What Do Guinea Pigs Eat?

Guinea pigs are vegans and basically like most things that will grow in the ground. The variety of plans, fruits and vegetables they eat is extensive so we’ve provided as much detail as possible in this guide for you to know what guinea pigs eat.

What Do Guinea Pigs Eat?

In addition to learning what do guinea pigs eat you will also learn what not to feed your guinea pig. It is important to avoid giving your guinea pig anything that is included on the blacklist as it could be harmful to your pet or make them unwell.

The menu for guinea pigs is vast and it includes branches, vegetables, plants, herbs, hay and fruits.

The staple food for your guinea pig will be hay (no lawn clippings). This is better than the junk food at the pet stores and more healthy for them. It is also less expensive.

Also it is important to note that they like to eat raw foods.

Make sure that you do not give your guinea pig too much fruits as it is like candy to them as it has lots of sugar.

Instead you should be providing mostly fresh vegetables and hay mostly.

What Do Guinea Pigs Eat?

Fruits For Guinea Pigs

When you are considering to feed your cavy fruit you should make sure you don’t give it to them more than once a week at most. This is because it contains a lot of fruit acids and fructose.

Fruits
Notes / Tips
Apple
May cause allergic reactions. Do not feed to your cavy if you notice mouth scabs or sores on your guinea pig’s lips.
Banana
Higher sugar content so should be given rarely to them. However good for cavies recovering from surgery as you can put mashed up medicine in them.
Grape
Is a popular treat they like so you can feed it to them a few times a week.
Kiwi
Can irritate the mouth because of the fruit acids. Feed rarely.
Mandarin
Feed rarely because of fruit acids.
Melon
Contains lots of sugar.
Orange
Can irritate the mouth because of fruit acids.
Pear
Can cause diarrhea and should not be provided to cavies with diabetes. It is rich in sugar.
Rose Hip
A great source of Vitamin C and can be provided parches or fresh.
Strawberry
Can be given to eat with the green.

Fruits you should not feed to your guinea pig.

  • Rhubarb – Has too much oxialic acid.
  • Stone Fruit (Any kind. Fruits with pits) – Can cause diarrhea and contains cyanide which is poisonous. They are also rich in sugar.
  • Exotic Fruits (Papaya, Mango, Dragon Fruit, Pomegranate) – Can cause colics and indigestion.

Vegetables For Guinea Pigs

Vegetables
Notes / Tips
Aubergine (Eggplant)
Only the fit part that is without the green.
Asparagus
Only feed rarely as its highly diuretic
Beetroot
This vegetable has oxialic acid so be careful feeding to your guinea pig. May change the color of feces and urine. Should be provided with greens.
Broccoli
Contains oxialic acid and a large amount of Vitamin C.
Carrot
Do not feed everyday because its rich in calories. Can be provided with greens. May change color of urine.
Celery
Can give the whole thing unless its a root of celery and then it needs to be peeled.
Chicory
Avoid the outer leaves as they contain large amounts of oxialic acid.
Chinese Cabbage
n/a
Corn
Only the green leaves.
Cucumber
A common and very popular food for guinea pigs.
Endive
A good source of minerals and vitamins.
Fennel
Helps digestive issues and is a good source of minerals and vitamins
Field Salad
Needs to be only given in small amounts because of the nitrates which cause diarrhea and flatulence.
Frisee
n/a
Green Oats
n/a
Iceberg Lettuce
Can cause flatulence and diarrhea so only give in small amounts because of the nitrates.
Kohlrabi
Only provide rarely.
Lettuce
Provide only rarely because of the nitrates.
Lollo Bianco
n/a
Mangel (Mangold)
Has oxialic acid so only provide rarely.
Paprika
Rich source of Vitamin C. Only give stalk and only if ripe.
Parsley Root
n/a
Parsnip
n/a
Pumpkin
Note the decorative gourds are not to be considered as food!
Radicchio
n/a
Radish
Only the greens.
Red Oak Leaf Lettuce
n/a
Rocket
Contains mustard seed oil so feed only rarely.
Rutabaga
Great food for the winter season and is rich in vitamins.
Spinach
Contains oxialic acid so should only be provided rarely.
Sunchoke
The whole plant can be given to the guinea pig.
Swede (Rutabaga)
n/a
Sweet Potato (Yam)
Do not feed often as it is rich in starch and sugar. Can be given with the peel.
Tomato
Do not feed often as it contains acid.
Turnip
n/a
Turnip Greens
Good source of Vitamin C
Zucchini
Guinea pigs don’t normally like them.

Vegetables to avoid feeding to your Guinea Pigs

  • Garlic / Bulbous plants / Onions (chives & leeks) – Can cause flatulence
  • Avocado
  • Potato
  • Legume / Leguminous plants
  • Cabbage in a larger quantity – can cause diarrhea and flatulence

Leaves & Branches For Guinea Pigs

Branches & Trees
Notes / Tips
Alder
Only give in small amounts
Apple
Can be given to your pet in large amounts
Beech
Has a lot of oxialic acid so only provide in small amounts
Birch
Has a lot of tannic acid so don’t provide often
Cherry
n/a
Currant
Can be given in large amounts
Fir
Not really enjoyed by Guinea Pigs so don’t feed often
Hazelnut
Can be given in large quantities
Lime
n/a
Maple
Feed rarely
Pear
Can be given in large amounts
Pine
Not really enjoyed by Guinea Pigs so don’t feed often
Plum
n/a
Spruce
Not really enjoyed by Guinea Pigs so don’t feed often
Willow
n/a

Toxic or Incompatible Branches, Trees & Foliage

  • Thuja
  • Yew
  • Oak – Is poison to Guinea pigs and can cause colic, diarrhea and anorexia

Herbs For Guinea Pigs

Herb
Notes / Tips
Blackgrass / Slender Meadow Foxtail
n/a
Aaron’s Beard
Helps healing wounds and helps fight against anorexia
Alfalfa
Fresh Only
Arnica
n/a
Balm
Helps with digestive issues
Basil
n/a
Bramble / blackberry bush
n/a
Broardleaf Plantain / Waybread
n/a
Buckhorn plaintain
Can help colds
Caraway
n/a
Chamomile
Anti-inflammatory and helps with digestion
Chickweed
n/a
Clary, Sage, Salvia
Only provide in small amounts
Coltsfoot
n/a
Common Borage
n/a
Coriander
n/a
Corn Stalk
Don’t provide the grains
Currant Bush
n/a
Curry Plant
Only provide a little and not often
Dandelion / Hawkbit
Diuretic
Dill
Stimulates milkflow
Echinacea
Only feed to healthy cavies
Gallant Soldier
n/a
Golliwog
n/a
Goosefoot
n/a
Goutweed
n/a
Gowan
n/a
Grass
Can be provided in large quantities but should only be provided fresh
Holy Thistle / Milk Thistle
n/a
Lamium / Dead-nettle
n/a
Lavender
n/a
Lemon Mint
n/a
Lovage
Diuretic
Marygold Blossom
n/a
Melissa / Balm
Diuretic
Mint / Spearmint
Not for breastfeed cavies
Mugwort / Wormwood
n/a
Nettle
Provides Vitamin C and should only be given if dried
Oregano
n/a
Origan / Marjoram
n/a
Parsley
Only small amounts for pregnant Guinea pigs and not for breastfeed cavies.
Peppermint
n/a
Raspberry Bush (Cane)
n/a
Rosemary
n/a
Shepherd’s Purse
n/a
Sorrel
n/a
Sunflower
Only without pits and leaves
Tarragon
n/a
Thyme
Can help respiratory infections
Valerian Root
n/a
Yarrow
n/a

Herb Black List – Toxic Or Incompatible Herbs

  • Acanthus
  • Agave
  • Arum
  • Autumn Crocus
  • Belladonna
  • Boxwood
  • Broom
  • Buddleia
  • Buttercup
  • Christmas Rose
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodils
  • Datura
  • Elder
  • Ferns
  • Geraniums
  • Holly
  • Honeysuckle
  • Ivy
  • Juniper
  • Laburnum
  • Lily
  • Lily of the valley
  • Lupine
  • Monkshood
  • Oleander
  • Primrose
  • Snowdrop
  • Thimble
  • Tree of Life
  • Windflower
  • Yews

So this is the answer to What Do Guinea Pigs Eat?

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