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Can you overfeed a guinea pig? Quite a valid concern for anyone new in the world of parenting a guinea pig.
We always want to keep our pets satisfied, emotionally, and stomach wise. With such concerns, you might find yourself buying all the available and recommended foods and treats for your guinea pig. No one is judging, the more satisfied your guinea pig is, the better the relationship you both will have.
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Can You Overfeed A Guinea Pig?
Yes, one can overfeed a guinea pig even when they do not mean to. There is a specific amount of food and treats that a guinea pig should eat. A guinea pig’s diet should be:
- Hay – 80%
- Veggies and herbs – 15%
- Fruits – 5%
Failure to observe this can lead to scurviness or an overfed guinea pig. An overfed guinea pig is not a healthy pet since there is a high risk of contracting obesity. A healthy adult guinea pig weighs from 900 to 1800 grams. If your guinea pig’s weight is not within this range, then they are either overweight or underweight.
Guinea Pig Weight Chart
1. Feeding the right portions
One way to avoid overfeeding your guinea pig is by feeding him/her the right portions of their food. Hay is the most important of them and needs to make 80% of their diet. Guinea pigs are rodents in nature, and they need to keep gnawing hay. This helps in keeping their teeth in level. The fiber in hay also enhances its digestive system.
The best options for hay to go for are orchard grass, meadow grass, timothy, and bluegrass. Alfalfa hay is not excellent for pregnant nursing guinea pigs due to its levels of calcium.
A cup of veggies and herbs a pay is ideal for guinea pigs. The vegetables should be fresh and rich in vitamin C. The types of veggies to use are broccoli, carrot, spinach, celery, and basil.
Fruits are treats for guinea pigs, so limit their intake to 5% of their diet. These fruits include apples, watermelons, strawberries, and grapes, among others.
Do not forget to get your guinea pigs pellets from the pet store. At least ⅛ of a cup every day is sufficient. Also, plain pellets from timothy hay are highly recommended compared to the colored ones, which can make your guinea pig develop a selective eating disorder.
If you have more than one guinea pig, then provide their food in separate bowls.
2. Measuring the weight
Another way to ensure you are not overfeeding your guinea pig is by measuring their weight often. Do this at least once every month, and keep track of their weight.
A normal and adult female guinea pig (sow) weighs 700 – 900 grams. An adult guinea pig (boar) should weigh 900 to 1200 grams.
You can use the regular scales used in the bathroom or kitchen to get your guinea pig’s weight. A few grams over or under the recommended weight should not trouble you. However, if the difference is very high, it could mean that your little friend has health problems. Whichever one it is, you need to see a vet immediately.
3. Avoid human food
Do not feed your guinea pig human food like crackers or bread. Guinea pigs are herbivores and should only be fed plant-based foods like veggies, hay, and fruits.
The answer to can you overfeed a guinea pig is a big yes. However, there are ways to ensure that you do not do this as you will be risking guinea pig’s overall health.
Hey, I’m Amy and I’m in love with my Pets! I have a diverse variety, including 2 cats, 1 dog, 3 rabbits, 2 guinea pigs, a rat and a beautiful macaw. I love writing about everything pet-related and spend as much time as I can sharing my personal experiences.