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The 11 Best Hay For Guinea Pigs

Most reputable sites recommend giving your guinea pig free access to a constant supply of timothy hay, but they don't specify a specific brand.

Most people think of a bag of hay as just that, but there can be significant differences between brands.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has selected the most popular guinea pig hay brands so you can see how the details vary from brand to brand so you can choose the right the best hay for guinea pigs.

Let us share our favorite and favorite brands for our dogs with you.We've put together a short buyer's guide with some basic information about timothy hay to help you tell the difference between two bags of hay that look the same.

Come join us as we take a detailed look at timothy grass, learn how to distinguish it from cuttings, alfalfa, dust levels, and more.

How to Choose Quality Guinea Pig Hay (A Buyer's Guide)

Let’s talk about some things you need to think about before you buy.

Forms of Hay

We’d like to go through some of the more popular varieties of hay you could see on the shelves when you go shopping for your guinea pig.

Author: Hay, Timothy

If you’re looking for a hay that’s great for guinea pigs, you can’t go wrong with timothy. Guinea pigs love it, and it’s easy to come by. You may get timothy hay in three different lengths. Both of the first two are simple to get by and don’t cost too much. Your pet’s preferences will determine the one you buy.

  • The seed pods are in the clenched hand.
  • As a result of the second harvest, the hay has a softer, greener appearance.
  • The third harvest consists of late-season leafy greens.

Pure third cut timothy hay is frequently expensive and hard to get since many farmers plant other fast-growing grasses alongside timothy hay and harvest them at the same time to boost their production.

Fruit Tree Hay

Orchard hay is more common in England and is very uncommon in the United States. But it’s a great alternative to timothy hay and just as healthy for your guinea pig.

When compared to timothy hay, orchard hay is often more greener in color. When producing their products, several American companies combine timothy hay with orchard hay.

Forage from the Meadow

Since it promotes foraging behavior in your guinea pig, meadow hay is an essential sort of hay to seek out. Herbs and other wild plants are common in this sort of hay, which guinea pigs like eating. Be careful to feed your pet a little of this hay every day.

Meadow hay has more calcium than the other varieties of hay we’ve seen, which is a drawback. We don’t want to overload your guinea pig’s diet with calcium, but on sometimes, meadow hay is a wonderful treat.

Ryegrass

There are several other kinds of hay that are appropriate for your guinea pig, but the one we’ll cover here is ryegrass. To begin, ryegrass is the most common type of hay sold at pet stores, which is why we feel compelled to bring it up.

Although ryegrass may be safely fed to guinea pigs, the considerable gas production it causes means it should be introduced to their diet gradually to prevent gastrointestinal issues.

Methods for Selecting High-Quality Hay

If you’re looking for some advice on picking out some good hay, here it is.

  • Seed pods, weeds, and other debris shouldn’t be strewn about.
  • There should be no evidence of dust or mold.
  • It ought to have the aroma of newly mown grass. There shouldn’t be a musty odor.
  • Hay needs to be supple and yielding.
  • There shouldn’t be just one hue; rather, it should be shades of green and gold.

Conclusion

We recommend keeping the basics and following your buyer’s advice when choosing a brand of hay for your guinea pig. Oxbow Western Timothy Hay is the best hay we found for guinea pigs as it meets all the criteria.

Your dogs will love this premium timothy hay as it reduces dust content. Our top recommendation is Kaytee Natural Timothy Hay Small because it’s very comparable to our favorite brand, but in a more manageable size.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) trusts that you have found our reviews interesting and that our conclusions are consistent with yours.

We hope that you find the information in our buyer’s guide useful and that you will use it as a checklist before making your next purchase to choose the best hay for guinea pigs.

Please share this post on how to choose the best hay for your guinea pig on social media if you found it helpful.

Reviews

Most Outstanding All-Around Product: Oxbow Western Timothy Hay

Our research has shown that Oxbow Western Timothy Hay is the optimal choice for guinea pigs. The extraction procedure used by the manufacturer results in a less dusty food product for your guinea pig, and the product itself is 100% natural.

This meal is great for your pet’s teeth and is naturally high in fiber. Every bale of hay is checked by hand before it is packaged.

The only drawback we found when reviewing Oxbow Western Timothy Hay was that occasionally the quality would degrade. We reasoned that this was because it was a 100% natural ingredient.

Pros

  • Super High in Fiber
  • Natural in every way
  • Eliminated or greatly reduced dust levels
  • Hand-sorted

Cons

  • The standard might fluctuate at times.

 

Lowest Price on Kaytee Natural Timothy Hay, Small

Our research has shown that Kaytee Natural Timothy Hay Small is the most beneficial and affordable option for guinea pigs. It’s a 13-pound package of timothy hay by that particular brand.

Due to its high fiber content and low protein and calcium levels, it is beneficial for avoiding urinary tract infections.

The inconsistency of the quality is a problem with this cheap brand. Kaytee Natural Timothy Hay comes in two colors, green in one and brown in another. Because of the variations in quality, the level of interest from your pet will shift.

Pros

  • High dietary fiber
  • Reduced protein
  • 13-pound satchel

Cons

  • The batch-to-batch variation in quality

 

Second-Cut Timothy Hay from Rabbit Hole – Top Quality

For guinea pigs, we recommend The Rabbit Hole Hay’s Second Cut Timothy Hay. With its high fiber content and low protein and calcium levels, this brand provides a good roughage and nutritional balance.

This harmony also encourages your pet to chew on both the left and right sides of its mouth, which is essential for the proper wear of its molars.

For the most part, our guinea pigs appeared to appreciate the Rabbit Hole Hay Second Cut Timothy Hay; however, we did notice that the hay became quite dusty toward the end of the bag.

Pros

  • Equilibrium between roughage and nutrition
  • Intensely fibrous
  • Improves digestion and relieves bloating
  • Balances the wear on one’s molars

Cons

  • Dusty

 

Hay Grass from an Apple Orchard Oxbow

Our guinea pigs really enjoy the Oxbow Orchard Grass Hay since it is a premium hay brand. When given the choice between this high-fiber snack and vegetables, they almost always go for the former.

This hay aids with weight reduction and comes in a spill-proof bag. This hay, a combination of orchard and oxbow, is said to be more palatable to animals.

We found that the quality of Oxbow Orchard Grass Hay varied from batch to batch, and that every few batches were very dry. We like the mess-free bag, but despite it, we noticed a lot of dust in the air while reaching near to the bottom of the box.

Pros

  • Mess-free bag
  • Intensely fibrous
  • Orchard and oxbow mix

Cons

  • Having varying degrees of quality
  • Dusty

 

Timothy Hay Kaytee Wafer-Cut

Also produced by Kaytee, the Timothy Hay Wafer-Cut is the company’s second offering in guinea pig feed. The same premium, natural hay is used in this variant, but it has been sliced in a different fashion.

Some pets may prefer the reduced bulk that comes with the wafer cut. The grasses are all high in fiber and have been sun-dried.

Kaytee Timothy Hay Wafer-Cut hay has a major drawback in that it is quite dusty. We purchased a number of packets, and they were all the same, so the dust is probably the first thing you’ll notice about this brand.

Aside from the dust, there was a noticeable variation in how green the packets were. As an added note, this brand was not as well-received by our guinea pigs as the others. The wafer-thin slices may be to blame for the distaste, as they are more easily broken.

Pros

  • All-natural
  • A grass that has been dried by the sun

Cons

  • Dusty
  • Having varying degrees of quality
  • Wafer

 

Timothy Hay from Sweet Meadow Farm

Timothy hay is an excellent choice to have on hand at all times since it is low in calcium, which is essential for guinea pigs. This second-cut hay is ideal for guinea pigs due to its high fiber content (32.1%).

Second-cut hay is softer than first-cut hay and hence more suitable for older guinea pigs who may have difficulty chewing harder meals.

There are 20-ounce, 3-pound, and 9-pound containers of this reasonably priced product. It lasts for at least a year if stored dry, and guinea pigs enjoy the flavor and texture. The hay inside will soon deteriorate if the packaging is destroyed during transport.

Pros

  • 1% dietary fiber
  • Second-cut hay is suitable for older guinea pigs who have a softer diet.
  • Cost-effective
  • You may choose from three different packaging sizes.
  • Stays fresh for a year if stored properly
  • To the liking of guinea pigs, both in flavor and consistency.

Cons

  • There’s a risk of mold growth if the hay becomes wet due to a leaky packaging.

 

Timothy Hay Higgins, Sunburst Break-A-Bale

One such precut and compacted hay is Higgins Sunburst Break-A-Bale Timothy Hay. Because they are precut and compacted, there is no dust in the packaging that may potentially be tracked into your house, and the strands were all carefully selected to assure high quality.

If you feed your guinea pigs Higgins Sunburst Break-A-Bale Timothy Hay, be aware that they may create a big mess when they rip apart the little bales.

We also found the compressed cubes to be somewhat dry, and we pondered whether or not there was some other method to add moisture to them.

Pros

  • Only timothy hay used
  • Condensed and trimmed
  • Handpicked
  • No crumbs

Cons

  • Messy
  • Dry

 

Timothy Hay’s ZuPreem: The Western Promise of Nature

For instance, ZuPreem Nature’s Promise Western Timothy Hay is guaranteed to be both safe and of good quality. ZuPreem conducts regular checks for the presence of dangerous chemicals and pesticides in the hay it uses.

In order to maintain the hay’s nutritional content, it is sun-dried before being stored.

One drawback of ZuPreem Nature’s Promise Western Timothy Hay is how dusty it may get. In addition to the dry air, the hay appears to be contributing to the dust problem. Unfortunately, not all of our guinea pigs like this particular brand.

Pros

  • Superior Timothy Hay
  • Examined for the presence of pesticides
  • Tanned by the Sun

Cons

  • Dusty
  • With no moisture remaining

 

Fortified Sweet Grass Hay, or Vitakraft Timothy

The second product here that uses compressed hay is Vitakraft’s Timothy Sweet Grass Hay. This brand is convenient because it’s already sized and shaped for feeding.

This hay is packaged in a resealable bag and is free of additives like pesticides and stabilizers.

Vitakraft Timothy Sweet Grass Hay is one of the dustier types on this list, despite the reclosable bag’s aid in preserving freshness. That also applies to the hay.

The texture was quite dry, bordering on crumbly. We found that the majority of our guinea pigs did not care for this particular brand.

Pros

  • Bail bonds shrunk to a size suitable for pets
  • Neither additives nor pesticides were used.
  • Bag with a closure that may be used more than once

Cons

  • Dry
  • Dusty
  • There’s no way that pets could consume that!

Author Image

Dr. Barry Buttler

Dr. Barry Buttler, DVM, MS, DACVIM, is an experienced veterinarian who specializes in the care of small animals, specifically dogs. Dr. Barry K. Buttler is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and holds multiple certifications in small animal emergency medicine and geriatric pet health.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Barry Buttler

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2024-05-06

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