Best Guinea Pig food
You should ensure that the majority of your Guinea Pig's diet consists of hay and/or grass. Without this, your Guinea Pig could develop serious dental disease and digestive issues.
Pelleted foods can also form part of your Guinea Pig's diet. You should ensure that its high in fibre, contains protected vitamin C, and helps avoid selective feeding.
Vitamin C should form a significant part of your Guinea Pig's diet, and can be found in pellets and also in fruit and vegetables.
You can buy guinea pig food from Jollyes and other good pet stores.
Read on to find out what fruit and vegetables contain vitamin C, how often you should be feeding it, and what else you should know.
We can offer £2,000 of vet fee cover for Guinea Pigs.
Alternatively you can call us on 0345 982 5505
Sources of vitamin C for your Guinea Pig - fruit
Fruit is a valuable source of vitamin C, however it should only be fed in small amounts, as it's high in sugar. Our list below details what fruits you can feed your Guinea Pig, along with additional guidance.
|Fruit||Frequency||General dietary advice for your Guinea Pig|
|Apples...||Occasionally||Do not feed apple seeds|
|Banana...||Rarely||High in sugar and can cause constipation|
|Blueberries..||Frequently||Blueberries are a good source of vitamin C.|
|Grapes...||Frequently||High in sugar|
|Oranges...||Occasionally||Citrus can cause a sore mouth|
|Orange peel...||Occasionally||Citrus can cause a sore mouth|
|Pears...||Occasionally||Can provide a good source of vitamin C|
|Pineapple...||Occasionally||Pineapple contains a lot of vitamin C. However, its acidic and too much can cause mouth sores.|
|Plums...||Occasionally||Guinea pigs enjoy these, however they're high in sugar|
|Strawberries...||Occasionally||Most guinea pigs enjoy strawberries. They can also eat the green tops|
Sources of vitamin C for your Guinea Pig - vegetables
Different vegetables contain different levels of vitamin C, Phosphorous, Oxalates and Sugar. Our list below details the vegetable type, how often you can feed it to your Guinea Pig, and general advice about the vegetable.
|Vegetables||Frequency||General dietary advice for your Guinea Pig|
|Asparagus...||Occasionally||Asparagus contain some oxalate and phosphorous. It also contains vitamin C. You can feed occasionally.|
|Beetroot...||Occasionally||Beetroot contains vitamin C, however beetroot also contains some phosphorus and calcium. They're low in oxalates. You can feed occasionally.|
|Broccoli...||Occasionally||Brocolli contains vitamin C, however it also contains high amounts of vitamin A so should be fed occasionally.|
|Cabbage...||Frequently||Cabbage contains high amounts of vitamin C. However, don't over feed it to your Guinea Pig as it can cause gas and bloating.|
|Carrots...||Occasionally||Carrots are loved by Guinea Pigs, however, they contain sugar, which can lead to tooth problems and diabetes. They also contain oxalate which can lead to oxalate stones. They also contain high amounts of vitamin A.|
|Cauliflower...||Occasionally||Cauliflower contains vitamin C, however it can also give your Guinea Pig gas.|
|Celery...||Frequently||Although celery contains vitamin C you should be cautious as the stringy texture can present a choking hazard|
|Courgette...||Frequently||Courgette contains a lot of vitamin C, and can be fed to your Guinea Pig in moderation.|
|Corn on the cob...||Occasionally||Corn on the cob contains vitamin C, however it's high in starch so don't feed too often.|
|Corn husks...||Frequently||Corn husks contain vitamin C and they also have a high fibre content|
|Cucumber...||Frequently||Guinea Pigs can eat both the flesh, seeds (not too much) and skin.|
|Green beans...||Occasionally||Green beans contain vitamin C, and can be fed in a raw state. However, be cautious as they also contain calcium and phosphorus.|
|Lettuce...||Frequently||Other than Iceberg, which has no nutritional content, lettuce is a delicious salad vegetable for your Guinea Pig|
|Mushrooms...||Rarely||There is very little nutritional content in mushrooms.|
|Peas...||Occasionally||As with most vegetables, these contain Phosphorus and Calcium. However, it does also contain vitamin C. You can feed in moderation.|
|Parsley...||Occasionally||Parlsey can make a good snack for your Guinea Pig|
|Parsnip...||Frequently||A delicious vegetable for your Guinea Pig|
|Radishes...||Rarely||Although radishes containt vitamin C, they also contain oxalic acid, you should feed sparingly.|
|Raw beetroot...||Occasionally||Raw beetroot contains no oxaltes, but do contain a small amount of calcium and phosphorus.|
|Sprouts...||Occasionally||Sprouts contain phosphorus and oxelate acid. They may also may cause gas|
|Spinach...||Occasionally||Spinach can cause stones if mixed with calcium, due to high oxalate levels|
|Squash...||Occasionally||Squash can be fed to your Guinea Pig in moderation.|
|Sweet potato...||Rarely||Sweet potato is not very good for your Guinea Pig as its high in oxalates and starch|
|Tomatoes...||Frequently||The green stalk is poisonous - do not allow your piggy to eat|
|Turnip greens...||Occasionally||Turnip greens have a low phosphorus and high calcium ratio. They also have a reasonable amount of vitamin C.|
|Watercress...||Occasionally||Watercress is good for your Guinea Pig, and contains high amounts of vitamin C|
|Red cabbage...||Frequently||Red cabbage contains high amounts of vitamin C, and a hint of calcium. You can feed it frequently.|
|Red pepper...||Frequently||Red peppers contain high amounts of vitamin C|
|Turnip greens...||Occasionally||Turnip greens contain vitamin C, they also contain calcium and a hint of phosphorus. You can feed occasionally.|
Guide to frequency of eating:
Frequency = 2-4 times a week
Occasionally = 1-2 times a week
Rarely = 1-2 times a month
£2,000 of vet fee cover available for Guinea Pigs.
Alternatively you can call us on 0345 982 5505
Unsafe food for Guinea Pigs
You should avoid:
- Cereals - avoid cereal, as a variety of types are not good for Guinea Pigs
- Meat - Guinea Pig's are herbivores and cannot process meat
- Cooked foods - Guinea Pig's cannot digest cooked food
- Anything to do with the potato plant - potato contains toxins that can be harmful to your Guinea Pig
- Unripe tomotoes - these contains toxins that can be harmful to your Guinea Pig
- Tomato leaves and stems - these contain toxins that can be harmful to your Guinea Pig
- Rhubarb - these contain toxins that can be harmful to your Guinea Pig
- Avocado - the skin is toxic, and although and although the flesh is not toxic it's high in fat. This can slow down digestion
- Fruit cores, pits and seeds - many of these cannot be eaten, so its best to avoid
- Buttercup - these contain acrid poison which can cause intestinal irritation
- Dairy products - these are derived from animals and should not be fed to your Guinea Pig
- Garlic - there is much debate about the safety of Garlic. It's probably best to avoid it
- Juice - Guinea Pigs should only drink water
- Onions - these are part of the onion family and can cause gas and intestinal disturbances
- Leeks - these are also part of the onion family
- Nuts - these can cause digestive problems
General advice about your Guinea Pig's diet
Fruit tends to contain a lot of sugar, so these should be fed in moderation, as the sugar will be bad for your piggies teeth.
Vegetables however are a valuable source of vitamin C, which is an essential part of your Guinea Pig's diet. You should ensure that you provide a range of vegetables, to ensure that your piggy doesn't receive too much oxalate, phosphorus or calcium.
Don't ever feed your Guinea Pig cooked food, as he is unable to digest it. It will upset his tummy.
You should also never feed your Guinea Pig lawnmower clippings as these can also upset his tummy.
Calcium to Phosphorus
Foods should contain more calcium than phosphorus as a ratio. The opposite ratio can lead to phosphate stones.
Oxalate acid and calcium and your Guinea Pig
High levels of Oxalate acid and Calcium in a Guinea Pig's diet can lead to calcium and bladder stones. The oxalate binds with the calcium to form the stones. These can be very painful for your Guinea Pig. You should ensure that food that contains high levels of oxalate acid and calcium are fed in moderation.
Do Guinea Pig's eat their own poop?
Yes, Guinea Pig's will eat their soft droppings called caecotrophs. These are an essential part of their diet, and help them to absorb the full goodness of their high fibre diet. Guinea Pig's also produce a hard shiny poo, which they do not eat.
Can Guinea Pig's drink from a water bowl?
Yes, they can, but they can become contaminated easily with food, poo or urine. A water bottle may be better, as your Guinea Pig's water source will remain clean. If your Guinea Pig is ill, he may find it easier to drink from a bowl, and some Guinea Pig's are used to only drinking from a bowl. However, if you can use a water bottle, its probably better.
Vitamin C in your Guinea Pig's diet
Guinea Pigs, like humans, don't produce their own vitamin C. Therefore its up to you go provide it in their diet. Pelleted foods should contain the vitamin, as should fresh vegetables and limited quantities of fruit.
You can also add vitamin C supplements into their diet. This shouldn't be added into their water though, as it can degrade quickly, and you won't know how much of the vitamin your Guinea Pig has drunk.
Without adequate vitamin C, your Guinea Pig could develop Scurvy.
Guinea Pig treats
You can give your Guinea Pig vegetables as a treat. Even if your Guinea Pig eats these regularly, you can still put these into a bowl chopped up into bite size pieces. Ensure that you remove them after a few hours, as they will begin to go brown.
You can also hide some hay inside a toilet roll. Your Guinea Pig will have fun trying to get the hay out!
If you prefer to buy guinea pig treats Jollyes offer a selection that you can buy online.
Can you mix Guinea Pig and Rabbit food together?
In a word, no. Guinea Pig's need an adequate form of vitamin C. Rabbit food may not contain sufficient quantities of vitamin C to meet your Guinea Pig's requirements. Therefore ensure that you only feed your Guinea Pig food that's suitable for him.
£2,000 of vet fee cover for Guinea Pigs. Why not find out more?
Alternatively you can call us on 0345 982 5505