Lots of hay, small amounts of pellets, and some greens — this diet will keep your guinea pig happy and healthy.
Watch the video below as Dr. Laurie Hess expounds on this topic.
Watch How Can I Keep My Guinea Pig Healthy on YouTube.
Hi, I’m Dr. Laurie Hess, and today, I’m going to talk to you about one of my favorite animals, the guinea pig. Guinea pigs are sweet and wonderful pets. They’re generally very hearty and the best way you can keep them healthy is to feed them right.
So what do you feed guinea pig to keep them healthy?
Well, you start with what’s right here. This is hay, and this happens to be Timothy Hay. It should be the mainstay of their diet because it helps them chew. It grinds down their open rooted teeth as their teeth grow in continuously. And it contains lots of fiber which helps promote healthy bacteria in their intestinal tract as they digest their food, so lots and lots of hay. You can feed Timothy Hay. It’s lower in calcium unless, of course, a guinea pig is growing and developing their skeleton or nursing, lactating, in which point they can have Alfalfa Hay which contains more calcium.
Next to hay, you should certainly feed them a small amount of pellets. As you see here, pellets are delicious. Guinea pigs love them because they’re carbohydrate. You should certainly focus on getting your guinea pig pellets made specifically for guinea pigs because they contain added Vitamin C, which guinea pigs can’t make in their body. You want to focus on getting straight pellets. You don’t want something that’s mixed with seeds and nuts and other fatty things that really are not appropriate for guinea pigs as they can’t digest them. And you want to limit pellets to a small amount a day. They do provide these wonderful nutrients to guinea pig but if you feed them in excess, they can cause a lot of weight gain and they can also upset the gastrointestinal tract and cause diarrhea and some other problems.
And then the other thing that you want to feed is fresh greens. This happens to be romaine lettuce. Guinea pigs love greens. They’re terrific in that they provide water and fiber and keep them hydrated. You can feed romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce. There’s a whole host of things – even peppers. Bell peppers are great because they’re a great source of Vitamin C and guinea pigs tend to love them.
So if you stick to these basic rules – lots of hay, a moderate amount of pellets, a small amount like this, and some fresh greens – you can keep your guinea pig happy and healthy for a good long time.