Basic Guinea Pig Care

Basic Guinea Pig Care

Feeding – Guinea Pigs can be quite selective feeders and can become fussy with their food. It is important to offer the right balance in their diet to avoid this and to ensure their overall health. Regarding diet, these are some of the recommendations we suggest:

  • Supreme Selective Adult Guinea Pig
    This is the pellet food. You could feed up to 10g per day, however this would be generous. Make sure to throw away any food left from the previous day. This is not to be a main food source but is helpful in maintaining a balanced diet and way of providing essential nutrients.
  • Zupreem Timothy Hay
    This should be fed liberally and be the primary food in their diet. Hay is essential for dental health and if they do not eat enough hay, they can develop dental issues which can result in further illness. If you can get a good-sized cat litter tray, you can line the tray with newspaper and place the hay inside there. This will keep everything tidy and give a dedicated space for hay. This should also encourage toileting in one place and allow you to keep their home fresh much more easily.
  • Vitamin C Supplement
    Although the foods you are going to be feeding which have Vitamin C in them, we still need to supplement them with a direct source of Vitamin C through supplements. There are supplements made for guinea pigs, although these are usually diluted in water and it is not a reliable way of ensuring they are getting enough each day.
    The link below will lead you to a children’s chewable vitamin C supplement. You can quarter these and give one quarter each morning. This would ensure the correct amount required each day. Should these particular chewables not be available, please contact the clinic for advice. Other brands may have higher quantities of if vitamin C in the chewable and you may give too much if you have not been guided on an alternate option.
  • Shared below is a list of fruits and vegetables for you that are good options and are safe. This list includes the quantity of Vitamin C they provide so that you can see which ones have higher quantities. Fresh fruits can be offered 2-3 times a week but should not be a staple in their diet.
  • Always ensure that water is fresh each day. The best way to offer water would be in a small ceramic dish. This way you will be able to clean it and refill it daily ensuring it is always fresh. This is also helpful in keeping an eye on her fluid intake as drinking more or less water than usual for them could be an indication of illness.

Handling – Guinea pigs are animals that would be prey if they were in the wild. The best way to approach your guinea pig would be to pick it up gently by placing your hand underneath their belly and then use the other hand to support their bottom. Approaching from above or over their head is quite frightening for them as their natural instinct tells them they are at risk of danger.

Housing – Guinea pigs are very clean animals and often do well when they are given spaces for specific needs (i.e. Hay in a Litter Tray). The following are good options to keep your guinea pig happy in their home:

  • An igloo or hide is a good idea to give them a space to sleep or feel safe if they need to hide.
  • Small ceramic bowls are a better option for food and water as they cannot be chewed on and are the easiest to keep clean.
  • Use a litter tray or container to keep hay in.
  • Use fleece blankets to line the bottom of the cage. Sawdust or hay can get very messy and can get tangled in their fur. Fleece blankets can changed every other day and placed in the wash.
  • Keep a close eye on the areas that you find the most poop. This will likely be the place that they like to urinate as well. Spot clean the poop once or twice daily to keep the cage clean and change the bedding in the area where you find urine.

Grooming – Although guinea pigs do groom themselves regularly, you may need to attend to some things from time to time:

  • Nail trimming may need to be done every few months. Keep an eye on the length and ensure the nails do not grow under or so long so that it is uncomfortable for them to stand with their feet flat. If you are not comfortable doing this at home, please call the clinic to book an appointment.
  • Occasionally your guinea pig may need bathing, more so if they have long hair. If they are dirty, use an oatmeal shampoo, as this will be very gentle on their skin.
  • If your guinea pig has long hair, monitor the area around their bottom to ensure it does not get too long. This may need trimming from time to time to keep them comfortable and clean. Daily brushing is best to keep the hair from matting which is uncomfortable as it pulls the skin.

Vitamin C per 100 grams — Vegetables

  • 90.0 mg — Peppers, Red
  • 133.0 mg — Parsley
  • 130.0 mg — Spinach, Mustard
  • 120.0 mg — Kale
  • 93.2 mg — Broccoli
  • 89.3 mg — Peppers, Green
  • 85.0 mg — Brussels Sprouts
  • 85.0 mg — Dill Weed
  • 80.0 mg — Lambs quarters
  • 70.0 mg — Mustard Greens
  • 62.0 mg — Kohlrabi
  • 60.0 mg — Turnip Greens
  • 46.4 mg — Cauliflower
  • 45.0 mg — Chinese Cabbage (pak-choi)
  • 43.0 mg — Watercress
  • 35.3 mg — Collards
  • 35.0 mg — Dandelion Greens
  • 32.2 mg — Cabbage
  • 30.0 mg — Chard, Swiss
  • 30.0 mg — Beet Greens
  • 30.0 mg — Swiss Chard
  • 28.1 mg — Spinach
  • 27.0 mg — Cilantro
  • 25.0 mg — Rutabaga
  • 24.0 mg — Lettuce, Romaine
  • 24.0 mg — Chicory Greens
  • 22.7 mg — Sweet Potato
  • 21.1 mg — Okra
  • 21.0 mg — Turnip
  • 21.0 mg — Purslane
  • 19.1 mg — Tomato
  • 18.0 mg — Lettuce, LooseLeaf
  • 17.0 mg — Parsnips
  • 16.3 mg — Green Beans
  • 14.8 mg — Squash (summer, all varieties)
  • 13.2 mg — Asparagus
  • 12.3 mg — Squash (winter, all varieties)
  • 11.0 mg — Sweet Potato Leaves
  • 9.3 mg — Carrots
  • 9.0 mg — Pumpkin
  • 8.4 mg — Carrots, Baby
  • 8.2 mg — Alfalfa Sprouts
  • 8.0 mg — Lettuce, Butterhead (Boston, Bibb)
  • 7.0 mg — Celery
  • 6.8 mg — Corn, White
  • 6.5 mg — Endive
  • 5.3 mg — Cucumber (with skin)
  • 4.9 mg — Beets
  • 2.8 mg — Endive, Belgian (Witloof Chicory)

Vitamin C per 100 grams — Fruits

  • 98.0 mg — Kiwi
  • 61.8 mg — Papaya
  • 56.7 mg — Strawberries
  • 53.2 mg — Orange
  • 53.0 mg — Lemon (no peel)
  • 42.2 mg — Cantaloupe
  • 38.1 mg — Grapefruit, Pink and Red
  • 33.3 mg — Grapefruit, White
  • 30.8 mg — Tangerine
  • 29.1 mg — Lime
  • 27.7 mg — Mango
  • 24.8 mg — Honeydew Melon
  • 21.0 mg — Blackberries
  • 16.0 mg — Casaba Melon
  • 15.4 mg — Pineapple
  • 13.5 mg — Cranberries
  • 13.0 mg — Blueberries
  • 10.8 mg — Grapes
  • 10.0 mg — Apricots
  • 9.6 mg — Raspberries
  • 9.6 mg — Watermelon
  • 9.5 mg — Plum
  • 9.1 mg — Banana
  • 7.5 mg — Persimmon, Japanese
  • 7.0 mg — Cherries, Sweet
  • 6.6 mg — Peach
  • 5.7 mg — Apple (with Skin)
  • 5.4 mg — Nectarine
  • 4.0 mg — Pear
  • 3.3 mg — Raisins, Seedless