Guinea Lynx has compiled a comprehensive wealth of information regarding guinea pig diet. The Knoxville Guinea Pig Rescue highly encourages adopters to become very familiar with this site.
70% of a guinea pig’s diet consists of timothy hay. High quality timothy hay is always green and leafy. Guinea pigs should never be fed hay that is brown or yellow, moldy, or contains sharp stalks which can injure your guinea pig. In order to provide your guinea pigs with the highest quality hay, it is not recommend to buy hay from a pet store unless it is Oxbow brand (Agri Feed has a great selections of Oxbow hays). we also highly recommend any of these vendors who produce spectacular hay.
Adult guinea pigs should be fed Oxbow Cavy Cuisine and young guinea pigs should be fed Oxbow Cavy Performance. Oxbow pellets are the most nutritionally complete guinea pig food on the market and all of our rescue guinea pigs have done very well with Oxbow.
Guinea pigs should NEVER be fed a dry food that contains bits of dried fruit, seeds, nuts, corn, or any other “mix-ins.” These treats are highly unhealthy and should always be avoided.
Vegetables and Fruits
Guinea pigs should be fed one cup of veggies per pig twice daily (and occasional small pieces of fruit). Please reference our Vegetable and Fruit Chart when selecting greens for your guinea pigs. (Unlimited fresh water should always be available.) Prepare your guinea pig’s greens like a salad. Start with a foundation of leaf lettuces (NO ICEBERG) and add some other greens and tiny piece of fruit.
Many people choose to supervise their guinea pigs while they graze outside for short periods of time. Nibbling on grass can be a wonderful addition to your guinea pigs’ diet; however, there are a few precautions one must take.
- NEVER leave your guinea pigs unattended. In the blink of an eye guinea pigs can be seriously injured or even killed by hawks, dogs, cats, raccoons, neighborhood kids, etc.
- Provide your guinea pigs with a sturdy enclosure that includes fresh water and lots of shade.
- Guinea pigs are extremely sensitive to heat and humidity. Only let your guinea pig outside if the temperature is between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Ensure that your guinea pigs are not allowed near grasses that have been treated with pesticides or that are frequented by dogs or livestock whose feces can introduce dangerous bacteria to nearby plants.
- Thoroughly study Guinea Lynx’s Guide to Safe Foraging and determine whether or not you can provide an safe environment for your guinea pigs.
What NOT to feed…
- Meat or dairy products
- Rabbit or other small animal pellets
- Human foods (including dried cereal and chips)
- Small animal treats covered in seeds or nuts (even if they are advertised for guinea pigs)