Cavy Tips - Diet

Vegetables & Water

Contributed by Ji Lean Ong

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Guinea pigs love fresh vegetables! However, vegetables should be fed moderately as too much vegetables can cause soft/loose stools as well as a dependency on them (leading to refusal to take in the appropriate amount of hay and pellets).

 

Vegetables


Fed daily

  • Red/Green/Yellow Bell Pepper
  • Japanese Cucumber/Normal Cucumber (1 1/2 inch slice)
  • Corn husk & silk
  • Radicchio
  • Zucchini

Fed moderately (2-3 times per week)

  • Fresh grass (ensure it is free from pesticides) – may cause bloat
  • Cherry tomatoes (one each time - acidic, may cause mouth sores)
  • Baby carrots (one each time - high in Vit A & sugar)
  • Chye Sim/ Bak choy – might cause bloat, high in calcium
  • Wheatgrass (a small handful per day) – high in calcium, may cause bloat
  • Celery – potential choking hazard
  • All lettuce except for ICEBERG (which may cause diarrhea)
  • Chinese parsley/coriander
  • Endives
 

Fed sparingly (once or twice per month)

  • Parsley (sparingly - not daily) - high in calcium
  • Broccoli – will cause gas
  • Cabbage – will cause gas
  • Spinach – high in calcium and Vitamin A
  • Kale (Kailan) – high in calcium
  • Sweet potato leaves
  • All fruits – high in sugar

List of unsafe food (should not be fed at all)

  • Potatoes
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Any types of beans
  • Dairy products eg. cheese, milk, yoghurt, etc
  • Any types of nuts
  • Raw taro
  • Leaves/stalk of tomatoes
  • Apple seeds

Notes:

  1. The list mentioned above is only a guideline as some guinea pigs might require special diet eg. guinea pigs who are prone to stones might require a low calcium diet or one where the ratio of calcium to phosphorus is between 1.5:1 and 2:1.
  2. When giving a new type of vegetable, always start with a small amount and monitor the guinea pig's poo after meal. If poo turns shapeless/watery, stop feeding the new vegetable immediately. If poo turns soft but still has shape, feed lesser amount in the future.
  3. Vegetables should be given in moderation. Rotate the types of vegetables every week to provide variety and adequate nutrition for your guinea pig.

Fresh Drinking Water


  • Guinea pigs require access to fresh drinking water throughout the day
  • Most owners provide water to their guinea pigs via water bottles which can be purchased from pet stores
  • The water should be changed every day
  • Water bottle should be washed twice weekly with a bottle brush to keep it free from dirt and algae. Rinse with vinegar solution mixed with water. Some owners also rinse the water bottle with rice grains mixed in the water
  • Always check the ball bearing and spout to ensure that they are working properly to ensure a smooth flow of water
  • An average guinea pig drinks about 100 – 200ml of water every day. The level of water consumption might differ based on the temperature, activity level of your guinea pigs and also the amount of vegetables fed
  • Excess consumption of water might signify medical problems such as kidney failure or diabetes
  • Ill guinea pigs who are unable to eat normally might drink an excessive amount of water due to hunger

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