Diet and Vitamin C Requirements of Guinea Pigs

Diet and Vitamin C Requirements of Guinea Pigs

Here we can see, “Diet and Vitamin C Requirements of Guinea Pigs”

Vitamin C

Guinea pigs require a lot of vitamin C because they can’t produce it on their own (much like humans). Guinea pigs can get scurvy if they don’t get enough vitamin C in their diet. The amount of vitamin C needed varies depending on the reference source. However, most guinea pigs require around 10–20 mg per day. More is needed for pregnant, breastfeeding, young, and sick guinea pigs.

  • You can probably meet the vitamin C needs of the ordinary guinea pig if you give a decent mix of vitamin C-rich veggies coupled with a good, fresh guinea pig pellet.
  • Vitamin C is added to many guinea pig pellets, but vitamin C is highly unstable and will decay over time. Therefore, vitamin C is best preserved by storing the pellets in a cool, dark place. Pellets with a stabilized version of vitamin C are also available.
  • Vitamin C tablets are the most effective approach to supplement with extra vitamin C. Vitamin C tablets for guinea pigs (such as Oxbow’s GTN-50C), or human chewable 100 mg tablets are available (note: make sure you are getting just vitamin C rather than a multivitamin formula). Most mature guinea pigs should be given a quarter of a 100 mg pill daily. The guinea pig tablets contain 50 mg of vitamin C; however, tiny excesses are quickly eliminated because vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. Many guinea pigs will consume the tablets, or they can be crumbled and put over veggies or pellets as a reward.
  • Vitamin C can be added to the water, although this method has drawbacks. Vitamin C quickly loses its efficacy (a fresh supply must be made at least daily, if not twice). Due to the flavor, guinea pigs may refuse or restrict their water consumption with added vitamin C, which could lead to various health issues. It’s also difficult to tell whether your guinea pigs are getting enough vitamin C with supplementation. Better choices include feeding a variety of vitamin C-rich fresh vegetables and supplementing directly with vitamin C tablet forms.
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Guinea pig pellets purchased from a pet store should be fed daily. Most guinea pigs do not overeat (approximately 1/8 cup per day), but if a guinea pig gets obese, the number of pellets may need to be reduced. Choose a guinea pig pellet that is of good quality. Because vitamin C in pellets degrades over time, search for pellets that contain a stabilized form of vitamin C or at the very least have a “use by” date. Buy in little quantities and store in a cold, dark place to guarantee freshness.

Alfalfa-based pellets are acceptable for growing guinea pigs, whereas Timothy’s hay-based pellets may be preferable for adults. Oxbow Hay’s Cavy Cuisine and KM Hayloft’s Timothy’s Choice are two great Timothy-based diets.

Avoid diets or pellets for guinea pigs that contain nuts or seeds, dried fruits, maize products, animal by-products, beet pulp, or other fillers. Also, keep an eye out for foods with a lot of preservatives or additional chemicals and foods with a lot of sugar (sucrose, fructose, corn syrup, etc.).


Hay should be a mainstay in everyone’s diet, and there should always be a fresh supply on hand. Adult guinea pigs prefer grass hays such as Timothy hay or orchard grass. Alfalfa is a better supplement for growing guinea pigs and pregnant or nursing guinea pigs, but not for most adult guinea pigs.

Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

A variety of fresh vegetables (particularly leafy greens) and some fruits should be fed daily in addition to the hay and pellets. The majority of the vegetable supplementation should come from leafy greens. Fruits and other vegetables in limited quantities can be provided. Iceberg (head lettuce) should be avoided because it is low in nutrients. Kale, spinach, turnip greens, parsley, romaine lettuce, and dandelion greens are good options. Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collards, bok choy, and other cruciferous vegetables should be avoided or limited since they might cause gas formation in the digestive tract. Also, starchy vegetables like potatoes should be avoided. You can also feed carrots, carrot tops, green and red bell peppers, apples, apricots, bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapes, oranges, strawberries, and tomatoes. Grass, dandelions, clover, and chickweed can also be provided if you have a pesticide-free supply, especially for sensitive and nutritious new growth.

Greens, vegetables, and fruits should be introduced slowly to avoid gastric distress.

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User Questions

What foods provide guinea pigs vitamin C?

Guinea pigs are vegetarians who live in the wild and eat largely grasses. Fresh veggies offered as gifts every day in captivity, on the other hand, will thrill them. Dark, leafy greens, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and some squashes are among the veggies that contain the most vitamin C.

Is it possible for guinea pigs to get too much vitamin C?

It’s good to give an unwell guinea pig extra vitamin C regularly. Vitamin C that is not absorbed by the body is expelled in the urine. Supplementing with more than 100 mg per day for a long time should be reviewed with your veterinarian.

Do guinea pigs require vitamin C supplements?

Most guinea pigs require vitamin C at 25 mg per day. A high-quality pellet with stabilized vitamin C and a cup of fresh greens every day will be enough in normal circumstances. However, scurvy sufferers and those recovering from illness, accident, or surgery may benefit from a supplement.

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Is kale safe for guinea pigs?

Fresh veggies should be offered once a day and amount to around one cup for each guinea pig per day. Most of your pig’s fresh vegetables should be leafy greens like romaine lettuce, red and green leaf lettuces, kale, cilantro, and parsley.

Is it okay if I offer my guinea pig celery?

When offered in moderation, Celery can be an excellent addition to your guinea pig’s diet. It’s packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that your guinea pig needs to stay fit and healthy.


I hope you found this helpful guide. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to use the form below.


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