What Can Guinea Pigs Eat? All You Need To Know

It is highly understandable to be worried about what to feed your Guinea Pig and what not to. So if you wonder – What Can Guinea Pigs Eat? Then you are at the right place as I will today try to answer this question after conducting thorough research on this.

Guinea pigs, like rabbits, are genuine herbivores, albeit their gastrointestinal system’s physiology and function are not as well studied as the rabbit’s. Guinea pigs have dietary preferences early in life and are resistant to food kind, appearance, or presentation changes.

Unexpected shifts might lead to an unwillingness to eat. Any dietary changes should be implemented gradually. The essential part of guinea pig nutrition is their need for vitamin C. Aside from that; unlimited hay is the key to a good diet in a guinea pig.

What can guinea pigs eat?

Guinea pigs are herbivores. Thus their diet should consist of high-quality guinea pig hay, pelleted guinea pig chow, and just a small amount of fresh vegetables and fruit. An unbalanced diet can lead to persistent diarrhea, obesity, and heart, liver, or renal problems.

what can guinea pigs eat

Introduce new items to your guinea pig’s diet gradually since sudden or large dietary changes might create issues (such as diarrhea).

Feed your guinea pig twice a day on a consistent schedule in the morning and evening.

If given the opportunity, these furry creatures will overeat; thus, remove pelleted food that is left uneaten after one hour and discard fresh fruits or vegetables that are left uneaten after 24 hours to prevent obesity.

Never introduce a new food, even hay, before thoroughly clearing out the old.

The wild guinea pig eats a wide variety of things in its native environment of South American woods, including fruits, leaves, plants, and root vegetables, but mainly a lot of high-fiber grasses.

Pet guinea pigs are frequently given a dry guinea pig mix with the occasional piece of fresh veggies, which is low in fiber and rich in carbs.

Hay is essential not only for helping to wear down their constantly developing teeth but also for maintaining the health of the microorganisms in their digestive system that ferments their diet.

What vegetables can Guinea Pigs eat daily?

Guinea pigs will also require a variety of micronutrients, including vitamins and minerals. Vitamins A proper amount of consumption of several micronutrients is essential for keeping guinea pigs healthy and happy.

Guinea Pig, House Guinea Pig, Cute

When feeding vegetables to guinea pigs, it is critical for the guinea pig parent to keep a close eye on a few key micronutrient (and other) indicators. 

Here are a few veggies that are perfectly safe for your furry little companion

Asparagus

This vegetable includes oxalate and phosphorus. It also has vitamin C. You can occasionally offer asparagus to your Guinea Pig.

Broccoli

This includes vitamin C, but it also contains a lot of vitamin A. Therefore, it should only be eaten on occasion.

Cabbage

This vegetable is high in vitamin C. However, don’t overfeed your Guinea Pig because it might induce gas and bloat.

Carrots

Guinea Pigs adore carrots, but they contain sugar, which can cause tooth decay and diabetes. They also include oxalate, which can cause oxalate stones. They also have a lot of vitamin A in them. Carrots can be fed on a regular basis.

Cauliflower

This may be provided to your Guinea Pig on a regular basis. It provides vitamin C. However, it can also cause flatulence in your Guinea Pig.

Corn on the cob

This provides vitamin C, but it is heavy in starch, so only feed once or twice a week.

Cucumber

Guinea Pigs can consume the meat, seeds (in moderation), and peel of cucumbers.

Green beans

These are high in vitamin C and may be given fresh. Be cautious, though, because they also contain calcium and phosphorus.

Peas

Phosphorus and calcium are found in peas, as they are in other vegetables. They do, however, contain vitamin C. You may give your Guinea Pig peas in moderation.

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Parsley

This might be a tasty treat for your Guinea Pig. It just needs to be fed once or twice a week.

Parsnip

It is a tasty vegetable that may be offered often to your Guinea Pig.

Watercress

Watercress may be fed on a regular basis. It is beneficial to your Guinea Pig and is high in vitamin C.

Red Cabbage

Red cabbage is rich in vitamin C and includes a trace of calcium. You may feed it on a regular basis.

Red peppers

These are abundant in vitamin C and can be fed on a regular basis.

Turnip Greens

Turnip greens include vitamin C, calcium, and a little phosphorus. You may give them to your Guinea Pig once or twice a week.

What fruits can Guinea Pigs eat?

Mascot, Guinea Pig, Rodent, Apple, Sweet

These furry animals can consume a variety of fruits in little amounts. Because they are high in sugar, they should only be fed as a treat. Check out our list to see what fruits your pig can eat:

Bananas

These should be served only on rare occasions because they are heavy in sugar and might induce constipation.

Blueberries

These may be served often and are high in vitamin C.

Oranges

These should only be served on occasion since citrus might induce mouth sores.

Pears

These are a rich source of vitamin C and should be served on a regular basis.

Pineapple

Because it is acidic and might cause mouth ulcers, it should only be served on occasion.

Plums

Plums can be fed on occasion. However, they are heavy in sugar.

Strawberries

Strawberries, including the green tips, can be given on a regular basis.

Can guinea pigs eat frozen vegetables and fruits?

Guinea Pig, Cute, Rodent, Young Animals

Frozen fruits and vegetables and tinned or canned food are not good for guinea pigs. If you are unable to obtain fresh vegetables for any reason, investigate if you can forage for safe plants or weeds.

You might be amazed at how many of these are sprouting in your neighborhood.

What lettuce can guinea pigs eat?

Romaine Lettuce is edible by Guinea Pigs. The high fiber content of Romaine lettuce (as well as red and green lettuces) will help keep your guinea pig’s digestion running smoothly. It has significantly more nutrients than iceberg lettuce.

Lettuce, Leaves, Vegetable, Lambs Lettuce, Corn Salad

Always thoroughly wash leafy green vegetables before giving them to your pet to eliminate bacteria and hazardous residues.

While lettuce is theoretically okay for your guinea pig, it should not be given in large quantities. Your piggie will react differently to different varieties of lettuce.

Iceberg lettuce, for example, has relatively little nutritional value since it only contains trace levels of Vitamin C. Although iceberg lettuce is not harmful, it can induce diarrhea and stomach upset.

As a result, iceberg lettuce should be avoided. Romaine lettuce, on the other hand, maybe consumed more regularly. Romaine lettuce is high in Vitamin A and also contains Vitamins B6, C, potassium, and iron.

However, for guinea pigs with urinary difficulties or indicators of high calcium consumption, we usually prefer green leaf lettuce or red leaf lettuce over romaine lettuce (white deposits in urine).

Nonetheless, it is best to carry out extensive research on which leafy greens are ideal for guinea pigs before starting them on a new diet!

What other foods do guinea pigs eat?

A healthy guinea pig diet should include a mix of commercial food, fresh hay, and fruits and vegetables. Commercial pellets will form a significant portion of its diet.

Vegetables, Garden, Harvest, Organic

Because guinea pigs, like humans, are unable to produce their own vitamin C, they will benefit from vitamin C supplemented pellets containing at least 16% fiber and no extra seeds or dried fruits.

On the other hand, Pellets are unlikely to be sufficient on their own. Because vitamin C degrades fast, it’s best to mix it with leafy green vegetables and herbs.

The majority of its vegetable consumption should consist of Romaine lettuce, red and green leaf lettuces, kale, and cilantro. Carrots, zucchini, dandelion greens, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes can also be included once or twice a week.

Freshly sliced seeds-free fruits such as oranges, apples, blueberries, mangos, pineapples, kiwis, and banana slices should be given no more than once a day or every few days. Sugar consumption, especially in its natural form, should be controlled.

Guinea pigs will also require a steady supply of hay (timothy, oaten, barley, or grassy hay should work well). This will aid in digestion and keep their teeth filed down while they chew on it. Keep the hay in a rack or basket above the cage’s floor to keep it from mingling with the excrement.

Homemade treats, such as apple sauce combined with hay, are fantastic alternatives since they provide your pet with something unique and exciting to munch on. In general, a conventional diet of pellets, hay, and fruits and vegetables should suffice for your guinea pig.

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Your pet will require fresh, clean water at all times of the day, in addition to meals. A water bottle, as well as a tiny water dish, should be included in the cage. If the water dish becomes unclean, you should change it right away, even if there is still some water in it.

What can be included in a Guinea Pig’s Diet?

Vegetables, Nature, Green, Healthy

These animals are herbivores, which means they eat exclusively plant-based meals and do not consume meat.

A guinea pig’s diet should consist of 83% excellent quality hay and/or fresh grass, 15% fresh greens and vegetables appropriate for guinea pigs, and 2% complete guinea pig pellet food.

Hay and Grass

Good quality hay and/or grass should account for at least 80% of a guinea pig’s diet.

Because it is not always feasible to supply all of this in the form of fresh grazing grass, hay should always be supplied ad-lib (freely!), so your guinea pigs may eat to their hearts’ content. Timothy hay, for example, should be of high quality and suited for eating.

Suppose your guinea pig has access to a grassy outside run area. It is critical that this grass be fresh and devoid of insecticides or pesticides, as they can be hazardous if consumed.

Vegetables and Greens

Greens and vegetables should account for 15% of your guinea pig’s daily diet. It is critical that they be healthy, safe to eat, and high in vitamin C.

Spinach, broccoli, kale, bell peppers, rocket, and chicory are some examples of guinea pig-proof vegetables. Carrots should only be eaten in small amounts as a treat since they are high in sugar and can cause health problems if ingested in excess.

Pellets

A comprehensive nutritionally balanced pellet food should account for no more than 5% of the guinea pig’s diet. Most local pet stores sell full pellet meals for guinea pigs. Typically, the amount to be fed is indicated on the back of the package.

It is critical that you do not overfeed, as this can lead to obesity. Muesli and other brightly colored foods may appear attractive, but they allow your guinea pig to pick out the pleasant pieces while leaving the nutritious bits. And thus, they may wind up with an extremely imbalanced diet.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential component that aids in the health of bodily cells. Guinea pigs, unlike other animals, cannot produce vitamin C and must obtain it through their food.

Without it, guinea pigs are vulnerable to diseases such as Scurvy. Many vegetables, including spinach, broccoli, bell peppers, and tomatoes, are high in vitamin C and guinea pig pellets.

You don’t need to supplement vitamin C if you eat a well-balanced diet that includes a range of vitamin C-rich veggies. If you have any queries or are worried that your guinea pig’s food is not balanced enough, contact your local veterinarian, who will be able to help you.

Fresh Water

Water is a vital component of all animals’ diets, although it is sometimes disregarded. Your guinea pig must always have easy access to fresh, clean drinking water. Plastic drinking bottles with a metal nozzle are a nice alternative and can be found at most pet stores.

To prevent hazardous germs from growing, they must be cleaned on a regular basis with guinea pig-safe disinfectant.

What Can Guinea Pigs not eat?

Guinea pigs, however, have a long list of items to avoid due to their highly specific herbivorous diet. Even veggies that appear to be safe at first appearance might cause intestinal problems in your pet.

Burger, Food, Meat, Delicious

As a result, they should avoid eating nuts, seeds, dry beans, corns, peas, avocados, onions, mushrooms, dairy products, meat, and, of course, any human foods with low nutritional value, such as pasta, crackers, or sweets.

Some people offer grains and cereals to their pets, but they are not ideal meals and should be avoided since they can create stomach issues.

Because most guinea pigs are prone to forming bladder stones, you should avoid or limit foods high in oxalates, such as spinach, and parsley. Plants treated with pesticides in your yard should never be offered to your pet.

You should constantly be aware of where the food originates from and if it is safe to provide to your pet. Find a reputable brand or food source and stay with it.

Some pet retailers provide salt wheels and multi-vitamin supplements designed expressly for guinea pigs, although this is fraught with controversy.

Some veterinarians may approve of their use, while others may advise you to avoid them. However, as long as your pet is getting enough nutrients from its food, these items aren’t essential.

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What type of food is toxic for Guinea Pigs?

Not all fruits and vegetables are suitable for guinea pig consumption. Make sure not to feed your little buddy:

Many pets are at risk from eating these foods. These same foods frequently appear on lists of poisonous foods for dogs, birds, and cats. Even if none of the components are poisonous, never feed your guinea pig sugary or salty human “junk food.”

Because guinea pigs cannot consume garlic or onions, much of our cooked food is also off-limits. It’s preferable to give your guinea pig hay and high-quality pellets, with occasional fresh fruits and vegetable treats.

What herbs can guinea pigs eat daily?

A large variety of herbs are acceptable and safe for your guinea pig. Rocket, dandelion, fennel, basil, mint, parsley, dill, endive, cilantro (a.k.a. coriander), and thyme are a few examples.

Spices, Jars, Herbs, Herbs And Spices

When it comes to giving your furry little friend anything new, it’s important to be careful and progressive, just like with any other nutritional supplement. If you are abrupt, your cavy may get an upset stomach as a result.

Guinea Pigs Food Alternatives and Supplements

With all of these dietary requirements in mind, here are some typical items that may be used to supplement or as alternatives to your guinea pig’s hay and water diet:

Broccoli

Broccoli, Vegetables, Healthy, Cook

Every portion of the broccoli plant, which is high in fiber and low in sugar, can be offered to your guinea pig. Broccoli is also rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, making it an ideal choice for a pet’s food supplement.

Cauliflower

Cauliflower, Vegetables, Food, Vitamins

Cauliflower, which is low in calories but abundant in vitamins and fiber, is a fantastic choice for guinea pigs due to its abundance in Vitamin C.

Kale

Cabbage, Kale, Vegetables, Healthy

The Humane Society recommends offering your guinea pig kale, a popular superfood that is great for your pet’s intestinal health. It is also abundant in Vitamin C. As a result; it is worthwhile to consume it on a regular basis.

Bell Peppers

Bell Peppers, Vegetables, Food, Sweet Peppers, Peppers

While all bell peppers provide fiber for your pig’s diet, the brighter red and orange bell peppers have more Vitamin C, which is crucial for your guinea’s health.

You may feed them the entire pepper, stem, and all, but be careful not to overdo it because bell peppers are heavy in sugar.

Orange

Tangerines, Fruit, Food, Clementines

Fruits are normally only suggested as a treat due to their high sugar content, which can swiftly lead to diabetes and obesity in tiny animals. However, if you just give your guinea pig one fruit, orange segments are an ideal choice due to their high Vitamin C concentration.

Carrots

Carrots, Vegetables, Harvest, Healthy

While being on the sweet side for a vegetable, Carrots are an occasional fantastic diet for your furry friend due to their high Vitamin C and fiber levels. You may give your pet the entire plant, including the green tips.

Tomato

Tomatoes, Bowl, Food, Fruit, Healthy

Only give your little friend the flesh of the tomato plant, avoiding the stems and leaves. It’s heavy in sugar, but it also has high quantities of Vitamin C, making it an excellent occasional treat.

Conclusion

While a guinea pig’s digestive isn’t strong enough to allow it to consume anything, if you’ve ever run out of guinea pig food and had to wait for more, consider supplementing the hay diet with any of the fruits and vegetables listed above. They’ll be content and healthy until you can reintroduce dried kibble.

FAQs

Can guinea pigs eat cheerios?

Cheerios and other cereals are not suitable for guinea pigs. This sort of food is not advised for the health of guinea pigs and may provide a choking danger. Cheerios have a lot of sugar, calories, fat, and calcium, and they are flavored in a variety of ways, making them unsuitable for guinea pigs.

Can guinea pigs eat cheese?

Cheese should never be fed to guinea pigs. In reality, guinea pigs cannot consume dairy products because they cannot digest them. These little animals do not have the enzyme lactase required to digest lactose found in all dairy products.

Can guinea pigs eat corn?

Yes! And they typically enjoy it! However, although being considered delightful by most piggies, maize is heavy in starch and has very little additional nutritional value, making it only ideal as a treat on rare occasions.

What can guinea pigs eat from the garden?

When they’re in season, you may give your guinea pigs a variety of garden plants and herbs. Among them are:
Buddleia.
Calendula.
Hollyhocks (leaves)
Lavender.
Nasturtium.
Roses.
Sunflowers.
Wallflowers.

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Author
Gulshan
Hi, I am Gulshan, a pet blogger, and author. I've been working with the local pet groups for the past five years. I have been fascinated by our pets and am here to share that wonder with you.