A Food Guide: What Do Guinea Pigs Eat? (A Guide to Their Diet)

 Apparently, guinea pigs have been given incorrect names. They are not from New Guinea, but rather the Andes of Peru, to start with. And secondly, they are not linked to pigs in any manner. They are said to have been given the name "pigs" because of the adorable little squealing sound they make, which is somewhat like a pig sound.

A Food Guide: What Do Guinea Pigs Eat? (A Guide to Their Diet)
A Food Guide: What Do Guinea Pigs Eat? (A Guide to Their Diet)

 Your guinea pig's diet, like that of any pet, is of utmost importance. You want to be sure that you are meeting your guinea pig's daily food needs and that you are not giving him anything that is not good for him.

 Well, we're going to explore everything about feeding guinea pigs so you can provide your pet with the healthiest diet possible. We all want our guinea pigs to thrive.

What to feed guinea pigs?

 We are going to go over the different types of food your guinea pig can and cannot eat. The most important element of the cavy diet is hay. In fact, 80% of their diet should be hay - Timothy hay is usually the best.

 Vegetables and herbs make up 10-15% of their diet and pellets around 5-10%. And all with the occasional treat.

Vegetables that are high in vitamin C

  • Salad.
  • Spinach.
  • Tomatoes (without stems or leaves).
  • Carrots (including leafy tops).
  • Parsley.
  • Parsnip.
  • All peppers.
  • Cucumber.
  • Zucchini.
  • Broccoli (small amounts or they could go gassy).
  • Celery leaves.
  • Kale.
  • Coriander/cilantro.
  • Mustard leaves.

 All of the vegetables above are rich in vitamin C, which is an essential vitamin for guinea pigs. You should offer about 1 cup of fresh vegetables from this list each day for each guinea pig.

Low vitamin C vegetables for guinea pigs

The following is a list of vegetables that are safe for guinea pigs to eat but contain less vitamin C:

  • Celery.
  • Mint.
  • Basil.
  • Dill.
  • Thyme.
  • Chicory.
  • Endive.
  • All lettuces (except iceberg).
  • Yams.
  • Carrots.
  • asparagus.
  • Bean sprouts.
  • Raw corn.
  • Radishes.
  • Turnips.
  • Beets.
  • Pumpkin.

 These vegetables should only be served once or twice a week because they do not contain as much vitamin C.

Fruit rich in vitamin C for guinea pigs

  • Kiwi.
  • Grapes.
  • Oranges/tangerines.
  • Strawberries.
  • Pomelo.
  • Pineapple.
  • Mango.
  • Guava.

 Given that they are all high in vitamin C, the fruits on this list are all good for guinea pigs, but because they contain high amounts of sugar (even if the sugar is healthy), you should only offer them to your pet once a day or fewer. some days per week.

Fruit for guinea pigs with low vitamin C amounts

  • Apples.
  • Apricots.
  • Peaches.
  • Pears.
  • Plums.
  • Passion fruit.
  • Cherries.
  • Watermelon.
  • Bananas.
  • Raspberries.
  • blueberries.
  • blackberries.

 Again, like vegetables low in vitamin C, go easy on the fruit and simply provide, for example, a few blueberries or thin slices of apple, banana, or orange as occasional treats a few times a week.

Food is not good for guinea pigs

  • Cereals.
  • Meat.
  • Dried beans.
  • Peas.
  • Seeds.
  • Nuts.
  • Peppers.
  • Lilies.
  • Buttercups.
  • Shrubs like privet or hemlock.
  • Mushrooms.
  • Potatoes.
  • Garlic.
  • Onions.
  • Peanut Butter.
  • Lawyer.
  • daffodils.
  • Rhubarb leaves.
  • Foxglove.
  • Human foods (any food with added sugar such as chocolate, dairy, pasta, bread,  crackers, cereal, etc.)

 Many of these items should be obvious as to why they are not good for guinea pigs. You should avoid giving your guinea pig any food that can cause gas, such as cauliflower and cabbage.

 Iceberg lettuce can cause diarrhea, onions (and anything in the onion family) can cause blood disorders, garlic is toxic, and avocado is too high in fat.

 New foods must be added to your guinea pig's diet very slowly or he may get sick. Always introduce fresh foods gradually, starting with little portions and progressively increasing them over time because they need some time to get used to them.

How much water?

 As with almost all living things on the planet, water is essential for guinea pigs. Nothing, including vitamins, minerals, or supplements, should be added to the water. To ensure that rodents have access to clean water at all times, water should be provided in water bottles specifically made for them.

 For this, a daily fresh water refill is required, and the water bottle must always be checked to ensure that it is full and functioning properly. Consider investing in a larger bottle if your water is constantly drying up throughout the day.

When to feed guinea pigs?

 Because Timothy hay is a vital part of the guinea pig's diet, it should be available at all times. Other than hay, it's a good idea to feed your guinea pig twice a day. in order to help prevent overeating, which will ultimately lead to obesity, both in the morning and at night. Always remove uneaten pellets approximately 1 hour after your guinea pig has eaten and any fruit or vegetables after 24 hours.

This also includes any hay - always discard old hay before adding fresh.

Is vitamin C good for your guinea pig?

 Vitamin C is absolutely essential for your guinea pig! Like us humans, guinea pigs are unable to produce their own vitamin C, so it is crucial to add vitamin C to supplement their diet. If they are deficient in this vital vitamin, guinea pigs are susceptible to scurvy.

Signs of vitamin C deficiency

Signs of vitamin C deficiency include:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Weightloss.
  • Hair loss and skin problems.
  • Sneeze.
  • Crispy eyes.
  • Difficulty walking.
  • Swollen joints and feet.
  • Ulcers on the skin or gums.

 If you detect any of these signs, you should take your guinea pig to the veterinarian. There are supplements you can give your guinea pig, but as long as you feed it the proper diet, including fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C, it should suffice.

How to choose nutritional supplements for your guinea pig?

 Of course, you will want to select high-quality food for your guinea pig to keep it in optimal health. Look for good grass hay because, as you already know, it makes up the majority of your cavy's diet. Timothy hay is preferred, and it should be fresh, green, dust-free, and have a sweet fragrance.

 Opt for uniform pellets (the pellets are all the same and not mixed) rather than a mixed-based diet and ensure that any commercially produced food does not contain refined sugars. You should also look for supplements that will provide your guinea pig with chelated minerals, prebiotics, and natural preservatives.

What are the greatest natural guinea pig treats?

 The best treats for your guinea pig can be as simple as giving him a small serving of fruits or vegetables that he doesn't get very often, as long as they're on the safe list. You can even choose to make a game out of their regular food, such as stuffing fresh hay into a cardboard tube (which they can fit into, of course).

 You could buy commercial treats for your cavy, but that's not really necessary when he'll be delighted with a blueberry or a slice of carrot.

 Remember to give him only a small amount to start with if this is your guinea pig's first time eating this treat. You don't want your cavy to have an upset stomach.

How to handle a guinea pig that won't eat?

 There are several reasons your guinea pig might not eat, ranging from illness to stress. Everything from a problem with their teeth to changes in diet or even environmental changes can trigger a loss of appetite.

If you've seen any of these symptoms, get your guinea pig to the vet as soon as possible:

  • Lethargy.
  • Depression.
  • Weightloss.
  • Decreased skin elasticity.
  • Water and food intact.
  • Rough hair.
  • Fever and diarrhea (may indicate infection).

The most common causes of a loss of appetite can include:

  • Not enough fresh water.
  • Recent surgery.
  • Stress.
  • Changes in diet.
  • Changes in the environment.
  • Underbite or overbite of teeth.
  • Infection.
  • The temperature is excessively high or low (the ideal range is 65 to 75 °F).
  • liver ketosis.

 If your pet only seems to have lost its appetite and has no other symptoms, just make sure they are comfortable. Check the temperature and make sure there is no stress by keeping his enclosure clean and providing him with a nutritious, balanced diet. Take him to the vet if you suspect anything else is going on.


 Your pet's diet is absolutely vital to keeping them healthy and happy. You may create your own special and distinctive diet that will suit your guinea pig's interests as long as you research what foods are healthy for your guinea pig and what foods you should avoid. We all want our pets to live long and enjoyable lives.