What is the answer to Can guinea pigs eat rabbit food? The answer is no. Guinea pigs, otherwise known as cavies, should not consume rabbit food. Rabbit food contains many things that may be detrimental to the health of a cavy. It is also missing things that are important to the guinea pig’s health. Guinea pigs eat hay and leafy greens naturally. The formulations of rabbit food do not replicate this natural diet well. Rabbit food has added fat in the form of seeds, nuts, or oil. Cavies normally consume diets very high in fiber and low in fat. The added fat in rabbit food may cause diarrhea, vomiting, and nutrient malabsorption. These problems arise because the cavy does not posses mechanisms for digesting this added fat. The fat flows through the digestive system of the guinea pig very quickly, taking other foods along with it.
Rabbit food is also lacking in vitamin C, which cavies must get from their diet as they cannot create their own. If a cavy does not get adequate vitamin C, he or she is bound to become sick. Problems such as scurvy and bone growth issues will arise; if not treated quickly, they could cause death. Rabbit food likely contains antibiotics, which are extremely dangerous for guinea pigs. The penicillin-based antibiotics may even kill pet guinea pigs. The cavy relies on bacteria inside his or her stomach to help digest and extract nutrients from food. Antibiotics will wipe these bacteria out, rendering cavies unable to absorb the nutrition from their diet.
Guinea pigs eat a very specific diet for very specific reasons. The guinea pigs nutritional requirements are completely different from those of a rabbit. For this reason, guinea pigs must only eat food specifically formulated for them. A cavy should be eating a diet of hay, guinea pig pellets, vegetables, and the occasional fruit. Guinea pigs cannot eat rabbit food.