Nutrition for your Guinea Pig
DIET AND NUTRITION
Guinea pigs are herbivores and if introduced to a wide range of frasses, fresh fruit and vegetables when they are young, they will not become fussy eaters. Contrary to popular belief, lettuce is not recommended as it can cause diarrhoea. They should also have constant access to quality ‘Guinea Pig Mix’. Supermarket brands can be full of dust and foods not eaten by guinea pigs and don’t meet nutritional requirements of protein and fibre, so be wary.
A guinea pigs diet must contain Vitamin C as they cannon manufacture it themselves like many other animals. Ensuring lots of fruit and vegetables (about a cup per day) will cover this (capsicum, parsley, oranges, choko and dandelions are all high in Vitamin C), but if not sure supply is adequate, then a vitamin C supplement must be sued. Do not add the supplement to their normal drinking water, as if they dislike the supplement, it will result in dehydration.
Hay needs to be in constant supply as it aids in digestion and allows them to grind and chew to wear down their constantly growing teeth.
DO NOT FEED:
Beetroot, rhubarb, potatoes or their peelings. Bread and other baked products are also not recommended. Oxalis weed is also toxic to guinea pigs. Avoid cabbage, broccoli and bok choy in large quantities as they can cause ‘‘gas’’. No dairy or meat products as they are vegetarians.
FEEDING DURING TEMPERATURE CHANGES
Guinea pigs are very susceptible to changes in both weather and temperature. Higher than 30 degrees can result in heat stroke. During the warmer months there are a few ways to ensure your guinea pig stays cool:
-Always have fresh water available
-Place ice cubes on a plate to lick.
-Watermelon and fruits kept in the fridge are delicious, and help them stay hydrated.
– Extra food with Vitamin C help them ward off respiratory infections when the temperature drops.
– Guinea pigs also eat more during winter so ensure adequate supply. Oats are a favourite mixed into their regular food
If you would like to know more great tips on keeping your Guinea Pig happy and healthy, visit your local Just For Pets store.