Guinea pig nutrition

A good nutrition is essential for a good health. The basis is hay, a good dry food, fresh food and water.

Water
Every animal needs to have access to clean drinking water. You can provide water in a bottle or a bowl. Water bowls will get spoiled easily, so cleaning them often is recommended. But also refill the drinking bottles regularly with fresh water. 

Hay
The most important part of the menu for your guinea pig is hay of a good quality. They need to have access tot his all the time. Good hay for guinea pigs is still green and does not contain too many brown pieces. It may not contain much dust or smell bad. Herb hay or dried herbs are a good variation to normal hay, which also stimulate feed intake.

Hay contains lots of fibres, which is beneficial for their digestive system. It is also low in energy, which makes it possible for guinea pigs to eat lots of it without getting fat. Moreover, it provides something to do, so it fights boredom. The teeth are also shortened by all this chewing.

Dry food

A good dry food contains extra vitamin C (at least 1000 mg/kg). It contains more energy than hay, so they may get fat when they it a lot of it. For a guinea pig that is housed indoors, 20 to 30 gram dry food per day is sufficient. When your piggies are housed outdoors they can be provided with more when it’s cold. This provides extra energy to keep themselves warm.

Fresh food

Guinea pigs cannot make vitamin C, just like us. That’s why they need to obtain this from their food. The guideline is 10 to 20 mg vitamin C per day. Dryfood especially for guinea pigs provides a basis, which can be supplemented with fresh food. Not only for vitamin C, but also because of all sorts of other nutrients that are only present in fresh food. And they just love fresh vegetables! You can give them the stuff that you don’t eat from your own vegetables or you can buy veggies especially for them. They also love to walk on the grass (make sure they are protected from predators and sunlight).

Not all guinea pigs like the same vegetables. You will find out what they like very soon. Sometimes they need to learn to eat new veggies, so give them the chance to taste something more than once. Don’t provide the same food every day, but give a varied menu. Don’t give too much from the same, this may upset the intestines.

You can read here what you can provide to your guinea pigs!

Herbs

Herbs, fresh or dried, can be very valuable for your guinea pigs. Provide them in small quantities, because they often have a powerful effect.

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