Critical Care Food For Guinea Pigs

Written by: Josiah Shobayo
Last updated on:

If your guinea pig has been unmotivated to eat due to an illness or fatigue, there is a high chance its digestive system can shut down from starvation and this can lead to more dire consequences. To prevent such a thing from happening, you may have to switch from using regular feed to critical care food for guinea pigs.

In this article, we will examine what exactly critical care products are and how and when they can be fed to guinea pigs. So, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about critical care food for your cavy.

What Is Critical Care Food For Guinea Pigs?

Critical Care food is a recovery food fed to guinea pigs when they don’t eat as a result of an illness or surgery. So such guinea pigs are fed this formula through syringes, either freely or with force to ensure that their gut motility does not stop.

In the actual sense, “Critical Care” is a recovery product for herbivores under the Oxbow brand. Now, every recovery food has been considered critical care, whether they are manufactured or homemade.

Notwithstanding, critical care is just a healthy mix of liquified guinea pig food or supplements that is injected into cavies. They are feeding alternatives for situations when cavies don’t eat.

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When Should You Use Critical Care Food For Your Guinea Pig?

Here are some instances when you may have to resort to critical care:

  • When the weight of your guinea pig keeps reducing.
  • When you notice a considerable drop in your guinea pig’s appetite, due to an ongoing medical condition.
  • When your guinea pig is recovering from an illness or injury.

Once you have confirmed that one of these factors is responsible for the loss of appetite in your guinea pig, you may have to syringe feed them. 

How To Feed Critical Care Food To Guinea Pigs

Just follow these simple steps:

  • Be calm and relaxed.
  • Make your cavy comfortable by giving it frequent strokes and massages in between.
  • Give it a syringe of water first.
  • Feed in small amounts between the lips.

Ensure that you give your cavy 1ml of water for every 5ml of food given to prevent dehydration and choking.

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How Much Critical Care Food Should You Feed Your Guinea Pig?

You have to check the body weight of your guinea pig to know the amount of critical care you will syringe feed it.

But for the original Oxbow Critical Care nutrition, the standard measurement is 25ml per 0.5kg. This means that if your guinea pig weighs 1kg, you will prepare 50ml of Critical Care with water for it. 

The number of feeds per day depends on you. If you want to feed your guinea pig which weighs the same 1kg three times a day, then it means that each meal will consist of approximately 17ml, and if it is five times a day, each meal will be 10 ml to even the 50ml out.

As a prenote, you can apply the same measurement or tweak it up a bit for homemade critical care food.

What Alternatives Can You Use?

If you don’t have commercial Critical Care food on hand, then you will have to either settle for a homemade one or visit the vet.

Homemade recovery food typically consists of most guinea pig foods. So you can easily blend your cavy’s favorite food and feed it to them. But if you need alternatives, here are some other combinations you can liquify according to Kavee:

  • Vegetables, a slice of bread and goat milk.
  • Guinea pig pellets, one banana and a handful of blueberries.
  • Guinea pig pellets, kale, and parsley.

Guinea pigs require a lot of Vitamin C. When they get sick or are under stress, their Vitamin C requirement increases as much as 10 times.

Critical Care provides that many nutrients, so you need to use it wisely.


The minute you spot a noticeable decrease in weight, activity and appetite in your pet guinea pig, you must take action immediately to prevent the problem from escalating. Critical Care food is just the right way to go and as a pet owner, you must ensure that you do the needful to a tee for the sake of your guinea pig.

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