So, how long can guinea pigs go without food? They should not be deprived of food for an extended period, specifically 6 to 8 hours.
Everyone should consume the right amount of food to live, grow, and function properly. Like any other living being, food is a daily necessity for guinea pigs. If the diet provided is not fulfilling the nutritional requirements, it can be a reason of your guinea pig stop growing.
You should know that leaving your guinea pig without food for more than 24 hours can cause intestinal blockage.
In this article, you will know some vital information about guinea pigs before deciding to have one.
What Do Guinea Pigs Eat?
Guinea pigs are known to be herbivorous animals. Their daily diet must include hay, pellets, fruits, vegetables, etc.
Hay is considered to be the primary diet for guinea pigs. It is a substantial source of nutrients since they are rich in fiber, which they need.
However, you should also know that pellets, fruits like Pineapple, and vegetables play a significant role in your pet’s diet.
It is undeniable that guinea pigs are fond of eating various food. But you should know the right amount to feed them to avoid overeating and consequent obesity.
#1. How much hay do guinea pigs eat a day?
When feeding your guinea pigs, you should know that hay plays an integral part in their daily consumption.
An average guinea pig can eat around 90 to 100 grams of hay in a day. They should be fed with hay throughout the day.
Therefore, their food must be approximately 80% hay in one day.
#2. What are the benefits of feeding hay to guinea pigs?
There are a lot of benefits that hay can offer to your pet.
One of the main advantages is that hays are known to be rich in fiber. They can help prevent indigestion in your guinea pig.
If they don’t get an adequate amount of hay every day, their digestive process may be weakened and start malfunctioning. Insufficient feeding can lead to and trigger other diseases.
However, there are different types of hay. You should know such details since some guinea pigs are allergic to a particular type of hay.
Timothy hay is the best hay grass for a guinea pig. There are a lot of hays out there. Some may be beneficial, but some need to be avoided.
Another advantage of feeding hay is that they help keep the teeth of your pet in good shape.
Guinea pigs have ever-growing teeth. Chewing hay grass daily can help them grind down their teeth and provide them with a good form.
If they cannot have hay for a long time, their teeth tend to get overgrown. You would not want to have this kind of problem since it will undoubtedly lead to multiple future complications.
Overgrown teeth can cause various severe issues like a struggle in eating, stress, dental problems, discharge from the eyes, and many more. Overgrown teeth can be a reason for your Guniea Pig’s cry.
Yes, hay isn’t the only source of nutrition. However, it can help you fulfill many dietary requirements and aids in providing good nutrition.
That’s why it is crucial to include hay as part of their daily consumption.
#3. How many vegetables and pellets do guinea pigs need in one day?
Aside from hay, you can also feed your guinea pig with vegetables and pellets. There are some benefits that they can provide what hay can’t.
You can include one cup or 120 to 150 grams of various vegetables as part of their daily diet. It is imperative to serve them with a mix of several types to provide a well-balanced diet.
Some of the leafy vegetables you can give to your guinea pig are kale, lettuce, cilantro, chards, spinach, etc.
Some are rich in vitamin C, like tomatoes, broccoli, and red & green pepper.
Occasionally, you can offer them vegetables like zucchini, cucumber, carrots, etc.
Now, let’s talk about pellets.
A guinea pig that weighs around 2 pounds can be given a 1/8 cup of pellets in one day.
You can refer to your guinea pig’s age when deciding what pellet to feed them.
Guinea pigs that are pregnant and below six months can be fed with alfalfa-based pellets that have calcium.
The ones that are over six months already should be fed with timothy hay-based pellets.
Giving them an adequate quantity of pellets is much recommended.
Take note of this, though: You should never feed them the excess amount. It should be only 5% of their total diet.
#4. How long can guinea pigs go without hay, vegetables, and pellets?
The main question is: How long can guinea pigs go without food?
If you’re out of town most of the time, and you have to leave your pet alone behind, then the answer to the said question might be helpful to you.
As I have done my research, here’s something for you:
You need to feed your pet guinea pigs hay regularly; they can’t bear it if they don’t have it once in more than 24 hours.
It has a vital role in your pet’s well-being and health, as mentioned in the section above.
Hence, guinea pigs cannot live without hay. You must have an adequate supply of hay for them regularly.
On the other hand, guinea pigs can survive for a few days without vegetables or pellets.
But you need to make sure that they have a constant supply of hay.
Vegetables are essential in meeting the right amount of vitamin C. Green leafy vegetables fulfill the vital nutrients they need.
Deficiency in vitamin C can weaken their immune system and cause many serious health problems like dental problems and scurvy.
As for the pellets, they are not that crucial for the diet of your guinea pig. Your pet can live long enough even if you don’t feed pellets at all.
However, some guinea pigs aren’t fond of eating vegetables. So you can use pellets as the alternative for them to fulfill their nutritional requirements.
So, you can leave your guinea pig for days with an adequate quantity of hay with them and water, of course.
Most pet owners have to travel to different cities for jobs or other activities. During these times, sometimes pets have to be left at home. In worst cases, there is no one to feed them when owners are away.
That’s when one may think “how long can guinea pigs go without food?” Well, the answer to this question is “not for long”.
Always bear in mind that they depend on you for their survival. So when you travel for a few days, make sure they get the right amount of food and water on stock.
And it’s imperative to note that they can’t last a day without hay in their primary diet.
Hopefully, this article has provided you with the answers you’re looking for!
Thank you for reading!
Delbert Curtis is a senior writer at Petcosset, a leading online resource for pet care information. With over 10 years of experience in the pet industry, Delbert is passionate about helping pet owners provide the best care possible. He has written extensively on pet health, nutrition, training, and behavior. Delbert is dedicated to staying up-to-date on the latest research and trends in the pet industry to provide the most accurate and helpful information to Petcosset’s readers. Delbert enjoys spending time with his pets and exploring the great outdoors when he’s not writing.