If you’ve ever scoured the internet searching for a list of veggies and fruits you can give to your guinea pigs, you’ve probably witnessed the wild west of information. With so much contradictory advice ranging from “your guinea pig will die if they only look at cabbage” to “they can eat everything,” it can be hard to decide what to believe and what advice to listen to.
The good news is that the guinea pig diet is not all that complicated. Our cavies can safely eat a wide variety of veggies and fruits, with some exceptions and rules to follow.
To make it easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of veggies, fruits, flowers, and herbs your guinea pigs can safely enjoy!
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The Importance of a Varied Diet
Unlike us humans, guinea pigs can’t produce their own vitamin C, so it’s important to include veggies rich in vitamin C daily. Calcium is also an essential part of their diet, but if your guinea pigs are prone to developing bladder stones, you might have to reduce the amount of calcium in their diet after consulting your vet.
Some veggies are more or less nutritious, some have more vitamin C, some have more calcium, and some can cause bloating if fed too much. But overall, a varied diet with nutritious colorful veggies (and fruits) rich in vitamin C should cover all the bases.
The most important thing is that you’re not feeding them anything toxic or harmful, and that’s why I included the foods you should never give your pets. Only feed your guinea pigs hay, pellets, safe veggies, fruits and herbs. Don’t give them seeds, nuts, dairy, or meat.
What Vegetables Can Guinea Pigs Eat? Safe Veggie List
Each piggy should get up to 1 cup of mixed vegetables per day, ensuring they always have a small amount of veggies that have vitamin C. It’s important to provide a rainbow of vegetables since every veggie color provides different nutritional values.
Some of the vegs on our vegetable list are actually fruits (such as tomato and cucumber), but we made a list based on what most people perceive as vegetables.
|Beet Greens||Lettuce, Green Leaf|
|Bell Peppers||Lettuce, Red|
|Bok Choy (Pak Choi)||Lettuce, Romaine|
|Choko / Chayote||Summer Squash|
|Collard Greens||Swede (Rutabagas)|
|Corn (husks too)||Sweet Potato|
|Endive||Tomato (no greens!)|
Cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, and kohlrabi can cause bloating in guinea pigs, so they should not be offered in large quantities.
Vegetables like cabbage and Brussel sprouts often get on the ‘forbidden guinea pig foods’ lists, but they are not actually harmful unless fed in excess. They are very nutritious and rich in vitamin C – more so than many other veggies. The only issue is they can cause bloat if you feed your piggies large amounts of these veggies. But if you feed them in moderation, as a part of a healthy diet, mixed with other veggies, they’re actually great sources of vitamins and minerals.
If your guinea pigs never ate cruciferous veggies before, slowly introduce them into their diet and monitor. Some guinea pigs can be more susceptible to gloating. If you notice your guinea pigs having issues with those veggies, adjust their diet accordingly.
Guinea pigs need plenty of vitamin C since they can’t produce it themselves. Bell peppers are a great source of vitamin C and can be given daily.
Offer a different assortment of veggies and dark, leafy greens every day, so your guinea pigs get a good range of nutrients.
I love to refer to this veg and fruit table which shows how many vitamins and minerals each veggie and fruit contains. It’s helpful to figure out if you’re feeding your guinea pigs enough veggies rich in vitamin C.
Veggies that you should not give to your guinea pigs are:
- Chili peppers (and other hot peppers)
- Iceberg lettuce – low nutritional value
- Avocado – too high in fat
- Rhubarb leaves – poisonous
- Tomato leaves and stalks – poisonous
What Fruits Can Guinea Pigs Eat? Safe Fruit List
Fruit is a treat that should be fed sparingly, no more than a few times a week, due to its high sugar content.
|Apple (no seeds)||Mandarin|
|Banana (leaves too)||Nectarine|
|Cherries (no pits)||Peach (no pit)|
|Figs||Plum (no pit)|
|Grapes (white, red)||Strawberries|
Avoid the pits and seeds of some fruits (mentioned in the list above) because they contain amygdalin which is converted into cyanide in the stomach and may cause toxicity in large doses. Also, small seeds like those in grapes or pears pose a choking hazard so it’s best to remove them to be on the safe side.
What Herbs Can Guinea Pigs Eat? Safe Herb List
|Cilantro (Coriander)||Raspberry Leaves|
Herbs and flowers make a great addition to your guinea pigs’ diet. They are excellent for foraging and enrichment.
You can also easily grow grasses such as wheatgrass, ryegrass, barley, timothy, corn, or millet at home and give to your guinea pigs to munch and enjoy. I wrote a step-by-step guide on how to grow grass for guinea pigs here!
We’ve gathered the data for this safe guinea pig food list from the most reputable sources and double-checked everything to make sure the list is completely accurate.
- Guinea Lynx: Diet – Nutrition Chart
- What Fruits, Vegetables & Herbs Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
- Vegetables and Fruits Safe for Guinea Pigs To Eat – The Happy Cavy “Snack” List
- What Can Guinea Pigs Eat? – PetMD
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