Guinea pigs should have a diet that is at least 80% hay, which helps to reduce the risk of dental disease and gastrointestinal issues. It can be challenging getting them to eat a healthy diet sometimes, just like us.
Nicole and Jez talk about why hay is so unique as a food, as well as why it can help with normal dental wear and digestion.
Minarikova, A., Hauptman, K., Jeklova, E., Knotek, Z. and Jekl, V., 2015. Diseases in pet guinea pigs: a retrospective study in 1000 animals. Veterinary Record, 177(8), pp.200-200.
Reiter, A., 2008. Pathophysiology of Dental Disease in the Rabbit, Guinea Pig, and Chinchilla. Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine, 17(2), pp.70-77.
Winkler, D., Clauss, M., Rölle, M., Schulz-Kornas, E., Codron, D., Kaiser, T. and Tütken, T., 2021. Dental microwear texture gradients in guinea pigs reveal that material properties of the diet affect chewing behaviour. Journal of Experimental Biology, 224(13).
Winkler, D., Schulz-Kornas, E., Kaiser, T., De Cuyper, A., Clauss, M. and Tütken, T., 2019. Forage silica and water content control dental surface texture in guinea pigs and provide implications for dietary reconstruction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(4), pp.1325-1330.
Witkowska, A., Price, J., Hughes, C., Smith, D., White, K., Alibhai, A., & Rutland, C. S. (2017). The Effects of Diet on Anatomy, Physiology and Health in the Guinea Pig. Journal of Animal Health and Behavioural Science, 1(1), 1-6
Outro music by Matt Charleston
About the hosts
Dr Nicole Su and Jez Watts
Dr Nicole Su is a veterinarian, Jez Watts is a comedian-biotechnologist, and together they discuss commonly misunderstood topics in the pet and vet world. They live with three rabbits that are their children.