Guinea Pig Pellets
Your pet guinea pig should be getting specialized guinea pig pellets each day. Not only do they provide essential nutrients, but guinea pig pellets are fortified with the essential vitamin C your piggies need. Many times people will ask “Can guinea pigs eat rabbit food”? And this is one of those cases in which it is a better practice for you to feed pellets specifically produced for guinea pigs, and not any other type of animal.
“What do I need to know about pellets, and how much should I be feeding my guinea pig?”
Guinea pig pellets come in two different varieties: timothy-based and alfalfa-based. In general, most healthy adult guinea pigs should be fed a timothy-based pellet food. Alfalfa-based pellets are usually only suitable for pregnant or nursing guinea pigs, baby and growing guinea pigs, those recovering from illness and perhaps geriatric guinea pigs.
Pellets are fed according to the weight of the guinea pig, and should not be free-fed to healthy adult guinea pigs. Depending on the brand of pellet this amount might vary slightly. However, the manufacturer’s feeding instructions should be clearly labeled on the packaging.
As a very general guide, the table below shows the amount of pellets to feed along with the different types of pellets.
|Adult Guinea pigs- Timothy-based pellets
- Amount per day depends on weight. A rough guide is 1/8 cup of pellets per guinea pig*
*These are general guidelines. Exact amounts should be determined by the manufacturer’s feeding guides and, if necessary, through consultation with a guinea pig-savvy veterinarian.
|Growing/Pregnant/Nursing/Recovering Guinea pigs- Alfalfa-based pellets
- Pellets can be freely fed
- A nursing guinea pig can be switched back to timothy-based pellets once her pups are weaned.
The most important information on the package for your guinea pig pellets is the ingredients. The main ingredient must be some kind of hay, and all of the best guinea pig pellets are made from manufacturers that practice this.
You can check this either by the packaging itself, or on the ingredient label which by law should be clearly displayed. The first ingredient on the label should be either timothy or alfalfa; and if it’s anything else, then it’s time to shop elsewhere!
Pellets should comprise of just that – pellets. Avoid any guinea pig mixed food that includes seeds, nuts, fruits or any additional items. Your piggies will likely just pick out the yummier items, leaving the healthy pellets behind. It really is worth finding the best food for your guinea pigs, it will ensure that they stay happy and healthy and of course will help to avoid those costly trips to the vet.