A Comprehensive Guide: What Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

Guinea pigs, with their adorable appearance and playful personalities, have become popular pets in households around the world. I had a couple of guinea pigs as a child and our youngest two children have one each.

These small animals require a balanced and nutritious diet to stay healthy and happy. As responsible guinea pig owners, it’s essential to know what foods are safe and suitable for these little sweethearts. In this blog post, we’ll explore a comprehensive guide on what guinea pigs can eat, providing you with valuable information to ensure your furry friend’s well-being.

Fresh Vegetables:

Guinea pigs thrive on a diet rich in fresh vegetables. Some safe and nutritious options include:

  • Leafy greens: Romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, and parsley.
  • Bell peppers: Green, red, and yellow peppers are a great source of vitamin C.
  • Carrots: High in fiber and vitamin A, but should be given in moderation due to their sugar content.
  • Cucumbers: A hydrating snack for guinea pigs, rich in vitamins and minerals.
  • Broccoli: A good source of vitamin C, but should be fed in small quantities to prevent gas.

All guinea pigs are different. Ours love spinach, celery, kale and lettuce the most, but we have friends with piggies and theirs loved peppers when we looked after them.


Hay is an essential component of a guinea pig’s diet as it provides fibre necessary for proper digestion. Timothy Hay is the most recommended type, and it should be available at all times for guinea pigs to nibble on. We have tried a few different ones but ours love the 5-a-day hay the most. You can buy this from pet shops, The Range, or order online from Amazon or a range of online pet stores.


Pellets formulated specifically for guinea pigs can be a valuable addition to their diet. Look for high-quality pellets that are rich in vitamin C and avoid those with added sugars or artificial additives. Feed pellets in moderation to prevent overeating. We tried about three different types before we found some our piggies liked. We now only buy Science Selective. Ours love this and get very excited when it gets topped up. It is super nutritious and has all natural ingredients.


While fruits are a tasty treat for guinea pigs, they should be given sparingly due to their high sugar content. Suitable fruit options for guinea pigs include:

  • Apples: Remove seeds and core before feeding.
  • Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries can be given occasionally.
  • Oranges: High in vitamin C, but only offer small segments without the skin.


Certain herbs can be a delightful addition to a guinea pig’s diet, providing both nutrition and variety. Safe options include cilantro, basil, mint, and dill. However, introduce new herbs gradually and observe your guinea pig’s response.


Fresh and clean water should always be available to guinea pigs. Ensure the water bottle or bowl is replenished daily to prevent dehydration.

Foods to Avoid:

While it’s important to know what guinea pigs can eat, it’s equally crucial to be aware of foods that are harmful to them. Some items to avoid include:

  • Dairy products: Guinea pigs are lactose intolerant and cannot digest dairy.
  • Processed foods: Foods like chocolate, chips, and sugary treats are unsuitable for guinea pigs and can cause digestive issues.
  • Onions and garlic: These can be toxic and lead to various health problems.
  • High-sugar foods: Excessive sugar intake can lead to obesity and other health complications.
  • Rhubarb: this is also toxic.

Feeding your guinea pig a well-balanced diet is essential for its overall health and happiness. Fresh vegetables, hay, pellets, occasional fruits, and safe herbs should form the basis of their diet. Remember to introduce new foods gradually and be mindful of portion sizes. By providing a nutritious diet, you can ensure your guinea pig lives a long, vibrant, and joyful life. They really are gorgeous little creatures who make lovely pets.

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