Skinny Pig Pellet Food
Pellets only make up 5% of a guinea pigs diet, this mean you need to make the ones you purchase for them really count. View pellets as a multivitamin for your guinea pigs, they are added to their diet to ensure they get all the proper vitamins and minerals for the day. Guinea pigs 6 months and younger can have alfalfa based pellets, unlimited amounts (within reason). Guinea pigs 6 months and older are to have timothy based pellets, 1/8 of a cup per pig, per day.
What To Look For In A Pellet
1. Make sure it is a PLAIN pellet, no seeds, nuts, dried fruit, dried veg or other additives. Extra things in pellets are chocking hazards, fattening, high in sugars and not even foods guinea pigs eat.
2. Check to make sure whether it has Timothy or Alfalfa in it. You need to know if the food is appropriate for the age of your guinea pigs.
3. What is the calcium content in the pellets. You want to feed pellets that have .4% calcium or less. Too much calcium is dangerous and can cause serious health issues.
4. Look to see if it contains Vitamin C. All high end brands have stabilized Vitamin C, meaning it will last and not disappear quickly.
What To Do If You Are Feeding Bad Pellets
It happens to a lot of people, you just pick up the pellets that are cheap and easy to find, assuming all pellets are virtually the same. Sadly, some pellets are SO unhealthy, you’d be better off feeding none at all.
Once you find out what pellets are better for your guinea pigs, mix their old pellets with the new ones. Start off with 1/4 new and 3/4 old and slowly over a few weeks reduce the amount of old pellets and increase the amount of new ones.
There are two reasons for doing this, first off your guinea pigs may need time to get used to the taste of the new pellets and second, you don’t want to cause any stomach upset by switching the pellets full out.
Skinny Pig Pellet Recommendation
1. KM’s Hayloft Timothy Choice Pellets (Calcium Iodate and .4% Calcium).
2. Oxbow Cavy Cuisine (Not recommended for guinea pigs with bladder sludge issues).
3. Living World Green (Low calcium & no additives).
4. Sweet Meadow Timothy Pellet ( Decent Calcium levels, stabilized Vitamin C).
Why You Shouldn’t Over Feed
Over feeding guinea pig pellets is not something you want to do. Guinea pigs over 6 months old can not free feed, meaning they need their pellets measured out. 1/8th of a cup per pig, per day is all they need.
– Guinea pigs who fill up on pellets, aren’t eating as much hay as necessary (need to grind down their teeth and keep a happy tummy)
– Too many pellets consumed means, too much calcium taken in (can lead to bladder stones)
– Over eating pellets leads to obesity and other health risks
Don’t Make Excuses
1. My guinea pigs like the unhealthy pellet (doesn’t mean they should be fed them everyday)
2. I feel bad when their bowl is empty, so I fill it back up (there is to be hay available 24-7, they will eat that when hungry)
3. Good quality pellets are expensive, I can’t afford them (feeding them properly is important for their health)
4. My guinea pigs seem fine eating the unhealthy pellets (seeming fine and actually being fine, are two very different things)
5. I’ve fed all my guinea pigs this brand and never had a problem (why risk a problem, feed them properly)
6. I don’t want to change their pellets, these ones are fine (a good piggy parent is receptive to proper information, don’t let your pride or ego get in the way and prevent you from doing what is best)
When you decided to bring guinea pigs into your lives, you silently agreed to do what is in their best interest. Think of guinea pigs like children, would you justify feeding your small child unhealthy foods? Guinea pigs eat what you give them, they can’t make a choice about their diet, it is up to you.