The best guinea pig diets are ones that include a range of healthy foods.
Guinea pigs are herbivorous, and like many herbivorous from the rodent family feeding them isn’t as simple as just picking up a single guinea pig food from the pet store.
Guinea pigs need a good range of foods to have a fully balanced diet.
One great way to ensure they get all the nutrients they need in by adding pellets to their diet.
That’s what this article is about. I’ll look at why you should be giving your guinea pig pellet food, and I’ll give some recommendations of the best guinea pig pellet foods.
I would recommend Oxbow Garden Select Guinea Pig Food as the best guinea pig pellet food. If you are on a budget then Kaytee Timothy Complete Guinea Pig Food is also a great guinea pig food for a lower price.
In a hurry?
You can take a look at Oxbow Garden Select Guinea Pig Food on Amazon here.
You can also take a look at a more in-depth review of each one at the bottom of the article.
Can I feed my guinea pig just pellets
Pellets should be regarded as an additional supplement to a guinea pig’s diet. You cannot feed your guinea pig on pellets alone.
The majority of a guinea pigs diet should consist of hay
Hay is packed with fiber, which is vital for guinea pigs.
Herbivorous from the rodent family require a huge amount of fiber in their diet, in the wild they would get this from eating grass similar vegetation.
Pellets are specifically designed to ensure your guinea pig also get all the nutrients they need.
But eating only pellets would result in them having far too many of these nutrients and not nearly enough fiber.
Do guinea pigs need pellets in their diet
Guinea pigs do not technically need pellets in their diet.
They wouldn’t have access to pellets in the wild of course and you were willing to find the right mixture of natural foods you could give your guinea pig a fully balanced diet without pellets.
But that’s going to be a difficult task!
Pellets are by far the easiest way to make sure your guinea pig is getting a balanced diet.
If your guinea pig only eats hay and a few vegetables they will miss out on a huge amount of the nutrients they need.
It’s difficult to fully balance a guinea pig’s diet without the aid of products such as pellets that have been specifically designed to ensure your guinea pig gets all the nutrients they need.
I would always recommend that guinea pig owners supplement their pet’s diet with pellets unless they are happy to pay extremely close attention to feeding them an all-natural fresh food diet.
How often should guinea pigs be fed pellets
Guinea pigs only need to be fed pellets once per day.
There will be exact feeding instructions on the back of the packaging that will give guidance for your specific pellets but generally once a day will be fine.
Guinea pigs don’t need to have pellets with every meal they have, once a day is enough to make sure they have all the required nutrients.
I would recommend feeding your guinea pig pellets in the mornings, that gives them the whole day to digest, absorb and use those nutrients.
Feeding them in the morning also makes it less likely they will already be full from previous meals, so they should eat all the pellets straight away.
Although guinea pigs usually love pellets, so getting them to eat them shouldn’t be much of an issue anyway!
Are pellets bad for guinea pigs
Pellets are a great addition to a guinea pig’s diet and they are not bad for them.
However, they only need to be treated as a suplement to esnure that your guinea pig is getting all the nurtients they needs.
Pellets should not be considered as the main source of a guinea pig’s diet.
The most important food for guinea pigs is hay.
Guinea pigs need the high fiber content that hay provides and so they should have access to hay throughout the day so they can graze as and when they wish.
Along with hay and pellets, you should give your guinea pig green leafy vegetables.
Hay and leafy vegetables should be the bulk of your guinea pig’s diet, with pellets acting as a supplement to ensure they get all the nutrition they need.
Guinea pigs usually love pellets, so they might get a little hyper at feeding time.
But just keep in mind that no matter how much they enjoy pellets, they should only only have them in a moderate amount.
A good supply of hay and leafy vegetables is what guinea pigs need. And a small amount of pellets each day will just help to ensure they are getting all the nutrients they need.
How long can guinea pigs go without pellets
Guinea pigs really don’t need that many pellets per day.
Pellets should be regarded as a nutritional supplement and they are not the main part of a guinea pig’s diet.
Guinea pigs should generally be fed pellets once per day. Read the back of the pellet packaging to check the recommended amount and frequency as it may change a little depending on the pellets.
If you happen to have run out of pellets then you shouldn’t panic too much.
Remember, pellets are important but they are only a nutritional supplement, your guinea pig will be able to cope without them
Your guinea pig will be perfectly fine going a few days without pellets whilst you get some more.
Just make sure you give them plenty of hay and leafy vegetables in the meantime.
If you compare it with your own diet, it’s a little like going without fruit and vegetables for a week.
You would certainly miss out on lots of nutrients and it would be better if you did eat fruit and veg. But as long as you started eating fruit and veg again once the week was up you would be fine.
What makes a good pellet food for guinea pigs
There are some useful things to look for in a good quality guinea pig pellet food, you’ll usually find this information on the back of the packaging.
- 20% or higher in fiber
- More than 10% protein
- Less than 4% fat
- Timothy based
Timothy is a type of grass that provides highly digestible fiber but is low in protein, making it perfect for guinea pigs.
If your guinea pig pellets tick those boxes then they are likely to be of good quality.
If you want some recommendations for good guinea pig pellets then check out my list below.
The best pellet food for guinea pigs
Let’s begin with our best budget pick:
Kaytee Timothy Complete Guinea Pig Food (Best budget food)
Before we go to our very best pick for guinea pig pellets, let’s first begin with a quality budget option.
I know not everyone will want to splash out on a premium pellet food, and many people have quite a few guinea pigs so feeding them a premium pellet food could get quite expensive.
So if you are on a budget then this Timothy based pellet food by Kaytee is ideal.
The pellets come in a uniform shape and color so your guinea pig can’t just select their favorite bits.
They contain plenty of nutrients, vitamins and minerals and help aid good dental health and efficient digestion.
The guaranteed analysis shows good amounts of protein, fat and fiber too:
- Crude protein 14%
- Crude fat 2%
- Crude fiber 23%
The reviews for these guinea pig pellets are extremely strong with over 1,000 highly positive reviews from guinea pig owners.
You can take a look at Kaytee Timothy Complete Guinea Pig Food on Amazon here.
Oxbow Garden Select Guinea Pig Food (Best overall pellets)
This is the best guinea pig food you’re likely to find. It’s made by Oxbow who produce brilliant food for small pets.
It contains natural vitamins and minerals and uses three types of grass hay to design a pellet that is as close to a guinea pig’s natural diet as a pellet can be.
Like the Kaytee pellets, these pellets are all uniform so your guinea pig can’t just pick out their favorite parts like they can with mixes.
Regarding the analysis, here are the main features:
- Crude protein 12%
- Crude fat 2.5%
- Crude fiber 22 – 26%
The reviews are every bit as strong as those for Burgess so I think which one you choose should be mostly based on how active your guinea pig is.
You can take a look at Oxbow Garden Select Fortified Food on Amazon here.