Guest Post: Essential Foods for Your Guinea Pig

You’ve just purchased your guinea pig and when you bring he or she home, it starts to “wheek” and “chirp”. It’s hungry!  You go through your cabinets and offer it a Pop­Tart, popcorn, even chips, but it refuses to eat, a problem is brewing. Guinea pigs need essential foods for their survival and some foods just don’t cut it. Please put your guinea pig in its cage and go to the store, right away!

max_roccoOnce you’re at the store, head to the produce area and get some leafy green veggies for your guinea pig. Guinea pigs thrive on leafy greens.  Some leafy green veggies are high in Vitamin C, which your guinea pig needs on a daily basis in order for its survival. Lettuce is a great option. Do not buy iceberg though, because it lacks nutrients. I also recommend parsley and green peppers. Make sure to not let them have the seeds from green peppers as they can choke on them. Always, wash your veggies before you give them to your guinea pig.

Next head over to the fruit section! Guinea pigs need a daily dose of vitamin C. Without it, they’ll develop scurvy. So pick up some apples and oranges. These are a significant Vitamin C boost! Please use sparingly though because excess fruit consumption can possibly cause diabetes. You might also consider a vitamin C supplement.

Once you are done at the grocery store, head to the pet store. The pet store has your Timothy Hay and chow that your little guinea pig demands. Timothy Hay provides the fiber that’s essential your guinea pig’s digestion and helps keep their teeth from growing too much. Guinea pigs love to eat, play, poop, and nest in Timothy Hay. Provide tons of this hay on an unlimited basis.  When we had our guinea pigs, we purchased a hay buffett than was attached to their cage, so they could stretch and move around to get it. They would tear all of the hay out and do whatever they wanted with it.

For the chow, I recommend Kaytee brand guinea pig chow. However, there are conflicting ideas on guinea pig chow.  Some people say that the guinea pig chow should contain no seeds or colorful cereals and some people say that it’s okay. Our guinea pigs did quite well with the Kaytee brand guinea pig chow, but you may choose what works for your guinea pig the best. I do recommend that when selecting a guinea pig chow, make sure it has a good Vitamin C content and store in a cool, dark, and dry place.

Are you home with all of your supplies? Get to the kitchen and chop some green peppers. Remember to wash them! While you distract your guinea pig with the green peppers, pour some guinea pig chow into a small animal sized pet dish, and place it in its cage.

Did you notice that I forgot a crucial piece of information in this article? Please make sure your guinea pig has an unlimited supply of water, day and night! Now that your guinea pig is all settled in, kick back and watch your little guinea pig adjust to its new home.

eclipseWritten by Nikki Harbeston, Creative Stuff, for LAA Pet Talk. She resides in South Carolina with her husband and dog. Her blog features Diary of a Chubby Piggie and Into the Journey of Dog. Copyright August 2013-March 2014.

If you are a pet owner with writing skills, Lincoln Animal Ambassadors would love to hear from you! We’re especially looking for content about birds, exotic animals, and horses. Content may take the form of an advice column or how-to articles. You may even simply wish to act as an expert consultant. If you are interested, please post in the comments and we’ll be in touch.

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