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Guinea Pig Nutrition – Overview

When you’re getting guinea pigs for the first time it’s really important to have an understanding of how to best feed these gorgeous bundles of fluff! That way you’re giving them the best you can in terms of nutrition, in order for them to lead a healthy and happy life.

need to knows:

Guinea pigs are herbivores! They DO NOT eat meat!

- Their natural diet (if they were in the wild) would consist of grasses, plants, vegetables and crops.

- It’s important to try and replicate this as best as we can when looking after our domesticated pet guinea pigs.

A huge part of a Guinea Pig's diet should be made up of FIBRE!

- Fibre is really important to help maintain thecorrect balance of bacteria in the cecum (that’s the bit where most of theguinea pig’s digestion takes place).

- The correct balance of ‘flora’ in the intestinesmeans you avoid gastrointestinal problems, which can be hugely problematic forguinea pigs. * Watch out…serious but important fact coming up.* If theirgut movements are disturbed, slow down or stop this is really bad news forpiggies and can lead to death.

- But don’t worry: You can do your bit byproviding them with lots of beneficial fibre in the form of grass hay! There’sloads of good quality feeding hays to choose from – see our section on hay formore information.

Guinea pigs eat their own poo!!!

- Yes, guinea pigs practice ‘coprophagy’. Nope,it’s not a funky kind of new yoga move that you’ve not heard of before,although it does require some degree of flexibility on the part of the guinea pig.

- Guinea pigs actually produce two different kinds of poo. The first kind that you see in the cage (and will be forever sweeping up) is oval shaped and medium to dark brown in colour. The other ‘secret’ poos they produce are eaten straight from their bottom (hence the flexibility requirement) and as a result you are unlikely to see them. These ‘soft’ poos are really important to enable guinea pigs to gain the most nutritional content from their diet. So, don’t be alarmed when they scoff that poop...it’s actually exactly what they need to do!

THE BASICS

HAY

This should be unlimited. Guinea pigs do love hay to sleep in/play in/forage in too! As well as their bedding hay, you can provide feeding hay which is presented ‘off the ground’ to avoid it getting trampled on/soiled/wasted.

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FRESH WATER

Keep it fresh and clean! Would you like to drink a two-day old glass of water?!

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FRESH VEGETABLES

Approximately one cup per day, per guinea pig. Offer fruit in absolute moderation, as it’s high in sugars!! (But they will love it.) See our fruit and vegetable guide.

CLICK TO VIEW OUR GUIDE

PELLETS

Make sure you get pellets that are suitable for guinea pigs! They should have the right balance of fibre to protein (higher percentage of fibre than protein). Also, Vitamin C added as standard, which helps to ensure they get their daily dose of this important vitamin.

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VITAMIN 'C'

If you are feeding a diet as above, guinea pigs should be getting enough daily Vitamin C. However, particularly if they are sick or recovering from illness or injury then you might need to consider a supplement.

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Feeding

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