Guinea pig pellets, also known as nuggets, are a dried food specifically created with a guinea pig's dietary needs in mind and packed with nutrition to keep them healthy. It is an important part of your cavy's daily diet. We buy Burgess Excel Nuggets but read on to find out what other brands we recommend and what to look for.
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What Is the Best Pellet Food for Guinea Pigs?
Different brands will have varying quantities of nutrition and it is important to get the balance right. There are so many available in the pet shops and online that it can a bit overwhelming and difficult to work out which is best. It is important to note that you should not simply choose the cheapest option as the ingredients are likely to be much lower in quality and may not give your pets what they need nutritionally.
To help you find the best pellet food for your guinea pigs we have picked three of the best pellet brands (based on nutritional value) together with links to where you can purchase them:
Recommended Guinea Pig Pellets: Top 3 Brands
- Burgess Excel Nuggets: This is the dried food we feed our 6 guinea pigs and the one we recommend. Made by a British family company, these pellets are excellent quality, recommended by most vets and are usually the cheapest of our recommended brands.
- Harrington Guinea Pig Nuggets: A good quality guinea pig food made by a British company in North Yorkshire.
- Oxbow Complete Guinea Pig Food: This brand is made in the US - it is good quality but the most expensive option of the three.
Always make sure you buy a quality pellet food like one of those above to ensure your pet is getting the best possible food to keep healthy.
This dried food is an easy way to give your guinea pig the essential protein, fibre, nutrients and vitamins that are required to keep their teeth, skin and bones healthy.
They are produced to make portioning your pets daily food requirements far more simple than measuring (and buying) enough fresh forage and vegetables to sustain them as they would need in the wild. Pellets keep fresh for longer and are also easy for your cavy to eat. Don't forget that they cannot survive on pellets alone and will need fresh vegetables and unlimited hay too.
What Ingredients Should the Pellet Food Contain?
Your pellet food should be made up of at least 20% fibre and 15-16% crude protein. Anything less means that the nuggets are not good enough quality.
You can also buy pellet food which has a vitamin C supplement included. Like rabbits, guinea pigs do not produce vitamin C and require this to be added to their diets. Although they can often get this from fresh vegetables it is best to ensure that they receive enough from their regular diet.
What to Look Out For in Pellet Food
- Avoid any packaged food that contains vegetable fibre, beet pulp, corn products, seeds nuts and oils.
- The food should be dye-free and additive free.
- Check the alfalfa content of your feed. Alfalfa is a rich source of calcium which is good for young and growing cavies but not good for adults. Once a guinea pig is six months old they should move on to a Timothy Grass based pellet food.
How Many Pellets Should they have Daily?
This depends on the weight of your guinea pig. As a general rule, they should have 6 grams of dry food for every 100 grams of their body weight. Burgess Excel pellets recommend between 30-50g for a 700-1200g guinea pig. Find out how to weigh your guinea pig here...
How Should I Store the Pellets?
Always store the pellets in a dry and dark place and seal the bag or box that it is kept in to prolong its freshness.
Also, make sure you use the food within 90 days of when it was produced. Never use food that is out of date to feed your guinea pig.
What Sort of Food Bowl is Best for the Pellets?
Guinea pigs sometimes put their feet on the edges of the feeding bowls when they’re eating. To ensure the food bowls don’t tip over, make sure you buy a heavy ceramic or stoneware bowl or a non-tip bowl like the colourful one below. One that is 12cm in diameter is a good size. You'll need at least two bowls as they'll need one for their fresh vegetables too.