If you have done some research about guinea pig’s diet, you probably have heard that guinea pigs do need a small portion of pellets in their regular diet.
But how can you choose the right pellet for your guinea pigs? What are the best guinea pig pellets available in the market?
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What are the best guinea pig pellets?
If you are looking for a quick list of best Guinea pig pellets then here they are:
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I hope you have found one for your guinea pig by now. But I would request you to continue reading until the end.
In this article I have discussed in brief about how important are pellets in your guinea pig diet, factors to consider while choosing the pellets, What size of pellet bag should you choose and much more. So stay tuned!
What kind of pellets should I feed my guinea pig?
The choice of pellets for your guinea pig is entirely dependent on their age. If your guinea pig is a young one(less than twelve months of age), then you should feed them pellets containing alfalfa in it.
On the flip side, mature guinea pigs over twelve months of age should only eat pellets with Timothy in it.
You should also feed any nursing or pregnant guinea pigs with pellets based on alfalfa as it contains necessary calcium for their body.
Factors to consider while buying pellets for your guinea pigs
Most people decide the choice of pellets for their guinea pigs by either looking for a famous brand or looking for the freshness of the pellets itself(manufacturing date).
But there are many other factors to look for if you are choosing a pellet for your guinea pigs. Let us have a look at some of the essential factors:
Ingredients to look for?
Different brands producing guinea pigs use a different mix of ingredients, So we must make sure to have a look at them while selecting the pellets for your guinea pig.
Pellets with high-quality ingredients provide more nutrition, which is essential for your guinea pigs.
You must look for at least 20% fiber and 12-15% protein in the pellets we are buying for our guinea pigs. Added vitamin c is yet another bonus as it is also essential for guinea pigs.
Try to stay away from anything that contains seeds, nuts, oil, rice bran, ground Corn, and other similar ingredients.
Avoid artificial chemicals
We must also stay clear from all the artificial chemicals, food colors, and other added additives in the pellets.
Some of the primary ingredients to look for are:- sucrose and corn syrup. Also, chemical additives like sodium nitrite, nitrate, or metabisulfite are a significant threat to your guinea pigs.
So, it is best to stay clear on all those additives while choosing pellets for your guinea pigs.
Timothy Vs Alfalfa
Deciding on Timothy and alfalfa-based ingredients in the pellets is yet another crucial decision to make.
While alfalfa bases pellets are going to be rich in calcium and fat due to the presence of alfalfa, the Timothy based pellets contain a balance of all nutrients.
So, if you are looking for pellets for young or nursing guinea pigs, then you should go ahead with pellets based on alfalfa while for a matured guinea pigs timothy based pellets are going to be a suitable choice.
You must also consider that serving an alfalfa-based pellet to mature guinea pig can lead to the formation of bladder stones.
As their body doesn’t need the extra calcium, it binds in their bladder, forming the stones which are very painful for them.
While the stones can be removed with surgery, it definitely is not a pleasant experience for your guinea pigs.
How many pellets should I feed my guinea pig?
As per the recommendation, we must feed 6 grams of dry food for every 100 grams of weight. It merely means anywhere between 1/8th cup to 1/4 cup of pellets would be a great point to start with.
But can we overfeed pellets to our guinea pigs? No, you definitely can’t even if you provide guinea pigs with an unlimited amount of hay and pellets they won’t overeat and fall sick.
Although giving them with a mix of vegetables and fruits is equally essential for achieving a balanced diet.
Then why such a quantity restriction? It is best to serve fresh pellets every day to our guinea pigs. Pellets in a bowl might get dirt and other unwanted things accumulated around it.
Also, guinea pigs like to toss their food around or even pee and poop in their food bowls sometimes so you don’t want to leave it like that. Do you?
How long do guinea pig pellets last?
If you feed pellets to your guinea pigs regularly, then a 5-pound bag for two guinea pigs would typically last for a month or so.
In general, I like to grab a big bag as pellets don’t go bad over time, and a big bag is way cheaper in the long run.
It might not be right for you if you are getting alfalfa one, but for the timothy pellets getting the big bag is the best choice you can make.
How do I get my guinea pig to eat pellets?
Introducing pellets to your guinea pigs is really simple. You can take a good quality food bowl and put around 1/8 cups of pellets in it and place it in your guinea pigs cage.
Watch from a distance if they smell it out, or trying some bits and pieces of it or not. If you find they just smelled and left the food, you can try mixing it with some treats and try again so that they can eat it and get the taste of it.
Do it slowly, and you will definitely end up introducing it in their daily diet
If you are already serving another brand of pellets to your guinea pigs and want to introduce a new one you should try mixing a small quantity of new one with the old one and serve the same to your guinea pigs.
If your guinea pig-like the taste, you can gradually increase the quantity and fully replace it in due course of time.
Best pellets for guinea pigs: My Top 5 Picks!
I have tried a dozen brands of pellets over the last eight years, but there are a few who made it to my top picks.
So, now we are going to discuss my top 5 pellets for guinea pigs and why I found them to be the best one for my guinea pigs.
Small Pet Select Guinea Pig Food Pellets
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Small pet Select is one of the best brands I have ever tried until today. It is a small family-based business in the USA who produces food for small animals.
The reason I like them the most is because of the quality and freshness of the pellets. They make the pellets in small badges so that sound quality is maintained.
I have also noticed that unlike other brand pellets, most of my guinea pigs prefer this one every time.
KMS Hayloft Timothy Choice Pellets for Guinea Pig
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KMS hayloft pellets are yet another splendid choice to make when it comes to pellets for guinea pigs.
This pellet is made with high-quality timothy hay and are milled in small badges to provide our guinea pigs with all the essential nutrients they need.
Oxbow Essentials Adult Guinea Pig Pellets
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Oxbow is a famous brand out there, which shows that brands can prepare quality food without adding chemicals in it.
These pellets contain all the essential nutrients needed by our guinea pigs for their daily diet.
Check out this popular pellet only at Amazon. (Cheaper than local pet stores)
Kaytee Supreme Diet For Guinea Pig
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Kaytee is yet another famous brand out there. Usually, for people on a tight budget, this brand does really great.
The pellets are quite inexpensive as compared to other brands out there.
Although the main component of these pellets is alfalfa hay, so these are suitable for young and nursing guinea pigs but not for matured guinea pigs.
The additional amount of calcium and fat in alfalfa can cause health issues in matured guinea pigs. So, only go for this one if you have a nursing or young guinea pigs.
Kaytee Timothy Complete Guinea Pig Food
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These Kaytee Timothy complete pellets are the one you should try if you are looking for an economical choice of pellet for your guinea pigs.
The pellets are quite inexpensive and contain most nutrients your guinea pigs need in their daily diet.
Yes, some guinea pigs do need pellets added in their daily diet. As guinea pigs do need Vitamin C in their daily diet and if your guinea pigs are picky on vegetables then you should definitely consider adding pellets in their daily diet.
No, Pellets definitely are not bad for your guinea pigs but they should not be the only food you are feeding to your guinea pigs.
While the pellets provide your guinea pigs with an additional nutrient supplement, but including Unlimited hay and some vegetables on their daily diet is equally important.
No, Your guinea pig’s diet should not be pellet only. Your guinea pigs do need a lot of hay and vegetables in their daily diet to meet their nutritional needs daily.
You can learn more about their diet from our article on the Guinea pig diet plan.
Yes, guinea pigs can definitely live without pellets. But it is recommended to add a small amount of it in their diet just to get those additional vitamins needed by their body.
Even if you are serving your guinea pigs with pellets every day and happen to run out of it, then you can supplement additional vegetables instead of it.
Yes, baby guinea pigs can definitely eat pellets. In fact, feeding them alfalfa pellets in small quantity twice a day can give a significant boost to their growth rate.