How to feed your guinea pig correctly
Guinea pigs have been described as ‘eating machines’. They eat day and night almost continuously. They need to have food available, given fresh, morning and night.
* As guinea pigs are selective feeders and will only eat the pieces they like and leave valuable nutrients that they dislike, a complete pelleted diet is better to ensure that they receive a balanced diet.
*Buy in small quantities so that it does not go stale. Make sure the food bowls are clean (they are often used as toilets) and heavy so that they do not tip. Guinea pigs love to put their paws on the sides.
*Provide variety by supplementing with hay and fresh vegetables.
*It is vital that they always have hay as the fibre content is so important and it means that their teeth wear down correctly. Use clean, soft, sweet smelling, mould and thistle free hay.
*We share a similarity with guinea pigs – we are both unable to make our own Vitamin C. It is essential that guinea pigs receive an adequate intake of Vitamin C.
*If you are feeding good quality hay and a good guinea pig balanced diet, he should be fine, but if your guinea pig is reluctant to walk, has swollen feet or ulcers on its gums or elsewhere, he is likely to be deficient in Vitamin C.
*Fresh long grass (not lawnmower cut or sprayed) and sweetcorn are particularly enjoyed.
*Provide fresh water in bowls or water bottles.
*Any change should be introduced gradually as guinea pigs may not use the new source of water initially.
*If water bottles with metal drinking tubes are used, these will break down any Vitamin C added as a supplement fairly quickly, so change the water daily and add new drops of Vitamin C.
*Guinea pigs eat some of their droppings daily – this is normal!