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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Grass? Do They Like It? Vet Answers

Guinea pigs, the adorable fluff balls, are herbivores. Wild guinea pigs take care of their hunger by grazing on whatever they find. It is why greens are a big part of a guinea pig’s diet.

What about grass? Can guinea pigs eat grass? Is it safe to add to the menu?

Key Takeaway:

Guinea pigs eat grass, and they love the taste. It is the main source of guinea pig nutrition. Grass keeps a piggy’s teeth healthy and gastrointestinal health in check. However, it isn’t the only thing you should feed your guinea pig. There are certain types that are unsafe for the little guy.

What grass is best for guinea pigs? And how much can he eat? 

Relax, human!

We are here to answer all your guinea pig grass-related questions. Stay tuned to learn how to keep your furry friend full and happy.

black guinea pig near fresh grass

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Grass?

My guinea pig was munching on some grass! Is it safe to let him eat it?

Guinea pigs are herbivores – they love their greens! A guinea pig’s digestive system is designed to break down the cellulose in grass. As long as he has access to nutritious grass, he will be healthy and happy.

Are guinea pigs picky eaters when it comes to grass?

Guinea pigs are not picky at all! They can’t tell between good grass and bad. So, they’ll chomp down on whatever is available. It is up to you to feed them only the safe types of grass.

Wow! So, there is safe and unsafe grass?

Yep! Not all types of grass are okay for your cavy. We will look into that deeply further in the article. But first, let’s see which type he can eat as much as he wants to.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Grass Instead of Hay?

Hay is grass, just cut and dried. It’s a guinea pig’s favorite snack and for all the right reasons.

Grass hay is chocked full of fiber, which is good news for your piggle pop’s digestive system. It’ll keep his bowels in check and provide him with the necessary roughage.

Hay also has benefits for guinea pig teeth. Its crunchy and chewy texture trims a guinea pig’s sharp incisors and keeps them in shape.

In essence, hay is your piggy’s main course. Let him eat as much as he likes.

As for grass replacing hay, that’s not happening. 80% of your whisker puff’s diet must be hay.

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t give guinea pigs grass. Grass, of the right type, has a few health benefits too. Let’s check them out.

Health Benefits of Grass

Grass should be a part of your piggy’s regular diet. It changes your piggy’s taste and has a few different textures. It’ll be fun chowing it down.

Is that all grass does for guinea pigs? Makes them enjoy meal times? 

Nope! There are nutritional benefits too. Here’s why the grass is important for your piggy:

  • Grass controls cholesterol levels in your piggy’s body, lowering the risk of heart disease.
  • The grass is an excellent source of vitamin C. It helps repairs tissues and boosts the immune system. You will have to add supplements to boost vitamin C absorption, though. Guinea pigs can’t synthesize this vitamin on their own.
  • The grass is high in minerals like phosphorus, zinc, calcium, and iron. They are necessary for your piggy’s growth and bone formation.
  • Grass has low calories and fat content, helping keep his weight in check. It’ll make sure he stays active and away from obesity-related illnesses.
  • Grass improves your guinea pig’s dental health since it controls his teeth’ growth.

So yeah, the grass is a must! But, of course, there’s a catch.

What Grass Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

Guinea pigs are grazers and will eat whatever they find. But if you want your cavy to be healthy, watch what he’s eating.

Feeding bad grass can cause indigestion, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and other stomach-related illnesses.

Bad grass? How can I tell which grass is bad grass?

Here’s a list of grass you can and cannot give to your Mr. Adorbs.

Good Guinea Pig Grass

Wheat Grass

Can guinea pigs eat wheatgrass?

Absolutely! Wheatgrass is the safest and the most nutritious type of grass for your guinea pig. It is a powerhouse of potassium, vitamins A and C, fiber, and useful enzymes. The high vitamin C content prevents health issues like scurvy in guinea pigs.

Is cat grass the same as wheatgrass?

Yep! Cat grass is grown using a combination of rye, barley, oats, and wheat seeds. It’s free of pesticides and safe for all indoor pets.

Bermuda Grass

Bermuda hay, or grass, is rich in crude fiber. It maintains a balanced bacterial flora in your piggy’s tummy and keeps his teeth the ideal size and shape. Plus, it’s just the right balance of fat and proteins.

Timothy Hay

The best thing you could give your guinea pig is Timothy hay. Give him a constant supply, and he’ll be squealing with joy. This type has enough fiber to keep your pet healthy. If you don’t have it around, you can replace it with orchard grass.

Can guinea pigs eat orchard grass?

Yes, they can. It’s similar to Timothy Hay, and you can give as much of it to your piggy as he likes.

two white guinea pigs eating blade of grass

Bad Guinea Pig Grass

Alfalfa Hay

This one’s high in calcium. It can cause kidney and bladder issues in your cute pet. So, keep Alfalfa hay off limits, especially for piggies that are older than six months.

Clover Grass

Another no. Clover grass is similar to Alfalfa hay – too high in calcium. So, avoid feeding it to your piggy. Lemon grass has a lot of calcium too. Plus, there’s citronella oil in it which is toxic for pets in general.

Grass Seeds

Grass seeds have a lot of fat content. So, if you don’t want an obese piggy, don’t feed these to your pet. There are alternates if you’re looking for opinions: oat cereals and cornflakes.

What about grass clippings? Can guinea pigs eat lawn grass clippings?

Your guinea pig can eat it. But should he? NO! These clippings can give your pet digestive troubles.

What? Why?

Grass clippings become fermented faster than we realize. Feeding your guinea pig fermented grass means inviting issues like bloating.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Fresh Grass From Outside?

Fresh grass, although tasty, has a few issues that make it a ‘do not feed’ item. If you have no choice, then make sure you only give your piggy the grass that you cut yourself.

What’s wrong if my piggy grazes on fresh grass from my backyard?

Toxic Chemicals

The greener the yard, the higher the curb appeal. So, we use all sorts of weed killers, pesticides, and fertilizers to make it look pretty.

These chemicals are toxic for your guinea pig. They can damage his respiratory system and lead to severe kidney problems. Plus, there’s the risk of contamination by parasites or stomach bugs which can give your pet a food-borne illness.

Mold

Mold poisoning is real in animals. Sadly, our furry pals aren’t safe from it either. So, if you let your pet piggy graze freely in the yard, he might ingest mold. It can cause severe respiratory issues, like asthma and sneezing. Also, let’s not forget creepy insects and their eggs hiding in grass blades. Allergies alert!

Contaminated Grass

Do you have any other pets in the home? Cats? Dogs? Imagine their feces in the grass on your lawn. Ew.

Now, imagine that in your piggy’s tummy! EW! Your cavy doesn’t deserve that kind of trouble.

How Much Grass Can My Guinea Pig Eat?

Guinea pigs are hungry little critters. They will eat as much as you feed them. The good thing is that the foods they eat, including grass, are healthy and nutritious. So, stuffing their faces with food (occasionally) shouldn’t be problematic. However, if it becomes a habit, you’ll have an oversized ball of fur on your hands.

So, does that mean he can eat as much grass as he wants?

No, that’s not what we mean. The most part of his diet must be hay – 80%. It has all the essential nutrients your pocket-sized cutie needs. The rest of the 20% of your piggy’s diet must be a combination of grass and guinea pig pellets.

Also, guinea pigs require lots of vitamin C, so give him some veggie treats as well. Bell peppers, green beans, and cucumbers are okay.

Bonus Tip: Don’t forget fresh water

guinea pig eating grass

A Vet’s Verdict: Guinea Pigs and Grass – A Perfect Pairing!

Can guinea pigs eat grass? Yes, they can.

Should they? Yep, grass has health benefits. It also tastes great and has a nice crunch to it.

However, there are some types that are better and safer than others. Timothy hay, wheatgrass, and Bermuda grass, for instance, are your safest option.

Avoid giving your cavy grass that’s high in calcium content. It can cause kidney problems in your pet.

Remember that grass cannot and must not replace hay. Your piggy’s diet should be 80% hay. Make arrangements for your furry friend’s food and watch him cutely grow into a big boy.

Did you find the information in the article helpful?

At Oddly Cute Pets, we adore pocket-sized munchkins like guinea pigs. And so, we try to keep our readers updated about their care. If you have a loveable rodent pet and are looking for information on his care, check out our website. We have a lot to share that can make your rodent ownership experience a breeze.

Thank you for reading, friends. 

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