Posted: November 13, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT
Q: I rescued an adult female guinea pig and I am not sure how much to feed her. She has both cube hay and loose hay along with guinea pig food. I give her fresh fruits and vegetables twice daily, yet she still squeals a lot when she hears the refrigerator door open. I was also wondering if it’s possible if you can over feed guinea pigs vegetables. If they receive five to six different vegetables a day, is this too much?
A: Guinea pigs are not gorgers like a dog or cat. They eat their fill, then they walk away. This behavior makes it possible to leave pellets down all day. Because hay is a great source of Vitamin C, feeding eighty percent hay, ten percent pellet and ten percent fruits and vegetables has been a long-standing formula when feeding guinea pigs. Offering a variety of fruits and vegetables — like a handful twice daily — will keep your guinea pig healthy. Variety is very beneficial.
Regarding the squeaking when the frig door opens, well, guinea pigs are smart creatures and they know that fruits and veggies come from the refrigerator. So why not try to work you for an additional treat!
Finally, guinea pigs can become overweight from a lack of exercise. Like people, they can develop heart problems and circulation problems, so floor time insures your guinea pig will stay nice and trim.