Guinea pigs are like people. Their bodies don’t make vitamin C so they need a supply of it in their diets. Daily I give Princess Piggy Poo an array of fresh vegetables and fruits in hopes she won’t get scurvy.
Since becoming a guinea pig mother, I’ve discovered that citrus fruits aren’t the only foods that pack a vitamin C punch. Next time I’m at the grocery, I’m buying red bell peppers because they’re supposed to be high in vitamin C and reputedly a real piggy favorite. Princess Piggy Poo is not a fan of oranges or grapefruit and only eats the green tops of strawberries so I was excited to read about red bell peppers; especially since too much broccoli, another high-C item, can give her gas—another way guinea pigs are like people.
After studying the nutrition guide on every bag of lettuce at Trader Joe’s, I’ve learned that baby romaine has the highest amount of vitamin C. Kale has 160% of the daily value of vitamin C in a serving but that’s not a food I want to share with her. Kale, like spinach, is also high in oxalic acid, which can bind with calcium to form oxalate stones. You almost need to be a registered dietitian to know how to feed a guinea pig.
In addition to supplying guinea pigs with an array of fresh produce, you need to give them guinea pig pellets. The guinea pig food from the pet shop looks like typical boring rodent pellets but it comes peppered with little yellow dots and circles. It makes me laugh because Princess Piggy Poo always picks out and eats the yellow treats like my brothers, sister and I used to do the Crunch Berries out of Cap’n Crunch® and the marshmallow hearts, moons, stars and clovers out of Lucky Charms®. I wonder if that’s a kid thing that she’ll outgrow. But, come to think of it, if I had a box of cereal right now, I’d probably pick out the fun stuff.
Because Princess Piggy Poo is still a baby, the pet shop people said to keep giving her foods she’s rejected because everything is new to her and she may grow to like them. One of the perks of feeding my guinea pig is that I’m buying fresh foods that I don’t wind up throwing away because I don’t crave salad everyday. It would be nice if I start eating more fresh foods while trying to figure out how to best feed my picky eater.