The guinea pig is a medium-sized rodent that is increasingly finding its place in French homes. Very affectionate, it appreciates the company of children and will be a joy for the whole family. Be careful not to forget to give him daily vitamin C: it is vital for his development.
Why should I give him a vitamin C supplement?
Before adopting your guinea pig, you need to know everything about its needs.
Guinea pigs, like humans, do not synthesize vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. It is therefore vital to give it to your guinea pig every day so that it does not suffer from deficiencies.
Weigh your pet frequently to determine the right amount of vitamins to give him. A healthy animal will need 20mg/kg daily while a pregnant female or a convalescent guinea pig will need 60mg/kg.
If your pet does not receive this daily intake, it may suffer from locomotor problems: it will have difficulty moving around and may even suffer from paralysis of the hindquarters. Decreased appetite is also a symptom of vitamin C deficiency, as are frequent fractures.
What foods contain vitamin C?
Some types of food, such as guinea pig pellets, contain vitamin C, but it is very fragile and degrades quickly when exposed to light. This is not enough.
Several vegetables such as kiwi, peppers, broccoli, citrus fruits or fennel are also rich in vitamins, but you will never know how much the guinea pig has really ingested. It is therefore advisable to supplement your guinea pig with vitamin C yourself.
How do I give my guinea pig a vitamin dose?
The dose of vitamin C contained in the pellets and in the daily vegetables is often not high enough, especially since the molecule loses its effectiveness when it comes into contact with light.
You can therefore use tablets or a syrup to give him the right amount of vitamins every day. Add the tablet to the pellets or slip it in among the vegetables in his cage.
If your guinea pig sorts it out and won’t eat it, you can still use a pipette. Take a small syringe and get into the habit of giving your guinea pig his dose every morning. This will quickly become a special moment between the two of you.