Commercial guinea pig food comes in pellet form. To keep the commercial variety suitable for your pets nutritional needs, you must plan to keep only enough for six weeks at a time because it loses the nutritional value. A way around this is to switch to an all-natural homemade guinea pig food. You can even grow your own guinea pig food. Keep in mind that guinea pigs need vitamin C and, as such, there are certain foods they should be eating.
The Importance of Vitamin C
Guinea pigs need vitamin C. The problem is that they cannot produce vitamin C on their own, so it must come from an outside source. Guinea pigs use vitamin C much like humans do to absorb the proper amount of iron into the body.
From Commercial to Homemade
Don't change your guinea pig's food in one day. Slowly introduce the new homemade diet. Guinea pigs are pets of routine, and sudden changes can stress them out; new textures, smells or flavors may cause your guinea pig to stop eating. Gradually introduce homemade food to your guinea pig, while decreasing the amount of pellets you give them. Providing hay, such as alfalfa, will give them both bedding and snack food that helps during the transition.
Guinea Pig Salads
Homemade guinea pig food can be made up as a salad. Use fresh greens and leafy vegetables as the main portion of the salad. Make a variety of salads and vegetable mixes as guinea pigs get bored with the same food after periods of time. Foods good and tasty to guinea pigs include leafy greens such as spinach, kale, watercress, dill weed, loose lettuce and cabbage. Wild greens such as dandelion greens work well, as do vegetable greens such as turnip or beet greens. You can also give them a dessert such as a quarter slice of orange once a day. All of these foods provide the essential vitamin C and are a good source of calcium.
Introduce a vitamin C supplement into the drinking water. Use 10mgs per 1kg of body weight added to 1 quart of fresh water. Change the water every 12 hours. The use of this supplement can be continuous. You can get vitamin C supplements at your local food store.