Ratewatchers Diet for Hugo?

I was listening to Mummy talk to Auntie Vikki on the phone and Auntie Vikki said Hugo might benefit from the Ratewatchers diet.

I had trouble finding it because the link on Auntie Vikki’s page didn’t work properly, but George had showed me how to find things that used to be there, using the Google cache, so I did that.  I know the information may be copyright, but in case it disappears I’m going to copy it here, acknowledging that I got it from Planet Guinea.  Thank you very much Planet Guinea and I hope your website is back soon.

Ratewatchers is a correctly balanced diet designed for guinea pigs, including those with bladder sludge and stone problems.The Ratewatchers Diet contains all foods. There are no ‘Good’ foods or ‘Bad’ foods, just foods fed in the correct amounts and ratios. Whilst it is the Calcium to Phophorus ratio that is being calculated the diet is also looked at as a whole. Vitamins and minerals should be viewed as the cogs of a machine that makes up the guinea pigs metabolism, when one is removed the others are affected.

Hay is the main part of the guinea pig’s diet and the aim is for guinea to eat at least their body mass in hay,  this is followed by fresh food (vegetables and a little fruit) and lastly dry food which makes up the smallest part of the diet.

Key facts:

  • Calcium high foods are lighter than Phosphorus foods, it is easy to feed a diet that is too high in Phosphorus but difficult to feed a Calcium high diet.
  • Guinea pigs can get bladderstones resulting from a diet that is too high in Phosphorus foods too (fruits and roots), ie a low calcium diet will promote these stones. Other problems can result from a diet deficient in Calcium such as dental (guinea pigs have continually growing teeth). Poor condition of nails (also continually growing).
  • Foods that are correctly balanced in Calcium and Phosphorus may still be harmful if fed in the wrong amounts because of the other nutrients they contain or the amount of Calcium/Phosphorus they contain. It is the amount of foods fed that is of primary importance.
  • At first food will need to be weighed, after that it will become second nature to feed your guinea pigs, rather like giving them a health check does.
  • All of the guinea pigs Planet Guinea surveyed over the last year were receiving at least twice as much Vitamin C than they needed (the amount needed ranges from 10-30mg depending on ’state’, eg pregnant/ill, all the diets were receiving at least 60mg and many over 100mg!
  • Mature grass can be fed ad lib except in the spring (when it is not mature unless grown under artificial conditions), take advice on the amount of young/new grass that is in the diet including grass grown indoors- it is the age of the grass that is important NOT the season.
  • The guinea pig bladder can hold about 10mls, in order to ‘flush it through’ an amount in excess of this (or at least equal to) needs to be given at any one time. 15ml x3 daily is advisable.
  • Water and hay are a key part of the guinea pig diet too and affect the overall and general well being of the body.

Click on the link for theRatewatchers D.I.Y. Diet.

Well, I’m a little confused now.  I thought Hugo had to have a low calcium diet but this suggests he mustn’t have a high Phosphorous diet or he’ll get stones.  Maybe it just has to be well balanced between the two?   I’ll have a Think about it, and maybe follow the link too.

3 thoughts on “Ratewatchers Diet for Hugo?

  1. Auntie Nixi

    Well, to be hinest, Fred, it all sounds rather confusing to me. I’m sure your spectacular mummy will soon pick it up if it’s the best thing for Hugo. 🙂


  2. Auntie Dawn

    Many thanks for this info, F.

    Do have a think, and let me know what you come up with. I’m completely confused about this calcium and phosphorous issue. I think that the key is balance, but who knows. A greater mind than I needs to sort this all out, and I can think of no one smarter than you. ❤

    Here's another useful link, sent to me by GPRWA's Dr. Doris:

    I hear that you've been developing friendly relations with Hugo. I'm so pleased. I love the both of you to bits. I know that Hugo can be a bit … Hugoish … but he's a good boy at heart.

    Auntie Dawn


  3. Fred

    Mummy says that link is very useful, thank you Auntie Dawn. She says the Ratewatcher diet sheets are fine if you can actually get hold of the vegetables easily which she can’t. She’s going to use the Guinealynx chart (which is more comprehensive than the Piglopedia one) to help her sort out what else can go in the brown and orange boxes (it’ll make sense if you view the sheet)and especially what she can grow in the garden. We’ve got too much broccoli now, she says. Well, I’d agree with that. There seems to be broccoli everywhere.


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