How do my guinea pigs get their vitamin C?

Guinea pigs love their fresh veggies! They do not make their own vitamin C, so to prevent a deficiency, fresh veggies are the easiest and best way to get them their vitamin C! ¼ of a bell pepper contains all of their vitamin C for the day! Daily staples include lettuce (romaine, green leaf, red leaf), parsley, bell peppers.

If you feed your guinea pig a good variety of vegetables every day, your guinea pig will be getting their recommended amount of vitamin C (10-30 grams for healthy guinea pigs).

Supplementation

Healthy guinea pigs do not need vitamin C supplementation. If your guinea pig is sick, supplementing vitamin C is a great idea in addition to the medication from the vet. The LA Guinea Pig Rescue recommends giving 1ml Child’s Life Vitamin C orally once a day for sick guinea pigs. 

Do not use these “supplements”

Vitamin C deteriorates in sunlight and heat (LINK). Anything that claims that their supplement does not have to be administered as soon as it is taken out of the packaging or is in a clear package has compromised the validity of the vitamin C content.

Vitadrops

Claim: Put a few drops in their water to supplement vitamin C. 

Reality: Not only is the vitamin C compromised after being dropped in a clear bottle, it changes the taste or the water. This discourages your guinea pigs from drinking water and makes them dehydrated. 

Vitamin C cookies

Claim: Eating a cookie will supplement vitamin C

Reality: These cookies are baked (exposed to heat) and kept in a clear bag (exposed to sunlight). I do not understand how this cookie can retain any vitamin C content. This is my opinion, as I haven’t found any scientific studies on this specific cookie. I will update this post when one comes out. Is this a great, yummy treat for guinea pigs? Yes! Is it a reliable source for vitamin C? No.

Let’s discover more about guinea pigs:

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