HAY SHOULD ALWAYS BE AVAILABLE!
Hay goes a long way towards meeting your pet’s nutritional needs, and it’s tough fibres maintain healthy gut goverment and sound teeth. Nibbling hay also helps to reduce boredom and consequent behavioural problems.
Good quality hay is essential. Avoid any that is dusty or musty-smelling, and always store hay where air can circulate not in sealed plastic bags. Try different kinds-meadow hay, seed hay, kiln-dried grass, and see what your pet prefers. If in doubt, meadow hay is always a safe choice.
PELLETS AND CEREALS
As well as hay and greens, your pet need dry foods. Guinea pig pellets are designed to fulfil their needs, mixes containing nuts, seeds and fruit may be too fattening. Cereal like oats, barley, or small pieces of toasted wholewheat bread, can also supplement the diet.
However, guinea pigs are greedy creatures and will happily gobble themselves into obesity, so don’t over-feed (about 60gm/2oz dry food per day will suffice an active adult).
VEGETABLES, FRUITS AND THE VITAL VITAMIN
Unlike most animals (but like humans), guinea pigs cannot manufacture their own vitamin C but need to receive it from their diet. Pelleted food made specifically for this species (not rabbit pellets) contains added vitamin C, but your pet will also need daily portions of fresh food such as cabbage, broccoli, carrots, grass, apples, dandelion greens, oranges, strawberries, etc. Dark, leafy green such as kale are particularly high in vitamin C.
Fresh water must be supplied daily. Guinea pigs need, on average 60-125ml of water a day, though some will drink more and other less, especially if they obtain plenty of fluid from fresh foods.
Water bottles should be kept out of direct sunlight to prevent algae growth, and washed reqularly to keep them clean. In winter, water may expand when it freezes, so only half-fill the bottles so that it does not crach, and allow extra time to allow you to thaw out the ice and replace with fresh water.