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Do’s and Don’ts of Feeding a Guinea Pig

August 15, 2015

Have you recently decided to get a pet Guinea pig? These tiny furballs are quite adorable, and make great pets! Just like any other animal, Guinea pigs, also known as cavies, need a comfortable habitat, a good diet, and lots of love to truly thrive. When it comes to feeding Guinea pigs, there are some definite do’s and don’ts to be aware of. In this article, a local Thorold, ON vet discusses feeding Guinea pigs.


Make sure your little furball always has plenty of quality hay, such as Timothy hay. This is great for both your pet’s teeth and his digestion! In addition to hay, your tiny pal can have commercial food, such as pellets, for his main meals. To round out your pet’s diet, supplement these basics with fresh veggies, herbs, and fruits. Carrots, cilantro, and lettuce are a few good options. Always research new foods before giving them to your cavy, to be sure they are safe. It’s also important to know that some foods, such as pumpkins and bananas, are fine as occasional treats, but aren’t suitable for daily consumption. You’ll also want to make sure that your furry pal gets plenty of Vitamin C. If your Guinea pig doesn’t get enough of this crucial vitamin, he could get scurvy! Last but not least, always wash fruits and veggies, to be sure they are free of pesticides, before giving them to your furry buddy. Ask your vet for specific recommendations, including portion sizes.


Never give your cavy chocolate, caffeine, junk food, or anything that is high in fat and sugar. Other dangerous foods include garlic, chives, onions, avocados, and the leaves of tomato and potato plants. You’ll also want to avoid giving your pet anything you haven’t researched, or plants that you can’t identify. If in doubt, leave it out! When offering a new food, don’t give your furry pal too much at first: offer a little bit, and watch your pet closely for any indication of digestive troubles. Finally, be sure not to let uneaten food sit in your pet’s cage. This can expose your pet to harmful bacteria.

Do you have questions about feeding or caring for a Guinea pig? Call us any time! As your local Thorold, ON veterinary clinic, we are here to serve all of your pet’s veterinary care needs.