I owned guinea pigs when I was a kid, and now my kids have guinea pigs. I have learned a lot from owning so many guinea pigs during my life. A lot has changed over the years, and there are so many great foods available for piggies. We have currently have five guinea pigs, and their health is important to us. Here is what I recommend for their diet.
Disclaimer: this post contains Chewy.com and Amazon affiliate links.
I order most of our pet supplies on Chewy.com, but I also order from Amazon (and that includes everything from cat food and cat litter to guinea pig supplies). I like the convenience of not having to drive to the store, and it is nice to be able to order and have pet supplies arrive at my door a day or two later.
Guinea pig pellets
Guinea pig pellets are a staple for your pet’s diet. Because this is their primary food, you want to make sure that it is a good quality. Guinea pigs should not have a lot of seeds, so avoid pellet mixes that have seeds as fillers. And just like I do for myself, I check the label for unwanted ingredients, such as dyes. I often see cheap foods that are filled with seeds and brightly, artificially colored pieces.
Tip: We have 5 guinea pigs, and they go through a surprising amount of food. I order large bags of food, as much as 30 lbs at a time, so that it is more economical. Chewy and Amazon both offer a variety of sizes, and it is nice not to have to lug big bags home from the stor.
Hay is an important part of your guinea pig’s diet, as they should be able to forage on hay. It helps to wear down their teeth, and provides grazing activity, as well as nutrition. We choose high-quality Oxbow Western Timothy Hay. The hay should be fresh, and when I order Oxbow hay, it is always a nice green color. Lower quality hay is often more yellow, with thicker pieces.
I order a 25-lb bale of hay at a time and store it in a plastic storage bin, but you can order from a variety of sizes, from 15oz to 40lbs.
There are blends of hay as well as alfalfa, but you want to mainly stick with timothy. Alfalfa has a lot of protein and calcium, which is not good on a regular basis.
Sometimes we also order hay cubes to switch things up or when we have a petsitter watching the pigs, as the compressed cubes are less messy.
Tip: I have heard a lot of horror stories about hay feeders. We have a solid bin that came with our old guinea pig cage, and now I just set it on the cage floor. Just about feeder that is a wire rack or mesh can be a possible danger for a guinea pig to get tangled in it.
Fresh fruits and veggies
It is important to give your guinea pigs fresh fruit and veggies. That being said, always make sure that a fruit or veggie is something your guinea pig can have – I always check Google first when I’m not sure! We also don’t give them too much fruit, so as to limit their sugar.
Another fun thing we do sometimes is grow grass in a sprouting tray. We usually do this in the winter when veggies are not in season.
We like to find healthy treats for our piggies, like Oxbow guinea pig treats. We also like Rosewood Naturals, which has some neat treats in their product line, such as dried flowers. We try to stay away from treats that have seeds in them, or artificial ingredients such as dyes.
Our guinea pigs also go crazy over pea flakes! These are a huge hit with piggies and make for an awesome treat.
Tip: Store foods carefully
Part of choosing good foods is also making sure we store the food carefully so it stays fresh, especially the food we buy in bulk. I use a big rolling bin for the guinea pig pellets, smaller food storage containers for the kids to pour out the pellets from, and a large plastic tub for storing the hay.