Best Guinea Pig Food Review
Owning a pet is an experience you won’t easily forget as you have memories to last a lifetime. Animals are great friends as they love you unconditionally for as long as they are alive. Guinea pigs are furry little pets that give their owners so much joy and happiness; they are the cutest pets. They may be small in size, but they have large personalities that you cannot help but love.
However, like all pets, guinea pigs, also known as cavies, need proper care and the right nutrition to live a long healthy life. If you just got a guinea pig, you’ll be curious to know the right food they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. They need food that contains the proper balance of vitamin C, fiber, and other essential nutrients. The best food for your guinea pig will be one that contains high-quality ingredients such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
However, you also have to include pellets, alfalfa, and timothy grass into their diet to provide them with the best possible nutritional balance. A healthy diet will help your guinea pig thrive. New guinea pig owners often pick the first bag of guinea pig food they can find and stick with it, but providing your pet with a balanced diet requires more attention. Choosing the best guinea pig food is not as simple as it sounds, so, in this article, we will be looking at brands and products that are worth feeding our pets with. We’ll also provide you with a buying guide to make things easier.
BUYING GUIDE FOR BEST GUINEA PIG FOOD
Choosing the right food for your guinea pig is not an easy task. There are numerous products available on the market, and it can confuse you on which product is the best. We know that you would want a good quality guinea pig food that fits into your budget.
If you’re a new guinea pig owner, there is a high chance of you buying the wrong product, and it could cause health issues for your guinea pig. We care about your pet’s health, which is why we have made a detailed buying guide that will help you select the best guinea pig food.
TYPES OF GUINEA PIG FOOD
There are different types of guinea pig food available on the market; pellets and muesli are most common. Depending on the ingredients used, they can be classified into three types; pellets, hays, and treats.
This type of guinea pig food has of equal pieces that all contain the same amount of nutrients and ingredients. It is vital because your guinea pig should get the same amount of balanced nutrients whether he eats the entire bowl of food or eats half. These pellets are usually made from a mixture of grains, hay, and legumes; they are also fortified with minerals and vitamins that your guinea pig needs, such as vitamins A to E, biotin, and phosphorous. However, do not feed your guinea pig with pellets made from nuts or preservatives, and ensure that you feed your guinea pig with a range of fresh fruits and vegetables.
This type of guinea pig food has of a mixture of pellets, dried legumes, corn flakes, pieces of dried vegetables and fruits, and other similar ingredients. These types of food may look interesting, but they aren’t the best choice for your guinea pig. Most guinea pigs tend to eat their favorite parts and leave the rest, and their favourite part tends to be bits with fruits, vegetables, and flaked grains, so they leave the pellets that have been fortified with nutrients, so most cavies end up not getting all the vital nutrients.
There are different types of hay available on the market, but the best option is grass hays such as Timothy hay, meadow hay, or orchard hay. Hay imitates the natural surroundings of guinea pigs in the wild, so they are attracted to its scent and appearance. Hay is an excellent source of fiber and should make up 75% of your guinea pig’s diet. However, alfalfa hay and legume hay shouldn’t be given to your guinea pig on a daily basis as they are too high in protein and calcium. Hay aids the digestion of your guinea pig, so make sure you get hay from a reputable supplier and opt for second or third cut hay as first cut hay has too many stems and seeds, making it tough for guinea pigs to chew digest. Ensure you feed your guinea pig hay through a feeder instead of placing it on the cage’s floor to avoid soiling.
Guinea pigs enjoy treats that are delicious and rich in nutrients and minerals but make sure to avoid treats that contain a lot of sugar.
A perfect guinea pig should contain nicely balanced macro and micronutrients, including protein, calcium, fiber, vitamins, and phosphorus, as they are important to the growth of your guinea pig. Most commercial guinea pig foods claim they contain the complete ingredients, but your cavies food should mainly have hay while the other foods can be counted as supplements.
FACTORS TO NOTE WHEN PURCHASING GUINEA PIG FOOD
When buying food for your guinea pig, make sure you keep an eye out for the following factors.
The ingredients of your guinea pig’s food play a vital role in your pet’s health. Most guinea pig food contains fruits, vegetables, grains, timothy hay, and other similar contents that provide them with the essential nutrients they need; however, it is important that the food doesn’t contain any artificial sugar, added preservatives, or harmful chemicals as they could lead to cancer and other diseases. Also, if your guinea pig is allergic to a specific food such as peanuts, make sure that the food you choose doesn’t contain the allergen.
It is important that your guinea pig’s food contains all the right balance of nutrients to keep your cavies healthy. Ensure you check the guaranteed analysis. A good quality guinea pig food contains between 12% and 16% fiber, 2% to 5% fat, 18% to 20% protein. It is also vital that you pay attention to the vitamin C content of the food. Guinea pigs can’t produce vitamin C on their own, so they have to eat between 30 to 50 milligrams daily. Most times, it’s best for them to get most of their vitamin C from pellet food, but some of it could also come from fresh food. You could feed your guinea pig foods rich in vitamin C, such as bell peppers, squash, asparagus, zucchini, kale, broccoli, cabbage, and other cruciferous vegetables. These vegetables contain significant amounts of vitamin C, but they should be given to your cavies only once weekly. Your guinea pigs’ food should also contain a healthy balance of vitamin A, omega 3, and other essential minerals as they help improve their immune system and their fur.
Your guinea pig’s food might get wasted if the taste doesn’t match your pet’s taste buds. Cavies foods come in different flavours in the market; some come in timothy hay flavor while others have a mixed fruit and vegetable flavor. So, before purchasing guinea pig food, make sure that the flavour matches the preferred taste of your pet.
When purchasing guinea pig food, it is best to note the size package to buy. Guinea pig food comes in different sizes. Try a small package first to see if it meets their needs; once they are used to the food, you can get a larger size.
Most cavies owners buy small to medium-sized packs containing about 1 to 5 pounds of food, which is great if you’re feeding a pair or small group of guinea pigs. However, you can buy a large bag of 25 pounds or more if you have a large number of guinea pigs to feed as it is cheaper in the long run.
It is important for you to note the chunk size and shape when getting guinea pig food. Some formulas come with various shape and size, which leads to varied portions. It could also lead to choking for your pet, which is why it is vital to opt for a guinea pig food that has uniform pellets that come in small to medium chunks so that aids you in providing your pet with a good quantity of food daily.
Natural Vs. Artificial
When choosing food for your guinea pig, make sure you opt for one that contains only fresh and natural ingredients. It is best to opt for brands that use high-quality ingredients and avoid artificial additives because some guinea pigs have sensitive stomachs. On the other hand, it is okay to give most guinea pigs added flavors in small amounts as treats.
Some guinea pig foods are specially formulated for adult life stages of the cavies. However, some other foods can be given to your cavies at all stages of life. That is why it is important to check the details of age suitability before purchasing your guinea pig’s food.
A good quality guinea pig food brand ensures that the customers are safe and offer better results. So, ensure that you check the company’s reputation before buying food for your pet. You could check customer reviews on the product; that way, you’ll be getting real feedback from real customers.
Guinea pigs are cheerful, curious, and playful in nature, so they may not be attracted to food that looks dull and unappealing. To eliminate this problem, choose foods that are colorful and contain fruits and vegetables that add vibrant and exciting colors to their meal.
Guinea pig food comes at different prices. Small packs range from $5 to 10$, while a medium package has a price range of $10 to $20. If you would prefer buying your guinea pig’s food in bulk, you’ll be spending between $20 to $50. The larger packs usually cost less per pound than smaller packs of food, so it is an excellent choice if you have a large guinea pig family.
WHAT TO AVOID FEEDING YOUR GUINEA PIG
Below are the following foods and ingredients you should avoid feeding your guinea pig.
- Do not feed your guinea pig certain vegetables such as potatoes, cabbage, lettuce, and avocado.
- Guinea pigs are herbivores, so they should not be fed meat or dairy products.
- Avoid feeding them food high in protein and calcium.
- Avoid feeding them fruits high in sugar, it can be given occasionally as treats but not on a daily basis.
- Totally avoid foods such as chocolate, candy, onions, and caffeine.
WHAT FRUITS CAN I FEED MY GUINEA PIG?
Guinea pigs require diets rich in vitamin C because they can’t create it on their own. A lack of vitamin C in their diet leads to scurvy, which is a painful disease that leads to suffering. In order to prevent scurvy, you need to feed your guinea pig with fresh fruits cut into small pieces.
However, fruits have a high sugar level, so it’s best to serve them only bite-sized portions of fruits. Your guinea pig should be able to get sufficient amounts of vitamin C from pellet food containing vitamin C supplements and vegetables. No matter the age of your guinea pig, you can give them small pieces of pears, blueberries, apples, kiwi, strawberries, papayas, peaches, and tomatoes. However, do not give your guinea pig cold fruits.
VEGETABLES SUITABLE FOR YOUR GUINEA PIG
Even though your guinea pig’s diet should be high in vitamin C, they also need fiber which comes in timothy grass hay and other grass hay, to promote digestion and proper dental health. They should always have a fresh supply of hay and clean water.
You can feed your guinea pig with fresh vegetables once a day. The total amount of vegetables your pet should eat per day shouldn’t be more than a cup. The best choices are leafy greens such as parsley, romaine lettuce, and broccoli mixed with green or red peppers, zucchini, and carrots. They will provide your piggie with natural, essential nutrients.
However, you should know that guinea pigs do not eat seeds, so do not feed them to your pet. It is also important to thoroughly wash the fruits and vegetables before feeding them to your guinea pig.
TIPS ON HOW TO CARE FOR A GUINEA PIG
- Ensure there is a good supply of food: Guinea pigs need an unlimited supply of hay accompanied by 1/8 cup of dry food and 1 cup of fresh food for each animal per day.
- Make sure to avoid commercial guinea pig treats: Commercial treats tend to be filled with low-quality ingredients. Your guinea pig would prefer fresh fruits and vegetables as a treat.
- Ensure that your pet has good access to clean water. You can provide them with clean water using a bowl or a small animal water bottle if they keep knocking the water bowl over or contaminate it with poo or other contaminants.
- If you need to change your guinea pig’s diet, make sure that you make the switch gradually. Making the change slowly will allow you to avoid upset stomachs and make them accustomed to the new meal over a week. Slowly reduce the amount of old food they get each day and replace it with a higher amount of the new food.
HOW TO INTRODUCE YOUR GUINEA PIG TO A NEW FOOD
When you’re trying to change your guinea pig’s food, make sure that you start with a mixture of the old food and new food so that he can slowly adjust to the change. Over the course of 7 to 10 days, you can gradually increase the amount of new food. Some people recommend that the process should take two weeks and that isn’t a bad idea.
Guinea pigs are small, fragile animals that have bodies that react to sudden changes in their diet. Even if you’re changing their food to a higher quality option, it could still upset their stomach. Remember always to throw away uneaten food and keep your pet’s dishes clean at all times, especially before feeding.
TOP GUINEA PIG FOOD BRANDS
There are numerous brands out there on the market, but we will be listing some of the best brands available on the market.
- Sweet Meadow Timothy Guinea Pig Pellets: This product is made specifically for guinea pigs aged nine months and above, it is rich in calcium and vitamin C.
- Oxbow Guinea Pig Cuisine: This guinea pig food is made specially for older guinea pigs. It contains vitamin C and fiber, which are both important to the health of guinea pigs. It doesn’t contain any additives or preservatives.
- Burgess Excel Guinea Pig Food: This guinea pig food contains 36 percent fiber and is also a great source of vitamin C.
- Supreme Selective Fortified Diet for Guinea Pigs: This product offers your guinea pig a tasty meal with no sugar content. So it helps prevent obesity in guinea pigs.
- Small Pet Select Guinea Pig Food Pellets: The ingredients used in this product as all sourced in the United States, which means they are top-notch. The recipe also has vitamins, minerals, and Timothy hay for optimum health.
After going through the buying guide, it should be easier for you to choose the best food option for your guinea pig. To make things easier, we have compiled a list of the best guinea pig food. Let’s take a look at the list.
The Best Guinea Pig Food Are Reviewed Below
Below is a comprehensive list of the best guinea pig food; we have provided you with their features and specs. Having this knowledge will allow you to choose the best option for you and your lovely pet.
Wild Harvest Advanced Nutrition Diet for Guinea Pigs
This guinea pig food from Wild Harvest provides your pet with the proper balance of nutrients that your guinea pig requires. It has an adequate measurement of vitamin C, which guinea pigs need every day; they need between 25 to 30mg per kg. Without the right amount of vitamin C, your guinea pig risks developing scurvy, a potentially severe and fatal illness.
This formula will provide your guinea pig with all the nutrition needed to lead a healthy, long life. The pellets contain high fiber and have a vegetable flavor that makes the food yummy and irresistible. For one meal, you can give your guinea pig ¼ to ½ cup of food; however, the quantity can vary depending on the recommendations from your vet.
- Created specially for guinea pigs
- High fiber pellet and a mix of vegetables
- It contains a balanced variety of nutrients
- Brand: Wild Harvest
- Model: G19708
- Weight: 8.12 Pounds
- Dimensions: 16 * 10.38 * 3 inches
- Form: Pellet
- It contains a sufficient amount of vitamin C
- It aids digestion
- It contains proper amounts of minerals and vitamins
- It promotes physical and mental stimulation in your guinea pig
- It is suitable for all life stages
- It comes with a mixed vegetable flavor
- It contains some seeds
Oxbow Essentials Guinea Pig Food
Oxbow Essentials guinea pig food is an excellent option for adult guinea pigs. Guinea pigs might need high fiber foods and foods rich in vitamin C, but they need little protein and calcium in their diet. For this reason, timothy hay is the main ingredient in this guinea pig food, its rich in fiber, vitamin C and has the best ratio of calcium to phosphorus. This product is specifically designed to meet the needs of adult guinea pigs and also help them maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Its high fiber content makes it great for your pet’s digestive system, while vitamin C improves their immune system, thus making them stronger and more resilient. Overall, this product is a healthy and tasty option for your pet.
This guinea pig food contains 19% min crude protein, 2% crude fat, 10% moisture, 25% to 28% max crude fiber, 0.25% min phosphorus and 0.35% to 0.75% max calcium. It comes in different varieties ranging from adult, young to organic recipes.
- Made with high fiber timothy hay
- Made with stabilized vitamin C and antioxidants
- Uniform pellets
- Fortified with minerals and vitamins
- Brand: Oxbow Essentials
- Model: 744845402918
- Weight: 10 Pounds
- Dimensions: 5.51 * 10.04 * 14.96 inches
- Form: Pellet
- It contains high-quality ingredients
- It contains fiber-rich grass hay
- It contains a sufficient amount of vitamin C and protein
- Most cavies are attracted to the food’s flavor
- Some guinea pigs do not like it
Kaytee Timothy Complete Guinea Pig Pet Food
This product from Kaytee will provide your guinea pig with a well-balanced diet. It is made with sun-cured timothy hay, oats, alfalfa meal, and wheat. The recipe is rich in fiber which helps improve your cavies digestive system. It also contains low amounts of protein and calcium, which makes it suitable for adult guinea pigs. Even though this formula contains a list of healthy ingredients, vitamins, and minerals, it is free of seeds and sugary fruits, which helps prevent selective feeding.
The company Kaytee has proven itself as one of the best for over a decade; they provide pets with nutritional meals and tasty recipes. It contains 14% protein, 2% fat, 23|% crude fiber, 0.4% phosphorus and 0.4 to 0.9% calcium.
- Made with timothy hay
- Fortified with minerals and vitamins
- Brand: Kaytee
- Model: 100032617
- Size: 5 Pounds
- Form: Pellets
- It contains no loose seeds or sugary fruits
- It supports dental health
- It contains prebiotics and probiotics for improved digestive health
- It can be used as a treat
- It contains vitamin C
- Some users have had issues with packaging
- It has a high-calorie content
Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Guinea Pig Food
Animal nutritional experts specially formulate this guinea pig food, and it is suitable for all life stages. It contains probiotics and prebiotics for optimal digestive health. It also has natural antioxidants that help enhance your pet’s immune system and overall health.
It is preserved naturally for ideal freshness. The large, crunchy part of the food helps support your cavies’ dental health through the natural chewing process. This guinea pig food will provide your cavies with the nutrition it needs. The formula for this food is based on alfalfa hay which is rich in magnesium and calcium.
- Large pieces to support dental health
- It contains prebiotics and probiotics
- Naturally preserved
- Formulated specially for guinea pigs
- Brand: Kaytee
- Model: 100037747
- Weight: 5 Pounds
- Dimensions: 4 * 9 * 9.5 inches
- Form: Pellet
- Suitable for cavies a year o;d that need a primary alfalfa hay-based diet
- It supports digestive health
- It contains all the essential nutrients
- It comes in beautifully colored pellets
- The pellets may be too large for younger guinea pigs
- Some users have complained about the food being crushed in the package
Vitakraft Guinea Pig Food High Fiber Timothy Formula
Vitakraft is a well-known manufacturer of guinea pig food. These pellets are made from timothy hay and enriched with vitamin C, omega fatty acids, and natural oils. It also contains mixed vegetables and whole grains mixed together to make your pet happy and healthy.
The formula also contains minerals, antioxidants, and probiotics which makes it a nutrient-rich meal. The formula contains varied appearance and a long strand of fibers that help maintain your pet’s dental hygiene.
- High fiber content
- Fortified with minerals and vitamins
- Contains DHA Omega 3
- Brand: VitaKraft
- Model: 051233347936
- Weight: 8 Pounds
- Dimensions: 9.5 * 2.5 * 16 inches
- Form: Seeds
- It is rich in fiber, timothy hay
- It keeps your pets coat shiny
- It contains natural oils, flaxseed, and omega fatty acids
- It promotes dental health
- It contains essential minerals and vitamins
- Selective piggies tend to eat the bits they like and ignore the pellets
Buying Guide Questions
Below are answers to some FAQs.
What foods kill guinea pigs?
The foods that can kill a guinea pig include grains, dairy, meat, nuts, corn, lilies, onion, sweet peas, and many others. To ensure the safety of your pet, feed them food items approved by your vet.
Do guinea pigs need pellets in their diet?
Pellets are an important part of a guinea pig’s diet, but make sure they have a proper balance of hay, pellets, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Do guinea pigs need a wheel?
Wheels and exercise balls are dangerous to guinea pigs; they can badly injure their back because of their anatomy.
Do guinea pigs bite?
Guinea pigs rarely bite without any reason. However, they tend to nibble on their owners when they are being held, but the nibbles aren’t painful.
Can carrots kill guinea pigs?
Carrots are safe for guinea pigs to eat, they offer fiber, vitamin B, and C, but they should be fed in moderation as carrots contain sugar.
Can you let your guinea pig run around the house?
Letting your guinea pig run around the house is advised as they need a lot of space to exercise, but make sure they are safe while roaming about the house.
What household items can guinea pigs play with?
Guinea pigs like to play with cardboard boxes, chew toys, crumpled paper bags, stuffed tubes, and many other things.
What do guinea pigs hate the most?
Guinea pigs do not like fatty, sugary, salty, and processed foods. They also can’t have alcohol, dairy, caffeine, and foods that cause gas.
Can guinea pigs live on just pellets?
Guinea pigs can live off pellets as they enjoy them, but they don’t give your cavies the chance to chew. It is also important to provide them with hay, vegetables, and fruits.
Guinea pigs need healthy diets that contain sufficient amounts of fiber and vitamin C. However, it is vital that you also feed them a mixture of fresh fruits and vegetables and their pellet food made to meet their nutritional needs. Also, make sure your guinea pig has access to fresh hay and clean water; that way, your pet will live a healthy life.
With the help of the buying guide and product reviews, you should be ready to select the best guinea pig food for your pet. Choose a product that meets all your requirements and is suitable for your pet. To help you understand more, we answered some FAQs, take a look and make the right choice.