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Food for Guinea Pigs

By: Dr. Dawn Ruben

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To keep your guinea pig happy and healthy, you should provide fresh clean water with added vitamin C (changed daily), freshly milled guinea pig pellets and as much hay as they want. In addition, guinea pigs enjoy some extra food to supplement their diet and provide a varied and vitamin C rich diet.

Even if your guinea pig adores these added foods, only small amounts (1 to 2 tablespoons) should be offered each day. If too much is offered, your pig may only eat "treats" and not eat enough pellets, resulting in a picky, fincky pig and potential vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Also, after offering these special foods, remove any leftovers that are not eaten in 2 to 3 hours. This prevents spoilage and keeps your guinea pig healthy.

All foods should be washed and free of pesticides.

Foods High in Vitamin C

The following foods are high in vitamin C and can be offered to your guinea pig every day.

  • Kale
  • Parsley
  • Chicory
  • Red and green bell pepper
  • Broccoli
  • Tomato
  • Kiwi
  • Orange

    Foods with Nutritional Value

    The following foods have nutritional value for your guinea pig but should be offered in small quantities.

  • Rolled oats
  • Dry cereal
  • Grass clippings
  • Apple
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots and tops
  • Celery – leave and stalks
  • Cauliflower – outside leaves
  • Lettuce
  • Watercress

    Foods to Avoid

    The following foods should be avoided since they are high in oxalic acid. This acid can predispose the guinea pig to developing calcium oxalate urinary crystals. In extreme cases, urinary obstruction can occur.

  • Spinach
  • Beet greens

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