Best way to keep guinea pigs fit?

Benandbobby192

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So I feed my guinea pigs (1yr old boys) guinea pig nuggets, straw, water and vegetabpes like kale, spinach, grapes and cherries. What is the best way to keep them fit so they have a bright future ahead of them?
 

Piggies&buns

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:wel:

Do take a look at our diet guides. I will add some links below.

Guinea Pigs must not eat straw. They need good quality, dust extracted hay and it needs to make up 80% of their daily food intake.
Guinea Pig nuggets should be kept strictly limited to one tablespoon per pig per day only. They are the least healthy and least important part of the diet.
Filtered drinking water to keep calcium intake down.
Nuggets and unfiltered drinking water account for most of the calcium intake in piggies and high calcium intake can lead to bladder problems and stone formation.

Veg wise, they should not eat kale and spinach regularly - its too high in calcium and should be kept limited to one tiny piece once per week only. Fruit should only be a very occasional treat as it is too high in sugar to feature regularly in their diet.

Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diets
Edible And Forbidden Veg And Fruit List With Vitamin C Grading

This guide explains weight management, the importance of weekly weight checks and checking their heft which is the guide for what is healthy for the individual piggy.

Weight - Monitoring and Management

They need a nice big cage as this will help give them exercise. Some floor or run time a few times a week is also beneficial to them. Keeping them occupied with lots of enrichment.

Enrichment Ideas for Guinea Pigs
 

Benandbobby192

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Don't feed straw , it has no nutritional value . You need to feed hay all the time . Never straw not even for bedding . You'll run into pigs with gut stasis and bad teeth .

Keep them fit with a big cage or loads of safe floor time . Make a pen that is secure.

I yes and cut down the fruit as well . Swap it for bell peppers .
Usually I feed them straw and hay is used as bedding. Also they have a big enclosed cage with light and dark. Something I'm curious about is wether they actually move about in their cage when I'm not looking. Thanks so much for the advice👍
 

Piggies&buns

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Usually I feed them straw and hay is used as bedding. Also they have a big enclosed cage with light and dark. Something I'm curious about is wether they actually move about in their cage when I'm not looking. Thanks so much for the advice👍

Straw should never be used for Guinea Pigs. Its too sharp and can cause injuries. it is also entirely unsuitable for a food source.

The only thing piggies need is hay. Soft meadow hay is suitable as bedding and food. Good quality Timothy is a good food source for them
 

Benandbobby192

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:wel:

Do take a look at our diet guides. I will add some links below.

Guinea Pigs must not eat straw. They need good quality, dust extracted hay and it needs to make up 80% of their daily food intake.
Guinea Pig nuggets should be kept strictly limited to one tablespoon per pig per day only. They are the least healthy and least important part of the diet.
Filtered drinking water to keep calcium intake down.
Nuggets and unfiltered drinking water account for most of the calcium intake in piggies and high calcium intake can lead to bladder problems and stone formation.

Veg wise, they should not eat kale and spinach regularly - its too high in calcium and should be kept limited to one tiny piece once per week only. Fruit should only be a very occasional treat as it is too high in sugar to feature regularly in their diet.

Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diets
Edible And Forbidden Veg And Fruit List With Vitamin C Grading

This guide explains weight management, the importance of weekly weight checks and checking their heft which is the guide for what is healthy for the individual piggy.

Weight - Monitoring and Management

They need a nice big cage as this will help give them exercise. Some floor or run time a few times a week is also beneficial to them. Keeping them occupied with lots of enrichment.

Enrichment Ideas for Guinea Pigs

:wel:

Do take a look at our diet guides. I will add some links below.

Guinea Pigs must not eat straw. They need good quality, dust extracted hay and it needs to make up 80% of their daily food intake.
Guinea Pig nuggets should be kept strictly limited to one tablespoon per pig per day only. They are the least healthy and least important part of the diet.
Filtered drinking water to keep calcium intake down.
Nuggets and unfiltered drinking water account for most of the calcium intake in piggies and high calcium intake can lead to bladder problems and stone formation.

Veg wise, they should not eat kale and spinach regularly - its too high in calcium and should be kept limited to one tiny piece once per week only. Fruit should only be a very occasional treat as it is too high in sugar to feature regularly in their diet.

Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diets
Edible And Forbidden Veg And Fruit List With Vitamin C Grading

This guide explains weight management, the importance of weekly weight checks and checking their heft which is the guide for what is healthy for the individual piggy.

Weight - Monitoring and Management

They need a nice big cage as this will help give them exercise. Some floor or run time a few times a week is also beneficial to them. Keeping them occupied with lots of enrichment.

Enrichment Ideas for Guinea Pigs
Whoops ive iust realised I'm not feeding them atraw but I'm feeding them hay and its not too often we feed them fruits. Thanks for the advice😁
 

Featheryfriend

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I hope by straw you mean hay. Straw is not nutritious at all.

None of the fruits and vegetables you listed are suitable/safe to be fed daily. Kale and spinach have too much calcium. Fruit should only be fed as a treat as it can cause diabetes and mouth sores. Please see the diet guides on this forum for more appropriate things to feed them.

Here is an example of what I feed my guinea pigs each day per pig:

80% orchard grass hay
10% oxbow pellets (1 tablespoon) and an oxbow vitamin C biscuit
10% fresh vegetables (about 1 cup) including cucumber, green beans, leaf lettuce, celery, cilantro, and bell peppers (mostly green ones) and probably something else I'm forgetting...
 

Featheryfriend

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...and maybe I'll just chime in and agree that the overall best way to keep your piggies physically fit is a suitably large enclosure that allows them to run in complete loops whenever they feel the urge. Floor time is great too but it is at our convenience, and your piggies may very well decide to nap through it. Pigs may prefer to jog at 3 AM so they need space to do so.
 

Betsy

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The reason you don't feed kale or spinach is the high calcium content and it can lead to stone formation in the bladder. My Patsy who I adopted in September suffered for a week in agony (she was on pain killers and I had taken her to the vet) before she passed this HUGE bladder stone in November. It must have been forming for quite a while and she was lucky to pass it.

1624304757332.png
I took her back to the vet after this stone had put in an appearance and I was told that if she hadn't passed it she would have passed away. The bladder stone was also accompanied by a raging UTI and poor Patsy was in so much pain everytime she weed or pooped it was awful to witness. This stone must have REALLY hurt on it's way out as it was really rough.
 

Benandbobby192

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I hope by straw you mean hay. Straw is not nutritious at all.

None of the fruits and vegetables you listed are suitable/safe to be fed daily. Kale and spinach have too much calcium. Fruit should only be fed as a treat as it can cause diabetes and mouth sores. Please see the diet guides on this forum for more appropriate things to feed them.

Here is an example of what I feed my guinea pigs each day per pig:

80% orchard grass hay
10% oxbow pellets (1 tablespoon) and an oxbow vitamin C biscuit
10% fresh vegetables (about 1 cup) including cucumber, green beans, leaf lettuce, celery, cilantro, and bell peppers (mostly green ones) and probably something else I'm forgetting...
Yes sorry I do mean hay when i say straw sorry
 

Benandbobby192

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The reason you don't feed kale or spinach is the high calcium content and it can lead to stone formation in the bladder. My Patsy who I adopted in September suffered for a week in agony (she was on pain killers and I had taken her to the vet) before she passed this HUGE bladder stone in November. It must have been forming for quite a while and she was lucky to pass it.

View attachment 178828
I took her back to the vet after this stone had put in an appearance and I was told that if she hadn't passed it she would have passed away. The bladder stone was also accompanied by a raging UTI and poor Patsy was in so much pain everytime she weed or pooped it was awful to witness. This stone must have REALLY hurt on it's way out as it was really rough.
oh I am so sorry about that. I will definitely look into changing their diet so they don't have to suffer this.
 

Benandbobby192

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When you say do they move when you're not there, have you just brought them home? It's good to give them a few days to get used to the new sounds and smells then offer hand feeding etc to build trust. It can take some time.
Oh no I brought them home 10 months ago in 5 days. I was just curious about wether they're eating the right selection of food.
 

Featheryfriend

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Glad it was hay all along!

One more thought, sorry! 😂

In the case that you find your guinea pigs are already out of shape (due to too cramped of an enclosure, too rich or poor a diet, hopefully this is not the case) I have found dangling a sprig of cilantro/coriander is an excellent motivator to get them moving around. Make sure to give them a sprig occasionally so they don't get too frustrated.

To cite an extreme example, my first guinea pig was rescued from a 10-gallon fishtank and the brink of starvation. She could not walk properly due to weak legs, she moved by dragging herself. Once she was fed and rested for a few days I started her on a little physical therapy routine using cilantro to get her to stretch, stand, climb over small obstacles, and jog in circles. Just for a few minutes at a time. I definitely think it accelerated her recovery. Even with a healthy pig who just leans lazy and/or likes learning tasks for small rewards, this can be a fun game to play.
 

Benandbobby192

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Glad it was hay all along!

One more thought, sorry! 😂

In the case that you find your guinea pigs are already out of shape (due to too cramped of an enclosure, too rich or poor a diet, hopefully this is not the case) I have found dangling a sprig of cilantro/coriander is an excellent motivator to get them moving around. Make sure to give them a sprig occasionally so they don't get too frustrated.

To cite an extreme example, my first guinea pig was rescued from a 10-gallon fishtank and the brink of starvation. She could not walk properly due to weak legs, she moved by dragging herself. Once she was fed and rested for a few days I started her on a little physical therapy routine using cilantro to get her to stretch, stand, climb over small obstacles, and jog in circles. Just for a few minutes at a time. I definitely think it accelerated her recovery. Even with a healthy pig who just leans lazy and/or likes learning tasks for small rewards, this can be a fun game to play.
Thanks a bunch for the advice I will definitely take this into consideration and I am so sorry to hear about your pig's story. I wish the best for her.
 

Piggies&buns

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Oh no I brought them home 10 months ago in 5 days. I was just curious about wether they're eating the right selection of food.

Do read the diet guide I linked in. It explains a good balanced diet along with safe every day veggies. Do remember though that veg and nuggets aren't the important part - hay is and they need absolutely loads of it every day. Their weekly weight checks are your guide to whether they are eating enough hay (the weight management guide I linked in explains further).

Ensure they have a large cage - 180x60cm is the recommended size for a boar pair and lots of enrichment - tunnels, cardboard boxes boxes with two doors cut in (never enclosed hides with a boar pair), big hay piles with their daily veg and pellet portion hidden in for example are all excellent forms of enrichment for them. helps get them moving and makes their veg and pellets harder work for them which keeps them occupied,
 

Betsy

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We all want the best for guinea pigs on this forum which is why we are happy to give advice. My guinea pigs (past and present) live much happier and healthier lives due to all the information I've been given on this Forum.
 
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