Guinea pig feeds, which are sold in pet stores as a treat for your pets, often contain more fat, sugar, and other harmful ingredients than pigs are safe for. Manufacturers sometimes add foods such as yogurt that are unsuitable for digestion of pigs. Do not forget that the taste and nutritional needs of guinea pigs are not the same as those of humans, and these little pets will like this simple and nutritious treat made from vegetables and fruits.
To understand how to feed a guinea pig at home, you need to familiarize yourself with the physiological characteristics of this rodent. His body is not arranged like a human. The main difference is that the peristalsis of the intestine in a rodent is much weaker than in humans. Accordingly, most products that are to the liking of a person cannot be given to a rodent.
To properly organize the feeding of a furry friend, think about what he eats in the wild. The diet of a domesticated rodent should not radically differ from the diet of a rodent that lives on the outside. And he eats in the wild various plants, crops, hay, roots, some fruits and vegetables.
When compiling a diet for your pet, you should take into account the individual characteristics of animals, each of which has its own preferences. Some of the rodents love apples, and some more like carrots, some like succulent food, and some like hay. This does not mean that you need to feed your pet only those foods that he loves. The diet should be well thought out and balanced. But, if possible, give preference to those foods that please the rodent. Also take into account that, along with your favorite food, it is advisable for your ward to feed one that he does not like, but which should be present in the diet.
Rodents cannot leave food for the future. If you are going on a two- or three-day business trip, take the pet to friends, or give it to overexposure. If you give the pet to friends, instruct them on what to feed the rodent with and not with.
Before proceeding directly to the description of permitted and prohibited products, we will make a reservation about how many times a day to feed a guinea pig. Rodents need to be fed often, but little by little. It is advisable to fill the pet feeders 4 times a day. It is advisable to feed your ward at the same time. You should not put a lot of food, as a small fluffy rodent is prone to stocking. Accordingly, the food that the pet does not eat, he will try to hide. Make sure that nothing remains in the feeders after feeding.
If you give fruits or vegetables, then after feeding, remove all residues, and do not be too lazy to wash the feeders. If it is wrong to take care of the pet, and keeping the dishes clean is also part of the care, then the ward will certainly have indigestion caused by soured food. The rodent feeders should be washed without the use of detergents.
If you introduce a new product into the diet, do it carefully. Rodents are very sensitive to feed changes. When giving any product for the first time, watch your pet. If he has signs of a violation of the digestive tract, immediately exclude the new product from the diet.
Guinea pig diet
In the diet of guinea pigs should be present:
- grain feed
- vegetables and fruits,
- green feed
- hay and twigs.
In addition to the above products, rodents need vitamin C, which is not produced in their body. As an option, add the usual ascorbic acid, purchased in a pharmacy, to water. A glass of water should contain no more than 20 mg of ascorbic acid. You can just squeeze the juice from one fresh lemon into the water. Immediately make a reservation that a fluffy pet in the cage should always have water.
Let us consider separately what kind of grain and green food rodents need. We also talk about which vegetables and fruits should be given to the wards, and which can provoke serious health problems.
Pigs love vegetables
Cereal feed is the basis of the diet. Specialized stores sell finished food for guinea pigs. They differ slightly in composition, but have a significant difference in price. Pricing policy depends not so much on the composition of the feed as on the country of origin. Import is more expensive than domestic goods. The basis of feed mixtures is oats. They may also include wheat, corn, peas, or other cereal crops.
You can make the feed mixture at home. But, in addition to cereals and cereals, the composition of store feed includes a variety of trace elements that the body of rodents needs. At home, it is not possible to make such a feed. Therefore, preference should be given to store trains. Choosing a feed mixture, do not stop the choice on cheap positions. Good feed mixtures cannot be cheap. The low pricing policy of those feeds that have a poor composition.
Well established in the market of food Cavia Nature (Cavia nature), Cavia Complete (Cavia komplete) and Crispy Muesli (crispy muesli) from the company Laga Versele (laga versel). Also popular are the feeds of Little One (Little Van or Little One), Padovan (Padovan), Fiory (Fiori), Vitakraft (Vitacraft), Sultan (Sultan), Jr Farm (yur farm). Of the domestic feed mixtures, Dusya, Vaka Lux, Chika Bio and Rodnaya Korma company products are popular. This is not a complete list of noteworthy feeds. To determine the best food for guinea pigs, since all rodents do not have their own food preferences.
The share of grain feed in the diet of rodents is 30%.
In the summer, our region is rich in various vegetables. Almost everyone who has a garden grows tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant and sweet red or green bell pepper. Let’s see if tomatoes and other vegetables can be guinea pigs. We'll talk about celery, cabbage, radish and radish separately.
Be sure to include cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, zucchini, pumpkin, beets and corn in the diet of furry pets. Since they contain sugars and acids that cause diabetes and allergies, we give vegetables in moderation. If Jerusalem artichoke grows on the garden, then we give it extremely rarely. Young Jerusalem artichoke is excluded from the diet, since it contains a large amount of starch.
Do not feed rodents with bell peppers or tomatoes alone. You should give different vegetables every day. As for whether zucchini is possible for guinea pigs and pumpkin is possible for guinea pigs, both of these vegetables are not contraindicated in rodents. But experts recommend giving them no more than 3 times a week.
Is it possible for guinea pigs potatoes, which is the most common vegetable in our country? In addition to starch, which contributes to obesity, the vegetable contains solanine, which lowers rodent immunity. Accordingly, it is better to exclude potatoes from the diet of the pet.
Separately, let’s say whether celery can be guinea pigs. This exotic vegetable at the moment is a part of almost all elite rodent foods. It is rich not only in vitamins, but also in microelements. It contains magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron and phosphorus. Accordingly, it must be included in the pet's diet. In moderate amounts, pets should be given sauerkraut (not more than 1 tbsp. In a few days) and tomatoes.
Cabbage, radish, radish
Well, let's consider whether guinea pigs can use cabbage, radish and radish. Specialists do not recommend feeding their guinea pig with cabbage. This applies not only to white cabbage, but also to Beijing cabbage. Cauliflower and broccoli are also not recommended. Some rodents have individual intolerance to a particular variety of cabbage. And even if there is no intolerance to cabbage, this product in its raw form provokes diarrhea and flatulence. As for the radish and radish, these vegetables can cause irritation of the mucous membranes. But the tops of these plants are not forbidden for the pet to give.
The proportion of vegetables is not more than 15% of the rodent's body weight.
Fruits and berries
Let’s see if guinea pigs can have strawberries or grapes, apples or pears, tangerines or mangoes, etc. All fruits and berries contain fruit acids and natural sugars to one degree or another. These substances can provoke serious health diseases in small rodents. Therefore, if they are included in the diet, then in small quantities. Since fluffy pets perceive these foods as a treat, they can be given as a reward for something, or along with useful foods that pets do not want to eat.
Fruits and berries, traditional for Russia
The cheapest in our region are apples and pears. Therefore, first of all, let’s talk about whether it is possible for guinea pigs to pear, and whether apples can be guinea pigs. As for pears, they contain a large amount of sugar. Accordingly, they should be given in moderation and not every day. As for apples, this delicacy is most harmless to rodents. But, in view of the presence of fructose, we give them, nevertheless, in moderation. All sweet fruits and berries can be given only in small quantities. This applies to plums, cherries, cherries, strawberries, strawberries, raspberries, apricots, etc.
Watermelon, which appears on store shelves in the second half of summer, the pet will be happy to eat. But, due to the fact that this berry is famous for its diuretic effect, it is extremely rare to feed rodents with watermelon, and it is better to exclude it from the diet altogether.
Citrus and Exotic Fruits
Many people are interested in whether kiwi can be guinea pigs, or, for example, whether oranges can be guinea pigs. All citrus fruits should be excluded from the diet. If you really want to treat your pet with pineapple, pomegranate, or give him an avocado, melon or peach, then this should be done no more than 1-2 times a month. We give treats to the furry ward in very small quantities. It is undesirable to give persimmons to rodents, which can provoke an upset stomach.
Green feed required
Well, let’s say separately about whether it is possible for guinea pigs to have a banana, which has long been not perceived in our country as an exotic fruit. It is given to rodents, due to the presence of starch, experts do not recommend.
Immediately make a reservation about dried fruits (raisins, dates, dried apricots, etc.). Due to the fact that they contain more fructose than fresh fruits, they are not recommended for consumption.
The proportion of fruits and berries is not more than 10% of the rodent's body weight. We give all the fruits to the seedless pet. It is also advisable to peel them from the skins. Only melons are given along with the crust.
Summer, unlike winter, is rich in green fodder, for which you do not have to pay. Due to the presence of green feed in the diet, the risk of diseases of the digestive tract of rodents is minimized. In addition, pets receive vitamins and minerals from plants.
Fluffy rodents should be fed with dandelions, young sedge, clover, alfalfa, plantain leaves, chamomile, yarrow and tansy. You should also give your pets germinated crops and wood lice. It is necessary to include greens in the diet, which, without much difficulty, can be grown on a personal plot or window sill. Animals enjoy arugula, basil, parsley, spinach, dill and mint. It is worth noting that dill not only improves the digestion of rodents, but also improves their appetite.
But lettuce should be given carefully. In animals that are not accustomed to succulent food, an allergic reaction can occur. And some varieties of lettuce even have a diuretic effect and irritate the respiratory tract (watercress, for example). You can try to give the pet cilantro. Some animals refuse to eat it because of a specific smell. Turnips should be included in the diet, but experts do not recommend giving turnips themselves.
About whether it is possible for guinea pigs beets or carrots, we spoke above. Here we also note that animals, in addition to root crops, can be given the tops of these vegetable crops.
Since many wild plants are poisonous, collecting green pet food should be extremely careful. Do not give rodents plants unknown to you. Don't give your pets the greens you bought in the market. If it is treated with insecticides, then the animal can get severe poisoning or die. Therefore, grow greens yourself.
Hay and twigs
Due to the structural features of the digestive tract, guinea pig hay is a must. It is sold in pet stores. But, if there are plantings or fields nearby, you can harvest it yourself. When harvesting hay, it is important to select non-toxic plants. Do not harvest hay from alfalfa. It is suitable only for pregnant females and young animals. If you buy hay at a pet store, be sure to pay attention to its smell. If the hay is overhang, which is well perceptible by smell, then its purchase should be abandoned. You should not buy wet hay.
Besides the fact that hay improves the digestive tract, it allows animals to grind their teeth. In a cage with a rodent, in addition to a feeder and a drinking bowl, there must be a sennik. Do not choose miniature senniki. Fluffy rodent should be given dried herbs in unlimited quantities. In the absence of hay in the cage, the rodent eats sawdust. And, in view of the fact that they contain particles of excrement, this cannot be allowed. Although, for the sake of justice, it is worth noting that rodents eat their litter. It contains enzymes that improve the digestion process. But, if you organize the pet proper nutrition and appropriate care, he will not have digestive problems.
In addition to hay, pets should be given tree branches in winter. Fluffy pets are happy to bite the tree. An alternative to the Christmas tree are willow or aspen branches. Branches of fruit trees and juniper should not be given to pets.
The share of hay in the diet of rodents is 20%. In winter, due to the lack of succulent feed, it increases to 40-45%.
Several times a week we give bran fluffy rodents. If the pet has no health problems, then it is enough to treat him with bran 2 times a week. If his body is weakened, as can be judged by the lethargic behavior and condition of the coat, we give bran 4 times a week. Young growth is also fed with bran 4 times a week. Even in the diet of a rodent, you need to include salt, at the rate of 1.3 g for an adult and 0.5 g for a young individual.
Specialized shops sell treats for rodents, which should be treated with caution. The manufacturer writes that the proposed goodies are not only tasty, but also healthy. But, in their preparation, sugar is usually used. And he is on the list of prohibited products. Therefore, even provided that in this delicacy there is a large amount of vitamins and minerals, it is not useful for your furry friend.
But the vitamin complexes that are served in the same specialized stores should be included in the diet. They strengthen the immunity of rodents and improve the condition of their coat. It is advisable to give your pet vitamin complexes in the winter. In summer, he receives all the necessary trace elements and vitamins with juicy feed and fruit. And in winter, the basis of the diet is hay and cereal feed. It is difficult to get everything necessary for the normal functioning of the body. When purchasing vitamin supplements, pay attention to their composition. Most of all, the pet needs calcium. Therefore, it must be part of the product.
Pigs eat almost everything
In general, these rodents can be called omnivores. But, not all products are recommended for use by rodents.
Many people wonder if guinea pigs can have bread, and if milk can be guinea pigs. In the wild, rodents do not eat these products, since it is not possible to get them. Accordingly, for their body they do not represent any value. Moreover, the rodent organism is not able to split lactose. Therefore, drinking milk can cause serious health problems. In small quantities, milk can only be given to young animals.
Bread, especially fresh, is also not recommended for furry pets. It provokes bloating. We give crackers in small quantities. It is better to use brown bread for making crackers.
Sunflower seeds and nuts
As for whether guinea pigs can have nuts and a variety of seeds. No prohibitions are imposed on these foods. But their use leads to obesity. Therefore, we include nuts and seeds in small quantities in the diet. Of the nuts, preference should be given to peanuts and walnuts. Almonds are not prohibited. As for the seeds, it is worth giving preference to pumpkin seeds. And you can give a mixture of sunflower and pumpkin seeds. First we clear all the seeds from the husk.
Из всех круп, которые можно увидеть на прилавках магазинов, в рацион грызунов могут входить только овсяные хлопья, перемолотые в мелкую крупу. Но часто баловать питомцами ими не следует. Если в рационе присутствует овес, то этого вполне достаточно. Вареную же кашу грызунам давать категорически запрещается. Она спровоцирует проблемы с пищеварением. Ведь в природе они питаются только сырыми продуктами.
Well, we’ll make a reservation about how you can’t feed a guinea pig. Taboo is applied to onions and green onions, which are toxic to rodents. Rhubarb, which contains a large amount of oxalic acid, is not recommended for use. For the same reason, a taboo is placed on sorrel. Also, eggs that contain animal protein cannot be included in the diet. Even one egg can harm the body of the pet. Well, sugar, which causes diabetes, is prohibited.
It is strictly forbidden for rodents to give herbs containing poison: fern, aloe, celandine, snowdrop, digitalis, honeysuckle, etc. All plants, due to the fact that there are a lot of them, we will not list. In order not to harm your pet, it is enough to give only those green foods that you know, and which are included in the list of permitted foods for small rodents.
It is worth noting the fact that rodents can not eat paper. Therefore, do not use this material as a litter.