Your Guinea Pigs Care
Guinea Pigs are herbivores and need a diet high in fibre like hay and grass. Like humans, they also have an absolute requirement for Vitamin C daily in their diet. If they don't get enough Vitamin C they develop scurvy, which causes painful joints, dental disease, weight loss and even sudden death. It is very important to feed your guinea pig a diet high in fibre and Vitamin C to keep it healthy. The best way to achieve this is by feeding lots of hay,grass and vegetables.
- The best food for guinea pigs is to graze on grass and always provide fresh sweet smelling meadow hay ( we recommend Oxbow Timothy Grass Hay and Orchard Grass hay).
- Don't rely on guinea pig mix as a source of Vitamin C as it degrades very fast in stored food (not more than 3 months post milling).
- Avoid 'muesli' type guinea pig mixes as these are too low in fibre. Pellet diets are best to avoid dental and digestive disorders which are very common in guinea pigs. The best pellet diets are Supa Guinea (Excel Burgess) and Cavia Complete (Versele-Laga).
- ALWAYS introduce greens and vegetables VERY slowly to avoid upset stomachs and only feed vegetables fit for human consumption.
- Choose vegetables high in Vitamin C like Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Curly Kale, Red and Green Peppers and Parsley. Dandelion are great as they are high both in fibre and vitamin C. The best rule of thumb is to offer three different types of greens daily. Small amount of fruit like apples, pears, blackcurrants, strawberry, melon, kiwi and oranges can be given. Avoid grapes and bananas as they are too high in sugar.
- NEVER use rabbit food for Guinea pigs
- Any guinea pig that is ill, pregnant, growing or just weaned will need extra vitamin C daily. Buy soluble vitamin C (Rubex, Redoxon etc) from the pharmacy and either give it into the mouth by a dropper or syringe or add it to the drinking water.
Remember guinea pigs are creatures of habit so introduce all new foods slowly!