What do guinea pigs eat


The guinea pig (Cavia porcellus) is a herbivorous rodent that feeds primarily on hay, a dry legume that ensures the essential contribution of fiber and is also essential for intestinal mobility. Outside the pellets, which should be offered in a moderate way, the guinea pig requires an external contribution of vitamin C, by consuming fruits and vegetables, since it is not able to synthesize it by itself.

It is very important to know in depth the fruits and vegetables recommended for guinea pigs, for their fundamental role in nutrition, as well as to be able to offer a varied diet, which will also have an impact on better well-being and enrichment.

In this Expert Animal article we offer you a complete list of fruits and vegetables recommended for guinea pigs, read on to discover what they are and some recommendations when offering them:

Recommended fruits for guinea pigs

In the wild, guinea pigs do not feed on cereals, tubers or fruits, so we must moderate the consumption of this type of food and use them in a timely manner, only as a prize. In addition, among all fruits, we should avoid those that are citrus. We can offer pieces of fruit to our guinea pig two to four times a week. Do not forget to wash them beforehand, cut them into dice and remove the bones.

Some good fruits for guinea pigs are:

  • Apple
  • Watermelon
  • Pear
  • Cantaloupe
  • Peach
  • Pineapple
  • Apricot
  • Banana
  • Papaya
  • Peach
  • Carrot

Extra information about the fruit:

As we have mentioned, it will be essential to avoid excess fruit in the guinea pig's diet, mainly because of its high water content, which can cause diarrhea, as well as its high amount of sugar. The most recommended fruit is undoubtedly apple, although pineapple and banana can also be recommended.

Vegetables recommended for guinea pigs

In nature, the guinea pig would feed primarily on hay, fresh grass and green leafy plantsFor that reason, it may be interesting to acquire arable grass for rodents, which will also help keep teeth healthy and prevent tooth overgrowth. We must offer daily vegetables. Do not forget to wash any food well before offering it and cut it into small pieces if it is very large.

Some vegetables that a guinea pig can eat are:

  • Lettuce
  • Endive
  • Arugula
  • Zucchini
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Canons
  • Eggplant
  • Spinach
  • Red pepper
  • Green pepper
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Green cabbage
  • Tomato
  • Sprouted Alfalfa
  • Endives
  • Celery
  • pumpkin
  • Broccoli (leaves and stem)
  • Artichoke
  • Chard
  • Green beans
  • Dandelion
  • Young shoots

Extra information about vegetables:

Among the vegetables rich in vitamin C we find peppers, arugula or canons. Meanwhile, celery and artichoke (in addition to hydrating) offer a diuretic function. For sick guinea pigs we highlight the chard. They work great to improve kidney or urinary tract problems and artichoke, good for the liver.

Guinea pigs with overweight problems can increase the consumption of eggplant, zucchini and cucumber. On the contrary, guinea pigs who need to gain some weight can take advantage of vegetables such as endives or pumpkin. The most recommended vegetables They are broccoli, cabbage and mixtures of tender shoots.

General tips for the guinea pig diet:

Here are some basic tips related to guinea pig feeding, follow them to make sure your diet is appropriate and that you meet all their nutritional needs:

  • Make sure your guinea pig has its disposition always fresh and clean water.
  • Pay special attention to water when it is winter, as it could freeze if the environment is very cold.
  • Choose a good quality hay, fresh and without dust.
  • The guinea pig must have fresh hay unlimited.
  • The commercial pellets they contain the necessary vitamin C contributions to avoid nutritional deficiencies, you must administer them following the indications of the package proposed by the manufacturer.
  • The amount of pellets should be more abundant in young, pregnant, elderly or thin guinea pigs.
  • Check banned foods for guinea pigs to avoid poisoning.
  • Monitor intake of food and water, as well as the amount of excrement it produces.
  • If your guinea pig stops drinking and eating, go immediately to the veterinarian, it is a symptom of illness.
  • Guinea pigs eat their own droppings, it is a completely normal behavior.
  • Against overweight or thinness in your guinea pig, readjusting your diet if necessary.
  • Go to your veterinarian every 6 or 12 months to perform a general review.

If you want to read more articles similar to Complete list of fruits and vegetables recommended for guinea pigs, we recommend that you enter our Balanced Diets section.

The organism of a guinea pig

One of the characteristics of the guinea pig organism is that they are not able to synthesize vitamin C by themselves, so all the vitamin C they need should be obtained by feeding.

When planning meals for our guinea pigs, we must keep in mind that should be based on foods high in vitamin C. A deficit of this vitamin can cause major health problems, such as tooth decay, diarrhea, skin lesions, severe colds or even death.

Another characteristic of guinea pigs is that their intestines do not move by themselves: these rodents digest by eating new foods that push the rest. It is very important, therefore, that Always have food available in your cage (even hay), Since you are constantly eating.

What guinea pigs eat: essential foods, always in their cage

There are three types of food that our guinea pig should always have in its cage:

  • Fresh water in a drinking fountain, always clean and available. Young guinea pigs can drink little water, but they should always have it within reach.
  • Hay. Hay is essential in the diet of a guinea pig. It helps to wear the teeth, which are always growing, facilitates digestion and provides the necessary fiber so that the digestions end well. There are many types of hay on the market: hay alone, hay with alfalfa, hay with flowers ... Let your pet decide which one he likes best.
  • Foods high in vitamin C. As we mentioned, this kind of food is essential for a healthy guinea pig. Which are? Red pepper, green pepper, tomato, strawberries, cherries (take out the bones!), Brussels sprouts, and green leafy vegetables (chard, spinach, turnip greens, etc.) are foods that have a lot of vitamin C and that your guinea pig should consume at least once a day.

Occasional foods that guinea pigs eat

As a rule, guinea pigs eat fruits and vegetables, your diet is not limited only to foods high in vitamin C. In addition, there are many other vegetables that you might like, such as carrots, broccoli, celery, green beans ... As well as fruit: apple, peach, plum, melon or watermelon. There are many foods available that your guinea pig can love!

A separate case is lettuce and parsley. Both tend to like them very much, but we must give them in moderation.

Lettuce generally love it, but may be indigestible for some guinea pigs and could cause diarrhea. If it feels bad, try changing it to endive. In addition, lettuce is composed mostly of water, and has very few nutrients, so we should not abuse it and provide our guinea pig with richer foods.

Parsley is a very high vitamin C food and usually drives guinea pigs crazy, but be careful! Parsley can be toxic. It is practically impossible for people to get intoxicated by parsley, but guinea pigs weigh a lot less and can be dangerous. Normally, it is recommended to give parsley to guinea pigs once or twice every two weeks.

I think and prizes that eat guinea pigs

You can supplement your diet with specific feed or cereal bars for guinea pigs. The feed must specify that it is suitable for them, since the hamster or rabbit will malnutrize them.

We can add a handful of feed every day in the diet of our guinea pig. They like crispy foods, and this will help them wear and keep their teeth healthy. But with the wide variety of vegetables we have available for them, we should not make it the basis of their diet.

In addition, in stores for animals we can find other complementary products that eat guinea pigs, such as cereal bars, prizes and goodies such as dehydrated fruit or combined nuts. We must bear in mind that, as the name implies, they are goodies and not a food, and must be provided, therefore, in moderation and only occasionally.

As well occasionally we can offer you pieces of hard bread, especially the bark, to wear teeth.

Forbidden food

Despite being herbivorous and able to eat almost all the fruits and vegetables available in the markets, there are a few exceptions that we must keep in mind that they can't eat:

  • Potatoes.
  • Onion or garlic
  • Spicy vegetables Chilli peppers, hot peppers ...
  • Citrus Orange or tangerine have a lot of vitamin C, but they can cause heartburn or gas.
  • Beet or fruits with high sugar content: sugar is not good for guinea pigs, so we better avoid it.
  • Fruit seeds such as apples or grapes: like parsley, in humans we would need an exorbitant amount of them to get intoxicated, but for guinea pigs they are dangerous.
  • Eggs, dairy products, etc. We can only give them fruits and vegetables, nothing that comes from animals.

If we want our guinea pig to be healthy and happy, we must start with a varied, balanced diet that covers all your fiber and vitamin C needs. We have many options in the market to test what your favorite foods are and get you never bored of the same flavors.

What vegetables and fruits are best suited to feed a guinea pig?

Vegetables are very important in the diet of the guinea pig

In general, the vegetables richest in vitamin C are peppers, parsley, celery, spinach, cauliflower, chard, zucchini, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, lettuce and

tomato. Peppers are one of the vegetables with the highest amount of vitamin C, much more than oranges or kiwis. However, we must bear in mind that each guinea pig has preferences for a certain type of food and that green leafy vegetables should be given in greater quantity than other types of vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers or carrots.

Among the fruits and vegetables suitable for the diet of guinea pigs are those mentioned above plus apple, melon, watermelon, banana, peach or peach, blueberries, endive, turnip greens, etc. Fruit should be only a small part of a guinea pig's diet.

Our guinea pig will appreciate that we occasionally give clean and pesticide-free wild plants, such as plantain, sorrel or dandelion. If we are going to give herbs, we will avoid those that grow in busy areas because they will be contaminated or frequented by dogs or cattle due to the risk of transmission to the guinea pig of parasites or other diseases.

What foods are not advisable for guinea pig?

It is also not good to give starchy foods, such as potatoes. High carbohydrate content of food contributes to obesity and can alter the intestinal flora of the animal causing harmful microorganisms to develop in the digestive tract. The carrot is not highly recommended for guinea pig because it is a vegetable with a high carbohydrate content.

Watercress has a very high calcium content, so they are not recommended in the guinea pig diet. An excess of calcium can cause bladder stones in a guinea pig. Clover is also very rich in calcium, so we must give it very carefully. Lettuce should be offered in small quantities and only when the guinea pig is an adult since the digestive system of this rodent is very delicate and this food can cause diarrhea. Iceberg lettuce is not recommended for the same reason. An excessive supply of broccoli produces guinea pig gases. It is better to avoid giving guinea pig another type of cabbage because it produces gas.

It is not advisable to give sunflower seeds because the guinea pig does not know how to peel the pipes and they get stuck in the teeth, which can cause them suffocation. Corn is not recommended for the same reason either.

Nuts should be avoided when feeding a guinea pig because this rodent has a tendency to obesity.

Product available at

How are a human and a guinea pig similar? Although it seems incredible, we have some things in common.

In addition to being mammals, Guinea pigs, like humans, are not able to synthesize vitamin C. This translates into the fact that all of this vitamin is obtained from food.

Check out these supplements for the guinea pig diet.

Vegetables and guinea pigs

Here is a list of vegetables that you can give to your precious Guinea Pig.

Do not abuse the same food. The more you vary the diet the better your pet will be.


Fruits for guinea pigs

And how sweet are these chubby? The fruit is full of sweet sugar that they love.

Here you have fruits that you can give, are a few right?


Considerations to take into account

Winter vegetables

It is important that you do not abuse food that can give gas. What inflates you too much, possibly also your guinea pig! The brasicáceas or cruciferous, among which winter vegetables are best offered only once or twice a week and in small quantities.


Another winter vegetable that is exceptional for your little guinea pig. It has lots of health benefits. It is commonly used in the breeding of canaries. If you want to know more about it, check out the following link.

Celery and red pepper

It is exceptional to use them especially in periods of shedding. It favors the digestive transit.

The eggplant

I strongly recommend you to mature it and avoid the green parts. Why do you have to do it like this? the green fruit contains a toxic alkaloid. Taking that little precaution, you will be providing top quality vitamin C to your guinea pig.

Fruits for guinea pigs

And how sweet are these chubby? The fruit is full of sweet sugar that they love.

Here you have fruits that you can give, are a few right?


Considerations to take into account

Fruits, as I have already told you, contain sugar. Too much sugar can lead to overweight in your pet. It is important that you give it in moderation.

The fruit fattens your guinea pig.

With twice or three a week, it will be more than enough to satisfy your voracious appetite.

Problems with excess of fresh food

Be careful, if you feed your pet irrationally, that is, you offer too many fruits or vegetables, and little dry food, you can cause diarrhea to your guinea pig. You know, at the slightest hint of diarrhea, take your guinea pig to the vet because it can become dehydrated.

You can't give him any vegetables either. There are poisonous plants you should avoid. Here is a link to the most frequent ones you can find:

What is your guinea pig's favorite fresh food?

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