Guinea pigs are always eating and sometimes, it seems that they were born to do just that.
With such an insatiable diet comes a responsibility to ensure you know what constitutes a proper guinea pig diet. This is partially why choosing foods that are safe for your pet can prove a challenge. There are various types of vegetables, fruits and herbs that these little animals can eat.
Many people make a mistake of not thinking about the quality of food they purchase and end up buying the cheapest food they find at the local store. That said, I salute you for wanting to feed your guinea pig the right way.
This post reviews the 5 best foods for guinea foods and tells you everything you need to know about feeding your pet.
Reviews of Best Foods for Guinea Pigs
The Kaytee Fiesta Guinea Pig Food is a premium product that blends vegetables, fruits, grains and seeds. As such, it offers maximum variety, nutrition and fun. It comes in different textures and shapes to boost natural chewing activity. It offers a gourmet variety diet with plenty of ingredients including sunflower, sun cured alfalfa hay, peanuts, carrots, corn, banana, peas and more. This product also contains probiotics and prebiotics that ensure better digestion. The DHA Omega 3 in it aids in brain, cardiac and visual functions.
One of the best benefits of Kaytee Fiesta Guinea Pig Food is that it naturally preserved for optimum flavor. You don’t have to worry about artificial preservatives or additives. In additions, the ingredients are specially formulated for guinea pigs.
Start with 1/4-1/2 cup daily and adjust the potions to maintain proper feeding and diet for additional cavies. You should also discard any uneaten portion and ensure that clean the feeding bowl before the next meal.
All you have to do is read the reviews online to realize that small pets love the Small elect Select Guinea Food Pellets. These pellets are praised for being formulated with the best ingredients sourced in the United States. The pellets are Timothy hay based, a major advantage considering most products on the market are alfalfa hay based. They are particularly good got adult guinea pigs, offering premium freshness and quality.
Another unique quality of the Small Pellet Select Guinea Food Pellets is that they are fortified with all the essential nutrients. This includes vitamin C, which a guinea pig cannot synthesize on its own. These pellets are made in small batches with high quality ingredients and shipped out to customers on direct order. This ensures that you don’t end up with a product that’s been sitting on the shelves for months.
Oxbow Essentials Cavy Cuisine – Best for Adult Guinea Pig
As the name suggests, Oxbow Essentials Cavy Cuisine is specially formulated for adult guinea pigs. The main ingredient is Timothy hay, which has sufficient fiber content for adult guinea pigs. The levels of protein, calcium and calories are way lower than what you’d find in alfalfa based pellets.
One thing we are grateful for is that the Cavy Cuisine contains sufficient amounts of vitamin C. There is also an optimum phosphorous to calcium ratio, thus ensuring maintenance of a healthy body. It offers a complete and stabilization nutrition to promote dental health, cardiac function, nervous system and general health.
This is achieved with an extensive ingredient profile that includes soybean hulls, cane molasses, salt, limestone and wheat middlings just to name a few. It is important that while this makes an excellent meal for your guinea pig, a constant supply of fresh grass hay is still necessary. For optimum results, feed 1/8 cup each day.
Brown is an entrusted producer of superior products that enrich the lives of pets and wildlife. That said, their Tropical Carnival Gourmet Guinea Pig Food is something to be reckoned with. It is a nutrient fortified food that also doubles as a treat for your favorite pet. It is specially formulated to provide the daily dietary needs of these little animals with timothy and alfalfa hay.
The company also adds vitamin C, an important nutrient that boosts immune health. The probiotics do a good job of ensuring digestive health. F.M. Brown even went the extra mile and included a festive blend of veggies, fruits as well as seeds. This goes a long way towards providing a stabilized and complete diet.
This product is available in 5lbs and 10lbs packages. You will want to keep the food cups filled and supply clean drinking water at all times. It is also important that you establish a consistent feeding schedule.
Kaytee Forti Diet Pro – Best Health Guinea Pig Food
Kaytee continues to impress consumers with their premium range of range of foods. Their Forti Diet Pro Health Guinea Pig Food is formulated only with the finest ingredients. It was developed by an animal expert with probiotics and prebiotics that promote digestive health. This food is rich in natural antioxidants for immune support and general health.
It is made up of larger and crunchy pieces that do wonders for dental health through natural chewing activity. Another factor that makes it incredibly popular is that it doesn’t have any artificial additives.
Best food for guinea pigs – Buyer’s Guide
What Should You Feed A Guinea Pig?
Guinea pigs are herbivorous animals that spend hours eating grass. They have unique teeth that grow continuously, hence the need for a high roughage diet that encourages chewing. This helps wear down the teeth and ultimately prevent dental problems. It is also important to provide sufficient fibre for the gastrointestinal system as well as general health.
The ideal guinea pig diet should contain the following:
The most important thing to include in a guinea pig’s diet is high quality grass hay. These animals require an abundant supply of grass hay for proper digestion. It provides the fiber that a guinea pig needs to digest and process food content. The lack of a constant supply of grass, your pet’s digestive tract is highly likely to shut down. In addition to digestion, grass hay helps guinea pigs clean their teeth and prevent the teeth from growing too long.
An important thing to point out is that even though it isn’t green, hay doesn’t come with any side effects for your pet. There are many varieties of hay and it’s important that you only purchase the best. High quality hay should have pliable stalks. It should also be free of fragrance, mold or foreign particulates. Some good examples include alfalfa hay, Timothy hay, meadow hay, brome grass hay, orchard hay, bluegrass hay and oat hay.
Guinea pigs also thrive on processed pellets. They are cheap and readily available, hence a common favorite. We recommend giving your guinea pig up to 1/8 – 1/4 cup each day. This should be enough along with other foods. There are many varieties of processed pellets on the market and such, it is important that you purchase ones designed for guinea pigs rather than rodents and rabbits.
Fresh green vegetables play a crucial role in a guinea pig’s diet. That said, always ensure that your cavy a cup of vegetables each day. You must have a constant supply of vegetables so as to maintain a balanced diet. Some of the beneficial vegetables for cavies include tomatoes, carrots, raw broccoli, beetroot, celery, spinach, cucumber and peas just to name a few.
Vitamin C is a MUST!
Like humans, guinea pigs cannot synthesize vitamin C. As such, they have a serious deficiency of this nutrient. A good way to combat this problem is to ensure they eat 10-30 milligrams of vitamin C on a daily basis. They need to get it from their food and a great way to achieve this is to feed them fresh vegetables and fruits.
It is important that guinea pigs can be very choosy about what they eat and as they grow older, what they love to eat changes. Ensure that your cavy has a constant access to hay and water through a drip feeder bottle. Using a platter for feeding purposes isn’t a bad idea either.
Which Foods Are Poisonous for Your Cavy?
There are several foods that you shouldn’t feed your guinea pig for different reasons. Some cause bloating and gas, some simply have no nutritional value, some are too high in sugar or fat and some are a choking hazard. Reputable pet websites like ASPCA have plenty of information on this information. However, it’s best to consult a veterinarian that specializes in small animals.
Examples of foods to avoid include dairy products, rhubarb, corn kernels, potatoes, avocadoes, mushrooms, onions, meat, garlic, chocolate, cabbage, peanut butter and seeds. Don’t offer your cavy any flowers, grass or plants from your backyard as they may contain pesticides.
Introducing New Food
Changing a cavy’s diet will prove necessary as the little creature becomes older. Like any other pet, this is something that should be done slowly and bit by bit. It is a delicate process and because guinea pigs are stubborn animals, they may not touch the food at all. In some extreme cases, they end starving themselves.
This is a common problem with mature and older pigs. That said, you will want to experiment with what your pet likes when it is younger. If it gets sick or behaves abnormally, remove any newly introduced foods. You should also consult a vet if there is cause for concern.
The most important thing when it comes to feeding your little pet is to ensure that they eat a balanced diet. There are some great options, aside from hay and vegetables, which you can find on the market. Look for pellets, preferably those without fruit bits or seeds as these have high fat content. They shouldn’t have any added colorful pieces.
Like with most products, more expensive brands usually offer higher quality food for guinea pigs. The cheaper varieties often contain artificial ingredients that aren’t good for your cavy. Other rules for purchasing guinea pig food include:
- Plenty of vitamin C
- Timothy hay rather than alfalfa hay since the latter is fatty
- No corn as it doesn’t have any nutritional value
- No chemical preservative or anything artificial