Guinea Pig Vitamin C Requirements
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As many guinea pig caretakers already know, there’s much more to caring for your guinea pig than cage cleaning and cuddle time. Along with the cuddles and cleaning, healthy guinea pigs require a regular health-care routine that includes weekly weigh-ins, sight-and-touch “physicals,” ear cleanings, nail trimmings, daily floor times, and, of course, daily doses of Vitamin C.
Like Humans, guinea pigs are not able to produce Vitamin C on their own, and so they must be given a Vitamin C supplement each day.
While your guinea pig can get much of its daily Vitamin C requirement through a diet of high quality hay and pellets, the exact amount of dietary Vitamin C that your guinea pig will absorb cannot be known. Therefore, it never hurts to supplement its diet with a dose of Vitamin C each day.
Like Humans, guinea pigs are not able to produce vitamin C on their own and so they must be given a vitamin C supplement each day.
While your guinea pig can get much of his or her daily vitamin C requirement through a diet of high quality hay and pellets, the exact amount of dietary vitamin C that your guinea pig will absorb cannot be known. Therefore, it never hurts to supplement a your guinea pig’s diet with a dose of vitamin C each day.
The Importance of Vitamin C
In fact, providing daily doses of vitamin C each day is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that your guinea pigs stays happy, healthy, and strong. This is because vitamin C helps guinea pigs maintain and develop healthy bones, blood vessels, and connective tissues while promoting the development and strength of many other vital health functions.
Vitamin C is so important for your guinea pig that a Vitamin C deficiency can result in a myriad of health problems, such as: weakness, lethargy (laziness), diarrhea, and even internal hemorrhage. Yikes!
OK, so guinea pigs need Vitamin C.
But what’s an easy way to give your guinea pig its daily required dose? And what type of Vitamin C supplement should you use?
An Easy Way to Give Your Guinea Pig Vitamin C
In our opinion, the best way to supplement your guinea pig’s diet is to prepare a daily treat by applying a small amount of Vitamin C powder to a favorite watery snack.
HappyCavy uses Swanson Brand 100% Pure Vitamin C Powder. A 16oz container of it will last you quite a long time. Jump here for the link!
The HappyCavy sisters get their Vitamin C supplement each day during floor time. A Human will thinly slice several pieces of cucumber and apply a small amount of crystallized Vitamin C powder onto the slices. Vitamin C powder can be quite sour, and cutting the cucumber into small, super-thin slices means that there isn’t a lot of time for the pigs to notice the sour – they just get so excited to have a piece of yummy cucumber each day!
By now, we have grown accustomed to our daily sour treat and we scream our little heads off to get it!
Don’t be a silly Human! Avoid using vitamin C water drops to supplement your cavy’s diet!
When using water drops, you are not able to adequately judge the vitamin C dose that each guinea pig receives. Also, vitamin C is not water stable, meaning it will mostly likely break down before your guinea pig has a chance to ingest it.
Almost forget! There's a How To Video that goes along with Hammy's Vitamin C post! Enjoy http://t.co/Jqs6uoRM
— Happy Cavy (@happycavy) August 25, 2012
How Much Vitamin C Powder Should I Use
Guinea pigs should get 10 to 30 milligrams of Vitamin C each day. This is a relatively small amount, so the Humans aren’t too keen on exactly measuring the powder doses. (Guinea pigs can tolerate a generous amount of vitamin C. But keep the portion very SMALL, as too much vitamin can give your guinea pigs the runs…and we’re not talking about laps around the cage.)
When applying Vitamin C onto the cucumber slices, the Humans use a butter knife to portion a small amount of powder, just enough to cover the tip of the knife. The Vitamin C is then spread over the top of each cucumber piece, making sure the power dissolves into the vegetable as thoroughly as possible. Once it is worked into the cucumber pieces, they are promptly fed to a gaggle of wheeking HappyCavy guinea pigs.
The Humans find that vegetables high in water content work best for administrating Vitamin C in this way. The high water content helps quickly dissolve the powder, plus the HappyCavies love them cucumber snacks. Other vegetables that work well are tomato, bell pepper, and nearly any type of fruit.
An additional note: Because the powder can taste sour, feed a small snack to your guinea pig after giving the Vitamin C treat. This will help to prevent the powder from irritating your cavy’s mouth.
Share Your Thoughts
How do you give your guinea pigs vitamin C? What kind of vitamin C supplement do you use?
We’d love to hear what you have to say!Guinea Pig Vitamin C Requirements,
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