Guinea pigs are awesome little pets that are capable of giving you so much love and entertainment. However, this ability to be a great companion is directly impacted by how happy and healthy they are. One simple way to ensure that your piggie is happy and healthy is by providing them with the best guinea pig food available.
It may be tempting to just go to the pet store and buy whichever guinea pig food you first see, and that’s something that a lot of owners do! However, guinea pigs have specific dietary needs that must be met in order to ensure their health. The way that you’re going to maintain their good health is by feeding them a food that’s crafted to fit those needs.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the 5 best guinea pig foods in addition to a comprehensive buyer’s guide. This will allow you to understand your guinea pig’s needs better and help you find a food that’s perfect for them.
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OUR #1 RATED
OxbowEssentials Timothy Based Food
Low in calories and protein with high vitamin C, this food strengthens coats and gives guinea pigs loads of energy.
Small Pet SelectGuinea Pig Food Pellets
A great nutritional food that has a focus on natural ingredients and timothy hay to create a balanced diet.
Supreme PetfoodsSupreme Selective Fortified Diet
Contains limited ingredients to take a much more natural approach. It’s a tasty food that’s high in Vitamin C and omega 3.
Supreme PetfoodsTiny Friends Farm Gerty Food
A mixed food that’s extremely tasty for guinea pigs with lots of high quality ingredients and great nutritional content.
KayteeTimothy Complete Food
Excellent value paired with a focus on timothy hay and added probiotics to aid in digestive health.
What Do Guinea Pigs Eat In The Wild?
In order to make the best decision for what food your guinea pig should be eating while in your care, it’s important to first learn what guinea pigs eat in the wild.While your guinea pig may live indoors with a plush lifestyle, their biological needs must still be met. Guinea pigs have been eating the same things for thousands of years, so their bodies are fine-tuned for that diet and require nutrients similar to that natural diet.Guinea pigs are herbivores, meaning that they only eat plant matter. This makes their diet a lot more simple than if they were omnivores. Of the various types of plant matter that they eat, grass is one of the most frequently eaten. Hay is also eaten when found, as it’s essentially just dry grass.In addition to grass, vegetables are also eaten. Although they’re found less commonly than grass, they are delicious additions to their diet and provide them with essential vitamins and minerals. One of these vitamins that is necessary is vitamin c, and this topic will be discussed in a bit.
Guinea Pigs Eating Poop And Grass
Guinea pigs eat two things very frequently, which are grass and poop. This diet sounds repulsive, but it’s actually essential for maintaining their good health and getting the most out of their food.
As stated, grass and hay are going to make up the biggest part of a guinea pig’s diet. This may seem like an unfulfilling diet, but it provides excellent nutritional value for them. One of the main perks of grass is that it provides vitamin C – a vitamin that isn’t produced by guinea pigs naturally. A lack of vitamin C can result in serious medical problems like scurvy, so it’s essential that a guinea pig is able to get this vitamin.
In addition to grass, guinea pigs eat their poop… Which is essentially just eating the grass again. Basically, plant matter is very difficult to digest. When the plant matter first gets exposed to the bacteria in the digestive system, it’s broken down and digested, but only partially. So, animals that primarily eat plant matter have special ways to get the most nutrients out of their food.
Cows regurgitate their food from their stomach, chew it again (that’s their “cud”), and digest it once again. Guinea pigs do the same thing, except their food entirely passes through the digestive system before being chewed again.
So, while it is gross to see, let your piggie eat their poop! It’s how they get their essential nutrients and keeps them nice and healthy.
How To Properly Feed Your Guinea Pig
There are a few things that you’ll want to consider while feeding your guinea pigs to make sure that their diets are complete. To begin with, I’ll build on what I was talking about earlier — hay and it’s importance for guinea pigs. You’ll want to supply your piggie with a constant supply of hay to constantly be chewing on, and supplement the rest of their diet with vegetables, a small amount of fruit, and some of the food from our list.
What about portion sizes? How much should your guinea pig be eating? Well… specific guidelines are few and far between. There isn’t a specific number, meaning that it helps to know your individual guinea pig. In general, guinea pigs don’t need a lot of energy as they’re fairly inactive creatures.
Therefore, guinea pigs can be subject to obesity if they’re overfed. This means that you should keep an eye on your guinea pig, and if you ever see them gaining weight, cut back on their portion sizes.
When introducing your guinea pig to new food, it’s important to make the process slow and gradual to avoid distress. The first time that you feed your guinea pig a new food, mix it into their old food with the new making up only about 10% of the total food. Over the next week or two, slowly increase the percentage of new food as you see fit. Dietary changes that are too fast can cause looser bowel movements due to guinea pigs’ sensitive digestive systems.
Supplementing your guinea pig’s diet is important, too. On top of the hay, grass, and guinea pig pellets, it’s a good idea to supplement their diet with a few healthy greens. Fruits are very high in sugar, so a very small portion should be used as an occasional treat. Vegetables are much better, and it’s well worth it to incorporate raw veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, and celery.
Above all this, though, make sure that your guinea pig has constant access to fresh hay and fresh water.
What Defines The Best Guinea Pig Food?
Hopefully it’s been made clear that guinea pigs need a specific diet in order for them to be happy and healthy. The best guinea pig food meets a guinea pig’s specific dietary requirements and helps to round out their nutrition. Below are some of the main characteristics of healthy guinea pig food:
What Is The Best Guinea Pig Food?
We’ve taken a look at many different guinea pig foods, taking into account things such as the quality of ingredients, the price per pound, and the physical health and enthusiasm of the guinea pigs that eat each food. Through this, we’ve found the 5 best guinea pig foods for you to feed your piggie.Remember, every guinea pig is different. So while there is a very good chance that your rabbit would respond well to the foods listed below, they may also react negatively to it.
our #1 rated
OUR TOP PICK
Essentials Timothy Based Food
Oxbow is one of the most popular and well-established brands in the pet food space, and that clearly shows with this guinea pig food. It’s obvious that Oxbow has taken into account the specific dietary needs of a guinea pig when crafting this food. The primary ingredient of this food is timothy hay – a grass that provides the fiber that guinea pigs needs. This food also contains a healthy level of protein with lower calories and calcium levels. Additionally, vitamin C is more than present in this food, making it much easier to ensure that your guinea pig is getting enough of this essential vitamin. In addition to the nutrition, this food is very tasty to most guinea pigs and gives them some phenomenal health benefits.Guinea pig owners that feed their pigs this food are very pleased with their choice. First of all, most owners note that their guinea pigs love the food and have no problem with eating every piece they’re given. Additionally, owners notice that their guinea pigs have thicker and stronger coats while having a healthy amount of energy.There is a very nice lack of complaints about this food, which is always nice to see. The primary complaint by a couple owners is that their guinea pigs won’t eat it, but this can probably be chalked up to them not introducing the food properly. Other than that issue, this food is nutritionally-complete and makes for a great addition to a guinea pig’s diet.
our #2 rated
Small Pet Select
Guinea Pig Food Pellets
Small Pet Select has also created a guinea pig food that’s ridiculously good. These pellets have the primary ingredient of timothy hay, which is an immediate indicator of quality and closeness to a guinea pig’s natural diet. The main draw of this company is that everything is made in the USA from a small family owned business. Everything is made in small batches to ensure freshness and quality. On top of that, this food boasts about 14% protein, 25% fiber, and 2% fat, which is very healthy for an adult guinea pig. The calcium level is also very optimal, and the taste is excellent according to most guinea pigs.Most owners that feed their guinea pigs this food have a great experience. Many owners point out that the quality of this food is excellent and their guinea pigs have no problem eating all of it. Additionally, they’ve noticed that their guinea pigs are extremely healthy and require no supplementation to meet their pigs’ nutritional needs.Similar to the Oxbow food, this food has an overwhelming majority of happy customers. However, a couple of owners have trouble getting their guinea pigs to eat this food despite a proper introduction to it. Additionally, one or two owners have gotten food that seems stale, but the Small Pet Select company has great customer service and handled this problem quickly.
our #3 rated
Supreme Selective Fortified Diet
Supreme Petfoods is a popular brand in the small pet food space, and this Supreme Selective Fortified Diet is a great creation by them. This food contains a lot of natural ingredients such as dandelion and fennel that’s high in fiber and promotes healthy teeth and digestion. Additionally, it has added components such as vitamin C to meet your guinea pig’s standards and linseed for a healthy coat and skin. There are no added sugars to this food, but it’s still a tasty meal for piggies to help them get their essential vitamins and nutrients.Owners are overwhelmingly happy with this food and tend to use it for years upon years. Many guinea pigs seem to only want to eat this food and reject others until they get it, which proves that it’s pretty tasty. Additionally, it’s resulted in beautiful coats and lots of energy for the guinea pigs that eat it.Basically the only downside to this food lies in the fact that it uses alfalfa meal as the first ingredient. Alfalfa is generally not fed to adult guinea pigs due to the higher calcium content that can cause kidney stones. Therefore, you’ll want to limit your guinea pig’s consumption of this food to keep them away from this problem.
our #4 rated
Tiny Friends Farm Gerty Food
While we generally try to add some diversity to our top product lists, Supreme Petfoods is just too good at making quality guinea pig food. This Tiny Friends Farm Gerty Food is a great alternative to the previous food by Supreme Petfoods, with the main difference being that this food is a mixed food. That means that it’s made up of a variety of natural ingredients that encourages natural foraging. The variety of ingredients also ensures that it’s a nutritionally-complete diet to give your guinea pig the nutrients that it needs. The vitamin C content of this food is excellent, and the taste is up there as well.Guinea pig owners love this food, to put it simply. The tasty mix of ingredients is a hit among guinea pigs and doesn’t promote selective feeding – a problem that exists with other mixed foods. Owners love that it has enough vitamin C to where they don’t have to supplement it, and the texture promotes healthy teeth.The big downside to this food is that it’s generally more expensive per pound than other foods. This can be a problem for some households where money is tight. Additionally, alfalfa is one of the top ingredients, and this can make the food too calcium heavy. Fortunately, there is a wide variety of ingredients which means the calcium concentration probably isn’t too high.
our #5 rated
Timothy Complete Food
Kaytee is a very prominent brand in the pet space. While a lot of Kaytee food isn’t the best quality, they’ve really knocked it out of the park with this guinea pig food. Their Timothy Complete Food is exactly as the name leads you to believe – rich with timothy hay. Timothy hay as the primary ingredient is telling of the quality of this food. It’s a tasty food that is nutritionally-complete with added vitamin C and lower in protein and calcium than other foods. Additionally, it has added probiotics to aid in digestive health.Owners that use this food tend to be very happy with it. Most owners find their guinea pigs loving the food and having no problem with eating it. Additionally, it’s a fantastic value for the nutritional content that it brings, so families on a budget find that this food works great.The main issues with this food lie in the ingredients. There are a lot of ingredients in this food, some of which appear to be entirely unnecessary. It also has alfalfa meal and molasses, which are ingredients than can cause negative health effects if too much is eaten.
All of the foods that we have reviewed are more than suitable for guinea pigs and contain all of the essential nutrients that they need to live a happy and healthy life. When supplemented with a large amount of quality hay, these foods act as a great addition to a guinea pig’s diet and will keep them nice and healthy.After analyzing all of the guinea pig food available on the market, we’ve determined that the best guinea pig food is Oxbow Essentials Timothy Based Food.Oxbow has been an excellent manufacturer of small pet food for years and years, and it really shows in this food. The benefits that this food brings guinea pigs, along with its focus on vitamin C content and lack of apparent flaws makes it an excellent addition to any guinea pig’s diet.