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Guinea Pig Diets
Dr. Matt Bechtel, DVM
Fox Creek Veterinary Hospital

Well hello! Thank you for tuning in to our next video. Today we’re going to be talking about Guinea Pigs, one of my favorite little critters that we see here at Fox Creek Veterinary Hospital. This is Snowflake and she’s going to be helping us out with a couple of videos today.

In this one we’re going to talk about Guinea Pig diet, one of the most important things we have to make sure we’re doing correctly because nutrition is so important with Guinea Pigs. One of the most common problems that we see is a deficiency in vitamin C, Guinea Pigs do not actually produce vitamin C in their own body like most other animals do, so it’s very important as owners that we supplement Vitamin C in their diet.

One of the easiest ways to do that is with the pellets that we feed them – pellets is one of the main parts of the diet. Just kind of have an example here and Snowflake will probably be eating some of these things as we go along. We have some examples of some pellets that….

The ones that we recommend for Guinea Pigs are made mostly with Timothy Hay so when you’re looking at the ingredients for a very high quality Guinea Pig pellet you want to make sure that one, the first ingredient is Timothy Hay and then the other most important thing is that it’s fortified with Vitamin C.

I don’t recommend buying the biggest bag either, because you want to make sure it’s fresh as possible. So, it’s more important to actually have newer food rather than a big bag that lasts forever, as the Vitamin C will not be good for very long in there. So just to let you know we usually feed most Guinea Pigs about an eight of a cup for an adult Guinea Pig – an eight of a cup daily is all they really need. The rest of the diet should consist of hay. As you can see, Snowflake has a lot of actual Timothy Hay in just the little area we have her sitting in right now. I recommend feeding them Timothy Hay fee choice, so they’re always should be hay in the cage for all your Guinea Pig s, just because that provides them with a lot of fiber. Fiber is very important for their intestinal tract. It also helps grind down their teeth, which is another very common problem that Guinea Pigs can have, because their teeth continue to grow. So, hay, actually as they chew on it, will help grind those teeth down and keep them healthy.

The other things that we feed them are fresh vegetables. I’m just going to stand up here and kind of show you. So, she has, she actually has some red pepper in there. This is one of the best ways to supplement Vitamin C for Guinea Pigs – is by giving them some fresh vegetables. And we recommend about one cup of fresh vegetables a day. You can actually also feed fruits, but we don’t recommend doing that as often. So, this is parsley, which is one of the greens or vegetables that’s very very high in Vitamin C. As you can see she loves it. It’s a great way to provide her with nutrients that she needs, but also making it fun for her because she loves she loves to eat it obviously.

A lot of Guinea pigs, as anybody watching this video may know, they love to sing for their food; they’ll talk to you when bring their food, and that’s what makes them such wonderful, wonderful pets.

I have some red peppers in the area for her there, which are also very high in Vitamin C. Other vegetables that you can try would be kale, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, not as great in vitamin C but Guinea Pigs love it, and; like I said maybe a strawberry. People will try oranges; but the fruits I would give them maybe two or three times a week. You don’t want to overdo fruits, as I said, because that can cause diarrhea, you know if they get too many. But these greens, about a cup a day, would be wonderful. And obviously the most important nutrient is water. We definitely make sure they have fresh water ever day because Guinea Pigs love to drink water, and you have to make sure their bottle’s full at all times.

In summary, the pellets., the hay, water and then the fresh vegetables are all so very important.