When you first pick up your guinea pig, the first thing to do is to find a good sized cage, bedding, supplies and food. Although all the physical supplies are easy because you can find reviews and recommendations everywhere, it’s a bit harder to find the right food choices for a guinea pig.
That’s because there are a number of foods and combinations that do into a guinea pig’s diet. From raising guinea pigs for over 10 years, i’ve picked up a few tips and advice that i will pass along here to any person that is considering or just picked up a new cavy.
Fruits and Veggies
This is an extremely important category that needs to be present in a guinea pig’s diet plan. However, too much of one thing (including fruits and vegetables) can lead to some major health problems.
If you feed your guinea pig too much fiber, they will likely have diarrhea. But keep in mind, diarrhea in a small critter is a much more serious issue than diarrhea in humans. They will become easily dehydrated because they are much smaller. If this happens, simply stop feeding them plant matter and increase their intake of timothy hay.
And although guinea pigs can eat a majority of plant matter, there are definitely fruits and vegetables that they cannot eat. If you’re ever in doubt, always do your research online before you feed them anything.
This is the most common hay used in a guinea pig’s diet, and for good reason. Not only is this the recommended bedding for your pet, but it can also be used as their main source of food supply. As i said earlier, increase intake of this hay if diarrhea occurs. This is done because Timothy hay promotes a healthy digestive system and can often cure diarrhea.
If you use this hay as their bedding as well as their food hay, make sure to get a hay rack to differentiate bedding hay from food hay. I like to hide some treats inside the hay rack with clean hay to show that the hay rack contains hay to be eaten.
One of the most interesting guinea pig facts i’ve learned is that their teeth are always growing, so feel free to buy timothy hay cubes for them to chew on throughout their lives.
When getting food pellets, be sure to look at the back of the label to find pellets that are 20% in protein and 16% in fiber. If possible, try to find one that already contains vitamin C. Like human beings, guinea pigs cannot naturally produce vitamin C, which means its important for them to get their external doses of this essential vitamin.
There are a number of pellet brands that i can recommend, but always do more research to see for yourself. You can also try out different brands with a baby cavy to see which he or she prefers the most.
Remember to feed your guinea pig at the same time every single day. These are creatures that thrive and live off schedules. If you plan to feed them at a certain time of the day, make sure to try your best to keep up with that schedule.
Follow these simple tips on planning your piggy’s diet and you’re well on your way to providing for a happy little critter.
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