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Safe Foods for Guinea Pigs

August 01, 2016

Have you recently adopted a Guinea pig? These little guys make really cute and fun pets, and are very popular as children’s pets. While Guinea pigs, also known as cavies, aren’t difficult to care for, you do want to do some research, as there are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind. One thing that is very important is knowing what foods are and are not safe for your tiny pet. Below, a Cambrian, CA vet lists some foods that are safe for cavies.


Your Guinea pig can have commercial food for his main meals. This can be a seed mix or a pellet. Both have their own pros and cons: seed mixes taste better, but can be high in fat and sugar. Pellets are nutritionally balanced, but may be rather bland. We also recommend giving your cavy plenty of fresh grass hay, such as Timothy hay: it’s great for both your pet’s tummy and his teeth!


Your Guinea pig will need fresh veggies every day. Make sure your furry friend gets plenty of Vitamin C: cavies can get very sick if they don’t get enough of this crucial nutrient! Some good options are carrots, cabbage, lettuce, radicchio, zucchini, sweet red or green peppers, and Swiss chard. Many other veggies, such as cucumbers and green beans, are safe in small amounts, but shouldn’t be fed daily.


Many fruits are safe for cavies to eat now and then. Some good options include apples (not the seeds), pears, pineapples, melons, plums, peaches, and mandarins.


Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are all safe to give your pint-sized pal on occasion. Just don’t go overboard with these sugary foods.


Cavies can have very small amounts of several herbs, such as cilantro, thyme, parsley, dill, and wheatgrass.

Foods To Avoid

Some of the things that are toxic to cavies include garlic, onions, and chives; alcohol; nuts; caffeine; chocolate; junk food; fried foods; and anything that is highly processed or sugary. Potato and tomato plant leaves are also on the no-no list.


Always research new foods before giving them to your Guinea pig. Ask your vet for specific recommendations, including portion sizes and feeding frequency: many foods are only safe in small amounts.

Do you have questions about Guinea pig care? Call us, your Cambrian, CA animal clinic, today! We are here to help.