Guinea pigs are one of the most popular household pets, next to dogs and cats. These fluffy little creatures require very little care and take up hardly any space. Given proper care and nutrition, they can live for many years and we can form quite an attachment to them. A proper diet that mimics their natural diet as closely as possible is the best way to insure that your pet guinea pig lives out all his years in good health.
In nature, guinea pigs eat food that is extremely high in fiber. This fiber is essential to the proper workings of a guinea pig’s intestines and digestive system. They require both fiber that is indigestible, that helps move the digestive process along as well as digestible fiber for nutrition. The proportions should be near equal in ratio, so it’s important to feed the guinea pig the right mix of the two foods in order to avoid problems.
The best and easiest way to ensure that your pet is getting the proper nutrition is to feed them a high quality pellet specifically designed for guinea pigs. These animals cannot produce their own vitamin C and therefore they require supplements. Specifically designed guinea pig food allows for this through supplementation. These pellets are a mix of a wide variety of plants, seeds and vegetables.
The pellets alone provide satisfactory nutrition, but you are free to spice up the diet with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.. Carrots, lettuce and broccoli are good choices and help provide additional nutrition as well as variety. Guinea pigs can eat almost any vegetable so don’t be afraid to experiment with different things. Fruits are also a welcome treat for guinea pigs.
Strawberries, melon and apples are some of their favorites. But first consult with your veterinarian and check are apples safe for guinea pigs. Some form of hard to chew food should be given since the pigs need to grind down their constantly growing teeth. A fresh supply of hay will help with this, round out the diet and keep the animal healthy. Uneaten food should be removed from the cage before it begins to decompose and become a health risk.
Processed human foods should be avoided. Even cereals that are mostly grain contain fillers and sugar which will not be good for the animal. Just like humans, guinea pigs will quickly develop an affinity for these types of junk foods and will forego eating the healthy food they are given.
Last of all, fresh drinking water should always be on hand. A high fiber diet requires a lot of water to digest. Follow these healthy diet tips and enjoy your guinea pig’s company for many years.