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Nutrition What is an ideal diet? Good brands of food? When and how much to feed veggies?

Iris Mochi

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I have a friend who wants guinea pigs, so I'm here to research for them! (The friend is a person who doesn't have much free time, AND thinks that "Guinea pigs can live in Pet store cages" and "They eat...veggies!" <-- they don't even know what hay is! *facepalm*)

So, What is an ideal diet? Good brands of food? When and how much to feed veggies?

(I know a bit about guinea pigs, so I know that some brands like Small Pet Select (I think they have guinea pig food, right?) and Oxbow are good :)
 

labgirl5

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A good brand of pellets is Oxbow (which can be bought at Pet Smart) or KMS pellets, which are only available online (make sure both are timothy based for guinea pigs 6 months+). A GP should get around 1/8-1/4 cups of pellets per day. Timothy hay should be available 24/7. A GP should receive 1 cup of veggies per pig per day, (green/red leaf lettuce and red/green/yellow bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, ect).
 

melynda

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Guinea pigs need good quality long- strand hay at all times to help with their teeth and to keep their guts moving (which they need to have happening constantly). Timothy hay and/or orchard grass are two of the most common. Young pigs under 6 months can also have alfalfa hay along with the Timothy.

Pigs also need fresh veggies every day, preferably low in sugar and calcium. Green bell pepper, parsley, cilantro, romaine lettuce, etc. other things like carrots, cherry tomatoes, and kale are okay a few times a week but not daily. Fruits can be given as a treat, but not too often; piggies can't process sugar well. There is actually a very good chart here on the forums about which foods to feed and how often. I don't know how to link to it from my phone, sorry!

Yes, they also need pellets, an 1/8th of a cup per pig per day of Timothy pellets or, if they are under 6 months, alfalfa pellets.

Where are you and your friend located?
Oxbox is generally a good brand and is more commercially available. Lots of people here like KMS Hayloft (Kleen Momma's). It's a small company based out of the West Coast (US). She sells hay and pellets. Her pellets are lower in calcium than Oxbox's, which may or may not be an issue depending on the individual pig.
I have also noticed personally that one of my boars won't eat the Oxbox but gobbles up KMS like I never feed him ever.

Lastly, piggies, like humans, cannot generate vitamin C on their own. Vitamin C deficiency can lead to scurvy and death if not treated in time. Therefore it's important to make sure they have enough C every day. Pet stores will tell you to put drops in their water. Vitamin C is water soluble, though, meaning it breaks down in water so the drops are rubbish. Most of us feed our pigs Oxbox Daily C Tablets. My boys think it's a treat.
Guinea pigs are actually quite a lot of work. I consider it to be entirely worth it. But someone who doesn't even have time to research them before owning them...well, it raises concerns about whether your friend can truly care for them the way they need and deserve.

That being said everyone is extremely knowledgeable here and you can always find an answer to pretty much any question you've got!
 

WheekingPiggies

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I think I recognize your username from Hamster Hideout! Welcome to the forum!
Guinea pigs should have an unlimited supply of grass hay like Timothy. Young guinea pigs can have alfalfa as well as grass hay. Adult Guinea pigs should have 1/4 to 1/8 a cup of timothy based pellets such as Oxbow or Kleen Mama's (which can only be bought online.) Guinea pigs under 6 months can have unlimited pellets and can be fed an alfalfa based pellet. Piggies also require 1 cup of veggies a day per pig. This provides them with necessary vitamin c, which their bodies don't produce. Here's a helpful chart listing piggy safe veggies and how often to feed them:
https://www.guineapigcages.com/foru...vy-Nutrition-Charts-amp-Poisonous-Plants-List
Guinea pigs shouldn't have dairy products, seeds, or nuts, which means treats from the pet store are a no no.

Edit: I'm such a slow typer!
 
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Iris Mochi

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I think I recognize your username from Hamster Hideout! Welcome to the forum!
Guinea pigs should have an unlimited supply of grass hay like Timothy. Young guinea pigs can have alfalfa as well as grass hay. Adult Guinea pigs should have 1/4 to 1/8 a cup of timothy based pellets such as Oxbow or Kleen Mama's (which can only be bought online.) Guinea pigs under 6 months can have unlimited pellets and can be fed an alfalfa based pellet. Piggies also require 1 cup of veggies a day per pig. This provides them with necessary vitamin c, which their bodies don't produce. Here's a helpful chart listing piggy safe veggies and how often to feed them:
https://www.guineapigcages.com/foru...vy-Nutrition-Charts-amp-Poisonous-Plants-List
Guinea pigs shouldn't have dairy products, seeds, or nuts, which means treats from the pet store are a no no.

Edit: I'm such a slow typer!
Yep! I from HH! (You know, the girl who has a black-banded hamster named Gunther that lives in a giant bin cage? :p)

Hmm thanks for all the info.

[MENTION=30516]melynda[/MENTION]

I live on the North-East Coast of the USA. And, yep, I know GP can be quite loads of work, so I'm trying to show my friend that owning small pets can be really hard, by well, showing her info that could convince her, herself. It'll also help me learn more things about other small pets besides hamsters, mice, and rabbits. (Only one of which I own xD)

[MENTION=29755]labgirl5[/MENTION] Thanks!
 

melynda

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Cool. I'm in Maryland. Shipping for KMS is a bit pricey but well worth it IMO.
 

Iris Mochi

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Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. ^^ :D Hmm weird as it is, the small Pet Select hay looks so good that I want to buy it, even though I don't own any herbivorous animals
 

melynda

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Lol. When I got my first order of KMS bluegrass, it smelled so amazing I wanted to chew it myself!
 

Iris Mochi

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Lol. When I got my first order of KMS bluegrass, it smelled so amazing I wanted to chew it myself!
lol! I want to smell that then! I think I actually heard of KMS a few years back...YES! I actually was referred to it a few years ago from someone I don't remember lol!

Hay definetly do not taste good though...tried it myself one day when a strand blew in my mouth by accident, doesn't taste bad, just weird and...grass-like xD
 

Princess_Piggie

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lol! I want to smell that then! I think I actually heard of KMS a few years back...YES! I actually was referred to it a few years ago from someone I don't remember lol!

Hay definetly do not taste good though...tried it myself one day when a strand blew in my mouth by accident, doesn't taste bad, just weird and...grass-like xD

Oh boy can I testify to this. Hay gets all over my room, and I inhaled really deep lying in bed last night. I managed to inhale a few small pieces of hay, it was not a tasty experience.
 

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