Guinea Pig food list – food they can eat and food they should not

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Guinea Pig food list – food they can eat and food they should not.

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Food they can eat and what they really like

Guinea Pig food list

[Auto translated] There is a huge variety of plant you can feed your Guinea Pigs with. They are really vegans and like nearly everything which grows on ground. We provide an detailed list of food your Guinea Pigs might really like – and also a blacklist which food should not be provided to your cavies for some reason. This might help you to build up a proper diet for your cavies.

What do Guinea Pigs like to eat?

Hay, vegetables, fruits, branches, herbs and other plant. There is very much you can feed your Guinea Pigs. Cavies listen to their natural instinct and really like to eat what grows on ground – raw. Most of all feed hay! This has to be provided permanent. You do your best to your cavies if you provide fresh picked grass too (please no lawn cuttings!). That is way cheaper than any colorful package of junk food from the pet shop and much more healthy as well. Leave the pet shop food untouched (have a look to the dry food / pellets article)!

Fresh Grass is a great seasonal food for their diet from spring to fall but you have to pay attention if you start to feed grass each year. Start with short amount of it and increase every day a bit. This guarantees that cavies will be softly get into the way of it. At winter season you should replace grass with fresh vegetables to keep them healthy with a diet rich in vitamins. Fruits should be always handled like candy and should not be provided that much. Herbs can be provided fresh or dried permanent in any quantity.

A special highlight for Guinea Pigs are these pants who are outside their accessible area. Small branched from trees and leaves are really liked. But do not aimless cut branches from trees in the wood.

Vegetables for Guinea Pigs

Vegetables should be the main fresh food in their nutrition plan at the winter season if/and there is no way to get fresh grass. Of course vegetables does not replace hay. Fresh hay has to be provided permanent. All green marked vegetables can be used for proper diet.

Vegetable Hints / notes
Aubergine / eggplant Only the fit without the green.
Asparagus Highly diuretic, feed rarely.
Beetroot Feed carefully because of it oxialic acid. May take color on urine and feces. Can be provided with the green.
Broccoli High amount of vitamin C. Contains oxialic acid. Provide it increasing.
Carrot Rich in calories. Do not feed every da. Can be provided with the green. May take color on urine.
Celery Can be provided complete. Peel if it is root celery.
Chicory Not the outer leaves because of its high amount of oxialic acid.
Chinese cabbage
Corn Only the green!
Cucumber Very popular food for cavies.
Endive rich in vitamins and minerals / appetizing
Fennel rich in vitamins and minerals. Can take on color on urine. Helpful by digestive complaints
field salad Feed carefully in small amounts because of its nitrate (This can cause flatulence and diarrhea)
Frisee
Green oats
iceberg lettuce Only small amounts because of its nitrate (This can cause flatulence and diarrhea)
Kohlrabi Provide it increasing and rarely
Lettuce Provide rarly because of its nitrate (can cause flatulence and diarrhea)
Lollo BiancoLollo BiondaLollo Rosso
Mangel / mangold Contains oxialic acid. Provide it rarely
Paprika Provide without stalk and oly ripe. Rich in vitamin C
parsley root
Parsnip
Pumpkin Decorative gourds are no food!
Radicchio
Radish Only feed the green!
red oak leaf lettuce
Rocket Feed rarely. Contains the ethereous mustard seed oil.
Rutabaga Very good food for winter season. Rich in vitamins.
Spinach Because of its oxialic acid you sould provide it rarely
Sunchoke Entire plant can be provided
Swede / rutabaga
Sweet potato / yam / kumera Rich in sugar and starch. Feed rarely. Can be provided with peel.
Tomato Contains acid. Feed rarely.
Turnip
Turnip greens Rich in vitamin C
Zucchini / Courgette Not liked by all Guinea Pigs
  • Onion family / garlic family / bulbous plant
    Plant of the onion family (contains leek and chive too) causes flatulence.
  • Cabbage in higher quantity
    Cabbage can cause flatulence and diarrhea
  • Leguminous plants / legume
  • Potato
    Starch of potato is stodgy for Guinea Pigs

Fruits for Guinea Pigs

Fruits should be handled as sweets for cavies and not to be provided too much (may be once a week) because of its fructose and fruit acids.

Fruit Hints / notes
Apple Do not feed if one of your cavies has lip grind.
Banana Rich in sugar. Do not feed if one of your cavies has Diabetes. Can cause constipation.
Grape Provide rarely and without nubs
Kiwi Fruit acids irritate mouth. Feed rarely.
Mandarin Fruit acids irritate mouth. Feed rarely.
Melon Rich in sugar.
Orange Fruit acids irritate mouth. Feed rarely.
Pear Rich in sugar. Do not feed if one of your cavies has Diabetes. Can cause diarrhea.
Rose hip Can be provided fresh or parched. Rich in vitamin C
Strawberry Can be provided with the green.
  • Stone fruit (all kinds)
    Contains cyanide and is rich in sugar. Can cause diarrhea.
  • All kinds of exotic fruits like mango, papaya, pomegranate
    Causes serious indigestion and colics.
  • Rhubarb
    Rich in oxialic acid

Herbs for Guinea Pigs

Fresh herbs can be provided without limitation. Dry herbs might be provided only a handful once a week cause the cavies run in trouble clearing their water balance otherwise. All herbs can be provided fresh or dried.

Herb Hints / notes
Blackgrass / slender meadow foxtail
Aaron’s beard / rose of Sharon Helps against anorexia and wound healing.
Alfalfa Only fresh
Arnica / leopard’s bane
Balm Helps against digestive complaints
Basil / sweet / common
Bramble / blackberry bush
Broardleaf plantain / waybread
Buckhorn plaintain Can attenuate cold
Caraway
Chamomile / camomile Helps against digestive complaints, anti-inflammatory.
Chickweed
Clary, sage, salvia Only provide small amounts
Coltsfoot / foalfoot / coughwort
Common borage
Coriander anticonvulsant, appetizing
Corn stalk without the grain
Currant bush
Curry plant Provide rarely and just a little
Dandelion / hawkbit diuretic & appetizing
Dill appetizing, diurectic, stimulate milkflow
Echinacea build up resistance, to feed only healthy cavies
Gallant soldier
Golliwog Potted plant which can be provided
Goosefoot
Goutweed
Gowan / annual daisy / fleabane
Grass Provide only fresh picked. Can be provided massive
Holy thistle / milk thistle
Lamium / Dead-nettle
Lavender
Lemon mint
Lovage anticonvulsant & diuretic
Marygold blossom
Melissa / balm anticonvulsant & diuretic
Mint / spearmint Not for breastfeed cavies.
Mugwort / wormwood
Nettle Provide dried only. Rich in vitamin C. Diurectic
Oregano
Origan / majoram
Parsley not for breastfeed cavies. Only small amounts to pregnant Guinea Pigs. Take effekt on birth inducing
Peppermint anticonvulsant, Not for breastfeed cavies.
Raspberry bush / cane
Rosemary
Shepherd’s purse
Sorrel
Sunflower only the plant without the leaf and pits
Tarragon Appetizing
Thyme provide by respiratory infection
Valerian root
Yarrow / milfoil appetizing, helpful by cystitis or kidney disease
  • 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

Branches and leaves

Tree / brances Hints / notes
Alder Provide in small amounts only
Apple Can be provided in lage amounts
Beech, european beech Provide in small amounts only. Rich in oxialic acid
Birch Rich in tannic acid. Provide rarely
Cherry
Currant Can be provided in lage amounts
Fir Provide rarely. Not really liked by all Guinea Pigs.
Hazelnut Can be provided in lage amounts
Lime
Maple Feed rarely
Pear Can be provided in lage amounts
Pine Provide rarely. Not really liked by all Guinea Pigs.
Plum
Spruce Provide rarely. Not really liked by all Guinea Pigs.
Willow, corkscrew willow
  • Yew and thuja
  • Oak
    poisoning. Can cause diarrhea, colics and anorexia

Feeding planner / Scheduler for Guinea Pigs

time Notes
in the morning large amount of hey, provide first fresh food
at noon provide the second meal of fresh food
at afternoon provide the third meal of fresh food / may be some fruits
in the evening provide the last meal of fresh food
Fresh hay has to be provided all time. Water has to be filled up from time to time. Only use clear and fresh water. There is no reason to provide special “rodent-water” from the pet shop if you take care about the food for your Guinea Pigs. Fresh food are always undried vegetables or fresh picked grass which is natural rich in water. You should provide at least 10% fresh food of its Cavys own weight each day. Fruits should only be provided once a week due to its fruit acids and fructose.

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More Guinea Pig help:

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  • Feeding guinea pigs Good food in right quantity is the best way to ensure long-life of your guinea pigs. We’ll give you an idea what fodder is really liked by your cavies.

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171 Comments für Guinea Pig food list

Can guinea pigs eat green foxtail?

There is no problem with it! 🙂

This is really helpful, was not sure how to remember what to feed them and what not to but now I know thank you ?

Can they eat berries?

Yes, they can and will like berries. But provide only a few as a snack rarely.

(Sorry for my late answer due to some problems with the spam detection)

Can I give my guinea pig dried beetroot?

How often can I give my guinea pig beetroot?

Of course you can, and your pigs will really like it. Take notice that the mouth and / or fur will be colored red like blood and also the urine will be colored. There is no problem with that.
Don’t feed it more than once per week – also the dried one.

How old can a guinea pig start eating vegetables?

After 24 hours. Guinea Pigs lose their deciduous teeth at womb and will be born with a complete set of teeth.

I grow fodder of wheat. Can Guinea pigs eat fodder? can they eat other seeds and grains that are sprouted using a fodder system?

Wheat is generally not suitable for Guinea Pigs. Wheat may cause flatulence. Be careful with all other seeds too and feed it not too much. It is just the same and fattening also.

Yes it was very helpful for my son and me to now the different kinds of food we could feed it he his 11years and this is all new for my son so thank you for helping us out with this

So my guinea pig is getting pretty fat, and that’s because i just refill his food whenever it gets empty so i think that he is just stuffing himself, should I take away his food and only feed him during certain times of day to make him skinnier? or what should i do?

What do you feed? Guinea pigs should always have access to hay and water – may be herbs. Pellets and all similar industrial “Guinea Pig food” is often fattening because it contains much molasses (sugar), oat and other stuff.
Have you already read our article about pellets / dried food? Have a look: http://www.guinea-pig-advisor.com/feeding/dry-food-pellets/

why can’t Guinea pigs eat mango. And is there a vegetable that I can feed my Guinea pigs daily?

As already described: Mango may cause serious indigestion and colics. And like the humans recommend, a cavy also like a balanced and diversified diet to keep it healthy.

My guinea pig doesn’t want to eat new things, she only likes carrots. Is there something wrong with her?

New food has to be provided as a alternative first. Gradually it will accept the new food. Have you tried salad and cucumber so far? Most cavys like it very much.

Can my guinea pigs eat peaches and nectarines?

Stone fruits like peaches or nectarines contains (for cavy organism) much hydrogen cyanide and should not be provided.

Can they eat gladiole leaves ?

No. It is toxic and may cause some serious sickness.

Hi This is super helpful to read, could I ask if they can eat raw red, yellow or green bell peppers – the salad ones not hot ones? Thanks 😀

Thanks. Oh yes they could and would like bell peppers at their menu. It is rich in vitamins. But cut the stalk before and remove unripe spots.

Can my piggy eat branches from my orange tree? It seems like it would be fine if an apple tree is.

How old does my guinea pig have to be before I give them fruits and vegetables

You can start immediately.

What is the best way for my piggies to get vitamin C? I have seen several places to not buy the ones to put in the water. How much do they need, and how do I measure it in fresh food? Thanks so much!

Don’t worry about it. The best way is the normal way: A well balanced diet with all the variety of vegetables and (less) fruits contains all vitamins they need and keep them healthy. Additional vitamin c is only needed if one of your cavies is sick and/or can not eat regularly for some reason. How much vitamin c they need depends on many things (age, kind of keeping, health status, pregnant or not, male or female). The average is about 10-15mg / day, pregnant or sick pigs up to 25mg.

I tried mine on tomato it did like it

I tried mine on tomato it did like it

Can my guinea pig eat the stalks and leaves of the cauliflower.

Red or orange bell peppers are very high in vitamin C. Green ones are fairly high. I try to make sure my Guinea Pigs get some several times a week.

My Guinea pig is abou 3 1/2 months old, when do I start giving her 1 cup of veggies a day? She seems so small to be giving her hay, pellets and veggies a day.

You can start a full diet plan just from birth.

My two are only 11 weeks and they definitely need pellets, veggies and especially hay daily!! Hope this helps.

There is no piggy who really needs pellets. Have a look at: http://www.guinea-pig-advisor.com/feeding/dry-food-pellets/

Can my guinea pig eat daisy’s?

Can cavies eat brunches from a tulip poplar tree? As long as it’s kept to a minimum.

You must not provide it. It contains glaucine which is toxic.

Thank you for this site, it has been so helpful.

Sorry one more question. When feeding cavies grass, what should I do with the grass before giving it to them? Such as washing it off first, or should I go as far as boiling it just to make sure that it’s safe for them to eat. I don’t treat my lawn with anything and all the animals are keeps in a separate part of the yard. Or is it OK to just give it to them freshly picked? Thanks again for all the helpful tips!

You can provide fresh picked grass directly. It does not need to be washed or anything. But take care that you took grass always fresh (it begins to ferment shortly) which is not contaminated by urine from dogs (this is sensible for your hands too 🙂 ) or anything similar. And of course it must not contain harmful plant and should be dry (Not picking after a shower).

While cutting flowers for a vase, my Guinea Pig began begging. I took a stem to her and she gobbled it down. She loves the stems, leaves and flowers. Now I have read that Alstroemeria is toxic. How toxic? What symptoms should I watch for if she is ill from it?

Alstroemeria may cause serious problems and is highly toxic. At best case your pig was only druggy. If it began to tremble or shows some kind of spastic or numbness you have to immediately contact a vet. And of course make sure it never eat it again!

My “Piglet” absolutely loves cilantro! What are your thoughts?

You can feed cilantro as much as you want. Dried cilantro should only be provided moderate.

Can I feed my guinea pigs sweet potato leaves and banana leaves?

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