Pellets, also known as the dry food in the guinea pig diet, is a small but still important part of the diet. It provides roughage for a guinea pig's digestive tract, as well as witamins and minerals. Make sure you are feeding unlimited grass hay and a cup of vegetables per day as well.
Choosing a Pellet Brand
The two most common and high quality brands of pellets for guinea pigs are Oxbow "Cavy Cuisine" and KM's (KleenMama's) Hayloft "Timothy Choice" pellets. For adults, feed only timothy hay or other grass hay based pellets, like the ones listed above. For young guinea (8 months and under) Oxbow makes a pellet called Cavy Performance, and KleenMama's makes Alfalfa Complete. These are alfalfa based pellets that contain extra calcium and protein to further promote healthy growth. Alfalfa based pellets should also be fed to nursing and pregnant guinea pigs. Both pellet brands are plain and have extra Vitamin C, with no artificial colors. Of course there are other awesome brands of pellets out there, but make sure whichever one you choose has nothing added to it (plain), no colored pieces, nuts, seeds,and/or dried vegetables or fruit.
Don't be fooled by the pellet brands like the one shown here (Fiesta Max by Kaytee). Many owners fall into the trap of purchasing these pellets and others like it because they have bright colors and lots of ingredients mixed in. Owners sometimes assume that the more things mixed into the pellets, the better. They are less likely to buy the plain, healthy pellets like Oxbow because they don't look nearly as appealing. But the problem with buying pellets like Fiesta is that there are bits of corn, big seeds, random little bits, artificially colored seeds, and dried vegetables/fruits. These are major choking hazards, the seeds are high in fat, and the colors aren't good for guinea pigs. In addition, most of the stuff isn't even pellets (which is the nutritious part) so almost every guinea pig picks out only their favorite pieces.
Use a very heavy, ceramic bowl for feeding pellets, because if you don't your guinea pigs will tip it over. Choose a bowl that has fairly low sides so your guinea pig has easy access. You can also use a feeder trough that clips onto the cage; I use a small metal unpainted trough for two of my guinea pigs and it works great. Remember to wash and dry the bowl before adding fresh food.
For each adult guinea pig in the cage, add 1/8 of a cup of pellets. For example, for one guinea pig feed 1/8 cup, 2 guinea pigs feed 1/4 of a cup, etc. Remember, this is just a standard guide. For example, I feed my two boy pigs 1/2 of a cup a day. There are many factors that depend on how much to feed, including your pet's weight and the activity level of the animal. It's always a good idea to ask your vet how much should be fed. You may need to change the amount if your guinea pig isn't eating a lot of pellets (decrease) and if you are always finding your guinea pig is devouring the pellets before the day is done, then you may need to increase the amount. But again, consult a vet or use your judgement based on weight, activity level, age, and consumption.
Remember to monitor your guinea pig's weight. If they start to gain too much weight, make sure to give them more exercise and decrease pellets. Generally when guinea pigs gain weight from a dietary issue, it is caused by the pellets, because it is the carbohydrate portion of their diet.