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Thread: Advice on guinea pig diets!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Advice on guinea pig diets!

    Hello everyone! My boyfriend and I adopted two one year old guinea pigs about a month ago, and while I have had guinea pigs in the past, I wasn't responsible for taking care of them, so I'm wondering if our care routine is good for them. We currently have them in two separate cages because we couldn't find a big enough cage for both at the pet store, but we've ordered a bigger one on Amazon and we have them right next to each other in the meantime. We clean out their cages once a week and put new bedding in, and I plan on completely washing out their cage in the bathtub every month or so. We took them to an exotic vet and they turned out to be perfectly healthy (there was a scare that they might've had ringworm, but luckily, the tests came back negative). As for their diet, we've been feeding them hay every morning, taking three large handfuls and spreading it throughout their cage. We used to feed them pellets, but the vet told us not to do that, so we stopped. As for fruits and veggies, we've spent the past month introducing them to different ones, and I'm planning on giving it to them in this schedule:

    Day 1: Cilantro/baby carrot
    Day 2: Cucumber/strawberry
    Day 3: Broccoli/parsley
    Day 4: Celery/kale

    And rotating, giving them the first food item in the afternoon and the second one at night. Does this seem like a good schedule of fruits and vegetables? We also just started taking their weights today; Trish is the bigger one and has been since we got them. She weighs 871 grams, and Lisa Lisa weighs 635 grams. From what I've looked up, Trish should be in range, but Lisa Lisa is leaning towards the underweight side?

    (Also: a few days ago, we had a scare where Lisa Lisa, who's normally a hyperactive guinea, was just frozen in one spot of her cage. She would not move a muscle for about two hours, except for when we took her out of the cage and into the living room with Trish. When she was out, she took the lead on exploring the living room, but as soon as she got back into her cage, she completely froze up again. Eventually, she started moving, but extremely slowly, so much so that it looked like she was moving in stop-motion. We got worried and were about to take her to see the emergency vet (it was after-hours), but later that night, she was back to her old self, running laps around the cage in excitement. Was this just a one-off thing, or should we be concerned?)

    Oh, and one more thing! I'm a little concerned about their water intake; we have two big water bottles in each of their cages, but they're barely drinking from it. Lisa Lisa has drunk more than Trish, but still, she drank barely a quarter of the water that we gave her in a week. I'm concerned because it seemed like the caretakers for the previous guinea pigs I had changed their water daily, but even in a week, Trish and Lisa Lisa barely drink any. Still, aside from that one scare, they both seem perfectly healthy and active, so is it possible they're getting their water from the fruits and veggies and we shouldn't worry?
    Thank you!

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    Cavy Slave Candalalala's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on guinea pig diets!

    https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...us-Plants-List here is a good suggestion for how much of one veggie or fruit to give them. As far as nutrition, lettuce and bell pepper should be given to them everyday. Especially bell pepper, because itís loaded with Vitamin C. Vitamin C is very important to cavy since they do not produce it naturally.
    There is water in veggies and fruits, additionally more if you wash them before but they drink water as they eat hay and pellets. Make sure the bottle allow water out. I had a bottle that wouldnít work and I had to constantly go and move the ball for it to work. Needless to say I trashed it and bought a new one.

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    Cavy Slave Kelsie's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on guinea pig diets!

    One of my pigs had a similar reaction as you pig did. It only happened once but she just froze in place and wouldn't move at all. She didn't freeze as long as your pig did but it was very alarming to us. Something frightened her but we never figured out what it was. It never happened again. I've seen comments from other members stating that their pigs have done the freezing in place thing. I wonder if they just become so frightened of something and that's their response to whatever they perceive as danger.

    One time our smoke detector started beeping because the batteries needed changing and that frightened all of our pigs. They didn't freeze up though, they just hid in their hidies. They can be complicated little critters and like to keep us on our toes.

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    Cavy Slave MerryFriarTuck's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on guinea pig diets!

    Quote Originally Posted by totallynotabird View Post
    Hello everyone! My boyfriend and I adopted two one year old guinea pigs about a month ago, and while I have had guinea pigs in the past, I wasn't responsible for taking care of them, so I'm wondering if our care routine is good for them. We currently have them in two separate cages because we couldn't find a big enough cage for both at the pet store, but we've ordered a bigger one on Amazon and we have them right next to each other in the meantime. We clean out their cages once a week and put new bedding in, and I plan on completely washing out their cage in the bathtub every month or so. We took them to an exotic vet and they turned out to be perfectly healthy (there was a scare that they might've had ringworm, but luckily, the tests came back negative). As for their diet, we've been feeding them hay every morning, taking three large handfuls and spreading it throughout their cage. We used to feed them pellets, but the vet told us not to do that, so we stopped. As for fruits and veggies, we've spent the past month introducing them to different ones, and I'm planning on giving it to them in this schedule:

    Day 1: Cilantro/baby carrot
    Day 2: Cucumber/strawberry
    Day 3: Broccoli/parsley
    Day 4: Celery/kale

    And rotating, giving them the first food item in the afternoon and the second one at night. Does this seem like a good schedule of fruits and vegetables? We also just started taking their weights today; Trish is the bigger one and has been since we got them. She weighs 871 grams, and Lisa Lisa weighs 635 grams. From what I've looked up, Trish should be in range, but Lisa Lisa is leaning towards the underweight side?

    (Also: a few days ago, we had a scare where Lisa Lisa, who's normally a hyperactive guinea, was just frozen in one spot of her cage. She would not move a muscle for about two hours, except for when we took her out of the cage and into the living room with Trish. When she was out, she took the lead on exploring the living room, but as soon as she got back into her cage, she completely froze up again. Eventually, she started moving, but extremely slowly, so much so that it looked like she was moving in stop-motion. We got worried and were about to take her to see the emergency vet (it was after-hours), but later that night, she was back to her old self, running laps around the cage in excitement. Was this just a one-off thing, or should we be concerned?)

    Oh, and one more thing! I'm a little concerned about their water intake; we have two big water bottles in each of their cages, but they're barely drinking from it. Lisa Lisa has drunk more than Trish, but still, she drank barely a quarter of the water that we gave her in a week. I'm concerned because it seemed like the caretakers for the previous guinea pigs I had changed their water daily, but even in a week, Trish and Lisa Lisa barely drink any. Still, aside from that one scare, they both seem perfectly healthy and active, so is it possible they're getting their water from the fruits and veggies and we shouldn't worry?
    Thank you!
    Our piggies LOVE their yellow and green peppers! They need them every day for vitamin c, along with leafy greens green leaf or red leaf and some cilantro is perfect. Other great vitamin c treats are kiwi and oranges; but only small pieces every day or bigger pieces 2/3 times a week. As for her water, I'd check with your finger there's enough water coming out and the mouthpiece isn't clogged, and just keep an eye on Lisa Lisa. Watermelon, oranges, and cucumber would be really good to give her if she isn't drinking enough because they have very high water content! And she can have cucumber every day

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    Cavy Slave MerryFriarTuck's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on guinea pig diets!

    And P.S. to my first post---bravo for being a great, concerned piggie parent!! I don't know for sure why your vet says no pellets... there are lots of bad brands out there full of seeds and fillers that no guinea pig should have (sunflower seeds etc are very bad for them). But we feed ours Oxbow pellets, which are very good and fortified with vitamin c. They always have unlimited hay available in a hay rack and a small bowl of pellets

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    Cavy Slave MerryFriarTuck's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on guinea pig diets!

    And one last thing...P.P.S, . Are you using cold water in the water bottles, or any vitamin c powder? Guinea pigs often won't drink due to those things. A+ on everything else you're doing! I hope all goes well

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    Re: Advice on guinea pig diets!

    Thanks everyone! We're going to add lettuce to their diets as well, unfortunately my boyfriend can't stand the smell of bell peppers so we're gonna try to get by without using them. We've also been checking the water bottles to make sure they work and it seems like they do; we've also seen the guineas drink little bits at a time. We are using vitamin C drops; the vet told us to get vitamin C tablets from Walgreens, crush them up, and add them to their water; I'm guessing that they're not drinking the water because of that, so we should stop doing that and let them get their vitamin C from vegetables? We'll also give cucumbers every day and add kiwi and watermelon as well! I also read that it's okay to give them a carrot every single day; is that right?

    Right before Lisa Lisa completely froze up, my boyfriend was whistling at her and Trish. Could she have gotten extremely scared from that? I'd never seen a guinea pig get so scared from whistling before, but if that's what it is, we definitely won't whistle at them anymore!

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on guinea pig diets!

    Quote Originally Posted by totallynotabird View Post
    Thanks everyone! We're going to add lettuce to their diets as well, unfortunately my boyfriend can't stand the smell of bell peppers so we're gonna try to get by without using them. We've also been checking the water bottles to make sure they work and it seems like they do; we've also seen the guineas drink little bits at a time. We are using vitamin C drops; the vet told us to get vitamin C tablets from Walgreens, crush them up, and add them to their water; I'm guessing that they're not drinking the water because of that, so we should stop doing that and let them get their vitamin C from vegetables? We'll also give cucumbers every day and add kiwi and watermelon as well! I also read that it's okay to give them a carrot every single day; is that right?

    Right before Lisa Lisa completely froze up, my boyfriend was whistling at her and Trish. Could she have gotten extremely scared from that? I'd never seen a guinea pig get so scared from whistling before, but if that's what it is, we definitely won't whistle at them anymore!

    Putting ANYTHING in their water will make them not drink it. If you have Vitamin c drops, try putting them on the cucumber and see how that goes. Vitamin C is essential and either bell peppers or drops are the best ways for them to get it.

    Also, if your vet was the one who told you to put them in the water, you may need to search for a new vet. One that specializes in exotics is imperative. Small animal vets does NOT mean they are trained in rodents or other exotic animals. It basically means dog and cat, and they can even be dangerous for guinea pigs.

    Guinea pigs can get spooked by the strangest things. I knew of one who got spooked by a ceiling fan. If you find something that spooks them on a regular basis, try to avoid it. They do, after all, think everything wants to eat them.

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    Cavy Slave MerryFriarTuck's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on guinea pig diets!

    Quote Originally Posted by Guinea Pig Papa View Post
    Putting ANYTHING in their water will make them not drink it. If you have Vitamin c drops, try putting them on the cucumber and see how that goes. Vitamin C is essential and either bell peppers or drops are the best ways for them to get it.

    Also, if your vet was the one who told you to put them in the water, you may need to search for a new vet. One that specializes in exotics is imperative. Small animal vets does NOT mean they are trained in rodents or other exotic animals. It basically means dog and cat, and they can even be dangerous for guinea pigs.

    Guinea pigs can get spooked by the strangest things. I knew of one who got spooked by a ceiling fan. If you find something that spooks them on a regular basis, try to avoid it. They do, after all, think everything wants to eat them.
    100% agreed!! Well said, and great tips!

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    Cavy Slave MerryFriarTuck's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on guinea pig diets!

    Definitely stop putting the crushed vitamin c in their water---its better for them to get it from their veggies naturally in the first place, and even more important they drink enough!❗
    As for bell peppers--- they're a really really important part of their diet they absolutely love. They're the only veggies they can have every day with that much vitamin c. Yellow bell peppers don't have a strong smell at all compared to the others. Keep them in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator and you won't smell a thing. And they disappear down guinea pig mouths so fast you won't smell a thing when they eat them �� do it for Lisa Lisa and Trish, please!
    They can have carrots every day but only a small bit---say, half a baby carrot at the most because they're high in sugar and vitamin a. They're a great treat 3 times a week. Also important for vitamin c are oranges, which are my Friar Tuck's favorite thing in the world. I give our piggies a small orange slice every night. ��
    An awesome guinea pig website ( besides here ) for tips, food info, guinea pig sounds and what they mean, along with lots of other fun stuff is www.guineapigmanual.com. It's very readable, very fun, and packed with info!!
    I hope you become an awesome piggie parent, good luck! ��

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    Re: Advice on guinea pig diets!

    New vet, as soon as you can find one. Any vet who recommends putting vitamin C in water doesn't know anything about vitamin C. It degrades very quickly in water in the presence of light, and within a short time you've only got funny tasting water.

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    Re: Advice on guinea pig diets!

    I'm afraid that I disagree with much of what has been said regarding Vit. C and the way to administer it. NEVER, EVER put it in their drinking water! It quickly loses its potency and your cavies won't like the taste and consequently won't drink their water. Regarding cold water, my boys are made for ice cold water, especially in the summer. Sparky sits and waits for us to fill his bottle and then will drink until he has his fill.

    If you try to administer Vit. C any way other than syringing it to them, you have no way of knowing precisely how much they actually ingest. Sparky gets liquid Vit. C as part of his daily medication regimen regardless of whether or not he eats his peppers. He has gone through periods of not eating his peppers, and then later decides that he likes them. Vit. C is a water soluble vitamin and it's impossible to overdose on it. Whatever isn't used by the body is simply urinated out. I use Oasis Vita-Drops Vit. C drops (NOT mutivitamin drops) which should be available in almost any pet store. He gets 0.5ml per day just straight without diluting it...and likes the taste.

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    Re: Advice on guinea pig diets!

    Anther option is Oxbow Natural Science Vitamin C tabs. They are little wafers that are made of hay and each one provides 25 mg of vitamin C.
    https://www.chewy.com/oxbow-natural-...mall/dp/123627

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    Re: Advice on guinea pig diets!

    I’ve also heard ChildLife Vitamin C Supplement is good for them. That’s what the LA Guinea Pig Rescue uses. They give it straight to the guinea pigs using a syringe. The Guinea pigs love it.
    Last edited by Candalalala; 07-02-19 at 10:38 pm.

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    Advice on guinea pig diets!

    Quote Originally Posted by Candalalala View Post
    Iíve also heard ChildLife Vitamin C Supplement is good for them. Thatís what the LA Guinea Pig Rescue uses. They give it straight to the guinea pigs using a syringe. The Guinea pigs love it.
    This is what my piggies take for vitamin C, itís the one their exotics vet sells. They think itís a treat and squabble over who gets theirs first every night.

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    Re: Advice on guinea pig diets!

    Quote Originally Posted by Candalalala View Post
    Iíve also heard ChildLife Vitamin C Supplement is good for them. Thatís what the LA Guinea Pig Rescue uses. They give it straight to the guinea pigs using a syringe. The Guinea pigs love it.
    What is the recommended dosage?

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    Re: Advice on guinea pig diets!

    Quote Originally Posted by spy9doc View Post
    What is the recommended dosage?
    Child Life Vitamin C liquid is 1 ml per (adult) pig per day, according to Stahl Exotics (SEAVS).

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    Re: Advice on guinea pig diets!

    We've started giving them yellow bell peppers and they love it! Luckily, as long as I'm the one to feed them the bell peppers, it seems like the smell doesn't bother my boyfriend! We also stopped putting the vitamin C in their water and are going to try sprinkling it on their cucumber instead. Hopefully, that helps them with both their water drinking and their vitamin C!

    We also got a bigger cage to put both of them in! They're getting along well, I think; Trish rumbles at Lisa Lisa a lot, and Lisa Lisa squeals if Trish snaps at her, but that should be normal within the first few days, right? Trish will run inside Lisa Lisa's pigloo and force her out, even when her own pigloo is right across the cage and empty! They haven't had any fights, though, so hopefully they'll start getting along better as they get more used to each other.

    Thank you everyone for all the advice!

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    Re: Advice on guinea pig diets!

    Quote Originally Posted by totallynotabird View Post
    We've started giving them yellow bell peppers and they love it! Luckily, as long as I'm the one to feed them the bell peppers, it seems like the smell doesn't bother my boyfriend! We also stopped putting the vitamin C in their water and are going to try sprinkling it on their cucumber instead. Hopefully, that helps them with both their water drinking and their vitamin C!

    We also got a bigger cage to put both of them in! They're getting along well, I think; Trish rumbles at Lisa Lisa a lot, and Lisa Lisa squeals if Trish snaps at her, but that should be normal within the first few days, right? Trish will run inside Lisa Lisa's pigloo and force her out, even when her own pigloo is right across the cage and empty! They haven't had any fights, though, so hopefully they'll start getting along better as they get more used to each other.

    Thank you everyone for all the advice!
    Glad to hear all has gotten better, and very glad to hear they like yellow peppers. I was always under the understanding that red peppers had the most vitamin c but found research that shows yellow is highest by far.

    My boys are 2 1/2 years old, and they STILL rumble at each other all day long. Pretty sure they do it just to hear themselves do it. Scooter will snap at Punkin occasionally, but usually when Punkin wants to see what's in his mouth or just wants to pester him. Punkin just raises his nose to remind Scooter that he's the boss.

    Sounds to me like your girls are getting along just fine, and as long as no one is starving or bleeding you're doing ok. Congratulations on the bigger cage!

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    Cavy Slave MerryFriarTuck's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on guinea pig diets!

    Quote Originally Posted by totallynotabird View Post
    We've started giving them yellow bell peppers and they love it! Luckily, as long as I'm the one to feed them the bell peppers, it seems like the smell doesn't bother my boyfriend! We also stopped putting the vitamin C in their water and are going to try sprinkling it on their cucumber instead. Hopefully, that helps them with both their water drinking and their vitamin C!

    We also got a bigger cage to put both of them in! They're getting along well, I think; Trish rumbles at Lisa Lisa a lot, and Lisa Lisa squeals if Trish snaps at her, but that should be normal within the first few days, right? Trish will run inside Lisa Lisa's pigloo and force her out, even when her own pigloo is right across the cage and empty! They haven't had any fights, though, so hopefully they'll start getting along better as they get more used to each other.

    Thank you everyone for all the advice!
    Yay, good for you!!!! ( And Lisa Lisa and Trish! ) Everything sounds great now

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