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What Do Guinea Pigs Eat? Everything You Need to Know about Pig’s Diet

Updated by Sheryl on Jul 22, 2021

Guinea pigs are herbivores; thus, their food should mainly consist of high-quality guinea pig hay, pelleted guinea pig chow, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Introduce new items to your guinea pig’s diet gradually since sudden dietary changes may cause problems (such as diarrhea).

Feed your guinea pig twice a day, on a regular schedule, in the morning and evening. Guinea pigs will overeat if given the chance, therefore remove any pelleted food left uneaten after one hour and destroy any fresh fruits or vegetables left uneaten after 24 hours to avoid obesity.

Guinea pigs are, at their most basic level, herbivores. That means they only eat fruits and vegetables and don’t eat dairy, eggs, meat, or insects. Fresh hay and fresh green vegetables should make up the majority of your guinea pig’s diet.

Hay is an integral part of your pet’s diet. Guinea pigs require this sort of fiber for efficient digestion; thus, it must be available at all times. Chewing on hay also helps your guinea pig’s teeth, which are continuously developing, wear down. Make sure the hay you buy is high-quality, fresh, clean, fragrant, dry, and mold-free.

guinea pigs eating leaves

Vegetables

Guinea pigs can eat up to one cup of vegetables per day. New vegetables should be given to your pet one at a time. Eating fresh, organically grown greens is the best alternative. Your pet guinea pig can eat the following vegetables:

  • Lettuce Romaine (Iceberg lettuce should never be used)
  • Carrots and the tips of carrots
  • Peas
  • Broccoli spears
  • Spinach 
  • Artichokes
  • Kale 
  • Various dark green vegetables
  • Bell peppers, both green and red

Fruits

Due to their higher sugar content, fruits should be fed less often than vegetables. Your guinea pig will love daily meals of small, bite-sized pieces of fruit, which will also provide much-needed Vitamin C. Guinea pigs may consume the following fruits:

  • Kiwi
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Papayas
  • Cucumbers
  • Peaches 

Pellets

A commercial guinea pig diet is designed to provide balanced nutrition with the proper quantity of Vitamin C and other essential nutrients. Choose a pelleted food that has been vetted by a veterinarian and follow the feeding directions on the label as a guide.

Treats

A reward option is a little animal salt lick, which is a good source of critical minerals and a healthy way to satisfy your guinea pig’s salt need.

CHEW TIPS: Because your guinea pig’s teeth are always developing, you should provide a variety of fun chews, including sticks, toys, balls, blocks, and small animal food. They are not only fun for your guinea pig to chew on, but they also help to relieve boredom.

  • Chocolate: it contains caffeine, which is dangerous to pigs and other animals
  • Onions: Onion is of no nutritional benefit to pigs.
  • Garlic: feeding pigs a large quantity of garlic is capable of destroying red blood cells in your pig
  • Mushrooms: wild mushrooms are toxic to pig, while normal mushrooms have no nutritional benefit
  • Iceberg lettuce: it is too watery and fibrous and can cause diarrhea.
  • Avocados: it contains persin, which is poisonous
  • Nuts: pigs' digestive system can’t digest nuts
  • Potatoes: potatoes have solanine which is harmful to guinea pigs
  • Seeds: can get stuck in your pig’s chomper and become choking
  • Corn kernels: can cause digestion issues like gas bloating
  • Lettuce Romaine: strengthens the immune system
  • Carrots: contains Vitamins A, C, Fiber, and Beta-carotene, essential for healthy growth
  • Peas: contains Vitamins A, C, E, and K vital for survival
  • Broccoli spears: an excellent source of Vitamin C and Vitamin K
  • Spinach: a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C for a robust immune system
  • Strawberries: high in vitamin C, critical to the guinea pig's health.
  • Blueberries: an excellent source of antioxidants for guinea pigs
  • Papayas: a great vitamin C source for them
  • Cucumbers: contain many vitamins and minerals beneficial to guinea pigs.
  • Peaches: very high in Vitamin

Although guinea pigs seldom overeat, it’s critical to feed the right mix of pellets, hay, and fresh veggies. Guinea pigs, like humans, cannot produce vitamin C on their own; thus, they must consume vitamin C-rich diets on a regular basis.

Commercial food

Look for vitamin C-fortified pellets that don’t include any seeds or dried fruit. Because vitamin C degrades fast, providing your guinea pig with vitamin C-rich vegetables and fruit on a daily basis is essential. It will suffice to feed around 1/8 cup of pellets once a day, supplemented with hay and fresh vegetables as specified below.

guinea pig is cooking

Timothy hay

Every day, provide an unlimited amount of fresh timothy hay. Guinea pigs require constant access to hay in order to promote digestion and minimize tooth development.

Feed your guinea pig twice a day, in the morning and evening, on a regular schedule. If given the opportunity, guinea pigs will overeat, therefore remove any pelleted food that is left uneaten after one hour and discard any fresh fruits or vegetables that are left uneaten after 24 hours to prevent obesity.

Guinea pigs, like the majority of herbivores, are grazers. They eat hay and vegetables all day. That means it’s critical to have fresh hay on hand at all times. Every day, empty your guinea pig’s food and water bowls, clean them, and re-fill them with new food and water.

Can guinea pigs eat celery and bread?

In a nutshell, yes, they can eat celery and on occasion. There are, however, certain health problems to be aware of. Just make sure you do not feed them too much celery and bread, as they are not their natural diets.

Can guinea pigs eat apples?

Apples are safe for guinea pigs to eat. The peel and meat of apples are acceptable for guinea pigs, but the seeds should be avoided since they are a choking danger and contain amygdalin, which breaks down into hydrogen cyanide. Vitamin C can also be found in apples.

How much water do guinea pigs need to drink daily?

The amount of water they drink can be determined by their physical weight. The amount of water pigs take on a daily basis is usually equal to 20% of their body weight. Both extremes can be okay since it varies from one Guinea pig to the next. Their water intake can also be influenced by a variety of variables, including climate conditions, indoor heating/cooling, diet, for example.

Why are carrots bad for guinea pigs?

Your guinea pigs will suffer if you feed them too much carrot. Carrots contain a significant quantity of natural sugar. These sugars can cause obesity, diabetes, and a variety of other disorders.

You can’t feed your guinea pig right from your table just because you love her as much as you love your family. While certain human food is okay for your guinea pig to consume, guinea pigs require significantly more attention than just feeding them table scraps. Therefore, take your time to determine the best foods for your guinea pig, so they do not fall sick.

Sheryl
Sheryl is an editor from iPetor, owns extensive pet care experience. As a professional writer, she can provide useful pet care tips for all "parents".
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