Understanding Your Guinea Pig's Nutritional Needs


When you decide to get a pet guinea pig, you will likely be excited about carrying out all the personal care tasks required to keep them healthy and happy, including feeding them a nutritious diet. However, you should take some time before bringing your guinea pig home to research their nutritional needs and ensure you're providing them with all the nutrients they need and not feeding them anything that's toxic to them. Here are a few dietary considerations to keep in mind when feeding your guinea pig:

Essential Nutrients

Just like humans, guinea pigs need a variety of nutrients to stay healthy, and there are some that are essential to their health and well-being. Guinea pigs require vitamin C for immune health, calcium for bone health and fibre and protein for digestive health. The minerals magnesium and phosphorous are also required to maintain central nervous system health. Additionally, your guinea pig's diet should be low in fat, as their body can convert fat into glucose, and this can cause gastric upset.

Hay And Treats

Your guinea pig should have a constant supply of fresh hay. In addition to providing fibre and protein in their diet, chewing hay keeps guinea pig's teeth from becoming overgrown. Opt for oat, orchard or timothy hay and limit or exclude alfalfa hay, which can be too high in calcium for guinea pigs.

Fresh fruit and vegetables are ideal treats for guinea pigs, but offer more vegetables than fruit due to the sugar content of fruit. Treat your guinea pig to bananas, parsley, green bell peppers and romaine lettuce.

Toxic Foods

There are some foods that are toxic to guinea pigs and should never be fed to them, as ingestion could be fatal. These foods include grapes, raisins, avocados and chives. Additionally, they can't be fed leftovers from your dinner plate, as starchy foods, salty foods and processed foods are not healthy for your guinea pig.

Whether you're choosing to create a bespoke diet for your guinea pig or you're opting for guinea pig pellets, keep your pet's nutritional needs in mind. You can ask your vet for dietary advice and they can recommend high-quality brands of pellets that are formulated to provide optimum nutrition to your guinea pig. If your guinea pig is not eating well for whatever reason, have them assessed by your vet. They may not like the brand of pellets you have chosen, or there may be a medical issue that needs to be addressed. In the short-term, your vet can provide vitamin supplements to ensure your guinea pig's nutritional needs are met. Contact a company that sells pet food to learn more.


27 February 2020

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