You might have run out of your guinea pig’s pellet and you are looking for safe alternatives to feed your piggy, then you have come to the right place because we have put together a couple of alternative foods that are safe and those that should be avoided as well. Keep reading to find out.
What To Feed Guinea Pigs When Out Of Food?
Various reasons can lead to guinea pig owners running out of food for their piggies. It could be a result of miscalculation or being out of cash for that period of time.
Guinea pigs are great pets because they can go weeks without their pellet. However, while not providing them with their feeding pellet, it is advisable for you to provide a hay-filled diet with adequate Vitamin C provision through their daily vegetable. Also, as Hay is an essential part of their diet, guinea pigs can still go a few days without it if necessary, however, guinea pigs cannot survive without both hay and pellet both.
Therefore, it is either one or the other. Feeding your guinea pig just vegetables can lead to diarrhea or a bloated stomach. Nicole Cosgrave, a lead pet expert says it is best to balance their diet with a healthy mix of forages and Vitamin C.
Vitamin C can be gotten through vegetables that are high in nutrients. However, water is also an essential part of your guinea pigs’ diets. Ensure to provide clean and fresh water to your guinea pigs.
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Is a Hay-Only Diet Safe For Guinea Pigs?
Providing guinea pigs with hay for some time can suffice for a little while. Since guinea pigs are herbivores, great quality grass hay should be 80% of their diet. As hay is essential for keeping their guts moving and for great teeth growth.
Vitamin C is also an essential part of a guinea pig’s diet. A few days without Vitamin C might not be overly harmful to them but a long time without Vitamin C is very detrimental to their health. Also, a long-time lack of Vitamin C can lead to deficiencies and a severe issue of stunted growth.
Is Grass a Great Alternative For Guinea Pigs?
The grass is an amazing alternative to hay but excessive feeding of grass has to be avoided. To feed guinea pigs grass, you would have to slowly introduce it into their diet, especially if they are not used to feeding on grass before.
Feeding them in large amounts can lead to either an upset stomach or a bloated stomach, which are both dangerous to the health of guinea pigs. An essential addition is that it is not advised to feed guinea pigs rich spring plants early in the season. This is because these plants are very rich in nutrients and can be dangerous for guinea pigs if consumed in excess.
However, if your guinea pig is used to being fed grass previously, it is safe for them when hay is substituted with grass during the fall and summer seasons if you run out of hay for a little while.
To ensure the safe consumption of grass for your guinea pig, it is best you hand pig them from pesticide-free places. It is also essential to ensure that the grass is not exposed to other animals and car-exhaust fumes. Avoiding grass clippings from lawnmowers is essential, as they can ferment in your piggy’s gut and cause bloating.
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Appropriate Vegetables To Feed Guinea Pigs
Feeding your guinea pigs vegetables that are high in vitamin C is very essential to their growth. Some vegetables that contain Vitamin C include kale, broccoli, parsley, oranges, strawberry, sweet bell peppers, and guava. However, all the above-mentioned vegetables except sweet bell peppers, are high in calcium and should be limited in consumption for guinea pigs.
Sweet bell peppers are high in vitamin C and can be fed to guinea pigs daily.
Other vegetables that are amazing nutrient sources for guinea pigs include – tomatoes, radicchio, cucumber, carrots, zucchini, endive, corn husks, and raspberry plant leaves among others. Frequent feeding of various types of lettuce is advised, but it is essential to avoid feeding them iceberg lettuce.
Summarily, feeding guinea pigs with hay and pellet foods is essential, but ensuring to add a mix of vitamin C-high vegetables will do them great good. Also, if you want to feed your guinea pig with grass, it is best to do that gradually and not excessively in the beginning.