Information for Guinea Pig owners - Part Two

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Google Maps location for Murwillumbah Veterinary Clinic

Murwillumbah Veterinary Clinic
8-10 Queen St
NSW 2484

02 6672 1919
02 6672 1918

Guinea Pig Nutrition 101

Guinea pigs and humans share a unique nutritional issue. Together we are the only mammals which do no make our own vitamin C. Vitamin C is an essential to collagen formation, and the condition scurvy results from lack of vitamin C.

Scurvy was the bane of sailors during the great days of discovery, and it was only because of supplying vitamin C to those on the first fleet that scurvy was avoided in the settlers.

Diet is the cornerstone of guinea pig health. They are herbivores who require a “grazing diet” and daily access to vitamin c.  They need 50-100mg Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, per day. Many supermarket guinea pig foods do not provide adequate vitamin C, and so supplementation with tablets is important.  Vitamin C supplementation is essential for a sick guinea pig.

Average water consumption is 40ml/day. This should be the minimum supply as their needs change depending on the water content of the food and the days temperature.

Guinea Pigs should be fed unlimited grass hay (lucerne hay should be limited for most guinea pigs). They should receive approximately a cup of various leafy greens, broccoli, capsicum, carrot, zucchini, herbs, tomato to give a broad variety of fibre and nutrients. Also they can receive treat pieces of fruit and pellets, but excessive treat foods can lead to obesity.

We have some excellent handouts on guinea pig nutrition available at the Murwillumbah Veterinary Clinic if you are interested.

Next time, we will talk about taking your guinea pig to the vet.



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