Vegetables should be the main proportion of both rabbits and guinea pigs’ daily food intake. Fresh greens provide these little cuties with essential nutrients for their proper functions. But can rabbits eat guinea pig food?
These two pets are somewhat similar, so we might assume that rabbits can eat guinea pig’s food. Now, is this assumption correct? Let’s dig deeper to find out more.
A Rabbit’s Diet Vs. a Guinea Pig’s Diet
Both of them have open-rooted teeth that grow continuously. While rabbits’ have four incisors that grow approximately 10 cm/year, their guinea pig buddies have only two of these teeth, which grow about 5 cm/year.
Since these two mammals have unique incisors, they need to incessantly chew on fiber-rich food so that their ever-growing teeth do not grow too long.
They are herbivores with somewhat similar diets. The majority of their daily food rations should include hay, and the remaining nutrition can come from vegetables, fruits, and pellets.
Most often, they need to consume more veggies than fruits. Though there are some similarities in their dietary needs, there are some differences as well.
Hay is their primary source of nutrition. It is packed with protein, calcium, other fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, and E.
Dried grass is necessary for maintaining healthy bacteria for these plant-based animals’ digestive tracts, ensuring that food is easily fermented in their stomach.
Not only hay is essential for rabbits and guinea pigs, but it can also help to provide the needed wear and tear for their ever-growing teeth.
So which type of hay is best for rabbits, or any kinds of hay would do?
Whereas most rabbits love oaten hay, guinea pigs like to eat meadow grass hay. On the other hand, Timothy hay can be fed to both of them, as it is an excellent choice of grass hay with great tasting to keep their mealtime enjoyable.
Now, what is the right proportion of hay that you should feed your rabbits?
Rabbits generally need to consume a bit more hay than guinea pigs. About 75-80% of rabbits’ daily nutrition should come from hay, whereas only 65-70% of guinea pig’s daily food intake should include hay.
Vegetables & Fruits
Both pets need a variety of veggies and fruits in their diet. So feed them carrot tops, kale, celery, tomatoes, cucumber, green beans, and other herbs like parsley or mint.
Rabbits need a smaller amount of fruits and veggies than guinea pigs, which makes perfect sense as rabbits usually eat more hay than rodents.
While rabbits can produce vitamin C on their own, guinea pigs can’t.
If you keep rabbits and guinea pigs in the same cage, make sure that the latter get enough vitamin C-rich food like dark, leafy greens, or you can replace it with vitamin C supplements.
Can Rabbits Eat Guinea Pig Food?
Yes, rabbits can eat guinea pigs’ food with no problem, since these herbivores’ diets have many similarities. But, keep in mind that you should feed your rabbits with guinea pig food in a short period only.
Since rodents’ food contain a higher amount of vitamin C than rabbits need, providing your long-eared friends with domestic cavies’ food can hinder rabbits’ natural ability to produce vitamin C for themselves.
Can Rabbits Eat Guinea Pig Pellets?
It is safe to feed your rabbits with guinea pigs’ pellets, but only as a temporary solution when you really can’t purchase rabbit pellets.
Since most guinea pig pellets contain vitamin C, feeding them to rabbits – the pets that can make vitamin C in their bodies – especially in the long run, is not a very good idea.
Can Rabbits Eat Guinea Pig Muesli?
We would avoid feeding rabbits with muesli, not just guinea pig muesli.
Even though muesli is convenient and cheap, they are rich in carbohydrates, potentially causing indigestion in your rabbits.
Also, if your rabbit is kept in a small cage with limited opportunities to exercise or no sunshine exposure, she can suffer from vitamin D deficiency.
How to Choose Food for Your Rabbit?
Feeding your rabbit with a healthy and balanced diet can prevent her from health problems like obesity, gut stasis, or diarrhea.
A normal rabbit should be fed twice a day with mostly hay (about 80% – as mentioned above), some greens, and a limited amount of pellets.
As hay is naturally grown, its quality varies. Therefore, rabbit owners need to examine the hay carefully before buying it.
Ideally, they should have a mix of stems and leaves to ensure that nutrition is maintained. Timothy, brome, orchard, oat hays are the most common ones, though Timothy probably has the best taste.
Only purchase dust-free hay and avoid hay with a musty smell as it can upset your rabbit’s stomach.
High-quality hay should smell fresh and sweet with a greenish color. If the grass is in brown or yellow color, it might have lost its nutrition due to untimely harvest or improper packaging and transportation.
Once picking the correct type of hay, make sure you store it in a dry and cool place to maintain its nutrition values.
Avoid giving straw
Straw is sometimes mistakenly seen as hay, but it has little nutrients – thus – should not be part of your rabbit’s diet.
Instead, it can be used as bedding for your rabbits once thoroughly cleaned.
Pellets must be appropriate with your rabbit age
Pellets are not a must-have component of a rabbit’s daily food. If your rabbit is fed a balanced diet with hay and a variety of greens, she already has enough nutrition without the need for extra pellets.
That said, if you need to feed her with pellets, feeding it with extra care.
An adult rabbit of 6 to 8 pounds only needs 1/4 of a cup of pellet/day. Consuming too much pellets can lead to digestive issues.
Pellets should contain at least 18% fiber
Looking for a reliable pellet brand can be a challenge, as there are many options to consider. Don’t be lured to colorful packaging. Look at the ingredients instead, and pick those with high content of fiber.
Ideally, it should contain 18% fiber at the minimum, 12% to 14% protein, and 0.5% – 1% calcium for a healthy diet.
Reliable brands usually list the type of grass and cereals in order, so purchase pellets from those manufacturers only.
To sum up, rabbits can eat guinea pig food but with a limited amount and in a short time only. These two small and lovely pets have similar dietary, but there are specific differences in their food needs.
Hence, feeding rabbits with guinea food only when you’re too busy to purchase rabbit foods; otherwise, your long-eared pet can suffer from several health problems.