We know guinea pigs have a specific need for adequate vitamin C in their diet.
Does this mean they can consume Vitamin C supplements that are made for humans?
Not so fast…. remember: vitamin C tablets are a highly concentrated form of vitamin C and most importantly: they are made for humans.
While vitamin C, when consumed to excess, is excreted from the body (meaning it doesn’t pose a toxic risk), not all vitamin C supplements are created equal and care needs to be taken if considering using them for a guinea pig.
First: ask why. Is your guinea pig proven to be vitamin C deficient? Is her diet not providing enough vitamin C? Supplements aren’t a replacement for an adequate diet, so being lazy and not thinking about vitamin C in the diet in favor of using supplements is not going to earn anyone brownie points in the world of guinea pig keeping.
Human vitamin C tablets can contain additional ingredients, including sugar. This is clearly not ideal for optimal guinea pig health (or for us, for that matter).
The good news is that there are vitamin C supplements made especially for guinea pigs. Oxbow Natural Vitamin C Chewables really eliminate the need to use human supplements. Made up of guinea pig friendly ingredients of Timothy Hay and Vit C, one tablet a day is safe to provide for that peace of mind that your guinea pig’s vitamin C needs are being covered: just don’t make it a dietary replacement.