitamin C, but not guinea pigs. As a result, they’ll need to get plenty from their food. If your pet doesn’t get enough, it could suffer from scurvy — just like an old-timey pirate. If the food you give your furry pal doesn’t have enough vitamin C, you’ll need to give them a supplement.While you may feel that variety is the spice of life, your guinea pig is unlikely to agree. They generally prefer whatever food they ate when they were younger and will become resistant to change later in life. That’s why it’s important to be sure you can continue to get your hands on whatever their preferred foodstuff is.If you do need to change their diet, you have to do so gradually, the same way you’d change a dog to a new kibble. That means adding a tiny bit of new food to the old stuff, then over a period of weeks, adding more and more until you’re feeding them the new food exclusively.If you try to change their diet too quickly, they’ll likely suffer from digestive issues — if they even eat the new food at all.Anyone adopting a new guinea pig should ask about its existing diet, especially if it’s an adult. You can’t just feed it the first thing you see at the store and expect good things to happen.

What About Wheels?

Hay is extremely important for guinea pigs, and you should include it in their diet even if you give them other foods as well. Hay is extremely fibrous, so it does an excellent job of filing their teeth down while they munch.It’s also full of fiber, which is important for their digestive health. While feeding them something that makes them poopYou can’t just give them any hay, however. Three primary types of hay are suitable for guinea pigs: Timothy, orchard, and oat. Timothy is by far the most common and probably the best.You may see alfalfa hay offered; if so, avoid it. Alfalfa hay is a legume rather than a grass, and it has more calcium and calories than your guinea pig needs. You may be able to offer it as an occasional treat, or it may prove useful if your guinea pig is pregnant or suffering from certain diseases.The most important thing to keep in mind when feeding your guinea pig hay is to make sure there’s no mold on it. Store it in a cool, dry place, and replace the batch daily. You may need to replace it more often than that if it gets wet.You’ll find guinea pig pellets in just about any pet food store. They’re usually made with Timothy hay with other ingredients thrown in. Just be careful that it doesn’t have any seeds, dried fruit, or dyes and additives.If you’re going the pellet route, look for one that’s fortified with vitamin C. However, vitamin C degrades quickly, so don’t assume your guinea pig will get the necessary amount from the pellets alone. You’ll likely need to supplement with fresh fruits and veggies.A good reason to offer plain pellets rather than ones with fruits or seeds is that guinea pigs can be picky eaters. If there are bits that are particularly scrumptious mixed in with the plain pellets, your pig may just skip over the boring, nutritious parts and only eat the good stuff.Feed your guinea pig according to the recommendations from the pellet manufacturer. You’ll want to offer them the pellets twice a day but pick them up after about an hour, as guinea pigs will gladly eat themselves into obesity if given the opportunity.Just as a reminder, feeding your guinea pig pellets doesn’t mean you can stop giving them hay. They still need the grassy stuff, so expect to buy both.
Guinea pigs need about a cup of fresh vegetables per day. The bulk of these should come in the form of leafy greens like kale, romaine lettuce, cilantro, and parsley.You can also give them veggies like bell peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli every day, as these are chock-full of vitamin C. Foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, and zucchini are also good but should be given more sparingly — once or twice a week should be plenty.Be sure to wash the veggies before serving them, as you don’t want your guinea pig to eat anything with pesticide residue on it. Also, they prefer their salads at room temperature, so leave their veggies out of the fridge.Not all veggies are okay, though. Here’s a partial list of veggies you should never give your guinea pig:Guinea pigs will go bananas for fresh fruit, but they should be given in moderation, as they’re full of sugar. Too much fruit can easily lead to an obese pet, so limit their fruit intake to 10% of their diet or less.Fruits are a great way to add more vitamin C to your pet’s diet. Citruses are perfect for this, as are foods like kiwis, strawberries, and blueberries.Be careful about introducing new fruits into your guinea pig’s menu, though. Fruit is more likely to cause an upset stomach than some of the other foods on this list, so work it into their diet slowly.Whatever you do, don’t give your guinea pig raisins, grapes, coconut, or avocado, as these are all toxic. Also, pick up any uneaten fruit after 24 hours, because eating old stuff can make them sick too.When shopping for your new pet, you’ll undoubtedly run across treats that are made specifically for guinea pigs. There’s nothing wrong with giving these to your little fuzzball every now and then — provided that you pick a good one.Many are loaded with ingredients like sugar, high fructose corn syrup, fat, and sugar. These ingredients are all bad for guinea pigs, as they contribute to obesity.Instead, look for one that’s primarily made of Timothy hay, with a little fresh fruit thrown in. The shape is important too — a round treat will encourage foraging, which is good for your pet’s physical and mental health.Of course, you don’tWe wanted to be comprehensive with this list, so we’d be remiss not include this gross option. But let us be clear: We’re talking about guinea pigs eating theirHowever, eating their own waste is extremely common in guinea pigs, and it’s actually fairly healthy, as it maximizes the amount of nutrients that the animals get from their food.There are two kinds of guinea pig poop: the dark, hard pellets and soft, squishy bits called “caecals.” Guinea pigs will usually only eat their own caecals, as they’re full of undigested plant matter. Eating them allows them the opportunity to re-absorb all the vitamins and minerals they missed the first time.You may never actually see caecals around your guinea pig’s cage; that’s because they often eat them straight from the source. That’s just a fun fact to keep in mind the next time you’re tempted to give your guinea pig a little kiss.