Guinea pig diet | Get those pigs something tasty

What do guinea pigs eat and what is the best guinea pig diet for your pets? My first response, after looking at my two little guinea pig pups, would be - they will eat anything (you can see how cute they are in the video below). OK, the diet I provide for our pups doesn't include just anything but they love to eat so much that we moved all non-guinea-pig-food-items away from their reach.


The very basic recommendation when it comes to guinea pig diet is:

  • give them fresh water every day
  • provide timothy hay 24 hours a day
  • keep the food dish full of pellets all the time
  • fresh raw fruit and vegetables every day
  • guinea pig vitamin C supplementing

Basically, when it comes to guinea pig diet the top advice is to provide food all the time. Now, let's get some detailed information on guinea pig diet and what do guinea pigs eat. If you are in a hurry you can skip straight to the vegetables and fruits list.

My guinea pigs

Guinea pigs need water all the time

When it comes to water, try to provide fresh water daily but if possible don't just pour tap water in their dish. Leave it for 24 hours in a bottle so it clears out or even better give them natural bottled water.

There are different kinds of water dishes and bottles you can use. At the beginning we used a guinea pig water bottle, where the water drips through a little tube. After having some problems with it we transferred to a plain dish. They don't seem to mind.

No matter how you give them water make sure you clean the bottle and dishes every day because they can really make a mess sometimes.

They always chew hay

Provide your guinea pigs hay 24 hours a day. They need it to develop properly. The best hay you can give them is timothy hay.

It is very easy to find alfalfa hay in pet shops but don't give it to adult guinea pigs. Alfalfa hay is only good for nursing mothers and baby guinea pigs. Once your guinea pig is one year old, avoid giving them alfalfa hay at all. The reason not to give your guinea pigs any alfalfa hay is that is has very high level of calcium which can cause health problems for these pets.

They love pellets and want them all the time

What you should provide 24 hours a day, besides hay, are pellets. You can find so many different pellets in pet shops these days. But when you are buying pellets for your guinea pigs get the ones specially created for them. Don't let the salesman persuade you any small mammal pellet is good for the guinea pig. Don't buy rabbit or hamster pellets.

Do not buy food that contains any seeds. That is not guinea pig food. If you see seeds, that is probably food for other rodents and it is not supposed to be given to guinea pigs.

It should not be hard to choose pellets for your pet because manufacturers are making so many different kinds and what is even better - you can choose the food according to your pets age.

Learn about guinea pig diet | Don't rely on pet shop personnel

A couple of days ago I went to buy some pellets for my two pups. I get to the pet shop and ask them what kind of pellets they have for guinea pigs. They show me two kinds, one with bananas and one with peanuts. They already ate the banana ones so I wanted to get another kind to make their guinea pig diet vary more. I took the bag with the peanut pellets and fortunately looked at it. It was full of sunflower seeds!

I asked the salesman if he is sure that that food is for guinea pigs. He was completely sure and was persuading me that people buy it a lot for their guinea pigs. Poor pets...

Raw, fresh fruit and vegetables

Include these fruits and vegetables in guinea pig diet:

star fruits

  • apple - no seeds!
  • orange
  • banana
  • kiwi
  • tomato
  • grapes
  • strawberries
  • papaya
star vegetables and greens
  • peppers - not spicy ones, give them green, yellow and red peppers
  • cucumbers
  • carrots, the leafs too
  • broccoli
  • lettuce
  • green beans
  • brussel sprouts
  • spinach
  • fresh peas

You can also give them herbs like mint, dandelion, basil and parsley.

Guinea pigs have very developed sense of smell but the interesting fact about this is that they can not recognize what food is poisonous for them and what is not. So since they can not protect themselves they will rely on you to feed them healthy.

To prevent mistakes read about poisonous foods for guinea pigs.

Don't worry if you run into guinea pig teeth problems, all you have to do is pay attention or contact a vet in time.

If you did not find the answer you need or you want to ask a question about guinea pigs, go to our guinea pig FAQ page.

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