...Food! That's certainly the case with guinea pigs.
Like humans, GPs need a daily intake of Vitamin C, provided by plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, carrots and broccoli being great choices. Most guinea pig dry food is fortified with the vitamins and nutrients they need, including vitamin C.
Guinea pigs love their food!
Dry food is a staple in the guinea pig diet. Only buy as much as they are likely to eat in a month, as the dry food goes stale and loses its vitamin content after a while.
As far as fresh food goes, guinea pigs will eat pretty much anything. Grass and edible wild plants in the summer, and suitable vegetables, herbs, and fruit. The key is to introduce as many different fresh foods when they are young, as they may be reluctant to try something new as they get older. There are things to avoid too, including onion and potato peelings.
Hay is an important part of the GP menu too (but not straw). It should always be fresh, never dusty or mouldy. If you have somewhere to store it, you could to buy a bale from a local farm, of a quality that would be fed to horses.
Treats can be fed too, and you will find plenty to choose from in the local pet store. Many are nutritionally poor, though, based on carbohydrates, or sweets such as yogurt drops. These are both expensive and ultimately unnecessary. Truth is, your guinea pigs will be far happier and healthier with an extra carrot!
See our Feeding Guinea Pigs section for lots more info on how to keep your furry friends happy and healthy.
Guinea Pig Poop
We need to talk about poop. Not any old poop, but caecotrophs. Your guinea pig's gut will prepare these, with no intervention required from you. But it's important not to clean them up, as the guinea pigs need to eat them.
The caecotrophs are soft, smelly droppings that the GP produces, usually overnight. They are lighter-colored than the standard dark droppings, full of protein and vitamins, and are part of the animal's digestive set-up. They are designed to be eaten as soon as they are passed, so don't be alarmed if you catch your pet munching on his own poop: he's doing it to stay healthy.