How often should pet guinea pigs be fed?
When Sam was busy with her exhibit a couple of months ago, we didn’t see her for several weeks. The first weekend that she came home, she immediately checked her pets, saw her guinea pig and exclaimed, “Mommy, ano ginawa mo kay Fatfat (what have you done to Fatfat)?” Well, three weeks is a long time. Baby guinea pigs do grow fast.
But it is also true that I tend to overfeed little Fatfat. He has a supply of pellets but that’s more for “on the side.” He eats fresh vegetables everyday because when I cook, I give him most of the trimmings — carrot skins, the ends of cucumbers and celery sticks, spinach stalks… Since I cook twice a day, he eats veggies twice a day. And I rarely measure how much I give him. So he grew. He has grown so much that he’s bigger than our month-and-a-half-old kittens. He has lived up to his name, truth be told.
Sam says I shouldn’t overfeed Fatfat. And she’s right. But…
See, Fatfat stays near the laundry area. And whenever I go there, he starts squealing. You know, like he’s starving. Sometimes, I pity him so much that even before I start prepping vegetables for cooking, I cut off stalks and give them to him.
Wrong, said Sam. When he squeals like that, it’s not always because he’s hungry. Sometimes, he wants to be petted. But I don’t touch guinea pigs. I pet the cats but not the guinea pig. And especially not the turtle. So, when Fatfat squeals, I feed him. One time, I gave him a pieces of pineapple core and Sam got so upset because Fatfat couldn’t finish the fruit pieces and he ended up getting all wet and sticky.
My, bad. I ought to know about the squealing even when not hungry. Human babies are like that too. When Sam and Alex were babies, I was so careful not to feed them out of schedule even when they cried — despite the advice of so many oldies to stick a bottle in the baby’s mouth when it cried.
Okay, so, maybe I’m less conscious about the pets’ needs. There was a time when I overfed the cats too and they got so fat. Then, Speedy got upset because the cat food consumption was going way over budget. And all because I couldn’t resist feeding the cats. So, I let him feed the cats. And I don’t feed Fatfat more than twice a day anymore — even when he squeals to the high heavens.