Your guinea pigs’ diet needs to be high in fibre and protected vitamin C. Our guinea pig feeding guide is here to help you give your guinea pigs the best diet!
The Excel Feeding Plan
Following our Excel feeding plan will ensure that your guinea pigs get the correct balance of fibre, vitamins and minerals. 85-90% of a guinea pigs’ diet should be high quality, dust extracted feeding hay, such . Supplement this with a small portion of Excel nuggets, the occasional Excel nature treat, a small handful of fresh greens and plenty of fresh water.
Guinea pigs are herbivores who live on a plant-based diet. However, we like to call them ‘fibrevores’ as fibre is by far the most important part of their diet and is essential for their gut and dental health.
Types of fibre
Guinea pigs always need to keep their digestive systems busy with a mix of two kinds of fibre moving through the gut. These two types of fibre are called digestible fibre and indigestible fibre. Guinea pigs get this fibre mainly from good quality hay. We’d recommend Burgess Excel Feeding Hay.
Guinea pigs can’t get enough nutrition from fibre when it passes through their gut the first time. To help them get all the nutrients they need, guinea pigs excrete caecotrophs. These are soft, sticky-type droppings that they then re-eat to digest the rest of the vital nutrients.
Guinea pigs can’t make their own vitamin C so they need extra in their diet. Vitamin C is important for healthy skin, joints and blood vessels. Burgess Excel has been specially formulated to have all the vitamins your guinea pigs need, including a protected form of vitamin C. Along with a handful of fresh greens a day, you can make sure they are getting enough vitamin C.
Digestible fibre is moved up an organ called the caecum, which acts like a giant appendix.
Good bacteria in the caecum ferment the fibre to make it easy for your guinea pigs to digest. This is then excreted as sticky droppings, called caecotrophs. Guinea pigs then re-eat the caecotrophs so they can absorb the rest of the essential nutrients when they pass through a second time.
Indigestible fibre is moved through their digestive system and excreted as separate, round, hard droppings. This type of fibre keeps the digestive system moving and your guinea pigs’ appetites stimulated.
If guinea pigs don’t get the right amounts of both digestible and indigestible fibre, it can rapidly lead to serious health problems. At Excel, we call the correct ratio of these two types of fibre ‘Beneficial Fibre’.
Sticking to The Excel Feeding Plan will ensure your guinea pigs get the right amounts of fibre in their diet. The Excel Feeding Plan was developed in conjunction with one of the world’s leading small-animal vets, to provide a perfect daily balance of fibre and nutrition.
Guinea pigs require lots of love and attention and love to be around their owners. They are the happiest when they are kept in pairs or small groups.
Guinea pig’s teeth never stop growing! They grow at a rate of 3mm per week which is why eating lots of hay is essential in their diets to help wear them down.
Our guinea pig range
Our guinea pig nuggets are a delicious, complementary food designed to be fed alongside good quality hay and fresh greens.
Naturally high in beneficial fibre, with high levels of protected vitamin C, Burgess Excel Tasty Nuggets are here to help keep your guinea pigs happy and healthy. With two flavours, mint and blackcurrant & oregano, your guinea pigs are bound to love them!
Good quality feeding hay or fresh grass should make up 85-90% of your guinea pigs' diet.
Burgess Excel Feeding Hay is an excellent source of good quality, long fibre. With 100% natural ingredients, our Feeding Hay contains dandelion and marigold to support your guinea pigs health.
Burgess Excel Nature Snacks are great for hand feeding your guinea pigs to help with bonding, or to sprinkle through their feeding hay to encourage foraging.
In a range of flavours and types, from gnaw sticks, to blueberry bakes, there's plenty to keep your guinea pigs interested!
Transitioning to Excel nuggets
Transition your guinea pigs’ diet over a period of 14 – 28 days. Gradually reduce their old food and replace it with Excel.
Don’t forget the hay
& ensure there is plenty of fresh water available
Foods to avoid
Plants to avoid include:
Other foods to avoid include:
This list includes common household foods that guinea pigs should avoid but is by no means exhaustive. If your guinea pig has consumed any of these items then please seek veterinary advice.
Do you need more advice?
To help you find the right food for your pet have a look at our product range.
Alternatively you can call our free consumer care line on +44 1405 862241 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Our dedicated team of pet experts will help you make the right choice.
If you should have any concerns about the health of your pet, always consult a vet.
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