Understanding your guinea pigs’ diet
Choosing the best guinea pig food for your cavies can seem complicated. Understanding their nutritional needs can help you to make the best choices when it comes to your guinea pigs’ diet.
Guinea pigs are herbivores which means they are entirely vegetarian and need high levels of fibre in their diet. Fibre keeps their digestive systems healthy and their gut moving. Feeding lots of good quality feeding hay is the best way to ensure your guinea pigs are getting enough fibre in their diet.
Always keep an eye on your guinea pigs’ weight. If you have any concerns that they’re overweight or if your guinea pig is not eating, seek the advice of your vet.
Guinea pigs can’t make their own vitamin C so they need extra in their diet. Guinea pigs need vitamin C for healthy skin, joints and blood vessels. If they don’t get enough they can suffer from vitamin C deficiency, or scurvy, which can be very dangerous.
Good quality extruded guinea pig nuggets will contain the correct levels of protected vitamin C. Alongside unlimited hay and a handful of fresh greens each day, you can make sure they get all the vitamins and minerals they need to stay happy and healthy.
The Excel Feeding Plan
Our Excel Feeding Plan was designed with vets to give your guinea pigs the best diet with the correct balance of fibre, vitamins and minerals. 85-90% of their diet should be good quality, dust extracted feeding hay. This can be supplemented with a small portion of extruded nuggets, the occasional guinea pig treats, a small handful of guinea pig safe fresh greens, such as kale and romaine lettuce, and constant access to fresh, clean water.
Excel feeding hay
Excel tasty nuggets
Excel nature snacks
Move away from muesli
On a recent vet survey conducted by Burgess Pet Care, 93% of vets and vet nurses surveyed said they believed feeding muesli contributed to health issues in guinea pigs. If your guinea pigs are currently on a muesli style diet, you can transition them over to a nugget diet. Good quality, extruded nuggets can be fed as a complementary feed alongside lots of good quality feeding hay.
Transition your guinea pigs over to guinea pig nuggets slowly, over a period of 14-28 days. Gradually reduce their old food and replace it with the new nuggets. And don’t forget the hay!
Foods to avoid
My guinea pigs are eating their own poo!
Ever wondered why guinea pigs eat their own poo? It is completely normal for guinea pigs to eat their own poo, and in fact it’s healthy for them!
As they can’t get enough nutrition from the fibre as it passes through them the first time, they first excrete something called caecotrophs. These are soft, sticky-type droppings that they re-eat to get the rest of the vital nutrients. The second time they are digested, they are excreted as round, hard droppings.