What do Guinea Pigs Eat?
Unsure on what's best to feed your guinea pig? Our guide on guinea pig nutrition will steer you in the right direction and ensure your pets can remain happy, healthy and nutritionally balanced. Eating like a pig, in all the right ways!
An important aspect of guinea pig care is guinea pig food and nutrition. There are three integral parts to a healthy Guinea Pig Diet:
- Fresh Water
About 80% of the diet. Preferably Nibble & Gnaw Ultra Premium Timothy Hay of course. More on this later!
- 1 Cup (128g) of Fresh Food Daily
Fresh Food for Guinea Pigs
The majority of fruits and vegetables are fine, but not all are created equal in the world of Guinea Pigs! Some are bristling with nutritional goodness, some are a dream food in terms of taste and preference. There are also a couple of fruits and vegetables we need to be mindful of either because of a high sugar content, or because of a tendency to cause blot or an upset stomach.
Vitamin C in Guinea Pig Nutrition
Vitamin C is an important component of a Guinea Pig’s diet. Interestingly Guinea pigs can’t store this vitamin in their bodies, so will need this delivered daily through the fresh food they have in their diet. With that in mind, let’s have a look at some of the best Vitamin C rich food we can give to our Guinea Pigs.
Great Vitamin C Sources for Guinea Pigs
- Kiwi Fruit
- Brussel Sprouts
- Pak Choy
Best Tasting Foods for Guinea Pigs
- Melons (particularly Canteloupe, Honeydew and Watermelon!)
- Baby Spinach
- Corn (including husks)
High Sugar Foods
Similar to humans, sugar is addictive and to be used sparingly. We’ve touched on the need to deliver Vitamin C in a Guinea Pig’s diet, but there are often a little sugary. Be mindful of melons, oranges, mango, pear, pineapple in particular. A little from time to time is fine, but we would recommend you use bell peppers, or cucumber perhaps ahead of sugary fruits, or commercially available, sugary or fatty treats.
The Guinea pig gastrointestinal system is not designed to cope particularly well with high fat or sugar content so where possible, avoid both!
Cruciferous Vegetables and your Guinea Pig
Cruciferous vegetables include cabbage, brussel sprouts, kale, cauliflower and broccoli are not advised to be a central pillar of your guinea pigs nutrition. They are known to lead to gas production in the digestive tract. This can make itself known in the form of bloating and or an upset stomach. Similar to more sugary fruits, these foods are ok in small volumes very occasionally, but no more than that.
Greens in Guinea Pig Diets
Greens are a great way to provide nutrients, increase water intake and give a nutritious variety in your pet’s diet. If your guinea pig is not used to eating greens, then introduce slowly.
Mineral content of greens plays an important role in the development of urinary tract diseases, including bladder stones in small mammals such as guinea pigs.
High calcium and oxalate greens should therefore be used in smaller quantities or avoided completely.
High in Calcium
High In Oxalates
Focus on rocket, coriander, dill, lettuce or perhaps watercress to get nutritious greens that are lower in calcium and oxalates.
Timothy Hay for Guinea Pigs
This brings us onto hay. Hay should really make up around 80% of a guinea pig's diet. It's clear therefore why the hay you choose is extremely important.
Timothy Hay is widely considered the best for Guinea Pig nutrition. At Nibble & Gnaw, we source our Timothy Hay from the Canadian Prairies, where the growing conditions are perfect for growing ultra-premium hay that is extremely high in nutritional content.
As Guinea Pigs have a very intricate digestive system, fibre is absolutely crucial in ensuring the health of your pig and the normal digestion of their food. Timothy Hay in particular is an exceptionally nutritious, high fibre, high energy, low protein, low calcum type of grass hay that is an excellent food source for the guinea pigs in your life.
Our Timothy Hay also promotes dental health and keeps your pet mentally stimulated. A nice full rack of Nibble & Gnaw Timothy Hay will give your guinea pigs a chance to forage, chew and keep active and stimulated.
At Nibble & Gnaw, we stock both First Cut and Second Cut Timothy Hay, each providing a multitude of different core benefits for Guinea pigs, rabbits and other small mammals. Not sure which is right for your pet? Check out our 'try me' starter pack so you can experience the best of both worlds!
Our product is an Ultra Premium Timothy Hay with the following key benefits:
- Long Stem
- 100% Natural and Free from All Nasties (All Natural)
- No Dust
- Fresh, greeen and nutritious
Don't just take our word for it - check out our excellent reviews and product ratings.