As a pet owner, you want to make sure your guinea pig has a healthy diet. Besides, more carefully, you can make your own healthy food for your guinea pig, using ingredients from your local supermarket. On the other hand, you can also enhance your guinea pig's food from the store with vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grains. Always make sure you talk to your veterinarian about any dietary changes to make sure that your guinea pig. To better understand, follow the article on how to choose food for a hamster.
1. Make your own hamster food
1.1 Make a dry mix for your guinea pig
Hamsters should eat a dry food mix made from a variety of fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Therefore, if you want to make homemade food for your guinea pig, mix a variety of dry foods together.
Furthermore, hamsters need carbohydrates, proteins and fats. They are called macronutrients and allow the body to function properly. A combination of nuts, seeds, and low-starch vegetables is important for a hamster's fitness.
Store-sold guinea pig dry food mixes typically include dried corn, peas, dried fruit, beans, thread, and alfalfa sprouts.
Alternatively, you can find these dry foods at your local grocery store and mix them together to make homemade guinea pig food. Hamsters usually need 10 to 12 grams of the mixture per day, but hamsters may need more or less depending on their size.
Besides, you also need to pay attention to the additives.
Limit added ingredients in processed human foods that could be hazardous to your guinea pig's health. Use organic products when feeding your guinea pig, avoiding foods high in preservatives, saturated fat, salt, and sugar.
In particular, you should also enhance any guinea pig food you're using, whether store-bought or homemade, with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
1.2 Make healthy dishes
In addition to healthy food, it is advisable to prepare a variety of healthy treats for your guinea pig.
On the other hand, you can make a delicious pudding-like dish with bananas, honey, raisins, and lime juice. Then, add a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of raisins. Stir together and serve to your pet.
Guinea pig cookies can be made with nut spreads (like almond butter), cheerios, a variety of chopped vegetables, fresh bread, sunflower seeds, and a small amount of cheese.
1.3 Drawbacks of homemade food
If you want to feed your guinea pig on a homemade diet, talk to your veterinarian first. Most guinea pigs have a store-bought pellet or mix as the main ingredient in their diet.
Such food is fortified with vitamins and minerals necessary for the health of the guinea pig. However, it is also important to consult your veterinarian before you attempt to do so.
If you're interested in making your own food, talk to your veterinarian about vitamins and other supplements for your hamster. At the same time, you can feed him homemade food while making sure he gets all the nutrients he needs for his health. Or combine a mix of store-bought pellets and cereals with your guinea pig's homemade food and snacks.
2. Shop Selection
2.1 Adding additional fruits and vegetables
Store-bought healthy mixes are great for your guinea pig's health. However, hamsters need fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to regular food. Non-starchy vegetables and greens are great for your guinea pig. Try some carrots, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, lettuce, and spinach. Always wash off any product before serving it to your hamster.
For fruit, choose apples, pears, bananas, and berries. Offer your guinea pig only a small portion of fruit. Never feed a hamster citrus fruit, like lemons or oranges. They can be toxic to hamsters.
2.2 Adding seeds and nuts
In addition to fruits and vegetables, hamsters need healthy fats found in seeds and nuts. Add seeds like sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds and a mixture of different nuts and seeds to your hamster's diet. Hamsters tend to eat nuts and seeds quickly because they are attracted to fatty foods.
On the other hand, you can also feed your hamster more sunflower seeds because they seem to like them, but the seeds are higher in calories. It is advisable to feed your hamster nuts in moderation and not give them more simply because they have completed one serving.
2.3 Consider dietary supplements
If you choose high-quality hamster food, your hamster will get all the vitamins and nutrients it needs. However, many hamster owners blend them into their hamster food. This can help your guinea pig have good overall health. If you're concerned about your hamster getting all of its nutrients, look for rodent-safe vitamin, mineral, and calcium fortified foods at your local pet store.
3. Avoid Traps
3.1 Monitor for diarrhea or constipation
If your hamster eats homemade food, you should watch out for poop. Hamsters can have sensitive stomachs and certain foods may not be suitable for them. If your hamster is experiencing diarrhea, try changing their diet.
3.2 Avoid overfeeding your hamster
When using homemade food, it can be difficult to judge how much is enough for a hamster. As stated, most hamsters eat about 10 to 12 grams of dry food mix per day. Invest in a small kitchen scale and try to feed your hamster as much.
If your hamster is gaining or losing weight on a homemade diet, talk to your veterinarian. Your veterinarian can give you advice on how to change your hamster's diet to make sure they get enough food.
3.3 Talk to your veterinarian about your hamster's dietary needs
Before starting any new diet with your hamster, you need some advice from your veterinarian. Hamsters need specific vitamins and nutrients to stay healthy. If you're trying to make your own food, some professional guidance is needed.
4. Types of hamster food
4.1 Food pellets
This is considered a safe solution if you do not have much time for your pet. Hamster food pellets provide a completely balanced diet in every bite and are often recommended for this reason. Pelleted diets can come in many shapes but often look like small biscuits, cookies, or cereal. Most hamsters love to chew and pellets help hamsters not to be picky and choose foods to find their favorites. However, a purely pellet diet is a bit monotonous and some hamsters will eventually reject them.
Therefore, you need to provide your pet with a complete diet, use pellets as the main food for hamsters, but also add other foods that are more delicious. Read the instructions on the package for feeding instructions, but in general, hamsters should be given a few tablespoons of pellets per day.
Hamsters like mixtures of nuts, but tend to be selective to find their favorite and may reject the rest. A diet that combines pellets and loose granules, or choose a nut mix that includes some pellets. A good hamster seed mix has several ingredients, including grains, seeds, and vegetables or dried fruit. Most foods also have added vitamins and minerals.
When feeding a loose seed mix, make sure the hamster empties the entire bowl before adding it, rather than just feeding the hamster what it loves, which leads to nutritional deficiencies. Make sure the seed mixture is formulated for hamsters (many such products are for both hamsters and gerbils), not for other types of rodents or for birds.
Follow the directions on the package, as a general rule this can provide about 1/8 cup of seed mix per day.
4.3 Fresh food
Hamsters love fresh vegetables and fruits only. Usually a hamster's diet should consist of about 75% pellets and granules, 20% fresh food, and only 5% junk food.
Feed your pet some fresh, clean produce every day. Wash food before offering and remove leftovers at the end of the day to prevent food from spoiling. Also, some fresh foods include greens, like kale, dandelion greens, romaine lettuce, swiss chard, and raw spinach. Fresh fruit is a definite favorite, don't overdo it with sweets because pets can become overweight. Enhance your pet's diet several times per week with small treats of apples, bananas, berries, grapes, and melons. However, stay away from citrus.
4.4 Grains, nuts and proteins
Hamsters love to eat whole grains in the form of whole grain toast, whole grains, cooked pasta, and cooked rice. Avoid sugary cereals or breads with added sugar.
Hamsters also love peanut butter, but it must be fed carefully (as well as any other sticky food) as it can get stuck in the cheek pouch and cause serious problems. Sometimes a very thin layer of wood is fine, but be careful when adding peanut butter. You should choose peanut butter without added salt and sugar.
You should make sure not to overdo peanut butter, even if you're using fat-free/low-fat varieties, as many hamster owners find peanut butter to upset their hamster's stomach. Also, hamsters are vegetable eaters and picky eaters, make sure the fruits and vegetables don't get wet or cold, and your guinea pig will likely enjoy it more.
Through the article How to choose food for a hamster you can better understand the steps and how to choose the right food.