As a guinea pig owner, your main goal is maintaining the health and happiness of your pet.
This is by feeding your guinea pig a healthy and balanced diet.
But most owners wonder about the healthy food options they can feed their pet when they run out of food.
So, What Can You Feed a Guinea Pig When You Run Out of Pet Food?
When you say you have run out of food, I am assuming you mean you have run out of guinea pig pellets. If you run out of guinea pigs’ pellets, there are still pretty varied diets and foods you can feed your pet. These include; fresh vegetables, glass, fruits, weeds, hay, and dandelions that have not been sprayed with herbicides or pesticides.
Guinea pigs are herbivores meaning they only eat plant-based foods and meat.
The guinea pig diet should contain about 80% good quality hay and fresh grass, 15 % fresh vegetables and greens ideal for guinea pigs, and 5% guinea pig pellet food.
Let’s dive deeper into other foods you can feed your guinea pig when you run out of food.
Hay and Grass
Hay is an essential part of the diet of your guinea pig.
Guinea pigs require this type of fiber for enhanced digestion hence should be available at all times.
The continuous chewing on hay also helps to wear down your guinea pig’s teeth, which grow continuously.
Ensure you get fresh, clean, and high-quality hay that is sweet-smelling, dry, and free of mold.
Fresh grass is also a healthy part of your Guinea Pig’s diet.
If your little pet has access to the outdoor run area where they can graze grass, ensure the grass is fresh and free from pesticides or insecticides that can be toxic when ingested.
Vegetables and Greens
Feeding vegetables and greens to your guinea pig are essential as they are safe to eat and nutritious.
You can feed your guinea pigs up to one cup of vegetables daily. You should introduce new vegetables to your pet each at a time.
Organically, fresh-grown green veggies are the best option.
Some of the vegetables that you can give your guinea pigs when you run out of food include;
- Carrots and carrot tops
- Romaine lettuce
- Broccoli spears
- Red and green bell peppers
- Other dark green vegetables
These vegetables offer minerals and vitamins that are essential to the overall health of your guinea pig.
Before giving them to your guinea pig, wash them thoroughly to eliminate all traces of harmful pesticides and avoid serving them cold.
Fruits also make a healthy alternative treat for your pet.
However, it would help if you aimed at feeding fewer fruits than vegetables.
Fruits have a higher sugar content, which might harm your guinea pig.
Cut the fruits into tiny, bite-sized portions that will delight your guinea pig and offer the much-required Vitamin C.
Some of the healthy fruits for your guinea pigs include;
Ensure that you also wash all the fruits thoroughly before serving them to your guinea pig and avoid serving fruit cold.
Chews And Treats
For treats including fruits, it is recommendable not to exceed ten percent of the total food intake of your guinea pig.
Some commercially manufactured treats have artificial sweeteners, salt, or sugar, so ensure you carefully read the labels when choosing a healthy option for your pet.
Because your guinea pig’s teeth grow continuously, you should offer a variety of fun chews such as balls, toys, sticks, blocks, and treats designed particularly for small animals.
They are fun for your guinea pig to chew while also relieving boredom.
Another treatment option is a salt lick, a rich and healthy source of minerals and satisfies its desire for salt.
Foods Guinea Pigs Can’t Eat
It is essential to know what not to feed guinea pigs.
You should avoid giving to your guinea pig various types of food.
This can be due to several reasons:
- being poisonous
- some being too high in sugar or fat
- lack of nutritional value
- some being a choking hazard
- and some can cause bloat or gas.
Some of the foods you should not feed your guinea pigs include;
- Dried beans
- Corn kernels
- Garden shrubs
- Dairy products
These foods are dangerous for most pets.
You will also find the same foods popping up on the list of toxic foods for parrots, dogs, and cats.
Avoid feeding your guinea pig salty or sweet human junk food even if it doesn’t contain toxic ingredients.
Some of the human foods to avoid include;
- dairy products
- pickled foods
- or crackers.
You should avoid giving your guinea pig plants, flowers, or grass from your garden or yard as they might contain hazards or other pesticides.
The glass should be green and fresh and not have any mildew, fungus, or mildew.
Other houseplants are also toxic; hence always supervise your guinea pig when they are out of their habitat.
Scurvy In Guinea Pigs and The Requirement for Vitamin C
Guinea pigs have an elevated risk of developing scurvy for their inability to synthesize vitamin C to prevent scurvy; your guinea pig requires 30 to 50 milligrams of vitamin C daily.
Treats and pellets fortified with Vitamin C should offer your guinea pigs the required daily intake but extra options.
While you can offer Vitamin C in tablet or liquid form, these options are not commonly used.
Giving treats supplements in the form of vegetables and fruits enables you to provide Vitamin C from natural sources while still offering him the opportunity to enjoy the fulfillment and diversity that comes from a well-balanced diet.
Other Nutrition Tips for Your Guinea Pig
Guinea pigs must be introduced to various healthy and different foods from a young age as they might not accept new foods later in life.
It is normal for guinea pigs to eat their nitrogen-rich and soft feces derived from their caecum after passing them.
These pellets function as cecotropes and naturally help supplement their special nutritional needs.
Therefore, while the process might look bizarre or revolting, you should not discourage it because cecotropes are an essential part of your guinea pig’s diet.
Anytime you notice something out of the normal with your guinea pig, you should take them to their veterinarian immediately.
Some of the symptoms of any possible illness include;
- weight loss
- crusty eyes
- and hair loss.
With proper care, a guinea pig can live up to eight years.
Like any other pet, your guinea pig needs to get regular checkups.
Therefore, please consult with your veterinarian to ensure your guinea pig gets the essential nutrition they require.
Guinea pigs require a specific and nutritionally balanced diet.
Even if you run out of a guinea pig diet, there are plenty of healthy food types to feed your pet.
Grass and hay should make up about 85 percent of your guinea pig diet, while fruits and veggies make up the rest of the diet.
Remember that guinea pigs cannot manufacture their vitamin C, so you must provide this through their diet.