Commonly, guinea pigs like to eat a lot. Thus, you must be wondering why do guinea pigs eat so much.
Guinea pigs eat a lot because their digestive system needs to stay active around the clock.
In addition, these cute animals are forages, meaning their system is designed to be in constant intake.
How many times a day should a Guinea Pig eat?
You should always ensure your pet has sufficient hay. Other than these they should eat twice a day, morning and evening.
This will help reduce chances of overeating.
After one hour of providing there meal ensure you remove any uneaten pellets, and any fruits and vegetables after 24hours.
Let’s take a little dive
If you own a guinea pig, you must have noticed how they are munching almost all the time.
Some pet owners have often wondered why their guinea pig seems hungry twenty-four hours a day.
But let us explore the reasons and biological factors that leave many guinea pig owners asking why my guinea pig is always hungry?
Guinea pigs that roam in the wild find themselves trying to chew everything they can find.
From grass, shrubs, fruits, clover, and whatever grows in the bushes.
Their tendency to eat grows exponentially when they pass by delicious and nutritious feeds.
Such foods include vegetables and fruits that have plenty of minerals and vitamins. At this moment, you might be wondering can guinea pigs eat watermelons?
These wild guinea pigs operate this way until they hide from their predators or until their stomachs are packed to the brim.
In addition, food in the wild can be scarce; thus, they have an instinct to feed whenever possible.
Like their wild cousins, guinea pigs have a complex digestive system that necessitates them to eat continuously.
The following are some of the critical causes of the hungry behavior and starving instinct you have observed in your guinea pigs.
Why do guinea pigs eat so much? Let us break it down
It is in their nature
Guinea pigs are natural grazers and thus continuously fed to satisfy their unending need to keep eating.
They eat when they can.
They acquire this ability to help them adapt in the wild; this does not seize when a guinea pig is tamed.
Their feeding nature is passed on through genes, making it hard for them to change.
They are also more likely to increase their food intake when nursing or shedding.
They are actually big for their size
Guinea pigs are reasonably larger than most rodents, although compared to other animals, they are relatively smaller.
Guinea pigs have a body of approximately 20cm to 40cm and weigh 500 to 1,500 grams.
These animals have a high metabolism rate due to their small body size.
As a result, their bodies are always active and tend to burn more calories, thus needing to meet their body nutrients.
It is all in the digestive system
Guinea pigs have a delicate digestive system that must always stay active.
They are foragers, and their digestive system is suited to constant intake, digestion, and egestion of food.
To avoid complications, you should avail your guinea pig with enough food.
Parasites and diseases could be a cause
Parasites and diseases affect your guinea pig’s level of food intake.
They immensely increase the normal food intake.
Parasites depend on food and nutrients taken orally and processed by the guinea pig’s body, thus the increased need to eat to satisfy itself and the pest.
On the other hand, diseases like diabetes cause unusual food intake due to the failure of proper food breakdown, especially the crucial nutrients.
The availability of food
Guinea pigs have wild instincts in them even after successful taming.
As a result, these creatures are uncertain about the availability of food you give them.
Due to this reason, they are constantly feeding to their fill to try and survive in situations where food will not be readily available.
As a result, you should avoid starving them over long periods, which often leads to health complications.
They are herbivorous in nature
Herbivores are known for their constant nature of feeding.
The increased availability of food contributes to it.
Vegetables, fruits, vegetation, twigs, and root vegetables are easy to find and readily available at friendly costs.
How much to feed a guinea pig
There are recommended food portions that you are advised to follow.
But remember, these animals like eating around the clock, thus, ensure there is sufficient food for them to ravage through.
The main types of food include Hays and grass, vegetables, and pellets.
A Simple Sample guide on advisable rationing amounts
Hay can be fed every day without regard to a specific limit.
Fresh grass should be fed almost daily at half a bowl of 62.5 grams.
Mixed vegetables should be provided every day.
Pellets should be provided daily, a quarter of a cup.
Two tablespoons of fruits should also be included once or twice a week.
Types of foods that are more nutritious
Different types of Hay
Hay is a crucial element in a guinea pig’s diet.
It can be given in moderate amounts; however, too much legume hay can result in health problems.
The best grass hays for your guinea pig include Wheatgrass, Timothy, and Oat. Explore the different types of hay available for your pet.
Adding at least 10% of vegetables is advisable to be in the diet.
This is because different vegetables offer different nutritious values, especially leafy ones.
Examples of good leafy vegetables include Bok choy, Romaine lettuce, Collard greens, Fennel, and Red cabbage.
The root vegetables include carrots, beets, turnips, yams, and radishes.
Although most vegetables are nutritious, some contain high sugar and should only be given as treats.
Herb is a good option
Try and include a variety of herbs in the diet, as this has been considered perfectly safe.
You can start with Fennel, dandelion, mint, and basil. Dill parsley, cilantro, and thyme. And see what they enjoy most.
One last thing on why do Guinea pigs eat so much
There are more than a few biological, environmental, and natural reasons that drive the continuous eating behavior in your guinea pig.
And from the above, you should not have a reason to suspect your guinea pig is suffering from a particular eating disorder.
You can now use the money you spent on vet visits to purchase more food for your guinea pig because those adorable pets won’t stop eating!