The best guinea pig food may vary from pig to pig depending on their nutritional needs (some are overweight, some are underweight and some are just picky!).
In our guide below, we’ll highlight some of the top choices of dry, packaged foods as well as look at the best fresh foods that you should also incorporate into their diet.
Proper nutrition is important for any animal, big or small, piggies included!
Many feel that guinea pig care is too complicated, but if you take the time to read their diet requirements thoroughly, you’ll realize that it’s not so bad after all.
If you thought that you could just throw in some pellets once a day and clean their cage once a week, then you still have some research to do!
Here is how the dry food works:
- Hay. Hay functions as both food and bedding for a guinea pig, so it’s important to have some available for them in their cage.
Hay should be alfalfa-based or grass-based (Timothy grass is the most popular for guinea pigs).
- Pellets. In addition to hay, you can choose to use pellets as their main food source. These are formulated with the important vitamins and minerals that a pig needs, but they DO NOT replace hay.
Main meals – pellets.
Always present for bedding and munching – hay.
- Vitamin C Tablets. Vitamin C is important to guinea pigs since it helps prevent scurvy (a disease caused by a Vitamin C deficiency).
You can find Vitamin C tablets to feed your pig as a supplement if you feel that their regular diet isn’t providing them with enough (follow dosage guidelines carefully).
Stressed, ill or pregnant guinea pigs will benefit from extra portions of Vitamin C (again, talk with your vet or read the dosage guidelines)
Top 6 Guinea Pig Foods Table
|1. Small Pet Select Guinea Pig Food Pellets||Pellets||$$$||4.8|
|2. Oxbow Essentials Cavy Cuisine - Adult Guinea Pig||Pellets||$$$||4.8|
|3. Oxbow Natural Science Vitamin C Supplement 60 tabs||Vitamin C Tablets||$||4.7|
|4. Small Pet Select 2nd Cutting Timothy Hay Pet Food||Hay||$$$$||4.4|
|5. Standlee Premium Western Forage Timothy Grass||Hay||$$$||4.4|
|6. Kaytee All Natural Timothy Wafer-Cut Hay for Rabbits & Small Animals||Hay||$$||4.4|
Dry foods and pre-packaged foods are handy, but they shouldn’t make up 100% of a guinea pig’s diet.
In addition to the dry foods above, here are some fresh foods that you should also incorporate into your piggy’s diet:
- Lettuce & Greens. There are plenty of leafy greens that you can feed your guinea pig: Romaine lettuce, green or red leaf lettuce. Avoid iceberg lettuce since it is too watery and has very little nutritional value for your pig. They also enjoy dark leafy greens such as arugula, kale, radicchio and spinach.
Dill and mustard foliage is also great for them.
- Veggies. Green bell peppers (rich in Vitamin C to prevent scurvy), carrots, broccoli, cucumber or celery are also excellent choices. Careful with the carrots, as they are high in carbs and natural sugar (for a guinea pig’s small body)
Avoid fruit or give them a very small amount on occasion since they have too much natural sugar for guinea pigs. Tomatoes are also good to give on occasion (it is an acidic fruit so you want to be careful not to give it too often).
If you wouldn’t drink old, stagnant water, then why should your guinea pig?
Make sure you change out their water on a regular basis and that it’s room temperature when you refill.
Don’t use distilled water since it has been deprived of the minerals that living organisms needs. Filtered water is fine, or regular tap water at room temperature.
Top 3 Best Guinea Pig Food Reviews
This is definitely one of the best guinea pig food brands out there and one that your piggies will love!
This is a timothy hay-based pellet food that also contains other plant-based ingredients such as soybean hulls, wheat middling and barley, along with all of the vitamins and minerals that your pig needs to stay healthy.
Even the picky guinea pigs seem to change their mind about pellets when they see this one (probably because they realize the quality difference).
It comes in 5-pound, 10-pound or 25-pound bags.
Slightly lower in price but still an excellent pellet is the Cavy Cuisine from Oxbow.
It actually has a lot of the same ingredients as the previous one, minus the barley. It is high in fiber and contains stabilized Vitamin C, so you might be able to skip the Vitamin C tablets all together if you choose this food.
If for some reason your pig didn’t like our number one choice, this is an excellent alternative.
Finally, we have those Vitamin C tablets we mentioned earlier.
This is an optional supplement that you may not need to feed on a regular basis.
If you have a picky pig that doesn’t always eat their pellets when they should (or for any of the other reasons we mentioned above), you might like having these tablets on hand to make sure you prevent a Vitamin C deficiency in your pig.