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Guinea Pig Care

3. Diet, Nutrition - Staples, Treats, Vitamin C

  80% of a Guinea Pig's diet should be hay. L.A. Guinea Pig Rescue recommends Timothy Hay. Orchard Grass, Bermuda, Bluegrass and Meadow Hay are also good alternatives for people with severe allergies. Air Purifiers can help. Feed stores sell hay by the bale and can be a great way to SAVE MONEY! Stored hay in plastic bins can last for a year or more!

The importance of HAY in a guinea pig's diet cannot be over stated! It is what keeps their digestion moving and keeps their teeth from over growing! Simply put: THEY NEED HAY ALWAYS!

     Small Pet Select is one of the best places to get high quality hay online! Small Pet Select was kind enough to reach out to me and offer this 15% Off Coupon for Scotty's Animals viewers! Click the image for coupon to be automatically applied or enter: ScottysAnimals at checkout. They're a great local company that really cares about small animals!

   This Sampler contains: 2nd cutting "Perfect Blend" Timothy, 3rd cutting "Super Soft" Timothy, Oat Hay, and Orchard Hay!

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A hay rack is an important item to have in your guinea pigs cage! You need something to keep the hay off the bedding, and to keep it clean! Piggies are naturally messy and will waste a lot of hay, that's normal. Soiled hay should be discarded daily and hay racks should be refilled daily. Herbal blends can promote hay eating and be a stimulating tasty treat! Add a pinch of herbal blend to hay and pellets to enhance the flavor, texture and aroma!


After trying many different hayracks online, I was always left disappointed! Either they made it too difficult for my piggies to eat hay easily and freely (which is so very important) or they got dirty and were difficult to fill.


That's why I made my own Hay Rack! Its on my Etsy Shop and has tons of 5 Star Reviews. Made in the USA, its all natural and 100% Guinea Pig SAFE! Watch this video all about it. Buy it HERE

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It may seem gross but Caecal pellets, a special kind of poop, are an important part of your guinea pigs nutrition. 

Guinea Pigs are coprophagic which means they eat their own poop as part of their normal digestive process. They contain important B-complex vitamins. This video explains why Guinea pigs eat their Poop!

   In addition to high quality hay, fresh vegetables should be offered daily. These include lettuces (red leaf, green leaf, romaine and baby greens. Iceberg should be avoided because it lacks nutritional value, as should broccoli and cabbage which may cause bloating. Other acceptable veggies include cucumber, bell peppers, parsley, kale, cilantro (coriander) carrots, celery, tomatoes, fresh grass (untreated) and mint, to name a few.

Check out my YouTube Diet Playlist  right here

 Some veggies should be given daily while others less frequently.

Fruit also should be given sparingly as a treat.


Los Angeles Guinea Pig Rescue Food Diet Guide 
Our recommended daily amount of veggies is 1  1/2 - 2 cups per piggie per day. Make sure you are providing a diverse variety of vegetables everyday to keep them interested and it's always important to remember to feed everything in moderation. 

Daily Staples: Mix it up!
Romaine Lettuce
Green Leaf Lettuce
Red Leaf Lettuce
Bell Peppers (all colors)
Kale (1-2 X a wheek)
Fresh Grass (untreated)

Veggie Snacks:

Sweet Treats: Feed in Moderation








Corn (uncooked)

Do Not Feed:

Broccoli (can cause bloat) 

Cabbage (can cause bloat)

Spinach (too much calcium)

Iceberg Lettuce (no nutritional value)

    Guinea Pigs should also have access to high quality Guinea Pig pellets. 1 bowl a day is plenty. These pellets include vitamins and minerals that may not be present in their diet otherwise. But remember, pellets are NOT a substitute for Hay! Nor are pellets a substitute for fresh veggies. They are a supplement to these foods. Hay is #1 because it is the main way guinea pigs wear down their constantly growing teeth, and it provides the fiber that keeps there digestion moving. Not all pellets are equal. Timothy Hay based pellets without seeds, dried fruits, grains or other additives are the only ones I recommend. Look at the ingredients on the bag to confirm Timothy Hay is the FIRST INGREDIENT. Talk with your vet if you have concerns or if your guinea pigs have specific dietary needs. I feed my guinea pigs Small Pet Select Pellets.

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Fresh clean water must be available at all times. NEVER put Vitamin C IN the water! Scroll Down to find out why. At The L.A. Guinea Pig Rescue we prefer water bottles as opposed to water bowls. They stay cleaner and are easy for most guinea pigs to use. Glass or plastic bottle are fine, I have my favorite glass and plastic water bottles. I'll put a link to them here.

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No matter which you choose, your water is only as fresh as the bottle, so it is important to keep your guinea pig's water bottle clean. A bottle brush is essential for keeping the water bottle clean and the Lixit water bottle cleaning brush is the one I use because it was made for pet water bottles and it just works. There's a spout cleaning brush in the handle and it's durable and inexpensive. I smell the inside of the water bottle every time I change the water. In my experience a good shake with some water can free debris that is stuck, but after a few fills, the sides get slimy, it smells funky and it needs to be cleaned with the water bottle brush. 

Here's the link to the Lixit Water Bottle Brush and a video I made about why it's so important, and how I use it.


I drink filtered water, and that's the water I give to my Guinea pigs. Tap water has chemicals like chlorine, lead and other dissolved solids and minerals which may be harmful to your piggies. The vitamins and minerals they get should be from high quality food. Their water should be pure and clean.


I use the Zero Water Filter for all of us, and I love it. It's easy to use and the water tastes great! It comes with a dissolved solid meter so you know its actually working.

Check out Zero Water Filters.

Besides veggies, here are some healthy treats you can feed your piggies. Too much wet veggies can cause soft poops. Hay based cookies and treats are another way to enrich your guinea pigs life.

Apparently it must be said: NO YOGURT DROPS, NO SUGARY FOODS, NO SEEDS, NO HONEY!! Feed any dried fruit or fruit in general VERY SPARINGLY!! Hay based treats are best!

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NEVER Put Vitamin C in the water!

Guinea Pigs NEED Vitamin C. Without it they can develop scurvy and mobility issues. But you never

put vitamin C drops in their water. There is a video below that explains why guinea pigs need vitamin C and why you shouldn't put it in their water. The other video is about Vita Drops


   Vita-Drops are a concentrated liquid vitamin C product based on the average guinea pig's water consumption. They change the flavor of the water.

 They are not always used as directed and lose potency fast. There are EVEN MORE reasons why this product can be HARMFUL to your pigs. Watch both videos to learn the best way to give your pigs Vitamin C.

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