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Canada Told not to give new guinea pig too much veggies?

pet_slave

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So I purchased two piggies from a local pet store (sorry but it was the only place I could find two female Abyssinians). When I purchased them the lady said they were 5-6 weeks, she also said not to give guinea pigs under 6 months many veggies/fruits because they are mostly water and can cause diarrhea which could possibly be fatal to a small piggy. I asked if I should then supplement with additional vitamin C and she said no, that at that age because I was feeding high quality alfalfa pellets (oxbow) with unlimited timothy hay that they should have sufficient vitamin C.

Has any one heard this or have had any problems giving your small piggies fruits and veggies? I don't want to give them scurvy or something because of bad advice!
 

Kenna18155

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For future reference, advice from pet stores is rarely good. You may also want to get your pigs checked out at a vet for pregnancy and/or sickness because of the pet store. Is there any reason you needed Abyssinians? In the future, be patient and I'm sure the piggy of your dreams will show up elsewhere.

I have never heard of someone giving a piggy "too many" veggies, unless they are feeding them in unlimited quantities. If you're really worried, you could give them each 3/4 cup daily, but I'm almost positive 1 cup each daily will do absolutely no harm.
 

sallyvh

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That information is definitely incorrect. Guinea pigs are able to eat veggies from the moment they are born.

They should be getting 1 cup of veggies EACH per day. The staples are green or red leaf lettuce and green bell peppers. Since these guys are from the pet store they have probably never had veggies before so at the beginning they may not eat full servings. Start with offering a bit of lettuce and some pepper and see how they like it.

Your pellets and hay are all good though. Since they are getting alfalfa based pellets they won't require high calcium veggies or any alfalfa hay.

Lastly, pet stores frequently mis-sex guinea pigs. I would flip them both over and compare to be sure that they are the same.
 

pet_slave

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I made sure their girlie bits looked the same before we brought them home, the girl in the store looked at me weird but I had heard of pets stores mis sexing. I have given them small amounts veggies and they have no problems eating different kinds, I was confused when she told me that, so I even called back a couple days after to speak with some one else and they said the same thing. In all the research that I had done, I had never seen any thing about limiting their fruit/veg intake before 6 months. So I figured just to be sure I would ask the advice of people that have experience!

Kenna we wanted abyssinians but we also wanted two females from the same place so we didn't have to quarantine them (we probably would have taken two females of a different kind had we been able to find them, but I really wanted a cute fuzzy abyssinian!). I live in a small town, so I called all shelters and looked on Kijiji prior to looking at pet stores within an hour drive from our house. It just so happened that when I called this pets store that they had two Abyssinians and they were female. So I thought it was fate! I wouldn't normally purchase from a pet store, but with limited places in our area for what we wanted it was our only option.
 

guinea_pigger

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They should be able to eat all the veggies and fruits they want from any age - the pet store was incorrect... However, if they do begin to have diarrhea or liquid stool, I may lay back on them.
 

Kenna18155

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Just remember in the future that pet stores buy from mills, and by giving them your business and buying two pigs, you free up more to take their place, and the ones in shelters may be euthanized if nobody adopts them.
 

aqh88

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Most small animals are very sensitive to fresh foods. You can kill them easy if they aren't used to it. They can eat fresh food from day 1 but they can't suddenly get a big pile weeks or months after having none their whole life. I have no idea where the 6 month age limit comes from though. The situation is the same at 2 months or 24months. Guinea pigs are far more durable to additions of fresh food than other small animals such as rabbits. Usually you can just start feeding them the correct amount. If you want to be cautious start with a partial amount and increase it within a few days. That should be all they need.
 

pet_slave

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Thanks everyone for your replies :)
 

pigmommy89

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My grandmother was told that when she got a baby bunny from a pet store. (This was in 2001). She followed their advice and when he was old enough he wouldn't even touch the veggies. This was the same store that told me hay was a treat and pellets were the most important part of a guinea pig's diet. I'm sure I lost a couple of pigs to preventable issues due to following that advice.
 

aqh88

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Rabbits have to be adjusted very carefully but they can also eat fresh food as soon as they start eating solids. They will nibble at the new food when young and slowly eat more and more so they adjust themselves. With an adult you usually have to limit it and give a larger amount every few days to weeks. Rabbits are very tentative of new food though compared to guinea pigs. Probably because of their increased sensitivity. It's not surprising if you can't get an adult to eat something that it's never had any similar food to before.
 
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