How to Feed a Guinea Pig | Guinea Pig Food List

You must be one of those proud owners who pet the cutest rodent on earth. Well, your love and affection for them, quite naturally, includes taking proper care of their health and nutrition.

The task could be pretty tough since guinea pigs seem to be insatiably hungry at most times. You must have noticed the degree of their appetite by now if you’ve been fostering them for some while. The fluffy friends of yours spend most of the daytime (and even night time!) snacking, crunching, and munching the buffet you treat them with.

Now let’s get to know more about the eating habits of these heavy eaters. Hopefully, you’ll get a comprehensive idea about their meal plan.

Why It’s Important to Monitor and Maintain the Proper Meal Plan

Measuring and monitoring the eating of cavies is vital for increasing their health. Besides, it’s also necessary to keep them away from diseases. Feeding them only isn’t enough they must be served with the proper diet. Yes, there are plenty of options but you cannot overlook these questions though.

  • Can they really live on grass and herbs?
  • What amount of fruits they’ll need?
  • What types of veggies do they eat?
  • Should you go for pellets along with dry fruits?
  • Do you know the type of hay they love?
  • What’s the guinea pig favorite food?
  • What are the harmful foods?

The list might never end. But have no worries, we’ve got them all covered. 

The All-Round Nutritious Diet for Guinea Pigs

Let’s have a look at the basic items that you must feed them every day.

  • Water
  • Vegetables
  • Lettuce
  • Fruits
  • Food pellets
  • Hay

You need to provide them fresh things and make sure the amount meets their needs. Remember, cavies are picky at times, and they refuse foods that aren’t fresh. For pellets and hay, always go for renowned brands that supply quality products.

Now that you’ve learned about the food items that keep them healthy, let’s dive a bit deeper.

Water:

Replace the water every day, even though it depends largely on how you supply the water.

For water dispensers, avoiding the replacement of water isn’t quite an issue, given that you use a big-sized dispenser. You should check the dispenser daily to make sure your pet always gets an adequate and fresh water supply.

Water bowls get messy quite easily. If you happen to use one, make sure you rinse it once daily and change the water. And it’s quite common for these guys to contaminate the water with feces.

Lettuce:

These lovely fluffy buddies simply find lettuce adorable. To them, it’s the heavenly manna! While pellets and hay are of high calcium, green leaves are full of magnesium. Adequate magnesium is necessary to get the calcium absorbed properly. Otherwise, it’s possible that your pet might be susceptible to kidney and bladder issues.

Ensure each of your guinea pigs get 1 to 1.5 cup lettuce a day. They love varieties of green. So make sure you change the variations at certain intervals. Romaine, Radicchio, Arugula, Spinach, Dandelion leaves, and Kale to mention a few flavor variations.

You can also allow them to graze on green grass as long as you’re sure they’re free from toxic chemicals.

Alert! Remember to avoid Iceberg lettuce which contains high-level nitrates. This may lead to diarrhea and dehydration.

Vegetables:

Veggies deliver an impressive number of nutrients to your little friends. It’s essential to provide them adequate veggies on a daily basis to meet the need for vitamins, minerals, and more. Especially, Vitamin C is vital to keep them safe from scurvy, which is a disease that may cause premature deaths.

Give them a cup of colorful mixed veggies every day. Ensure they contain a good share of vitamin C.

You can pick from the yummy list below:

      -Cucumbers

      -Carrots

      -Peppers (high in vitamin C)

Broccoli

Zucchini

Celery

Parship

Alert! Avoid the following:

  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Potatoes
  • Chili peppers
  • These items are rich in toxins and bring in hazards to cavies.

Fruits:

Fruits play an important role in meeting your pet’s nutritional demands. However, you should keep the ratio at a minimum while providing these delicious food items since they contain a heavy amount of sugar even though they’re high in vitamin C.

Rather than daily, you should serve them 3 to 4 times a week. You can consider them more like treats than a meal.

You can treat your cavy from the following list:

  • Apple
  • Kiwi
  • Banana
  • Grapes
  • Pear
  • Oranges
  • Watermelon
  • Berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc)

Hay:

Cavies love hay. But more than that, they need hay for keeping their funny teeth at the bay. Apart from dental aid, hay is needed for maintaining its optimum digestion tract. Make sure your guinea pig has access to an unlimited amount of hay.

Choose the green and soft variations of hay for your cavy. Avoid yellow and hard ones, which are actually straw and not hay.

You can pick from the options down below.

      Meadow hay.

      Timothy Hay.

      Alfalfa Hay (rich in calcium, not the everyday hay).

      Oat Hay.

You can also spice the things up a bit by adding dry grasses like:

      Bromegrass.

      Bluegrass.

      Orchard grass.

You may want to buy hay wheels to keep the cage nicely clean. They are excellent organizers that also ensure easy accessibility.

Food pellet:

Food pellets are like an essential staple food for guinea pigs. Cavies can hardly do without them. The pellet manufacturing companies suggest various quantities. It depends on brands. The typical recommended amount for a guinea pig is one-eighth of a cup every day. Among the most reliable brands, “Martins’ Little Friends” is our most favorite. And we’ve found excellent comments on “Oxbow Animal Health” in recent days.

We always suggest leaving a pellet bowl out. It is also what we, as well as the Muffy’s vet, prefer. Yes, the furry, fluffy little guys love to chew on them, but it’s perfectly okay doing so. I hear you say cavies are great nibblers, but believe me, they’ll hardly indulge.

When they are full, they are really full, and they’ll rarely stuff their bellies unconsciously. As a pet owner, you certainly know your pet’s personality better. So, it’s up to you if you’ll prefer this or not.

Feeding Schedule for Guinea pigs

You might still be looking for some help regarding the maintenance of eating cycle of your pet. Well, we’ve got that covered as well as bonus features. Check out the following chart which represents an example of a feeding scheme. Hopefully, it’ll help you ensure your fluffy buddy gets the proper nutrition through a healthy diet plan.

Guinea pig feeding chart

Scheduled days

Food items

Saturday

Carrots

Celery

Lettuce mix

Coriander


(*along with hay, fresh water, and pellets)

Sunday

The fruit day!

 

Cucumber

Lettuce mix

Broccoli

Parsley

 

 

(*along with hay, fresh water, and pellets)

Monday

Red pepper

Coriander

Carrots

Lettuce mix

 

(*along with hay, fresh water, and pellets)

Tuesday

The fruit day!

 

Celery

Lettuce mix

Parship

Parsley

 

(*along with hay, fresh water, and pellets)

Wednesday

Cucumber

Lettuce mix

Broccoli

Zucchini

 

(*along with hay, fresh water, and pellets)

Thursday

The fruit day!

 

Coriander

Carrots

Green pepper

Lettuce mix

 

(*along with hay, fresh water, and pellets)

Friday

Carrots

Lettuce mix

Coriander

Celery

 

(*along with hay, fresh water, and pellets)

How to Feed a Baby Guinea pig?

Guinea pigs, like other mammals, are used to drink the mother’s milk after they’re born. They continue this for a few days before their life takes the gradual turn to make them solids. If you ever happen to have such young enough a cavy rejected by a mom or lost its way, you must hand feed it.

We suggest using a teaspoon for the hand feeding job rather than using a syringe. It’s due to the accidental breathing in of the baby guinea pig which may occur any time.

You can feed the baby cavy full-fat goat milk which is the best during its early days. Or you may go for making a mix on your own. You can do this by mixing half a portion of water and half a portion of thickened milk. You may try soaking down a piece of bread in the mix and then feed your baby cavy with a teaspoon. This way, you will enable them to suck in the milk.

Babies that have been rejected need feeding in a regular interval of 1 to 1.5 hours. In each sitting, you must give them the extent they want. If it happens to be your baby cavy has totally been rejected with no motherly care at all, you must place it somewhere warm, and comfy. If the place isn’t warm enough, try wrapping hot water bottles with blankets.

You’ll also want to brace them up for using the toilet within the first three to four days since they are unable to do such stuff without support. Once you are done feeding your tiny friend, wipe its mouth and also its genitals with fresh cotton balls. By doing this gently, you encourage your pet to urinate and poo.

Some Important FAQ

How do I know that my guinea pig is ready to eat solid foods?

Are pepper seeds really harmful?

Can I feed my guinea pig dried fruits?

Relevant Topic: Rabbit Feeding

Final Word 

The cute little furry creatures are totally into maintaining schedules. So it’s important you make sure they’re fed at a certain time. They’ll even expect to eat around that time if you manage to do so. By now, our discussion must have eased your concern about the schedule. Try to follow it and keep your pet healthy and happy.

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