Have you ever noticed that only certain pieces of food from your guinea pig’s food bowl is missing?
It can seem like your guinea pig only eats what they want while ignoring all of the other food sometimes. That can lead you to wonder why they act so selective all of the time. So why are guinea pigs so picky?
Guinea pigs are so picky because they’re natural foragers and they will usually have the urge to only eat what they want when they feel like it. Each guinea pig is different and they have their own personal likes and dislikes.
However, that selectiveness can become a bad behavior that can lead to them not getting the complete nutrition that they need to stay as healthy as possible.
Why Is My Guinea Pig So Picky?
Guinea pigs are natural foragers in the wild, and the guinea pigs that we keep as our pets are similar.
They both like and feel the need to forage for their food. The main difference is that the domesticated ones have their food given to them.
So when they do get their food, what you’ll usually see is them starting to become very selective.
That’s especially the case when they are fed with a mixed bag of food instead of with food that is mainly pellets.
So just like with people, guinea pigs have different tastes that they like and don’t like.
When they find certain pieces of food in general or in their bowl that tastes good to them they’ll start to mainly eat only that while choosing not to eat much of anything else.
Is It Normal For A Guinea Pig To Be Picky?
As I said before, guinea pigs are foragers. They’ll look around for things to chew on and eat whenever they can.
While they’re looking for food they’ll usually pick up and take what they like and leave the foods that they don’t like right where they found it.
Domesticated guinea pigs are generally the same way when it comes to the food that we give them.
Because they are natural foragers, that means it’s totally normal for some guinea pigs to be picky about their food.
So it’s normal to see them pick through their food and only take some pieces that they like.
They’ll grab some food like the seeds, fruits, and vegetables while leaving the more nutritious pieces behind.
That’s just one of the behaviors that most guinea pigs often do. So it’s up to us as their owners to make sure they’re getting the proper nutrition once we notice them starting to doing that.
Should You Try To Get Your Guinea Pig To Become Less Selective?
If your guinea pig is only a little picky about the things that they eat then it’s really not much of an issue.
However, if your guinea pig is extremely picky then you’ll have to step in and try to get them to become less selective about what they eat.
The reason why is because being picky can actually be very bad for a guinea pig’s health.
When they only pick out the pieces that they like without eating the rest of their food, they’ll start to miss out on all of the important vitamins and minerals.
Those nutrients can be very important for:
- Keeping them generally healthy.
- Helping keep their fur coat healthy and looking shiny.
- Making sure their digestion stays on track.
So if your guinea pig is the kind of picky eater that only takes the treats out of their food while ignoring the healthy pieces then you’ll have to make some changes.
You may have to either change how they get their nutrients, or what they eat entirely.
How To Get Your Guinea Pig To Stop Being So Picky
If you have a guinea pig that is a very picky eater you may want to try to get them to start becoming less selective over time.
That can mainly be done by switching to an all pellet diet instead of feeding them with a variety bag full of mixed food.
When they get fed with a bag full of different types of food like nuts, seeds, grains, and pellets, they’ll most likely only eat the stuff that tastes good to them.
Which usually means that they will skip right over the food that is more healthy for them.
Feed Them Pellets That Are Nutritionally Complete And 100 Percent Uniform
So one of the best things to do to help with preventing that kind of selective behavior is to feed them a complete pellet based food.
These pellets usually contain an equal amount of vitamins, minerals, and all of their essential nutrients within them while still being all uniform.
That means that every bite that they take from the pellets has the same complete nutrition that all of the other pellets in the bag has.
It’s really one of the best ways that can help prevent picky eaters from being so selective.
You should try to do it slowly so they can get used to it while having some patience with them while you’re trying to switch their diet.
It’ll be a lot easier and will help prevent them from becoming stressed throughout the process.
So if your guinea pig is new or even if you’ve had them for a while and they seem to be very selective, try switching to a good pellet based food.
The best ones are the ones that are healthy, complete, and will still taste good to them.
Recommended: Best guinea pig food for picky eaters
Will Guinea Pigs Always Be Picky Throughout Their Life?
As guinea pigs grow up and go through their life, what they’ll enjoy will most likely change over time.
Everything from where they like to sleep, their favorite treats, and even the food that they eat will often change a few or more times.
That means that guinea pigs will usually be picky eaters throughout their life.
So if your guinea pig is very selective about what they eat then you have a couple of choices.
You can continue to only feed them what they like while also giving them different vitamin and mineral supplements.
That way they can be picky while still getting all the important nutrients from the different supplements.
The other option is to switch their food to an all pellet based food. This food will still have all of the nutrients spread out equally among the pellets for them to eat.
So even if your guinea pig is picky, both of these options will still make sure they get all of their essential nutrients to help them continue to grow and have a balanced diet.