What Should I feed my Guinea Pig Transcript
“Now I may be a little bit biased, but I love guinea pigs. I think they are the best little pocket pet.
So how do you feed them and how do you make sure that you’re keeping them healthy?
The bulk of your guinea pigs diet should be hay, nice, fresh, dry, not moldy, hay. When you’re picking up the hay you’ll find either grass hay or legume hay and you want to have grass hay. Grass hay will be Timothy or Bermuda grass or oat grass. You’ll find a whole bunch of different varieties and it is great for them, it actually enriches their environment, it gives them something to do all day long, just nibbling at all this delicious hay. It really helps with their teeth because there’s a lot of fibre in it and it helps to grind their teeth down. And all that fibre is really good for their little guinea pig intestines. So grass hay is the way to go and you really can’t overdo it.
The legume hays do serve a purpose, if you’ve got a really skinny pig or if you’ve got a pregnant pig or a pig you’re just trying to get some weight on, the legume hays like the alfalfa or clover are fantastic options. They’re a lot higher in protein than the grass hays are so it really helps to put weight on them, but if they’re already at their ideal weight, all you’re going to end up with is a very fat pig.
Now the other thing a lot of people like to feed, are these guinea pig pellets and they look very similar to rabbit pellets. The big difference is that there is vitamin C added. Guinea pigs, just like humans, can get scurvy; it’s a really common thing so you want to make sure they’ve got enough vitamin C. So if you’re going to feed your pig pellets, just make sure they’re the pig ones and not the bunny ones. This shouldn’t make up the bulk of their diet; I’m talking like maybe 10% of what they’re eating. The reason being, it’s basically the hay in pellet form, but it doesn’t give them that same satisfaction of eating, it’s not as good for their teeth, they can also get through this really fast so they start to either overeat or they just kind of get bored because they don’t have anything to do. So, very nutritious, but it should not make up the bulk of their diet.
The other thing that guinea pigs love, fresh, leafy greens and dark green vegetables. The dark, leafy greens are fantastic for them, another really good source of vitamin C, so you don’t have to worry about scurvy. And you’ll play around with them, because different pigs like different things. But anytime you’re introducing something new, don’t overdo it. Don’t give them this big smorgasbord of food and let them go nuts. Do one new ingredient every couple of days, let their little systems adjust to it and make sure it agrees with them before you introduce something else.
Now the last thing that I’ve got out here are some nice orange carrots, orange peppers, yellow peppers, all this stuff should be considered treats. The leafy greens main diet, the oranges, yellows and reds, those are really like candy for a guinea pig. Don’t overdo it with those, they love it, you’re pig is going to love it. If you give your pig a little strawberry, they’re going to think that you’re the best person in the world, but don’t just give them strawberries, it’d be like feeding a little kid candy as their entire diet, they’re going to love you, but then they are going to get really sick from it.
If you’re feeding your pig properly, if you’re feeding them a nice variety of these fresh foods, you don’t need to get them a vitamin C supplement. There’s all kinds of them at the pet store and a lot of them are added to the water. Completely unnecessary and a lot of times it actually turns the pig off of drinking the water because it does not smell or taste that great.
So go the natural route, nice variety and the best thing, my favourite thing about feeding pigs fresh stuff is they get to know the sound of the fridge opening and they will start to squeak like little maniacs and it is probably one of my favourite things that they do.”