View Full Version : Everything you need to know about a cavy's diet!!! READ ME- Nutrition Charts & Info

11-07-06, 08:11 pm
This is a project I did well over a year ago. T and I have been working on it from time to time to convert it to nutrition pages for the GPC site. Due to both of us being busy and working on other projects, we haven't gotten the task completed. T has given me permission to upload my charts here in a thread for the time being.

Maybe it will help members to better figure out what foods are safe and how often something can be fed. Hopefully it will cut down on the amount of questions asked if something can be fed, etc. If it's not on the list or in the pdf, don't feed it. The pdf contains some additional info on safe forages that can be fed in addition to the veggie-fruit charts.

Do NOT take these copyrighted images or the copyrighted pdf document and post them anywhere else on the web.
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The keys to a good diet for your guinea pigs are to use a wide range of vegetables and a bit of fruit. Keep fruits and vegetables low in calcium, low in oxalic acids and to aim for a good balance of Calcium:Phosphorus (Ca:P) between 1.5:1 and 2:1. There is a great Ca:P ratio calculator on the nutrition page at GuineaLynx- http://guinealynx.info/calculator.xls.

All foods in 100 gram portions *except where noted
100 grams = approximately 3.6 ounces, measurements are in g-grams, mg-milligrams and mcg-micrograms.
All foods raw *except where noted, n/a= no date available




The pdf document can be opened here:

You may save a copy for personal use.

There will be an accompanying thread for discussion found here:

01-10-07, 06:00 pm
I am going to add to this thread with a list of Do's and Don'ts along with a list of foods that are poisonous/and or toxic to pigs.

For Better Cavy Health DO

Feed a variety of vegetables and fruits.
Feed 2 servings of leafy greens daily.
Feed 1 serving of veggies daily (non-leafy green vegetables).
Feed 1/2 serving of fruit daily (don't go overboard with fruits as they are high in sugars).
Feed forages daily when available.
Feed unlimited hay. Hay helps assist with digestion and is essential to wearing down molars.
Feed a good quality plain pellet with stabilized Vitamin C.
Provide vegetables/fruits low in calcium (calcium can cause bladder sludge/ stones).
Provide vegetables/fruits low in oxalic acid (can bind with calcium and form oxalate stones).
Supplement cavies with Vitamin C if they will not eat good quality vegetables/fruits or if they are ill. Use a plain Vitamin C tablet with very little to no sugar added. Give approximately 25-50mg per day. You also may use a liquid Vitamin C that you can dose using a syringe.
Two meals, morning and evening, are superior to one large meal a day. Cavies are foragers and prefer to eat throughout the day (and evening to an extent).

To Avoid the Vet--DON'T

Do NOT feed large portions of vegetables or fruits high in sugars and starches.
Do NOT feed pet store "treats" such as yoghurt drops, seed sticks, etc.
Do NOT feed meat or dairy products as cavies are strict herbivores
Do NOT feed bread or cereal or other grains. Cavies should not have any processed 'human' food. Grains are not well digested by cavies. Grain hays can be used as occasional treats but not for everyday use.
Do NOT use Vitamin C drops or multi-vitamin drops that you put in water. Vitamin C degrades quickly in water and light and may distort the taste of the water making your cavy drink less. Do not ever put Tang in your guinea pig's water.
Do NOT limit the hay to one small hay rack. Provide your cavy with a lot of appropriate hay in multiple locations in the cage. A good quality hay is important.
Do NOT allow your cavy to graze on a lawn outdoors unless you are 100% certain that it has NOT been treated with fertilizers or pesticides.
Do NOT feed pellet mixes with seeds, nuts, dried vegetables or other bits mixed in. These types of feeds can cause your cavy to choke and can cause your cavy to become overweight.
Do NOT feed avocados, coconut (both too high in fats), iceburg lettuce (low nutrition, high in nitrites, high water), tomato stems or leaves, potatoes, rhubarb, taro, mushrooms, peanut butter, hot peppers, hot herbs and spices, dry beans and peas, nuts, jams, jellies, fruit preserves, sweetened fruit juices, pickled vegetables, coffee, cola, milk or dairy products to include yogurt, cake, cookies, baked goods, fried, frozen or cooked foods.

Poisonous Plants list:
- Aconite
- Amaryllis
- American Holly
- American Nightshade
- Anemone
- Angel's Trumpet
- Antirrhinums
- Azalea
- Bird of Paradise
- Birdseye Primrose
- Bittersweet
- Blue Cardinal (Lobelia)
- Bluebells
- Bryony
- Bulbs-(any plants grown from bulbs)
- Buttercup (Ranunculus)
- Caladium
- Cherry leaves (contain cyanide and are most potent when they are wilting)
and leaves of other stone fruits (fruits with pits)
- Chrysanthemum
- Clematis
- Columbine
- Corn cockle (type of grassy plant with a rather large lacey grain head)
- Crocus
- Cyclamen
- Daffodil
- Dahlias
- Daily
- Dog mercury
- Evergreen trees
- Fig
- Figwort
- Fools parsley
- Foxglove (Digitalis)
- Hellebore
- Hemlock
- Holly
- Hyacinth
- Hydrangea
- Iris
- Ivy
- Jerusalem cherry
- Juniper
- Kingcup
- Laburnum
- Leyland cypress
- Lily (All species)
- Lords and Ladies
- Lupine
- Lupins
- Marsh marigold
- Meadow saffron
- Mistletoe
- Monkshood
- Morning glory
- Nightshade (deadly and woody)
- Oleander
- Philodendron
- Pigweed (amaranth - certain North American varieties may be toxic)
- Poinsetta
- Poppies
- Potatoes (poisonous if green or sprouted)
- Privet
- Ragwort
- Red maple leaves
- Rhododendron
- Rhubarb
- Spurges
- St Johns wort
- Tulip
- Tomatillo leaves & stalks
- Tomato leaves & stalks
- Vetch
- Walnut or Black Walnut
- Wisteria
- Wolfsbane
- Yew