How Often Should I feed My Guinea Pigs?

HomeCareHow Often Should I feed My Guinea Pigs?

It’s best to feed your guinea pig pellet food twice per day, veggies one to two times per day, and fruit once per day. In addition, you should provide them with unlimited amounts of hay to chew on throughout the day.

A guinea pig is a great companion, but one of the first questions you’ll have when bringing them home is a very important one—how often should you feed a guinea pig?

A guinea pig’s diet is a crucial component to making sure your pet is happy and able to thrive in its new home. Follow the steps in this guide to maintain a healthy environment for your new pet.

The Daily Routine

Pelleted Food Twice Per Day

An adult guinea pig should receive about ¼ cup of pelleted food per day. This can be broken down into two servings of ⅛ cup; one in the morning and one at night.

Veggies and Fruit Once Per Day

Their pelleted food can be supplemented with roughly one cup of freshly washed vegetables per day. Fresh fruit can also be added in limited amounts, but should be considered a treat and should not be provided more than once a day.

An hour after feeding, be sure to discard any food remaining in their bowl. Guinea pigs will overeat if given a chance, so avoid leaving any extra food in their cage.

Overconsumption of food can lead to weight gain, which can cause health issues for your pet. Fresh food like fruits and vegetables will also begin to spoil at that point, so it is good to reduce their likelihood of eating food that has gone bad.

Unlimited Hay

Fresh hay should also be provided for your pet at all times. Guinea pigs need the fiber found in hay to digest their food. Consistently chewing on hay also enables them to wear their teeth down. Without it, their teeth would grow too long and make eating difficult, increasing their risk of choking.

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Unlimited Water

Guinea pigs are incredibly susceptible to heatstroke, so fresh water should be continuously available. Make sure to provide water in a wide, stable dish.

Guinea pigs tend to walk into their water bowl, so a heavy dish will prevent them from tipping it over and losing their access to water until you can replace it. Instead of a bowl, you can also use a water bottle attached to the cage.

What to Feed Your Guinea Pig

Constant Supply Of Hay

Since hay is such a critical component of your pet’s diet, make sure it is of good quality. Two great options are timothy hay or orchard grass hay. Provide an unlimited supply of it, as they frequently chew on it to aid digestion.

It is also wise to make sure the hay is ‘second cut.’ Second cut hay is smaller and more appropriate for guinea pigs because it makes it easily digestible and reduces the risk of possible choking hazards.

You can stuff a toilet paper tube with hay for a fun stimulation activity. This will act as a toy for your pet while also providing one of their basic food needs.

Freshly Washed Vegetables

Vegetables are a must! They are a substantial source of vitamin C, so they are considered a great addition to a guinea pig’s diet.

It is important to wash produce before providing it to your pet. Dark, leafy greens are best, but romaine lettuce, kale, spinach, carrots, peas, bell peppers, tomatoes, sweet potato, and broccoli are all great options that guinea pigs love.

Kale, spinach, broccoli, and peppers are high in vitamin C, so they should be frequently chosen and prioritized over other vegetables.

Introduce new veggies slowly, as sudden changes to a guinea pig’s diet can upset their stomach.

If your pet experiences digestive issues, cut back on its vegetable intake for a few days. After noticeable improvements, you can reintroduce produce little by little until they seem comfortable with the new food.

Make sure you cut the vegetables (particularly carrots) into easily chewable portions. Guinea pigs do not have a gag reflex, making it impossible to cough up food that they may be choking on.

Pelleted Food

Pelleted food can be any brand, as long as it is specifically formulated for guinea pigs. Try to avoid brands with dried fruit or seeds included with the pellets.

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While fresh fruit provides vitamins for your pet, the process that dries the fruit will leave it with little nutritional value. It is better to stick to an entirely pelleted brand, supplemented with fresh fruit separately.

If your pet seems hesitant to eat one type of guinea pig food, try another. If they are still resistant to it and refuse to eat, you might want to consider seeing a vet, as there may be underlying issues.

Treating Your Guinea Pig to Fruit

While pelleted food, hay, and veggies are staples in a guinea pig diet, you can give them a little fruit if you want to spoil your pet!

Strawberries, pears, apples, kiwi, blueberries, and bananas can be given in small slices as a treat. Since fruits are high in sugar, they should not exceed 10% of the diet.

One small slice per day should be enough. Make sure to remove fruit before it spoils, as you do not want to make your guinea pig sick.

Commercially advertised guinea pig treats typically have low nutritional value. Yogurt-based treats have been linked to bad bacteria in the gut, and the glue that binds together salt wheel treats is not good for your guinea pig.

It’s better for your pet—and for your wallet—to stick to fruits instead! This cheaper alternative will keep your pet happy and healthy.

Signs of Poor Nutrition

Even after following a normal feeding routine, your pet may develop health issues that can be communicated to you via their eating habits. If you notice your pet is suddenly gaining or losing weight or stops eating their food, it could indicate a health issue.

Other concerning behaviors might include softer droppings than usual, constipation, or a large portion of its time spent sleeping.

If you notice any of these signs, visit your local vet. All these signs can indicate a larger issue. A professional should evaluate your pet to determine the cause of its symptoms.

Audra Foulk
Audra Foulk
Hello, my name is Audra I'm the owner of, a website all about guinea pigs! I'm also a guinea pig owner myself, and I love learning and writing about these adorable creatures. Guinea pigs are such amazing animals, and I hope to share everything I know about them with as many people as possible! View Author Profile.

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