Once upon a time, you bought a guinea pig, plopped it in a glass aquarium lined with newspaper, hung a water bottle, and tossed in a bowl of pellets every day. That’s how things were back when I was a kid, and little did I know that it was a miserable way to keep a piggy. Many died within a year or two, even though a properly cared for cavy can reach five years and beyond.
“We know a lot more now, and responsible pet owners give their guinea pigs larger habitats, proper bedding, and a better diet” Diane H. Wong, an essay writer at the service where you can ask to “write my essay”, guesses. Yes, pellets are still a part of that, but they’re just one of three essential components. Here are the three foods you should feed your piggy to make sure it stays happy and healthy and lives a long life.
As I mentioned in the introductions, pellets are an important part of a guinea pig’s diet, although piggies can live without them if you balance the other parts carefully. However, I like to use a good quality, vitamin fortified pellet to help ensure that my two piggies, Amy and Quinn, are getting sound nutrition.
Guinea pigs can’t make their own vitamin C, but good pellets contain this vitamin. That’s why it’s essential to buy pellets specially formulated for piggies rather than using something made for other animals, like rabbits, that don’t have vitamin C.
If you have adult guinea pigs, choose a timothy based pellet. Younger piggies can benefit from alfalfa, but it can cause problems in adults.
Guinea pigs thrive on fresh vegetables, so each of your guinea pigs should get a cup of fresh veggies each day. Not all vegetables are good for piggies. For example, iceberg lettuce has too much water and will give them digestive problems. Check out this chart for some great information on what vegetables to feed your guinea pig and in what quantities. Personally, I like buying pre-mixed salad blends.
Many guinea pigs love fruit, too, and it’s fine to give them some as long as it’s in moderation. Fruit contains a lot of natural sugar, so if you overdo it, you can end up with a pudgy piggy. The chart I linked previously also contains information about safe fruits and quantities.
Fruit is a much better option than commercial guinea pig treats. Many store bought treats contain seeds, which can cause choking, or yogurt, which piggies can’t easily digest. Hand out your guinea pig’s favorite fruits and vegetables as treats instead.
Always make sure you’re feeding fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C. Even if you’re feeding a fortified pellet, vitamin C breaks down quickly. That’s why it’s pointless to give your guinea pig a supplement that goes in its water, as the potency disappears almost instantly in the air and light. Pellets and fresh food help ensure that your piggy’s nutritional needs are met.
Hay is perhaps the most important component of your guinea pig’s diet. Not only does it provide nutrition, but it also helps wear down your guinea pig’s teeth. Some pocket pets wear down their teeth by chewing toys, but guinea pigs need some dietary help. A long strand hay like timothy is the perfect dental aid.
Choose green, fragrant hay, and give it to your guinea pig every day. Don’t give alfalfa hay to adult piggies, as it can cause health problems. Opt for timothy, orchard grass, or another alternative. You should be able to find nice, fresh hay if you dig through all the bags in your local pet store.
About the author: Diane H. Wong is an essay writer. She likes writing articles. In this case, she has her own pages on some web sites. It gives her an opportunity to share her knowledge with others.