Every guinea pig owner knows that the quality of their pet’s life depends tremendously on its diet. Including not only what your cavy eats, but also drinks.
Of course, giving fresh water to the furry ball is a no-brainer. But what about other liquids?
Can guinea pigs drink milk, for example? The short answer is that the little fellows surely can drink milk while they are still babies. After all, they are mammals that get fed by the milk of their mother right after birth. But can milk become a constant component of the everyday diet of an adult guinea pig? Unfortunately, no. The truth is that these tiny creatures are…lactose intolerant. But will anything bad happen, if you give milk to your guinea pig?
Today we will be answering all of these questions together.
What Should the Basic Diet of Your Guinea Pig Include?
Frankly speaking, there is nothing too tricky about a guinea pig’s overall diet. Moreover, nowadays it is extremely easy to find a healthy option of mixtures and pellets in your local pet shop, for example. Guinea pigs don’t need a lot of food. A full spoon in the morning and another one in the evening would do just fine.
But bear in mind that these cuties need a constant supply of fresh hay so that they can take care of their teeth that keep on growing throughout their whole lives.
Of course, a lot of owners want to go the extra mile and create a personal menu for their beloved pets. This might be an interesting challenge, as guinea pigs are the type of animals that have a vivid personal taste. So it might be exciting for you, as the owner, to take your time to find out what your fluffy ball doesn’t like and what kind of foods make it squeal with joy. Simply follow a few basic safety rules, while trying to treat your guinea pig with something new.
Some fruits and vegetables can surely cause more harm than good, so don’t forget to do your research prior to the serving.
What Do Guinea Pigs Drink on a Daily Basis?
The answer is as simple as it can be: water. It goes without saying that the liquid has to be fresh and clean.
The truth is that if you want to give your beloved guinea pig solemnly water (out of the liquid department), it will do just fine. In fact, changing the supply once a day would be enough to ensure that your guinea pig is thriving.
However, if you choose to use a bowl instead of a bottle, you might need to refresh the water supply a bit more often. The thing is that the bowls can get dirty extremely fast and you certainly don’t want your fluffy ball of happiness to be consuming dangerous liquid, right?
Usually, guinea pigs drink around 3.3 ounces of water per day. But that does not mean that you have to give them that bowl full of liquid and then take it away. Constant water supply is crucial for the animal’s health. So, if there is something about your pet’s well-being that you have to pay extra attention to – it is certainly the liquid that it is consuming.
In Which Cases Can Guinea Pigs Drink Milk?
Here’s the deal. We all know that guinea pigs are mammals. That means that during the first days of their lives, the cavies are fed with milk by their mother. In such a case, everything will be totally fine with the tiny little guy.
But as soon as the guinea pig becomes old enough to start consuming normal food, the need for milk simply disappears. The cavy does not need any additional white liquid in order to thrive and be healthy. Moreover, a lot of experts agree that guinea pigs are lactose intolerant. That means that any product that contains lactose (milk included) can cause pain, diarrhea and other bad stuff in your guinea pig. In the most severe cases, the poor thing might simply die.
However, there might be situations, when the mother refuses to feed her baby. Then you would have to feed the little guy with milk all on your own to ensure that it survives.
How to Feed a Baby Guinea Pig?
First of all, what kind of milk can you use? Either a mixture out of evaporated milk and water (50/50) or goat’s milk (full fat). Do not use a syringe as it might be dangerous. A usual teaspoon will do.
You would need to feed the little one every hour or so. Don’t worry about the dosage, as the baby will simply stop drinking the milk as soon as it is full. By the way, you can use a small piece of bread that has been soaked in the white liquid (if you’re afraid to feed the little thing with the help of a teaspoon, for example). The babies will be able to suck on it.
Bear in mind that if the baby guinea pig does not have a mother or has been rejected in all possible ways – you would have to keep it warm and cozy. Moreover, the babies don’t really understand when they need to go to the toilet, so you better encourage the cavies to urinate or poo after every feeding session.
Can Guinea Pigs Drink Milk on a Daily Basis?
Guinea pigs should not drink milk as soon as they become old enough to consume normal food. There are two main reasons for that.
Firstly, guinea pigs are lactose intolerant, as we have already mentioned above. However, some guinea pig owners are sure that not all of our fluffy friends can have a negative reaction to lactose. But we don’t think that it’s a great idea to experiment on your beloved pet.
Secondly, there is simply no need in giving your guinea pig the white fluid. Even if you decide to treat your little one with soy milk (that does not have lactose) it will be a waste of your energy and time. There are no essential elements that the guinea pig needs as it gets everything needed from his daily diet.
Drinks that are Dangerous for Guinea Pigs
All guinea pig owners should know that there are some products and liquids that are extremely dangerous for their cute friends. Here we will be talking about the substances that are safe for a human being but can cause some health problems or even death in a guinea pig.
The animals should not have anything that is high in fat, sugar or salt. Basically, that means that guinea pigs can’t have juices, soda, any carbonated drinks, coffee, teas… It goes without saying, that animals can’t have alcohol.
Other dangerous things
While we’re talking about the things that can be dangerous for your guinea pig, it will be logical to mention a few other products.
Meat and eggs, for example, are not healthy for our little guys. As sugar is bad for guinea pigs you should not only not give them any sweets, but also pay extra attention to the number of fruits and vegetables that your pet is consuming. When it comes to your pet’s diet, it is always better to stick to the basics.
Why Is Liquid So Important?
Why is it so important to make sure that your beloved pets have enough fluid daily in the first place?
Well, from our biology lessons we all know that all vital processes in our organism require water. And that is true both, for humans and animals. Just like us, guinea pigs need fluid to breathe, digest, to protect the internal organs, regulate the temperature of the body and so on. By the way, without water, we wouldn’t be able to get rid of all the wastes that our body accumulates throughout the day.
All-in-all, guinea pigs need fluids to survive. And water will do the job for them just fine.
Can guinea pigs drink milk?
No, if they are more than a few days old. As soon as the cavies are ready to consume normal food, milk might become pretty much a poisonous substance for them. However, you should not get upset about this fact. Guinea pigs do not need milk or any other fluids (except for water) to live a long and happy life. You, as a responsible and proud owner, need to simply make sure that your beloved pet has enough fresh and clean water every day.