Tag Archives: hay

can guinea pigs eat dead grass

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Dead Grass?

Dead grass is that kind of grass which has been cut off from its roots and then left to die.

It is often fed to many types of animals such as horses and rabbits. It is good for them to chew on.

Dead grass which is left to dry turns into hay, of which there are many types of hay that available for animals to eat.

Can guinea pigs eat dead grass?

Yes they can eat dead grass.

They love to eat dead grass as its great for them to chew on, however they love fresh grass more as it has more of the nutrients that they need.

So they can be fed either.

Just a side note, my piggies have never been as keen on dead grass.

They will tend to leave it until they have nothing left to chew on and then they go for it.

For more foods that guinea pigs can and can’t eat, check out our guinea pig food list.

can guinea pigs tolerate cold weather

Can Guinea Pigs Tolerate Cold Weather?

When it gets cold outside, it is always preferable to bring your guinea pigs inside the home to keep warm.

They much prefer being in stable temperatures of between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit so that they feel comfortable and don’t end up being too cold or even freezing outside.

So what happens when there is not an option to bring your guinea pigs inside?

Sometimes there just isn’t the room to have your guinea pigs inside the home, however much you want to create a good home for them.

Can guinea pigs tolerate the cold weather?

With this being the case, can guinea pigs tolerate the cold weather at all?

It is not an ideal situation for a guinea pig to find themselves in.

They are hardy creatures and very good at surviving cold temperatures.

They find ways of surviving and keeping themselves alive.

However, this shouldn’t be put to the test and guinea pigs have been known to freeze to death when left in extreme temperatures.

So if you do have to leave them outside during cold weather, then make sure you take extra care of them during these seasons.

Taking precautions in cold weather seasons

First of all, make sure they are provided with extra hay to keep themselves warm.

Give them plenty of food and water so they can keep themselves hydrated and sustained. Put a waterproof cover over their hutch so that it keeps out rain and snow.

Think about keeping a blanket on top of the hutch and underneath the waterproof cover to try and insulate the hutch.

Ensure that they are not alone during this time. Guinea pigs find warmth from snuggling up from each other.

This is one of the reasons why it is important to have more than one guinea pig as they draw from each other’s body heat.

This can be a lifesaver for a guinea pig and the difference between whether they stay alive during the cold winter months.

Guinea pigs and extreme temperatures

Keeping guinea pigs outside though in countries where the temperature regularly falls below freezing is not advised.

Guinea pigs will easily suffer from hypothermia and will die as a result.

If you live in countries such as this then keeping them inside is the only option.

Even keeping them in an outhouse is not good for them unless you have the outhouse properly insulated and heated for them to comfortably.

Born survivors

So think carefully whether having guinea pigs is a beneficial thing for them before you purchase them or take on ownership.

There are pets that handle the extreme cold better than guinea pigs that you can get.

Guinea pigs are born survivors but they will only survive so far before their bodies are not able to protect them any further.

It is not worth taking the risk.

Do guinea pigs go into hibernation in winter

Do guinea pigs go into hibernation in winter?

Guinea pigs enjoy a certain temperature that they encounter.

They really like living in temperatures between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is the ideal temperature range for piggies who are originally from warm South Amercian Andean countries such as Argentina and Chile.

They are used to living in warm to cool climates high up the Andean mountains where the weather is variable depending on how high up they go.

So if you have a guinea pig that is exposed temperatures below 65 degrees Fahrenheit then this becomes not so comfortable for them.

Guinea pigs the great survivors of the Andes mountains.

They have to find ways of dealing with it to enable them to survive.

In fact, if the temperatures reach around freezing then a guinea pig can seize up under these circumstances.

They can appear that they have maybe dead if they haven’t covered themselves in hay.

This is especially the case if it gets very cold below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

If it gets the type of temperature where you wouldn’t need to wear a coat then this is usually a good guide as to whether the weather is too cold for a guinea pig.

So it is important to keep them warm and one way to do this is to give them plenty of hay and bedding to try and keep them warm.

Hay will also enable them to chew and keep their teeth ground down over the winter time.

Do guinea pigs go into hibernation in winter?

So if they have plentiful hay, they can snuggle themselves in it and it appears like they are going into some sort of hibernation.

This is not the case though.

Guinea pigs do not actually go into hibernation like other animals do.

What happens in these circumstances is that their bodies shut down to conserve energy and retain heat.

They may look lifeless but they are still alive.

It can be quite daunting to see a guinea pig like this though.

This happens more so with guinea pigs that are kept on their own.

Keeping guinea pigs together is important in extreme temperatures.

Guinea pigs that are kept together are more likely to snuggle together and keep each other warm from their bodies.

This is very effective for them and is potentially life-saving if they live outside of a human house.

They provide much needed social stimulation for each other and as social creatures, they provide much-needed company.

You can get some other ideas for keeping your guinea pig warm during cold seasons in this post.

What if your guinea pig is not themselves during cold temperatures?

If you see that your guinea pig is not themselves over a prolonged period then it would be worth contacting your local veterinary surgeon to get them checked out.

It is always worth doing this if you have any concerns about them.

If it gets very cold then it is easy for a guinea pig to contract hypothermia and so always keep a close watch on your guinea pig to make sure that they are okay.

A good test is to how they respond to their favorite treat bring put out for them.

If you don’t get the usual reaction then something will probably be wrong and it is time to get them checked out.

can guinea pigs eat only hay

Can Guinea Pigs eat Only Hay?

Guinea pigs love hay. They need to chew on it all the time so as to keep their teeth ground down and not painful as their teeth are constantly growing. This is a common trait amongst members of the rodent family so they always need to be chewing hay.

In fact the greener hay, the more they like it.

The more yellow it is, the less they like it.

Image Flickr

So can Guinea pigs eat only hay?

Can guinea pigs eat only hay? They could do but they wouldn’t get a balanced diet.

They also need vitamin c which they can get from vitamin c pellets or from certain veggies or fruit.

Their diet should be made up of 75% hay and the rest of vitamin c pellets! veggies and fruit topped by a constant supply of water.

This way guinea pigs get the nutrients their body needs.

So although they love hay and need to eat it every day round the clock, they also need other types of food to give them their bodies what they can’t create themselves.

can guinea pigs share a cage

10 things that make guinea pigs happy

Guinea pigs are the most fantastic pets and because of this it is natural that you may want to find some things that really make them happy and improve their quality of life.

So here are 10 things that make guinea pigs happy.

1. Lots of hay

Guinea pigs love hay.

In fact, the greener the hay the better is. Timothy hay is the best for them, but meadow happy is a close second.

The more you put in the better and They love to play in it and hide.

My guinea pigs go buts when I do a hay replenishment and so I try and do it often. They also become hay connessuers and turn their noses up when I put I bad hay which is too yellow. But even then, if there is a lot of it in their cage they still enjoy it.

2. Being held

Guinea pigs love to be held.

They really enjoy the comfort of soft hands and being stroked properly, doing this often will increase the trust that you have between you and they will enjoy it and respond with affectionate squeaks and purrs.

Just make sure you put a towel on your lap if out intend to hold them for more than 10 mins as they are likely to pee or poop on you.

3. Giving them toys to play with

Guinea pigs love to play around and so by putting things for them to do in their cages they will enjoy them.

They especially love things to climb on, hide in or chew on. So lots of tunnels, shoeboxes, empty cardboard tubes and things like that always go down well with them.

You can also purchase toys from pet stores and online, but to be honest the free stuff is just as good.

4. Giving them companions

Guinea pigs are not meant to live alone and get very lonely if they are by themselves.

They are social animals and enjoy the company of others, so do consider getting a companion guinea pig if you just have the one on its own.

We started off with one male and then added another male within a few months and have recently added another two and they get on great and are always squeaking away, chasing each other around and they genuinely seem to enjoy each other’s company.

This is especially vital if you are not around during the day time and can’t give them the company they need

5. Giving them space to run around

Being cramped in a space is not fun for anyone and this is true with guinea pigs.

They love to run around and their quality of life is enhanced by having somewhere where they can exercise. This can either be outside in a run or inside on your home floor. They do really enjoy the experience.

Do be careful if you let them out in your home, for things they may chew on though and for poops left in innocuous places.

6. Giving them treats

Just like us, guinea pigs love teats.

Only their treats are more like veggies and really nice Timothy hay. Giving them treats such as bell peppers or carrots goes down so well. Or you could try putting together a mixed veggie bowl of tasty treats.

The great thing about these is that it grows their affinity with you and they’ll pretty much be ecstatic about it. For instance, my piggies go nuts whenever I put down bell peppers for them.

7. Cleaning out their cage

I find that my piggies always tend to appreciate it when they have a cleaner cage to live in.

Fresh hay and newspaper goes down well with them rather than walking amongst their own pee and poop.

8. Keeping them in a good temperature

Guinea pigs do not like freezing temperatures or really hot weather.

Keeping them in an environment between 10 degrees Celsius and 25 degrees Celsius is comfortable for them. Their quality of life goes up when the temperature is suitable for them.

9. Keeping them away from the elements

Guinea pigs do not like the rain, snow or hail so have a place where you can keep them if this happens.

Just like us they are not great fans of getting wet and do prefer dry environments so it is not good to leave them outside when it gets wet or snowy.

10. Avoiding the sun

Guinea pigs do not like direct sunlight either.

They much prefer the shade and will retreat their if they are exposed to direct sunlight. So always provide a shelter or shade for them when they are outside.

Whenever my piggies to outside they look for the shaded parts of the run rather than those that are in the sun and even if there is no shelter they will look to make their own.

So do take care when you put your piggies out in the summer and give them plenty of shelter, they will really appreciate it.

can guinea pigs overeat

Can Guinea Pigs Overeat?

If there’s one thing that guinea pigs are really good at, its eating.

They will have a nibble at anything and if like the taste of it, they will eat it.

One of the main reasons for this is that their teeth are constantly growing and they need to keep chewing in order to grind down their teeth.

So this means that they always looking for things to chew on. So is there a danger that they could over-eat at all?

Can guinea pigs overeat?

The answer is yes they can.

However, fortunately, most guinea pigs are pretty good at self-regulating themselves.

They don’t eat all the time and do get full like we do.

So it’s important that they always have access to hay to chew on to grind down their teeth as well as vitamin c pellets and fresh water.

But just as importantly its good for them to have space where they can run around so as give them the exercise they need otherwise there is a danger they will get quite large.

What about overindulging piggies?

However, there may be some piggies who will overindulge and eat everything that they see. It’s quite interesting to watch then and why they eat.

Some will eat all their food and some will leave some of it depending on whether they like the food or whether they are full.

I have seen overweight guinea pigs and this can cause problems for them.

Just like us they are prone to be lethargic and to other diseases and ailments like Bumblefoot for example.

So watching and regulating what they eat is a good practice for the long-term well being of your guinea pigs.

How to regulate what your guinea pigs eat

A good practice to help this is to regulate what you give to your guinea pigs on a daily basis.

As mentioned before most guinea pigs will eat everything you give them especially if they enjoy it.

But if you limit what you give them to daily rations then you can stop this from potentially happening.

For example, you may choose to give a guinea pig 2 handfuls of guinea pig mix, 3 matchbox sized rations of veg and a little fruit.

Don’t forget that hay shouldn’t be rationed. Give them a limitless supply of to chew on and a limitless supply of water as well.

You may choose to change this as you see fit, you know your guinea pigs and what they are like.

But this guide should help you make a start with this and ensure that your guinea pigs don’t overeat or go hungry either way.

can guinea pigs eat too much timothy hay

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Too Much Timothy Hay?

One of the things about guinea pigs is that’s they need to eat.

In order to do this, they need regular foods to chew on day and night to keep their teeth from growing.

One of the foods that they absolutely love is Timothy hay.

What is Timothy hay?

Timothy hay is dried Timothy grass which is a type of grass found in Europe.

When grown in its natural habitat it can grow from 48cm to 150cm tall depending on the conditions and the soil it grows in. It typically grows in heavy soils, but if it happens to grow in dry and sandy soils it can survive as well.

As a grass, it has a flowerhead and pink stamen

It has leaves that grow up to 40 cm long

To turn into Timothy hay, timothy grass is dried but the great thing about this type of hay is that it keeps its green color and its freshness.

This is what makes it so popular with guinea pigs.


image wikipedia

By having hay and in particular types such as Meadow hay or Timothy hay it enables guinea pigs to be able to chew on a consist basis.

We’ve seen how good Timothy hay is for them and the benefits it brings to your guinea pigs.

However is Timothy hay a food that they can over-eat?

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Too Much Timothy Hay?

If you feed Timothy hay to guinea pigs regularly they will eat because they love it.

However, it is a food that they can eat all the time and it isn’t bad for them at all.

In fact, it is good for them.

So don’t be so concerned about guinea pigs eating too much Timothy hay as you’re actually doing them good by doing so.

This is because the nutrients that it contains are of real benefit to them and barely contain anything of detriment to them.

For more information on Timothy Hay, check out this post here

can guinea pigs just eat pellets

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Just Pellets?

Pellets are widely used by guinea pig owners to provide them with a good vitamin c supplement.

They are very often eaten by guinea pigs as a food but can they just eat pellets and nothing else?

Let’s take a look and find out.

Can guinea pigs just eat pellets?

Of course, guinea pig pellets are great for them to eat and they really enjoy eating them. however, they don’t provide the guinea pig the opportunity to chew.

What this means is that they can’t exercise their gnawing action like they normally need to do. this is what they should be eating hay 75% of the time at least.

If they don’t’ eat hay constantly, their teeth will not be ground down like it should be and will grow beyond what they are used to.

Hay also provides other nutritional benefits that pellets don’t.

This is why pellets are best combined with hay in order to provide guinea pigs with a good diet.

You should also feed them regular veggies in order to mix things up for them diet wise, along with fresh water.

So pellets are fantastic for guinea pigs but treat them as a supplement and not their main food.

For more foods that guinea pigs can and can’t eat, check out our guinea pig food list.

can guinea pigs eat just hay

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Just Hay?

So we know that guinea pigs should eat a lot of hay. It’s an essential part of a guinea pigs diet.

They need it to grind their teeth as they pretty much always need to be chewing something in order to grind their teeth.

image wikipedia

Hay also gives them some of the nutrients that they need to live so is very important to them.

Well, they can but it won’t do them much good as it misses out a key element of what they need which us vitamin c. Because their bodies do not make vitamin c they need a regular supplement of it to keep them healthy. If they do not get the vitamin c they need they will gradually get ill, just like we do if we don’t have the vitamins and nutrients that we need.

It may be tempting to just leave them be with the hay they need to sleep on and eat, but it really is not good for them.

If your guinea pig is only eating hay, try and wean them onto eating veggies as well.

Prepare a bowl of veggies for them to eat and leave it in their cage. If they are still only eating hay, maybe reduce the amount of really good green hay they eat and use less appetising hay such as browner hay for their bedding. There does still need to be hay left for them because they always need something to chew on, but don’t leave so much out for them.

It is also worth trying different foods to see what they like. I have found that just as with humans, guinea pigs have different tastes to each other so it may well be that you are giving them a food that they are just not partial to.

My guinea pigs for example, love carrots and peppers, but do turn their noses up at broccoli and cabbage. But other guinea pigs are different.

Also try vitamin c pellets as well. Try scattering some around the hay that they eat so they inadvertently pick it up.

If they are not eating hay, it is vital that you try different things to get the vitamin c that they need inside them.

Overall, hay should consist of 75% of a guinea pig’s diet. The rest should be made up of veggies, fruits and maybe some pellets as well, topped up by fresh water.

By giving them a balanced diet like this, you are ensuring that your guinea pig gets the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and thrive for the long term.

meadow hay

A Brief Guide to Meadow Hay for Guinea Pigs

What is meadow hay?

Meadow hay is a grass hay and is very popular with guinea pigs. It is one of the types of grass hays that piggies can eat along with orchard hay, timothy hay and alfalfa hay.

Meadow hay is that which is mix of dried plants that includes grass, sticks, flower, seed heads  and legumes.

image wikipedia

One of he distinguishing features of meadow hay is that the grass strands tend to vary in how long they are and

In order to be packed, it is harvested and dried with little processing compared to other types of hay.

It often mixes commercial crop grass with other varieties of wild grass.

Why is meadow hay important for guinea pigs?

Meadow hay is extremily good for guinea pigs as its long fibers stimululte their insides and help keep up gut motility.

Chewing on grass hay helps to grind down a guinea pigs teeth which keep growing and the constant chewing is healthy for them.

75% of your guinea pig’s diet should be hay and although many guinea pig owners use Timothy hay, meadow hay can be fed to guinea pigs.

They can never have enough of it, and and their hay bundles should be topped up regularly.

It can also be used as a bedding as it naturally mimics their natural grassy environment. Indeed, it is a much better bedding material than shavings which are often sold in pet shops because it is much better for their health.

What is the best type of meadow hay for guinea pigs?

The best type of meadow hay for guinea pigs is that which is green. The greener the better and more tastier for guinea pigs. If it looks dry and yellow then don’t get it. Make sure it isn’t too stalky as well.


Timothy Hay v Meadow Hay

Timothy hay tends to be higher in fiber than meadow hay and contains just one type of hay, where as meadow hay contains lots of different types of grasses and flowers.

They are both as good for guinea pigs as each other, but Timothy hay tends to be more expensive than meadow hay.

Timothy hay tends to be harvested and cleaned before being put into short strands, where as meadow hay is just harvested and then packed as it is. It is not processed at all and tends to have taller strands.

What is the best type of meadow hay to buy?

If you can buy meadow hay for your piggies directly from a farm then it tends to be better than that which is purchased from pet stores. It tends to be greener and less dusty. Don’t go for hay that is smelly, damp or mouldy as it can harm your guinea pig.

But if you have no access to a local farm, the small pet select or oxbow are good suppliers of quality hay.