Guinea Pig Diet 

ELEMENTS OF A GOOD DAILY DIET

  • · Unlimited Hay

  • · Fresh Greens (up to 1 cup daily)

  • · A Few Veggies (up to 1/4 cup daily)

  • · A small amount of fruit (up to 2 tbsp daily)

Values are for an average sized adult guinea pig. (2 lbs).  Age, health and behavior can vary  recommended portions.  When in doubt, ask your vet!
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Fruit or Vegetable?

To a scientist, any seed and its covering is a fruit. Technically, an almond is a fruit.

   When it comes to feeding animals, We categorize them on sugar content.  If you’d put it in a fruit salad (i.e. a strawberry), feed it as a fruit. If you’d put it in vegetable soup,  (i.e. squash) feed it as a vegetable.

"Fruits" are sugary and sweet!

A general ratio of food to be offered each day.

Notes on Hay

  Hay is the most important part of a guinea pig's diet.  They have a very similar digestive system to horses and rabbits, and other hindgut fermenters.  A diet rich in hay helps prevent dangerous slowing of the digestive system, otherwise known as G.I. stasis.  Hay also helps wear down guinea pigs' teeth, which are constantly growing.

  Hay should be grass-type, such as timothy, orchard, meadow, or oat hay.  Alfalfa should only be given to babies and can cause bladder stones in adults due to its high calcium content.

  Guinea pigs should always have access to hay, and should be offered approximately a handful the size of their body each day.  At Lost Woods, we'll give hay first thing in the morning to encourage everybody to start their day off eating the healthy stuff.  We'll offer fresh greens and veggies later in the afternoon, and top off the hay in the afternoon/evening.

    To cut down on wasted hay, we stuff hay in tissue boxes or other cardboard boxes when we feed it to the guiena pigs, so it stays clean and dry.  Garbage-bag boxes work very well for this too.

Notes on Pellets

  We do not recommend pellets be given freely to healthy adult guinea pigs, as it can cause them to neglect their hay and lead to obesity. Pellets aren't necessarily a bad thing, they help ensure that guinea pigs are getting essential vitamin C and other nutrients.  At Lost Woods, we give about 2 tbsp of pellets once or twice a week for our healthy adult piggies.

  Some pigs that are elderly, young, underweight, or otherwise unwell may require to have unlimited pellets.  When in doubt, ask your veterinarian!

  Our vet recommends pellets that are homogenous, or plain pellets with no nuts, seeds, or colorful pieces.  Although the foraging mixes seem more fun, they can cause selective eating and cause your guinea pig to not get proper nutrients. We use Oxbow brand pellets at the sanctuary.

Approved Foods- Greens

· Arugula

· Basil

· Bok Choy

· Beet Greens

· Broccoli leaves*

· Carrot Greens

· Cilantro

· Collard Greens*

· Chard*

· Chicory/Endive

· Cucumber leaves

· Dandelion

· Dill

· Echinacea

· Endive

· Escarole

· Fennel

· Frisee Lettuce

· Kale*

· Kohlrabi

· Mints

· Mustard Greens*

  Nasturtium

· Parsley

· Radish greens

· Radicchio

· Redleaf/Greenleaf lettuce

· Romaine

· Spring Greens

· Sprouts

· Turnip Greens

· Thyme

· Watercress

· Wheatgrass

· Willow

up to 1 cup daily

*Some produce items have high levels of minerals or other nutrients that are fine in moderation but unhealthy if given every day. Variety is key!

Approved Foods- Veggies

· Bell Peppers

· Edible flowers (rose, nasturtium, pansy, hibiscus, marigold, geranium)

· Celery (cut into small chunks)

· Celeriac

· Cucumber

· Carrot

· Corn husks & silk

· Brussel Sprouts*

· Green beans*

· Cabbage*

· Parsnip

· Peapods (the flat edible kind)

· Squash

· Sweet Potato

· Tomato*

· Zucchini

up to 1/4 cup daily

*Some produce items have high levels of minerals or other nutrients that are fine in moderation but unhealthy if given every day. Variety is key!

Approved Foods- Fruits

· Apricot

· Apple

· Banana

· Blackberry

· Blueberry

· Cherry

· Currants

· Cranberry

· Grape

· Huckleberry

· Mango

· Melon

· Nectarine

· Kiwi

· Orange (and peel!)

· Pear

· Peach

· Plum

· Papaya

· Pineapple

· Raspberry

· Strawberry

up to 2 tbsp daily

Caution!

GUINEA PIGS HAVE SENSITIVE DIGESTIVE SYSTEMS, INAPPROPRIATE SNACKS CAN BE DANGEROUS!

PROHIBITED FOODS:  Avocado, Potato, Rhubarb, Mushrooms, Beans, Seeds, Nuts, Grains, Bread, Iceberg lettuce, Dairy, Sweets