Switching Diets for Rabbits and Guinea Pigs

Do you ever think that you should be providing more variety in your pet’s diet so that it is more like yours?

young girl petting a guinea pig

Unfortunately, introducing a new diet to your pet can lead to gastrointestinal upset or cause unintentional stress. The benefits of switching to a Mazuri® diet will be noticed quickly, but the process of switching should be slow.

Small animal species like guinea pigs and rabbits have very delicate digestive systems that rely on a consistent diet. Guinea pigs and rabbits are herbivores that have an extensive microbe population in their ceca, the small pouches found at the beginning of their large intestines that contain bacteria that help digest high-fiber ingredients, such as timothy hay.

This delicate ecosystem of microbes must be “fed” appropriately to ensure a healthy gut. Changing guinea pig food and switching rabbit food immediately, or providing too many treats at one time, can cause a disruption to this ecosystem and lead to discomfort for your furry friend.

Pets like guinea pigs tend to be finicky eaters. Switching your pet’s food abruptly may lead to digestive upset, or worse, your pet will stop eating completely. Never fear though, you can change their diet. You just need to do it the right way: slowly!

You should take at least 7 to 10 days to switch your animal to a new diet. Keep reading for guidelines to help slowly transition your pet to a new feed. Remember to monitor the weight, behavior and appearance of your animal throughout the process. If your pet backs off or stops eating completely, go back a step and allow more time for them to adjust to the new diet.

How To Switch Your Pet’s Food

Each animal is different; the recommendations below are just a guide.

Day   1:     100% old diet
Day   2:     90% old diet / 10% Mazuri® Diet
Day   3:     80% old diet / 20% Mazuri® Diet
Day   4:     70% old diet / 30% Mazuri® Diet
Day   5:     60% old diet / 40% Mazuri® Diet
Day   6:     50% old diet/ 50% Mazuri® Diet
Day   7:     40% old diet / 60% Mazuri® Diet
Day   8:     30% old diet / 70% Mazuri® Diet
Day   9:     20% old diet / 80% Mazuri® Diet
Day 10:     10% old diet / 90% Mazuri® Diet
Day 11:     100% Mazuri® Diet

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