When it comes down to it, guinea pigs have a very simple diet that they require in order to stay healthy! Ensuring that your guinea pig is eating the proper amounts of these foods is what is important, and making sure that they are getting the right amounts of nutrients to maintain their health is vital.
Guinea pigs that eat a healthy diet have a better chance at having longer lifespans and living happier lives.
What do guinea pigs eat daily?
Every day, guinea pigs should be eating a diet of hay, water, pellets, and fresh vegetables. There are specific amounts that you should be aiming for when feeding your guinea pig a few of these things.
When it comes to hay, your guinea pig should be provided as much as possible at all times, essentially unlimited amounts. There are a few ways that you can go about this. Some piggy parents leave large piles of hay in their guinea pigs’ cages for them to eat. While it can be easy to take this approach, there are a few downsides to this.
Guinea pigs are pretty sensitive to allergens because their little lungs can get irritated by dust, and in this case, hay dust. The particles can get stuck in their airways and cause them to sneeze and/or cough. Excessive sneezing or coughing isn’t good for them, and it can put their lungs at higher risk of getting respiratory infections.
Leaving hay in piles also makes it susceptible to being peed and pooped on, which is unideal because the guinea pigs will not eat soiled hay, which results in waste. This means you’ll have to spend more money on hay because so much of it is having to be thrown away!
Other guinea pig parents use hay racks or feeders that are clipped to the side of the guinea pig cage. While these are helpful and reduce the amount of dust a bit, they don’t completely solve the problem. There’s also a matter of time and convenience for both of these options. Regardless of either of them, you as the piggy parent have to refill the hay piles or racks often, and this can be a little troublesome for piggy parents who may be allergic to the hay.
GuineaDad Hay Box and GuineaDad Hay Bar eliminates the need for direct contact with the hay, and so many piggy parents have said that this helps out with their allergies a ton. You also never have to refill the hay, and you can clip a couple of whichever packaging you choose to the cage and not have to worry about it until it’s time to open a new one!
What’s great about our GuineaDad Hay is that it is microfiltered for dust and other kinds of debris, so the package is densely packed with 100% hay! This makes it more cost effective than other hays, because their product weight accounts for dust as well.
If you’d like to read more about the best kinds of hay for guinea pigs, check out this post. We also have a post specifically talking about hay feeding as well that you can also read here.
It’s important that your guinea pigs stay as hydrated as possible. Water is an essential part of making sure that your guinea pig’s body functions are working properly. It’s also a big part of digestion and the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) and making sure that it stays regular!
Otherwise, your guinea pig could become bloated or run into a multitude of health issues that you can read about here. The post also details how you can get your guinea pig to drink more water and details in what cases you should get a veterinarian involved.
Each guinea pig should be getting around ⅛ of a cup of pellets per day. When it comes to brands, there isn’t much of a difference between them since they’re all meant to do the same thing—they’re fortified with vitamins and minerals to ensure that your guinea pig is getting everything that they need.
What’s most important about the pellets is to make sure you follow the manufacturer instructions! As mentioned before, guinea pigs need ⅛ of a cup per day, but if your guinea pig is overweight or beginning to become overweight, you’ll need to reduce the amount that you give them.
Fruits and Vegetables
When it comes to fruits and vegetables for guinea pigs, this part of their diet can be freestyled by you pretty easily! There are so many different types of produce to choose from, and it can be fun figuring out which ones are your piggies’ favorites.
However, there are certain vegetables and fruits that you need to be careful about feeding your guinea pig, and in general, everything should be fed in moderation, especially depending on each of their nutritional values. Fortunately, we’ve done the research and information gathering for you, and have compiled it into master liss for you to reference!
Both the Vegetable Master List and the Fruits Master List contain information on the calcium content as well as its calcium-to-phosphorus ratio (Ca:P), the vitamin C content, as well as serving size and frequency! All of these things can be gauged in a quick glance so you can easily mix and match the perfect veggies for your guinea pigs!
It’s also important to note that fruits generally contain a lot of sugar, so those should be treated more as treats for your guinea pig, and shouldn’t be provided in large amounts like you would with something like lettuce.
One last thing you can include: Guinea pig treats!
Remember, these are treats and should be treated as such! They’re not meant to be large parts of your guinea pig’s diet, and shouldn’t be used as a substitute for regular diet food items.
Feeding your guinea pigs treats up to three times a week is OK! What’s great about treats is that they can serve as a great tool for you to bond with your guinea pig, or to get them through their piggy pedicures!
GuineaDad has treats that have some health benefits for your guinea pigs, such as RoseHip for some extra vitamin C, pea flakes for protein and energy, chamomile for anxiety and stress relief, marigold for boosting immunity, and dandelion leaf and raspberry leaf for digestion.
We have a whole post on what kinds of supplements that your guinea pigs need, and you can read that here!
A healthy guinea pig, equals a happy guinea pig!
The easiest way that you can set your guinea pig up for a long lifespan is by making decisions with their health in mind. It’s important to do carefully select the things you choose to feed your guinea pig, because the priority is your piggies getting all the vitamins and nutrients that they need!