The guinea pigs are among the most budget-friendly pets you can have. They are rodents, and because of this, many people mistakenly believe that these pets can munch on almost anything. However, the guinea pigs have their own suitable meal plan for optimal health.
What is guinea pigs’ favorite food? The guinea pigs’ favorite foods are fresh produce items like fruits and veggies. They thrive off these foods for the needed nutrients. Guinea pigs’ other favorite item is pellets. The pellets are much needed for enough nutrients, and strong, healthy teeth.
The meal plan of guinea pigs is quite simple in comparison to other pets which might require special or expensive kinds of food. However, owners must not feed this furry rodent with any kind of fresh produce.
Only a limited number of veggies and fruits are most useful to the guinea pig. Read on to learn more.
The Most Healthy and Favorite Foods of the Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs thrive off fresh produce and pellets. They love consuming branches, herbs, and basically most kinds of plants and produce. You can think of guinea pigs as animals that love things that grow on the ground, and they like them raw.
Also, before feeding them, measure servings carefully. Too much of anything healthy can even be harmful to the guinea pig.
As a rule of thumb, your little furry pet must have hay and grass at all times. If you can, find and purchase timothy grass because its leaves grow like a roll-shape and not a regular fold. This grass makes guinea pigs digest foods better. It gives them needed fiber and also helps with their teeth overgrowth.
The other most popular one is alfalfa hay, which guinea pigs love. It is most suitable for younger guinea pigs. It is a legume and it has small flowers and leaves.
Do not serve too much of this to your guinea pig because it has a high amount of calcium and calories. Too much alfalfa hay can create stones in their urinary tract.
The other favorite food is the bell pepper. The guinea pig binges on these peppers because they have vitamin C. Both green and red ones are great. If your guinea pig lacks vitamin C a lot, opt for red bell peppers since they have a double dose of the vitamin.
Another favorite food is pellets. They must be plain and the servings are 2 oz. every day.
Carrots are another great and healthy treat. The guinea pig can eat one carrot daily. That way, it gets beta-carotene which the guinea pig needs.
The most favorite fruit of the guinea pig is the apple. You can feed it a few small pieces daily, but ensure to remove the seeds inside. Also, once in a while, you can treat the guinea pig with oranges and strawberries. Avoid dried fruits because they have lots of sugar added.
Other foods guinea pigs love are:
- Brussels sprouts
- Radish tops
- Green capsicum
- Mint leaves
Related: 8 Best Hay for Guinea Pigs: A Helpful Guide
Which Foods Are Not Healthy and Good for the Guinea Pig?
- Experts of animal health advise against certain foods for the guinea pigs, and they are grapes, avocados, raisins, onions, coconut, chives, garlic.
- Other items that the guinea pig must not eat under any circumstance are meats. The digestive system of the guinea pig can digest plants and plant-like foods, not meat proteins.
- Another is the dairy items, such as sour cream, cheese, yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese, cream cheese. The guinea pig’s body lacks enzymes for digestion of dairy.
- Some veggies that might bloat your guinea pig are cauliflower, cabbage and similar cruciferous veggies that could cause nausea or boated belly of the furry friend.
- The avocado is really dense in calories and high in fat. It might not be the best food to keep your chubby guinea pig slim and fit.
- Lettuces could cause diarrhea of the guinea pig. It might be eaten in moderation, but this means a minimal bite of lettuce.
- Shallots, onions, leeks and chives could meddle with the healthy blood of the guinea pig and even cause disorders of the blood.
- The garlic is proven to be poisonous, and beans make guinea pigs gassy!
- Sugar, candies, and chocolates of any kind are strictly forbidden for guinea pigs.
- Remember that pips and seeds might choke guinea pigs. Besides, they have way too many fats and arsenic, which is toxic and found in apple seeds.
- Also, avoid spinach, bananas, beans, bok choy, celery, collards, and mustard greens.
Related: 13 Most Toxic Foods for Guinea Pigs | Important Facts!
Does the Guinea Pig Have Dietary Demands?
The guinea pig foods must be nutritious. However, it has to assess two needs of the guinea pigs: Enough vitamin C supplements and tooth wear.
The teeth of the guinea pig grow all the time so they must be worn out only if the guinea pig chews on fiber foods. This is when the owner steps in with a lot of hay.
The hay must be clean, fresh, and high quality all the time. The best types are alfalfa hay and grass hay. Alfalfa hay must be given in moderation since it has lots of calcium and calories for the daily needs of the guinea pig. It is most useful to ill, pregnant, and young guinea pigs in development.
Guinea pigs also require lots of vitamin C but they cannot produce it naturally in their organisms, like most mammals, so food is the best source. If guinea pigs lack their daily dose of vitamin C, they will get prone to scurvy due to that deficit, from which other issues arise.
Other symptoms that your guinea pig lacks vitamin C are diarrhea, no appetite, sensitivity to touch, lethargy, and similar symptoms. Your veterinarian will give the best advice for the proper dosage of vitamin C and its administration.
What Is a Good Example of a Weekly Meal Plan Menu for Your Guinea Pig?
This meal plan has the optimal and best food items to give to your guinea pig. You can substitute some items with other items of the approved foods for guinea pigs. This is an example of a meal plan menu your guinea pig will love:
- 2 carrots, Romaine leaves, ¼ bell pepper, a bunch of parsley, 1/3 stick of celery
- Dinner: Green leaf, 1 piece of tomato, a chunk of bell pepper, 2 snap beans, a chunk of cucumber
- 3 leaves Red leaf, 1 tomato, a piece of bell pepper, zucchini and chard 1 leaf
- Dinner: 3 Romaine leaves, 2 carrots, a small piece of broccoli (to avoid bloating), a chunk of red bell pepper and yellow bell pepper
- 3 leaves Green leaf, 2 carrots, a chunk of apple, chunk of cucumber, chunk of green bell pepper
- Dinner: 3 leaves Red leaf, 1 grape tomato, a bunch of parsley, 1 leaf chard, a chunk of yellow bell pepper
- 3 leaves Romaine leaf, chunk green bell pepper, 2 snap beans, a chunk of squash, 1 grape tomato
- Dinner: 3 leaves Green leaf, a chunk of yellow bell pepper, a piece of a celery stick, spinach (fresh), 2 carrots
- 3 leaves Red leaf, 2 carrots, 1 leaf chard, small chunk broccoli, chunk green bell pepper
- Dinner: 3 romaine leaves, 1 grape tomato, a chunk of zucchini, chunk of cucumber, chunk of yellow bell pepper
- 3 leaves green leaf, 1 tomato, a chunk of green bell pepper, a bunch of parsley, 2 snap beans
- Dinner: 3 red leaf leaves, a chunk of squash, yellow bell pepper, 2 carrots
- 1 leaf of romaine, 2 carrots, zucchini chunk, orange wedge, chunk green bell pepper
- Dinner: 1 leaf of romaine, Red and Green leaf, chunk yellow bell pepper, 1 leaf chard, husk and corn cob, 1 grape tomato
Unique Examples of Customized ‘People Food’ Modified to Be Fit for Guinea Pigs
You can prepare more meals for your guinea pig, and be sure it will love them! From healthy pizza to burgers or even cakes, these dishes will make your guinea pig joyous.
- Pizza – Slice a triangle of watermelon and over it, shred a cucumber. Remove the watermelon seeds.
- Burger – Make delicious veggie burgers. Get apricot halves as buns, add lettuce in the middle and a slice of apple over the lettuce. Instead of French fries, add yellow bell pepper shreds or chunks.
- Pasta – Shred some spaghetti squash for this. Wash the outer layer, remove seeds, peel it and serve raw. On the sides, add radishes, tomatoes or apples.
- Birthday cake – Pile up slices of veggies, equally cut and layered one on top of the other.
- Fruit sundae – Make a small copycat “sundae” for your guinea pig. Scoop a few melon balls (cantaloupe) and top with cherries!
List of Sources
Vitamin C Requirements of the Guinea-Pig
Nutrient Requirements of Laboratory Animals: Fourth Revised