Guinea pigs love fruits and vegetables about as much as humans love ice cream and candy, which is great because fruits and vegetables are an important part of their diet and keep them happy and healthy! Different guinea pigs have different preferences, but generally, they love to sample a variety of different fruits and veggies. With my guinea pigs, carrots, peppers and dark lettuces are a surefire hit. If you encounter a guinea pig that is picky and won’t eat any fresh produce, talk with your veterinarian about your options for vitamin C fortified pellets like Oxbow and just make sure you get the right nourishment into your little friend. Timothy hay is important for there diet as well.
Here is a list of some of the fruits and vegetables that guinea pigs particularly love and that give them the best nutritional benefits. Fruits are high in sugar so it’s best to view them more as treats, and avoid any sudden major changes in diet until you know how your guinea pig’s tummy reacts to things:
• Red Pepper (or green/yellow pepper. Red has the highest vitamin C concentration)
• Carrots – both the root and the green tops are perfectly safe for your guinea pig.
• Apples – just make sure they don’t have any seeds.
• Leafy greens like red lettuce, romaine, Boston lettuce, (be sure to feed leafy vegetables in moderation to avoid diarrhea, and feed spinach a bit sparingly to avoid potential kidney problems.)
• Broccoli (in moderation since it can be gassy and cause a gas pain)
• Green beans
• Dandelion Greens
• strawberries (in moderation)
• oranges or clementines. A helpful way to feed these to your piggie if they’re being picky is to scoop out some pulp from half an orange and leave some in it so they can lick it without needing to chew on it if they’re not diggin’ the texture
• cherry tomatoes in moderation
• dandelion greens
• parsley – either curly or flat. They love it and it smells delicious when you’re tearing some sprigs off the bunch to give it to them!
Foods you CAN NOT Feed your guinea pig:
Iceberg lettuce – this won’t kill your guinea pig if you give him or her a little piece, but it has virtually no nutritional value, is quite fibrous and watery. It’s been known to give guinea pigs diarrhea. With the great selection of other more leafy, dark lettuces available, just avoid this one and go with one of the others.
- Any type of cabbage – like iceberg lettuce, a small piece is not likely to severely harm or kill your guinea pig, but it’s very gassy and not good for their little systems. Stay away from it if you can.
- Cauliflower – also very gas-producing.
- Potato peelings – not that this would be something you’d be likely to give your piggie anyway, but toxins can exist in potato skins, particularly if they’ve begun to turn green, and they can be poisonous. Just toss them in your garbage disposal or trash instead of your piggie.
- Raw beans (this doesn’t mean green beans. This means things like raw, hard kidney beans, split peas, pinto beans, etc.)
- Shelled nuts or seeds, particularly things like sunflower seeds or ‘bird seed’ type mixes, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, etc.
- Rhubarb – the leaves of the rhubarb plant are poisonous, and the stalks are very, very sour.
- Any type of meat or fish. Guinea pigs are vegetarian and looove a salad over a steak any day.
- Dairy Products – while many stores will offer ‘yogurt drops’ and other ‘treats’, dairy is not healthy to feed your guinea pig and can actually cause problems. Feed natural treats like veggies instead of store brand treats. It’s less expensive and your piggie will be much happier.
- Chocolate, coffee or other caffeine-containing products.
- Alcohol (this should go without saying!!)
*you can feed a small piece of cereal like a cheerio from time to time as a treat, but they will likely not even like it, so it’s best to just avoid this altogether!
- hamster food, gerbil food, rabbit food, or any other non-guinea pig food. Often these contain seeds, which are a big no-no, but they also have a different balance of vitamins and minerals which aren’t suited for a guinea pig’s dietary needs.
- corn kernels. Popcorn isn’t a very good idea either. Guinea pigs choke easily and think of how easy it is for us humans to get popcorn kernels stuck in our mouths and throats!
- sugary foods like donuts, candy, or soda
- Ice cream.
- Any processed or fried foods that you would eat, including potato chips/nachos or french fries.
- anything spicy. jalapeno peppers, anything with cinnamon, etc.
Filed under: Small Animals