Best Healthy Guinea Pig Treats and Snacks (& What to Avoid)

Best guinea pig treats

Guinea pigs’ stomachs are like bottomless pits. They make vegetables and fruits vanish into thin air, leaving behind fluffy cavies that look at you like you’re starving them and an ever-growing pile of poop pellets.

And while most guinea pigs will, most likely, eat everything we place in front of them – possibly even the kitchen sink – that doesn’t mean we should feed them whatever is available on hand. Instead, as responsible pet parents, we need to understand the importance of providing a healthy diet for our furry friends. Not only at meal time, but at snack and treat time too. 

When it comes to treats, and food in general, there are definitely guidelines and restrictions we must keep in mind to maintain a healthy diet for our fur babies, ensuring a long, happy life.

Are you wondering what guinea pig treats you can feed your cute cavies? Well, you’re in luck because we’ve rounded up an extensive list of the best guinea pig treats for your fuzzy little fluff balls!

Best Guinea Pig Treats: 4 Types of Healthy Snacks

While we usually see treats as something unhealthy we shouldn’t eat often, guinea pigs have a different relationship to food. A treat to them can be simply something they don’t eat every day or something with a different flavor they’re not used to.

A guinea pig treat doesn’t have to be unhealthy to be considered a treat. It just needs to be interesting – whether it’s a flavor they don’t experience often or a different texture.

Let’s look at some healthy options to treat our guinea pigs.


Guinea pig eating vegetable

The best and healthiest guinea pig treats are vegetables. Our cavies need to consume 1 cup of varied veggies daily as part of a healthy diet. You can spice things up for them by offering veggies you don’t usually feed to introduce them to some novel flavors. We have a long list of different vegetables your guinea pigs can safely eat.

If your pets never ate certain vegetables, slowly introduce them to their diet in small quantities not to upset their stomach.

Just some of the healthy vegetables you can add to your daily mix from time to time to spice things up are:

  • Beet Greens
  • Beetroot
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Collard Greens
  • Parsley
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Swiss Chard
  • Turnip

Some vegetables are unsafe for guinea pigs and should be avoided. Those are:

  • Potatoes
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Chili peppers
  • Iceberg lettuce – low in nutritional value and high in nitrate content. Therefore, it’s better to avoid it as it often causes diarrhea, which leads to dehydration.

How many veggie treats do I give my guinea pigs?

One cup of varied veggies a day is the recommended amount by veterinarians.


Fruit as a treat for guinea pigs

Another healthy and nutritious guinea pig treat is fresh fruit. Fruits should not be given to your guinea pigs every day due to their high sugar content, but they make great treats to give a few times a week.

There’s a wide variety of yummy fruits you can safely give to your guinea pigs:

  • Apple (remove seeds)
  • Berries (such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries)
  • Grapes (remove seeds)
  • Kiwi
  • Melon
  • Orange
  • Pear (remove seeds)
  • Watermelon
  • Bananas (peels too)

How much fruit can I give my guinea pigs?

Fruits should indeed be viewed as treats for their high sugar content. Thus you must limit your pets to no more than 3 servings per week, in total. A small piece of apple or a slice of banana is a good serving amount.

Plants and Herbs

Guinea pigs eating dill as a treat

In the wild, guinea pigs would spend their wake time foraging and munching grass and the colorful assortment of plants in the meadows. Plants make extremely nutritious treats and can be found for free in your garden or a nearby forest.

Follow these tips if you’re going to pick fresh plants yourself:

  • make sure the plants you give your pets are completely safe and not toxic for them
  • the plants should not be treated with chemicals like pesticides, fertilizers, or other lawn or garden treatments
  • don’t pick plants in areas close to busy roads
  • avoid areas where dogs might be toileting (such as a local dog park)

Some healthy and nutritious plants your guinea pigs will love are:

If you’d prefer to buy plants for your guinea pigs, there are many great options:

How much can I give my guinea pigs?

This depends entirely on the plants you’re feeding. I could not find any exact guidelines on restrictions for different plants. As such, I would recommend these are fed in moderation to be on the safe side.

If you buy a forage mix, follow the feeding instructions on the packaging.

Pet Store Treats

Best store-bought guinea pig treats

Sure, you can purchase a wide variety of tasty treats at your local pet store, but are they just as healthy as all-natural food options?

Unfortunately, the problem with commercial treats comes down to two main factors: lack of nutrition and high sugar content. Coupled with the fact that they’re normally comprised of fats, starches, and artificial colors, and you’re looking at something that will ultimately jeopardize your guinea pigs’ health in the long run.

So think critically when choosing which pet store treats to buy or opt for the healthy treats we mentioned above.

However, there is a small selection of healthy treats you can purchase in pet stores. Let’s look at some of them.

Hay-based Treats

As the name suggests, these treats are mostly made of hay, coupled with other delicious ingredients that are safe for guinea pigs.

Good options are:

Oxbow is one of the most reliable companies when it comes to small pet food and treats. They employ a team of exotic pet veterinarians and nutritionists to formulate their pet food to ensure it is as healthy as it can be.

Pea Flakes

Most guinea pigs love munching on pea flakes. Although these treats are healthy and rich in vitamin C, you should still feed them in moderation due to their high protein content. Only give a maximum of a few pea flakes a day.

Some good options are:

You can also make pea flakes yourself for cheap if you have some extra time on your hands!

Freeze-dried Treats

While the only ingredient in these treats is dehydrated fruit or vegetable, fruits and high-sugar veggies, such as carrots, make this a sugary treat, so feed it occasionally.

If you have a dehydrator at home, you can make these yourself with various fruits or veggies such as bananas, strawberries, bell peppers, or carrots.

A good store-bought option is:

  • Oxbow Simple Rewards Freeze-dried Fruit Treats (Amazon) (Chewy)

How many store-bought treats do I give my guinea pigs?

The recommended amounts are written on the back of each packaging. While some treats can be given daily, I prefer not to feed any commercial treats every day. In my opinion, commercial treats should be given occasionally – plus, it’s no longer an interesting treat if you eat it every day!

What to Avoid in Commercial Guinea Pig Treats

While the previously listed treats are safe for your pets, unfortunately, there’s a much larger assortment of unsafe treats filled with unhealthy or even harmful ingredients in pet shop aisles. Some of these ingredients are hard to digest and can block the intestines or cause stomach and dental issues.

Some commercial treats you should avoid are:

  • Yogurt drops – guinea pigs lack the enzymes to process dairy, so they should not consume it.
  • Honey sticks – these treats have a very high sugar content which is not good for our pets in the long run.
  • Treat mixes containing seeds or nuts – seeds are not only high in fat which can cause weight gain, but they’re also a choking hazard and tend to get stuck in piggies’ teeth. Nuts are also very fattening for guinea pigs and are best avoided.
  • Treats with sugar among the ingredients (especially if it’s among the first few).

Dairy, honey, and egg are often used to bind the ingredients together, but none of these should be a part of a guinea pig’s diet.

Best Treats for Training Guinea Pigs

Best training treats for guinea pigs

For those of you in search of treat ideas to give during training, several great, all-natural foods would work very well, most of which have already been mentioned.

Ideally, with training, you would try out a few options, then note which ones your pets prefer – about 2 or 3 – and rotate between these favorites.

Keep in mind that whatever you choose, it should be safe for your guineas to ingest in high quantities. That means no sugary, commercial treats, fruits with a high content of natural sugar, seeds, or “people food.”

Essentially, you’re going to be using vegetables for training, but only those that don’t cause discomfort or bloating from excess feeding (such as cruciferous vegetables).

The following list of foods is suitable for consistent training and is safe in larger quantities:

  • Bell peppers – red, orange, yellow, or green (high in vitamin C)
  • Fresh, pesticide-free grass (a few strands make a great reward)
  • Romaine lettuce (stick to very green sections as they are tastiest and highest in nutrients)
  • Radicchio
  • Zucchini (with or without skin)

Limit Treats – Even if They’re Healthy

Even if the guinea pig treats you use are healthy and all-natural, you still need to limit their intake. Guinea pigs have a voracious appetite and, as such, tend to plow through every morsel of food in their way.

If you’re not keeping an eye on how much food is served – because they’re just too cute when they’re nibbling their yum-yums – you may risk overfeeding them.

Remember that at least 80% of your pets’ diet should be hay, and if they fill their tummies with treats or veggies, they might not eat enough hay to get the essential micronutrients dried grass provides.

Keeping track of meals and treats is best to ensure a healthy nutrition plan.

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  1. So is fleece good in their cages cuz he just has a cage and we just put down the recyclable papers once you know the ones they have in the store and he gets pellets and hay and and we just need some ideas you know and snack wise what he can and what he can’t have because one thing they say one thing and then they do another so anybody any have suggestions

  2. Can my guinea pig eat bananas? I’ve seen a few people give their guinea pigs bananas but I just want to make sure just in case..

    1. And how do I keep my guinea pig from getting depressed when it’s alone, because I didn’t have enough money for 2 of them…

      1. A couple more things, how do I know if my 5 month old guinea pig is male or female? And why does it keep coughing, it’s coughed 3 times already today.

      2. Hi, you might find a guinea pig for free in a rescue. That would be the best option for your guinea pig. If you do find a friend for your cavy, make sure to do an introduction slowly and make sure they are the same sex to prevent getting new babies. Guinea pigs that are a single pet should at least get plenty of contact with their humans. Make sure to spend enough time and play with your fur ball every day to prevent them from getting lonely.

    2. Hi, yes, bananas are safe for guinea pigs. Just make sure not to overdo it as bananas are high in sugar. You can give them different healthy fruits a few times a week.

      1. Ok, thank you, I’ll look into the guinea pig rescue, my guinea pig is with me almost all day….but it hasn’t gotten use to me yet, what is the quickest way to get it use to me? I just got it the Sunday after Christmas…

      2. Btw I do not have Facebook…I’m still a minor and I’m not even allowed to have online games…

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