Abstract / Description of output
Background: The nutritional requirements of pet guinea pigs are not particularly well understood, with much of the current information based on laboratory animal work and conditions which may not be directly transferable to pets. As such, both owners and veterinarians alike have limited resources available, potentially resulting in adverse effects on welfare caused by incorrect diets. Aim of the article: This article reviews what is currently known about pet guinea pig nutritional requirements. Wild guinea pig diets are discussed and current pet guinea pig owner feeding habits outlined. The article also looks at the potential adverse effects of an incorrect diet on guinea pigs and their welfare; some of this information is currently unknown, so it is discussed whether extrapolations are possible from other species. This article is a useful overview for all veterinary staff treating pet guinea pigs and giving dietary advice to owners in veterinary practice.