What Guinea Pigs Eat

by TiaMariaMartini

This is a helpful guide for new guinea pig pet owners. When I first got my pets, I really didn't have any information about them and I had to learn everything by trial and error.

Now that you have your new pet home, the first question you ask is ‘what do guinea pigs eat, anyway?’ The answer to that question is EVERYTHING! They don’t call them pigs for nothing. A general rule of thumb is that they will eat whatever it is that you are eating – vegetation wise only of course because they are herbivores. I find that one of the favorite staples that I feed my guinea pigs daily is romaine lettuce, but it doesn't stop there.

Hay: It's Not Just For Horses

The most important food you will need to provide for your guinea pigs every day is hay; but not just any kind, like what you would feed a horse. It should be timothy hay. They go nuts for this stuff. I like to fill the cage up and watch them tunnel through and munch on it. It’s funny the way they purr in contentment when I do this for them. This hay is very important for their health because it keeps their teeth trimmed properly and it is nutritious for them. I use the hay for the double use as a food and litter.

Next, you should give them a bowl of good quality pellets to snack on. This is another favorite guinea pig food, and I just fill up the bowl whenever I see that it’s empty. Never get the mixed seed kind of dry food because guinea pigs don’t eat seeds. The packaging might say that it is guinea pig food but don’t believe it.


Fun Time

Super Pet Guinea Pig Tropical Fiddle Sticks Hideout, Medium

Tropical fiddle sticks are flexible wooden sticks that can be twisted and bent into a variety of fun shapes creating a fun hiding spot for your furry friend. You'll have fun cre...

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Super Pet Perfect Chews for Guinea Pigs

Perfect Chews are colorful kabobs with wood and loofah textures to provide hours of chewing and play time for your pet. Each kabob has numerous colorful chews on a wood skewer t...

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Super Pet Crinkle Tunnel, Colors may Vary

Crinkle Tunnel creates an exciting crinkle sounding exploration experience for ferrets, chinchillas, dwarf bunnies, guinea pigs, and other furry friends. 23" long tunnel has an ...

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Super Pet Woodland Get-A-Way Large Guinea Pig House

Woodland get-a-ways are classic, natural solid-wood hide-outs for small animals. Constructed from quality pine timber, these fun hideaways provide pets with a natural sense of s...

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Sample Menu for Guinea Pigs

Morning – Provide clean fresh water, check pellets and hay; replenish if necessary. Two romaine leaves, one baby carrot and a few slices of cucumber per pig.

Evening – Provide clean fresh water. Two romaine leaves, half of a roma tomato and one slice of apple each.

Here is another example menu of a typical day in my house of what I feed my guinea pigs. In the morning, I put fresh water in their water bottle and check on the pellet and hay situation. If they are running low, I add some fresh stuff.

I usually have with me already four romaine leaves, their favorite food. About three times per week I will give them something extra for breakfast, such as a few slices of cucumber or a couple of baby carrots per pig. This is enough for the day until I give them their evening meal. This is when I spice it up a little more.

I bring the usual romaine lettuce, and predictably one of the following: a sliced bell pepper, a medium sized tomato, a few slices of cucumber, some parsley/cilantro sprigs and an orange or a banana which I just break into chunks. The fruit is a treat that I only give once or twice per week because of the sugar. I like to mix it up and keep them guessing, but guaranteed, whatever I bring them they munch up every last crumb.

Of course, these aren’t the only foods that you can give your guinea pig, I’m just showing you an example of what I usually do, to help give you some perspective on what they eat and how much in a typical day.

A few other foods they enjoy are melons, mangoes, arugula, red/green leaf lettuce, carrots, peaches, bean sprouts, chard and green beans. In the summer I pick grass and dandelion leaves for my guinea pigs, they love it. Just be careful that it is fresh and clean from dust and pesticides.

Guinea Pig Supplies

8in1 Guinea Pig/Rabbit Vita-Sol Liquid Vitamin, 4-Ounce

8in1 Guinea Pig/Rabbit Vita-Sol Liquid Vitamin , 4-Ounce

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Super Pet Paw-Print PetWare Bowl, Guinea Pig, Colors Vary

Paw-print petware is the perfect fancy feeder for your guinea pig. This fun and fashionable bowl is decorated with actual paw prints and face silhouettes of a guinea pig. These ...

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Super Pet Ferret Super Sleeper, Cuddle-E-Cup with Poly-Bag, Colors Vary

Critters can't wait to curl up in comfort inside critter cuddl-e-cup. It is the perfect sleeper for rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, and other furry friends. Cuddl-e-cup features ...

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Midwest Interactive Guinea Habitat Plus

The Guinea Habitat Plus is interactive and expandable. It includes a folding, multi-access removable top, leak-proof hand washable durable PVC lined canvas bottom, dividing pane...

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What Not to Feed Guinea Pigs


Dairy -  including cheese and yogurt.

Iceburg lettuce -  is only full of water and has very little nutrients; not even nutritious for humans. Can cause diarrhea in guinea pigs.

Celery is okay, but make sure to cut it thinly across, because this vegetable is a choking hazard for guinea pigs because it is stringy.


Cauliflower in small amounts is okay, but only occasionally

Junk food -  we have the choice to eat candy and potato chips, but never offer these to your pet.


If you know of anything else, just leave a comment and I will add it to the list.


Updated: 11/22/2012, TiaMariaMartini
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