Guinea Pigs/treats

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Question
Hello my names Jenna you answered my question the subject to the question was My new guinea pig. belle and Pepper seem to get tired of the treats i have been giving them. what kinds of food can they eat?


         -Jenna

Answer
If you're feeding a good quality pellet to your pigs they don't necessarily need treats. The pellets should contain all the nutrients they need to stay healthy and happy. Treats are just a little extra goodie and should not be overdone.

If they've become bored with the treats you've been giving try stopping them for a week or so. They may be full enough from their pellets that they just aren't hungry for the goodies. When you do offer treats keep the portions small. A piece of carrot about an inch long is enough. You may be giving them too much and they just don't want it. Sometimes withholding those treats for awhile renews their interest in them.

If you think about how you would do if every single day you got two chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk for desert you'd realize how you too would become bored with it and not want anymore. The secret is not to overdo it. Make the treats a special surprise. A couple of times a week is just fine. That way they're excited about it and will dive into them.

You can experiment a bit to see what they're preferences are. I have a friend whose pigs LOVE frozen green beans. But she only gives them one each. Mine turn up their noses at them. Another friend has pigs who love strawberries. Again, mine look at it like it's a dead body part and won't touch them.  Animals have likes and dislikes, and sometimes it takes some work to find out what they are.

Next time you're in the grocery store buy one corn on the cob. Slice the raw cob into pieces about half an inch thick. Leave the green outer part on. They like that part too. Just take two pieces off the cob, then you can cook the rest and eat it yourself.

They also like brocolli, so if you're having fresh brocolli for dinner just cut a small chunk for the pigs. The idea is to experiment with food you're going to eat so you're not wasting your time or money to buy something that's only for the pigs. Orange peels are another good thing, but just a small chunk.

And just remember, they can certainly live just fine without the treats. Those are just occasional extras. Hope this helps you out.

Guinea Pigs

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Pat VanAllen

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As is sometimes the case, people in urgent need of information have a higher degree of expectation than those of us as experts are able to give. The experts on this site do their best to give the most accurate and responsible answers possible. We ask that you remember that it is not our intention nor place to criticize the professional advice given by your veterinarian, nor is it appropriate for us to comment on the correctness of a diagnosis made by a licensed physician. Our knowledge is experience based. Although many years of breeding and showing cavies gives me a wealth of experience it cannot change the fact that we as experts are not veterinarians and therefore may occasionally have to reject questions that appear to be asking us to criticize advice given by the licensed professional. Having raised and exhibited cavies for many years I have extensive experience in cavy care and husbandry. I currently have an active breeding program for pedigreed show animals but do not encourage backyard breeding for inexperienced owners. Although I don't encourage breeding for fun I'm always happy to answer any questions from an owner who is in sincere need of help. Pet owners wanting to breed should understand that even experienced breeders have litter losses. The mortality rate is high in cavies. The chance for losing both sow and pups is always present, even with experience. Although this is a site for experts to assist owners, there is no expert in any field who has all the answers. The wisest thing a good expert can know is their limitations. Not having an answer does not diminish one's ability or knowledge. It simply shows that we recognize our limitations and operate within them.

Experience

Raised and shown cavies for many years, having aquired my first cavies in the early 1970's as pets. My caviary currently handles 65 + animals in two different breeds and several varieties. Having been in the health care industry as a licensed nurse for 35 years I have hands on experience with care and needs in both humans and cavies. Member of American Rabbit Breeders Association and American Cavy Breeders Association.

Organizations
Awarded Lifetime Membership in of one of the oldest cavy clubs in the United States, on whose Board I served as Sec/Treas for six years and currently serving as President. Also editor/publisher of the club's quarterly newsletter. We are strong supporters of our youth exhibitors, most of whom are 4H members who are working on cavy projects. Through these projects they become good responsible citizens. We deal with all aspects of showing, breeding, caring for and sharing experiences in the fancy. The cavy fancy is not a new one but in some areas is still relatively unknown. Our goal is to inspire interest in high quality, responsible breeding to improve the species, not just the reproduction of guinea pigs. Our job is to educate owners to help them make the right decisions and choices in the care of their cavies.

Education/Credentials
Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

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