Although we’ve become used to the more commercial ways of buying pet food, we’re starting to consider the benefits of ‘growing your own’. Not only is gardening a natural way of relieving stress and anxiety for people, growing fresh food for your guinea pigs is healthier for them, better for the environment and your wallet!
How to get started
The best place to start is in your own garden, or if you don’t have access to your own green space, you could ask a friend or a family member if you can use a plot in theirs!
You will need:
- Gardening gloves
- A wheel barrow, trug, or large bag
- A mesh tray for drying out winter stock.
How to forage, and what plants are safe?
Luckily, the plants that are commonly found in most garden are safe for your small pets to eat. But if you’re not quite sure, we’ve compiled a list of pet-friendly plants for your guinea pig here.
Once you familiarise yourself with these pet-friendly plants, you can go out for a spot of wild foraging. Just make sure you’re in a public place or obtain permission if you find yourself on someone’s private land.
Make sure the natural forage your picking is free from chemical sprays, litter or other toxins such as dog urine. Try to avoid picking forage at your feet or the edges of growth by reaching a little bit higher.
When you familiarise yourself with the types of forage, you can mix them up and give them to your guinea pigs. Introducing them to new varieties a bit at a time will help their digestive systems adapt. It’s also worth noting that fresh forage is hard to come by in the winter, so you might want to try drying out the forage you’ve collected in mesh trays first and then transfer to boxes or paper bags ready for the winter.