A guinea pig is a small mammal but also and above all a strict herbivore. In other words, he eats only plants. Its diet consists of fruits, vegetables, hay and grass. For him to be in good health, he must have fresh food every day. The pellets intended for rodents are not suitable for its needs. What is good food for guinea pigs? What are the toxic and dangerous foods for this pet? Answers!
Guinea pig portrait
Guinea pigs are also called guinea pigs. They are native to the Andes region of South America. There, like rabbits, they are both pets and a delicious delicacy. There are many breeds of shorthair or longhair guinea pigs. Among them, we find:
- the rosette,
- the crowned American,
- the crowned Englishman,
- the Rex,
- the Teddy,
- the Shelty,
- the Coronet,
- the Angora,
- the Peruvian,
- the Alpaca,
A guinea pig can live between 6 and 8 years if you feed it properly and meet its needs.
The nutritional needs of the guinea pig
The guinea pig’s diet must cover its needs. The small pet needs to consume proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. How to balance these contributions? Here are some benchmarks.
- The amount of vegetables consumed each day is equivalent to 10% of the weight of the guinea pig.
- Hay is offered at will. It ensures the proper functioning of the digestive system and allows the guinea pig to wear down its teeth.
- A guinea pig needs to consume a lot of vitamin C because its body cannot make it. In order for it to have a sufficient quantity of vitamin C, it is necessary to offer the guinea pig oranges, parsley or even peppers.
Warning ! Even if there are mixtures of pellets for guinea pigs, this type of feed is not recommended. Rodents are picky. They will therefore sort the seeds! To be sure that your pet gets all the intakes it needs, there are food supplements.
Authorized vegetables and fruits
Fruits and vegetables have an important part in the diet of the guinea pig. Here are the ones you can donate without fear (in alphabetical order).
List of vegetables
- The carrot
- The celery
- Chinese cabbage
- The cucumber
- The pepper
- The radish (and its nuts)
- The salad
- Tomato (without seeds)
List of fruits
- The banana
- The strawberry
- The kiwi
- The melon
The 15 toxic and dangerous foods for the guinea pig
Because they are harmful, certain plants should be banned because they represent a danger for guinea pigs.
- Garlic, onion and shallot are dangerous for almost all animals. they destroy red blood cells and can lead to severe anemia.
- Chives and beet beans are too high in oxalic acid and represent a danger.
- Lettuce is the only salad to be avoided, it is too rich in nitrate. For the same reasons, leek and rhubarb are on the poisonous food list.
- Swiss chard cause urinary problems.
- The avocado is too rich.
- The potato cooked as raw is not suitable for the transit of guinea pigs.
- The fig is too rich in oxalic acid and can be fatal for the rodent.
- Sorrel, savory and sage are aromatic herbs that guinea pigs cannot consume. They are fatal.
- Fresh alfalfa is not good for guinea pigs, it has to be dried!
- Chervil contains too much calcium, it is poisonous.
Beets and carrots are not dangerous vegetables for guinea pigs. However, because they are too sweet, these vegetables should not be eaten in large quantities. They can be the cause of being overweight. Overripe fruit is not good for guinea pigs.
The most fragile guinea pigs may suffer from diarrhea when eating plums or spinach. If you find that your rodent has intestinal troubles, then you should cut down on its consumption of fruits and vegetables.
The list of prohibited foods does not end there! Besides fruits and vegetables, many foods are dangerous. Here is the rest of the list.
- The meat should not be eaten by guinea pigs because its digestive system will not be able to withstand it.
- Coffee and tea can damage the nervous system of the animal.
- Dairy products are not digested.
- The pips are deadly because your guinea pig can choke on them.
- Decorative plants in your home are all a hazard to guinea pigs.
How to recognize food poisoning in guinea pigs?
Because you were unaware of the dangerousness of a food or because it was inadvertently given, your guinea pig may suffer from food poisoning. If so, here are the symptoms to watch out for in case of indigestion.
- Diarrhea is a sign to watch out for and especially a symptom that should worry you. Whether food poisoning is mild or severe, diarrhea is indicative of a digestive disorder.
- Seizures are a sign of seriousness. They indicate that your animal is in danger. You need to see a veterinarian quickly.
- Lethargy, like seizures, is a sign of seriousness. Contact your vet or take your animal to the vet as soon as possible.
In the event of food poisoning, your guinea pig will quickly become dehydrated. Also, at the slightest episode of diarrhea, you need to worry. Immediately remove all fruits and vegetables from your pet’s diet. In addition, if your animal becomes weak, contact your veterinarian.