If you have both a rabbit and a guinea pig for pets at home, you most probably see that these two different pets can get along very well and play together. You may be wondering if it’s okay for them to eat the same foods too. Rabbits and guinea pigs both eat pelleted food and rabbits can eat some guinea pig food every so often, but not for a regular diet.
Table of contents
- Guinea Pig Food Benefits for Rabbits
- Teeth Care For Rabbits and Guinea Pigs
- Can Rabbits Eat Guinea Pig Food Occasionally?
- Other Issues to Be Mindful of in Rabbit Pellets
- What Are the Nutritional Differences Between Rabbit Food and Guinea Pig Food?
- How Much Guinea Pig Food Can My Rabbit Have?
- Final Thoughts
Guinea Pig Food Benefits for Rabbits
Guinea pig food is actually very healthy for rabbits as a snack or if you run out of rabbit food and only feed your rabbit a little bit for a day. Guinea pig food is full of nutrients and just as rabbits are herbivores, so are guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs are similar to humans in that both are incapable of producing their own vitamin C. Guinea pig food is high is vitamins D, A, E, and C to strengthen the immune system and to help combat sickness. If guinea pigs don’t get enough vitamin C, they can get infections and different skin conditions. Rabbits can make their own vitamin C. If you feed your guinea pig rabbit food, you will need to supplement it with vitamin C for good health. However, occasionally, if either your rabbit or guinea pig eats a bit of the other pet’s food, it’s fine.
Guinea pig food is good for the digestive tract too. Guinea pig food has dried grass in it to supply your pets with fiber and keep the digestive tract moving as it should. It also helps to maintain healthy bacteria in the digestive tract.
So you can allow your guinea pig and rabbit to enjoy a meal together of guinea pig food as well as hay and vegetables that both of these pets love.
Teeth Care For Rabbits and Guinea Pigs
The main difference in the anatomy of a rabbit and a guinea pig is their teeth. Rabbits have four incisors in the upper jaw that have enamel on the front and the back. The guinea pig is a rodent and it has only two incisors with enamel only on the front of them. The teeth on both pets grow continuously and they need to be constantly chewing on something to keep them from being overgrown. That’s why the main diet for both your pet rabbits and guinea pigs should always consist of about 75% hay for them to chew on.
Can Rabbits Eat Guinea Pig Food Occasionally?
Yes, they can, but only for a snack and not in a large quantity because they mostly need hay for their complicated digestive systems to operate properly. Rabbits seem to poop all of the time. This is because their food moves very quickly throughout the digestive tract to promote this activity and it also allows them to get the nutrients from the food immediately as well.
As long as your rabbit has the majority of his food as some sort of hay, then it’s okay to let him and your guinea pig share a few bites of food on an occasion.
Other Issues to Be Mindful of in Rabbit Pellets
There are many types of rabbit pellets for sale these days. You should make certain that the food you choose has at least 18% fiber in it for good health. Also, realize that your rabbit can’t just eat pellets and only give him the right amount for his age in size, otherwise, he could have bad reactions with diarrhea and other issues in his digestive tract.
You should buy your rabbit pellets in small bags so they will be fresh. Since rabbits eat very little of the pellets on a daily basis, you don’t want them to become stale or possibly spoil and cause your rabbit stomach issues. Make sure your rabbit gets lots of fruits, vegetables, and an endless supply of hay to supplement his pellets. If you feed too many pellets for your rabbit’s size, he can become obese and this opens a door to many other issues.
What Are the Nutritional Differences Between Rabbit Food and Guinea Pig Food?
A comparison between all the nutrients in a bag of rabbit food and a bag of guinea pig food from the same identical brand can give you a better insight into the specific needs of each of your pets.
Rabbit food has more crude protein and less crude fat than guinea pig food. The crude fiber is about the same for each food at 185 to 23%. Rabbit food has more moisture and more calcium than guinea pig food. Rabbit food contains more vitamin A, less vitamin D3, and less vitamin E than guinea pig food.
The biggest difference between the two kinds of pet food is that rabbit food doesn’t contain any vitamin C and guinea pig food is very abundant in vitamin C. Since both types of pets rely on hay or grass for the majority of their fiber, it’s no surprise that their pelleted feed for each of them is mostly made up of Timothy grass hay that is ground up.
How Much Guinea Pig Food Can My Rabbit Have?
Rabbits and guinea pigs have the same needs for food, mostly hay for their fiber, some pellets formulated for that type of pet, and fresh vegetables and fruit, but each differs in the amounts. Rabbits have a higher need for hay and they need more every day than guinea pigs. Rabbits usually like timothy hay the best and guinea pigs usually prefer meadow hay.
Guinea pigs and rabbits both love leafy green vegetables, but guinea pigs actually need more vegetables than rabbits. And, guinea pigs can safely eat more fruit than rabbits because they can process the natural sugar in them better and become overweight as easily as rabbits.
Rabbits have delicate digestive systems and when you introduce a new food to them it has to be in a very small quantity. Too much new food at once will give them gas, diarrhea and stomach pain. This can even lead to excess bacteria growth that can make your furry friend very sick and some may even die.
It’s best to monitor your rabbit after he eats only a few pellets of guinea pig food and don’t let him graze on it. Too much can be catastrophic for your bunny.
It’s also best to stick with a particular brand of rabbit food and don’t change it to avoid him becoming ill. If you must change your food because the normal brand is no longer available, mix the food down slowly to convert to the new food to avoid stomach upset in your rabbit. Over the course of a week, give him 25% new food and 75% of old food for two days, then give him 50% of each of the foods for two days and then 75% of the new food and 25% of the old food for two days. Then change him to 100% new food on the seventh day. Remember, you aren’t adding more food but mixing it together so keep within the same quantities that he normally eats per day.
It’s perfectly fine to let your rabbit enjoy a tiny snack of guinea pig food together with his friend, but only in moderation. If you ever suspect your rabbit has eaten quite a bit of guinea pig food on his own without you giving it to him, monitor him very closely for any signs of discomfort and take him to the vet if he appears ill.