Belonging to the family of rodents, guinea pigs are naturally thought to be omnivores and are fond of eating a piece of meat or a dry bone. But the fact is guinea pigs along with Chinchilla are the only rodents that are one hundred percent herbivores.
They would love all greens, be it beans, hay, grass peas, or whatever is cooked in the house for dinner, if you’re a vegetarian yourself! Just keep in mind they eat uncooked vegetables, so probably, we can say they can eat your vegetable leftovers as well.
Guinea pigs are adorably small in size, and the puffy texture of their skin makes everyone in awe. Nobody will ever reject an offer of holding the cute little fellow in their arms for once. It is equally loved by the adults as well as the kids. Their tiny, shining eyes are a sign of hope for many, and their small wheezy tail is something you can hold forever in your hand.
But the lifestyle of guinea pigs might be a little difficult for everyone to manage. Since slight disrupts in their meals or your attention towards them can make them go from a hundred to zero level energy. And, we would never want our little light beams to shut down ever. We want them happy because they make us happy. It is quite normal and, therefore, easy to take care of a pet dog or a cat, but Guinea pigs are not for amateurs.
Most of the physicians of today’s world say that a happy and healthy lifestyle is, in fact, the reflection of a happy and healthy stomach. Now applying the same rule for our little guineas, we have to take control of their proper meals. We have to look out for what they are eating happily and whatnot.
The best meal is the grass!
Since they are herbivores, the best meal for them is undoubtedly grass. Their stomach is built in a way that promotes their grass-eating habits. Herbs contain lots of minerals and vitamins that are very organic. They need high-quality vegetables and timothy in their diet to survive longer. Usually, their lifespan ranges between 4 to 5 years, but if proper care of their lifestyle and meals is taken, they can live much longer, increasing their average lifespan by two or three more years.
The type of Grass Guineas love:
Now the question arises in minds, what type of grass would do the best for the health of guinea pigs? The answer is very straightforward. They can eat any kind of grass since they are fodder-loving animals, and can eat as much as they want to. Fresh grass is excellent and probably the best way of grass intake, but fresh grass is not usually available in many households, and they find it extremely expensive to buy fresh grass every day. Under such a case, you need not worry about anything because guineas can eat dried grass, usually called hay, with the same love that they eat fresh grass. Even if one mixes the fresh grass and hay, your little pig won’t disappoint you!
Talking about mixing, you can make the food even more interesting for the guineas by combining two or three vegetables or fruit into their hay. But make sure the portions of fruit need to be extremely small. This would be like a professional salad for them, which they would love to eat!
Vitamin C intake:
Guinea pigs do not produce vitamin C on their own in natural processes. Just like humans, they are the ones who need vitamin C intake daily. Grass can be a good source of vitamin C along with many other grassy veggies, including spinach.
Grazing on the wet grass:
Grazing in open and wet fields might be a little too dangerous for the little goofballs. Since they are incredibly soft creatures, if they stay on the damp grass for a long time, they are likely to lose all their beautiful silky hair and can grow different types of fungi in their feet and bellies. This can lead to a severe medical problem for the guineas, so never let them sit on such moist grass frequently.
As far as open fields are considered, it is not encouraged to take your guinea pig to eat from any random, big grass field. Such grass fields produce certain types of insects that might harm leathery animals. It is also said that guinea pigs get exposed to pesky parasite eggs that might grow into their bodies.
Keep in mind!
Now we have come to a point where we all know that our Guinea Pigs can eat grass. Still, one thing being a human being with much more knowledge than animals you need to keep in mind is that before providing any kind of grass, be it fresh or hay, make sure it is not sprayed with harmful chemicals or fertilizers. The digestive system of little Guineas is extremely sensitive and might react badly towards any kind of chemical found in their food. Moreover, do not let the guinea pigs eat grass clippings. It is very much suggested that grass clippings can produce a massive amount of worms in their sensitive bellies of the beloved pet. What you can do is double-check the following list once getting him grass.
- In the case of fresh grass, try to cut it yourself.
- Once you’ve cut the fresh grass, let it stay in the air for some time to release any chemicals you can ever wash it a little bit with some clean water and let it stay for a minute to dry properly.
- If you’re buying hay from the market, make sure you buy from the authentic seller or the person who you can trust on.
- Try growing a little grassy area in your own home to make sure that there is some fresh supply always available.
- Observe keenly from what soil they like the grass most. As grass takes all its nutrients from the soil, the land needs to be healthy as well. If the little pig shows resistance to eating some specific type of soil, try to get it from somewhere else, because this is an indication of some sort of unwanted chemical present in the ground.
A widespread myth:
It’s usually said by the vendors that rabbits and guinea pigs both have the same digestive needs, BUT they are not! Whoever sells anything under the tag rabbit/guinea pig meal is just a predator of a false myth and doesn’t buy anything from them.
A Visit to the Vet:
You need to take your furball to the vets’ office once every four months. Vets usually check up their stomachs, and would you few questions about their eating regime. According to veterinarian Dr. Marie McKibbin, if you are letting your guinea pigs graze in the open grass from the fields, you need to take them to the vets’ office for intestinal checkups to see if they are growing worms inside and need deworming.
Concluding the topic, we suggest that grass is the best meal ever for a guinea pig, but keep in mind that this animal needs far more care in terms of quality food than many other pets’.We hope our guide proves to be useful and would have assisted you in solving your queries. Let us know if you have any questions.