Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Guinea Pig Care: Feeding Your Guinea Pigs

Hi everyone!

Today I am going to talk all about feeding guinea pigs. So, first of all, a guinea pig's diet consists of three main parts: hay, pellets, and vegetables. (I guess their diet consists of four parts if you count treats). 

For hay, guinea pigs should get an unlimited amount every day. The best kinds of hay for guinea pigs are timothy hay and orchard grass. Alfalfa hay should only be fed to baby guinea pigs. All hay can come three different ways: first cut, second cut, and third cut. First cut is very coarse, and the other two are softer and greener. Second cut and third cut are probably the best options for guinea pigs; however, third cut is very hard to find. Hay is one of the most important parts of a guinea pig's diet. It keeps their digestive system healthy and their teeth trim. They also just love hay! At the shelter when I open a bag of hay all the guinea pigs get excited and start squealing and running around. 

Okay, now for pellets. Here is what to look for: 

Look for guinea pig pellets with plenty of vitamin C. Guinea pigs need a lot of vitamin C in their diets because they can't make it themselves. Also look for strictly pellets. There shouldn't be any other ingredients, like seeds, or other bits. It should be just pellets. Another thing to watch out for is what the pellets are made of. Check the ingredients label. The first ingredient should be timothy hay, not alfalfa. Only feed alfalfa-based pellets to baby guinea pigs. The best brand of guinea pig pellets in my experience is Oxbow Cavy Cuisine. Oxbow also makes a special pellet food just for guinea pig babies. Guinea pig babies should get unlimited pellets, while adult guinea pigs should get 1/8 to 1/4 of a cup each day.

And last but not least, guinea pigs need vegetables in their diets. An adult guinea pig should get around one cup of vegetables every day. They should be fed a mix of vegetables. Green leafy vegetables are the best. Here are some guinea pig safe veggies:

Romaine lettuce
carrots (very small amounts)
green bell peppers (guinea pigs LOVE these)
tomatoes (small amounts)
cucumber (not too much because of high water content)
broccoli (small amounts)
celery (be sure to cut into small pieces)

For treats a good idea is to give guinea pigs small amounts of fruit. Two good fruits for guinea pigs are strawberries and apples (without the seeds!). Just remember not to feed them too many treats!


  1. Interesting information. I'm curious, though, why is alfalfa only for babies?
    Love and hugs,

  2. I can just picture opening the bag of hay and all the guinea pigs going wild! I'm that way with chocolate!
    - Old Critter Lover