Your guinea pig’s diet is an important part of their health and overall happiness under your care.
Understanding which foods they can eat safely and which foods to avoid is essential.
With this ultimate guide to guinea pig diets, you’ll never have to wonder again about the many fruits, vegetables, and other foods they enjoy and benefit from nutritionally.
Guinea pigs are herbivores, so their diet consists of vegetables, fruits, grasses, and herbs. The majority of their diet, or around 70%, should be made up of grasses like hay and alfalfa, with the other 30% or so consisting of safe greens, fresh vegetables, and a small amount of fruit.
To learn more about the wide range of foods your guinea pig can eat safely and which foods to avoid, keep reading.
We’ll cover just about every major food item, as well as plenty of lesser-known snacks guinea pigs love.
The Complete Guinea Pig Food List Chart
|Apples||1-2x per week|
|Apricots (avoid dried apricots)||1-2x per week|
|Bananas||1-2x per week|
|Bell Peppers (all colors)||2-3x per week|
|Blackberries||2-3x per week|
|Blueberries||Once a week|
|Broccoli||2-3x per week|
|Cabbage||1-2x per week|
|Carrots||2-3x per week|
|Celery||1-2x per week|
|Citrus Fruits (Oranges, Grapefruit, etc.)||Once a week; avoid lemons, limes, and other very bitter fruits|
|Cucumber||1-2x per week|
|Dark Greens (Collard, Turnip, Spinach, etc.)||Daily|
|Grapes||Once a week|
|Lettuce||Once a week; avoid light lettuces like iceberg and Romaine|
|Mango||Once a week at most|
|Parsnips||3x per week|
|Peaches||Once a week|
|Peas||2-3x per week|
|Pineapple||1-2x per week|
|Pumpkin||Once a week at most|
|Radishes||1-2x per week|
|Raspberries||2-3x per week|
|Squash (Butternut, Acorn, Yellow, etc.)||1-2x per week|
|Strawberries||2-3x per week|
|Sweet Potato||1-2x per week|
|Tomatoes (all varieties)||2-3x per week|
|Watermelon||1-2x per week|
|Wheatgrass||Every other day|
|Zucchini||2x per week|
What Fruits Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
A small portion of your guinea pig’s diet should consist of safe fruits like blueberries, apples, or bananas. It’s best to only feed them small portions of fruit a few times per week since fruit is high in sugar, and it generally lacks the nutritional value present in greens, veggies, and grasses.
At most, your guinea pig should eat a portion of fruit roughly the size of two grapes or a small handful of blueberries two to three times per week.
Guinea pigs love a wide range of different fruits and will gladly eat them daily, but it’s important to keep their fruit intake fairly low to prevent health issues like obesity and diarrhea.
It’s good to prioritize fruits high in vitamin C, as guinea pigs need a fair amount of it to stay healthy.
They cannot produce their own vitamin C (like many other mammals, such as humans!), so offering them fruits with plenty of it will help keep their bones, skin, and other organs functioning properly.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Bananas?
Bananas are safe for guinea pigs to eat in small amounts no more than once or twice per week. Bananas are high in fiber and vitamins A and C, but they are also high in sugar and don’t have much hydration.
Interestingly, guinea pigs can eat and digest banana peels as well, so you don’t even necessarily have to remove the peels when feeding them.
Avoid unripe bananas, but slightly overripe bananas are safe as long as they aren’t moldy or too mushy.
Unfortunately, like many fruits, bananas are extremely high in natural sugars, so they will cause obesity and diarrhea if fed to your pet too often.
Keep bananas to a minimum in your piggy’s diet as a weekly or biweekly treat.
Check out the full details at our article on if guinea pigs can eat bananas.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apples?
Apples are a great treat for guinea pigs when offered once or twice per week in small amounts. They can safely eat the skins, too, but be sure to remove or avoid the seeds and the core of the apple. Apples are high in fiber and vitamins like vitamin C, making them an ideal guinea pig treat.
Avoid very bitter or tart apples and opt for sweeter varieties.
It helps to taste test the apple yourself beforehand to ensure it is ripe and not sour.
More bitter types of apples like Granny Smith should be avoided entirely.
Like all fruits, only offer apples as a treat or a salad topper to encourage your pet to eat their greens.
Since they are high in sugar, apples will cause diarrhea and obesity if fed in large amounts.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Blueberries?
Blueberries are a great occasional treat for guinea pigs since they are bite-sized, soft, sweet, and juicy. They are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, but they also are fairly acidic and high in natural sugar. Only feed blueberries to your cavy once a week at most.
The best thing about blueberries is they’re ready to eat; just rinse them off and toss them to your guinea pig, who will gladly gobble them up.
However, they aren’t a safe staple food due to their high amount of sugar and fairly high acidity.
Blueberries should only be fed to your guinea pig as a treat in very small portions of two or three berries at a time.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apricots?
Apricots are another good treat option for guinea pigs when fed in moderation once or twice per week. It’s best to avoid dried apricots since they don’t have as much nutritional value as fresh apricots and lack the moisture your pet needs.
Be sure to remove the pit and cut apricots into small, bite-sized pieces before feeding them to your guinea pig.
It’s best to avoid the skin due to its unusual texture.
Opt for fresh fruit rather than dried to maximize the nutrient content your pet will get from eating them.
Apricots contain decent levels of vitamin C and other nutrients, but they are also loaded with sugar.
This means they should only be offered once a week at most.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Blackberries?
Blackberries are a favorite fruit amongst guinea pigs, and they are convenient since you don’t have to remove any skin or seeds beforehand. They are a great source of many vitamins and antioxidants and have a good fiber, but their sugar content is too high to make them a staple food.
It’s safe to offer your guinea pig blackberries a bit more often than most of the other fruits on this list, but keep it to two to three times per week or less to avoid obesity and diarrhea.
If the blackberries are particularly large, feel free to cut them in half, but this usually isn’t necessary since they tend to be very small.
The seeds are safe for them to eat since they are also very tiny and easy to digest.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Raspberries?
Similar to blackberries, raspberries are another favorite treat for guinea pigs. They’re also high in fiber and vitamin C, which your pet needs as part of their diet, but due to their fairly high sugar content, they should only be offered two to three times a week.
Just like blackberries, raspberries are already bite-sized and have very tiny seeds, meaning all you need to do is rinse them off before offering them to your pet.
Raspberries are one of the best fruits for guinea pig diets, but they still should be kept to small portions no more than three times a week.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Mango?
Mango is fine as an occasional treat once a week or so, but it is extremely sugary and has a lot of moisture, meaning it will cause diarrhea if fed to your pet too often. Avoid the skin, as it is often coated in harmful pesticides and has a difficult texture for guinea pigs to eat.
Although mangoes have plenty of antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber, their sugar content is one of the highest of any fruit.
This rules them out as anything more than a very occasional treat.
Mangoes also have a decently high amount of moisture, meaning they will cause diarrhea in large amounts.
Still, if your guinea pig has developed a taste for them, they are a great way to encourage your pet to eat their greens and grasses.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Grapes?
Grapes are fine as a treat once a week or so, but green grapes should be avoided. Red grapes have more antioxidants and less sugar, making them a decent choice for your guinea pig’s diet when fed in small amounts.
When feeding your guinea pig grapes, it’s best to cut them in half if they are particularly large to make them easier to eat.
They’re a good source of extra vitamin C, too, but since they have so much sugar, they should only be offered to your pet twice a week at most.
Always opt for seedless grapes to prevent choking.
Most pet guinea pigs love grapes in their diet and enjoy having them as part of their salads as a treat.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Pineapple?
Pineapple is an excellent source of vitamin C and antioxidants, though it is also fairly acidic and high in sugar. Be sure to remove the skin beforehand and cut the pineapple into small, bite-sized pieces. Only offer pineapple twice a week at most.
Overall, pineapple is a safe fruit choice, and many guinea pigs greatly enjoy eating it.
However, just like all the other fruits on this list, they aren’t meant to be a staple food thanks to their high sugar content and acidity.
Only offer a few small pieces of pineapple to your guinea pig no more than twice a week.
Any more than this will put your pet at risk of an upset stomach, diarrhea, and eventual obesity.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberries?
Strawberries are one of the best fruit choices for guinea pigs because they are packed with vitamins and nutrients they need and don’t have as much sugar as many other common treat fruits. The seeds are also safe due to their small size.
Strawberries also have plenty of vitamin C, potentially the most important vitamin they need as part of a healthy diet to keep their bones, muscles, and skin healthy and strong.
It’s fine to offer your guinea pig strawberries two to three times a week in small amounts.
Cut the strawberries into smaller pieces to make them easier for your piggy to eat.
Feel free to give them the leafy tops of the strawberries as well, since they have lots of potassium and fiber your pet needs.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Peaches?
Peaches are safe when fed to guinea pigs in small amounts once a week, but because they are so sugary, they will cause diarrhea and other digestive problems if fed too often. Remove the skin and pit beforehand and cut the peaches into small pieces.
Unfortunately, peaches have one of the highest sugar contents of any fruits, so they should only be offered once per week at most in very small amounts.
Guinea pigs generally love the taste of peaches, so they are great when used as salad toppers to encourage them to eat their greens and grasses.
Just don’t let your piggy “pig out” on them!
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Citrus Fruit?
Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit are very high in vitamin C, but they are also acidic and cause mouth sores in guinea pigs if fed too often. Always remove the skin of any citrus fruits beforehand and only offer them once a week at most.
Another great thing about many citrus fruits is that they are fairly low in sugar compared to many other fruits.
Their acidity is known to irritate the sensitive mouths of guinea pigs, though, so be sure to avoid very acidic and bitter fruits like lemons or limes.
Overall, most citrus fruits are safe when offered to your guinea pig no more than once a week in small amounts.
Mandarin oranges are a particularly good choice.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Watermelon?
Watermelon is safe to feed to your guinea pig once or twice per week in small amounts. It is high in vitamin C and other nutrients, but it is also very sweet and mostly water. Too much moisture will cause diarrhea and digestive issues.
Guinea pigs typically love watermelon, and it’s even safe for them to eat the rind, too!
Just be very careful to remove all of the seeds before feeding, as they are just large enough to cause choking and digestive trouble.
The main danger of feeding too much watermelon is its high water content, so while they’re a good source of moisture, too much of a good thing is always possible.
What Vegetables Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
Your guinea pig’s diet should be made up of around 30% safe vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and tomatoes, among many others. They should eat two to three small servings of vegetables per day, as they have many vital vitamins and nutrients your pet needs to thrive.
Since vegetables lack sugar, they are generally safer for your guinea pig to eat in larger amounts.
Still, the bulk of your pet’s diet should be made up of most grasses.
Guinea pigs enjoy and benefit from a long list of safe vegetables in their diets, many of which are packed with vitamin C and other nutrients as well as antioxidants.
They’re also a far better source of energy than fruits due to being more nutritionally rich.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Carrots?
Carrots are a good semi-regular vegetable to feed your guinea pig a few times per week thanks to their high amount of vitamin A and C. They also are high in beta carotene and fiber, which will help your pet grow properly and keep their bones and muscles strong.
Carrot tops are also great for guinea pigs, so feel free to offer the tops and carrots, ideally cut into bite-sized pieces.
Alternatively, carrot shavings are a good option and are even easier for guinea pigs to munch on safely.
It’s best to feed your guinea pig carrots no more than three times per week in fairly small amounts at most, as variety in their diet is key.
Learn more in our guide to guinea pigs and carrots.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Celery?
Celery is an excellent source of vitamin C and is high in moisture, meaning it is safe to offer to your guinea pig twice per week in small amounts. They are also able to eat the leaves. Always cut celery into small pieces to prevent choking due to their unusually stringy texture.
The moisture in celery is beneficial, but too much will cause runny stools and upset stomachs.
Celery is also fairly high in oxalates, also known as oxalic acid, and too much of it is sometimes toxic to guinea pigs.
Overall, celery and celery leaves are fine on occasion, but they should be kept to twice a week at most.
There are many tastier, more nutritious options as far as vegetables go, and guinea pigs aren’t the biggest fans of celery anyway.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Potatoes?
Potatoes are not safe for guinea pigs due to their high solanine and alkaloid content, which are toxic. They are also very high in carbohydrates. It doesn’t matter if the potatoes are raw or cooked; neither should be fed to your guinea pig.
Overall, your guinea pig’s digestive tract just isn’t compatible with potatoes.
Solanine and alkaloids are harmful to guinea pigs, and the excess carbs aren’t good for them in the long term, either.
While your guinea pig won’t die if they are fed a small amount of potatoes accidentally, be sure to avoid them in the future to prevent health issues.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Tomatoes?
Tomatoes are a good semi-regular vegetable for guinea pigs two or three times per week at most. They are high in vitamin C and fiber and have a decent amount of moisture without it being excessive enough to cause diarrhea.
Tomatoes are also very tasty to most guinea pigs, who regularly love seeing them in their food bowls.
The seeds are small enough for them to eat safely without choking, and the skin is also thin and soft enough for them to eat and digest easily.
Many tomatoes are great for guinea pigs, from cherry and grape tomatoes to even yellow tomatoes.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Dark Greens?
Dark greens should make up a significant portion of your guinea pig’s diet and should be the bulk of the vegetables they eat. Greens such as collard greens, spinach, kale, and turnip greens are ideal, as they are very nutritious and high in various vitamins such as C, A, and K.
It’s a good idea to use dark, leafy greens as a sort of “base” for the salads you offer to your guinea pig.
Offer them a variety of colors, tastes, and textures to keep their diet interesting.
Greens should be offered daily in moderate amounts to keep your piggy healthy.
Thanks to their abundance of antioxidants, vitamins, and other nutrients, dark, leafy vegetables (and grasses) should be the foundation of your pet’s diet, along with certain grasses and hay.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Lettuce?
Most types of lettuce are safe for guinea pigs, but avoid very light and watery lettuces like iceberg and romaine, as they lack much nutritional value and have very high moisture contents. Too much water will cause runny stools and upset stomachs in guinea pigs.
Lettuce is good to have around if your guinea pig is ever dehydrated, as it is a quick and easy way to boost their hydration levels.
However, it should only be offered in small amounts once or twice a week since it is otherwise nutritionally poor.
It’s better to opt for dark greens rather than lettuce since darker greens typically have much more vitamins and nutrients your guinea pig needs to thrive without the high water content lettuce tends to have.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cucumber?
Cucumbers are fine in moderation once or twice per week. They have lots of vitamin C, but they are also very high in moisture and somewhat nutritionally lacking otherwise. It is safe for your guinea pig to eat the skin and seeds as well.
Guinea pigs greatly enjoy foods with crunchy and juicy textures, and cucumbers are well-loved by them.
This makes cucumbers a decent salad ingredient, though there are plenty of other more nutritious vegetables your guinea pig should be eating instead.
Overall, cucumbers are safe and healthy for your guinea pig to eat in moderate amounts, just don’t overfeed them, as the high water content will cause runny stools and digestive issues.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Broccoli?
Broccoli is a great semi-staple vegetable thanks to its high nutritional value and vitamin C content, though it is somewhat high in oxalates. It’s best to offer broccoli to your guinea pig no more than two to three times per week in fairly small amounts. The stalks are safe for them to eat as well.
Most guinea pigs enjoy eating broccoli because it is very flavorful and has a crunchy texture.
It’s high in several important vitamins your piggy needs, such as vitamins C, A, B-6, and K.
It’s also got a good amount of fiber to encourage a healthy digestive tract.
You don’t even necessarily need to cut broccoli into small pieces, as your guinea pig will gladly munch on its bushy portion as well as the stalks.
Broccoli is a great salad ingredient, ideally offered twice a week.
Remember, variety in your pet’s diet is essential to their health!
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cabbage?
Cabbage is safe to offer to your guinea pig around twice a week in moderate amounts. It is fairly high in moisture, but it has plenty of vitamins A, K, and C. In large amounts, though, it is known to cause diarrhea and bloating.
It’s best to offer your cavy raw cabbage, as cooking it tends to boil off much of its nutritional value.
Rinse it carefully and offer large leaves in their salads a couple of times per week for best results.
There are many other more nutritious leafy veggies, but cabbage is quite tasty to most guinea pigs.
It’s a great salad base when combined with darker greens and will encourage your guinea pig to eat the entirety of their meals.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Peas?
Peas are fine for your guinea pig when fed moderately small amounts two or three times per week. They contain good amounts of vitamin C and calcium and have no oxalates. They are also easy to prepare since they don’t need to be cut or peeled before eating.
Peas offer a unique texture and taste for your piggy’s diet, which is ideal because variety will keep your pet interested in eating healthy foods.
Their most notable quality is their vitamin C and A content, which your guinea pig’s body needs to stay healthy.
Still, too much of a good thing is always possible, so be sure to offer peas in combination with a wide range of other safe vegetables, fruits, and grasses.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Parsnips?
Parsnips are an excellent semi-staple vegetable for guinea pigs. They are delicious, contain no oxalates, and they’re packed with many essential vitamins and nutrients. Always feed parsnips raw since cooking them will diminish their nutritional value.
Parsnips are high in several vital vitamins, and nutrients guinea pigs need in their diet, most notably vitamin C.
They are a great salad ingredient for them, and most guinea pigs will gladly eat them regularly.
Overall, it’s safe to offer parsnips to your cavy around three times per week in small to moderate amounts.
Cut them into slices or bite-sized pieces to make them easier for your pet to eat safely.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Squash?
Many types of squash are great for guinea pigs, such as butternut, yellow, and acorn squash. They have a good amount of vitamins C, A, and other nutrients and have a great texture and taste most cavies love. They are safe to feed to your guinea pig around twice per week in moderate amounts.
Just about every type of squash is well-loved by guinea pigs due to its rich taste and crunchy texture.
However, some squashes are high in oxalic acid, so it’s best to only offer them to your guinea pig twice a week at most.
Avoid any seeds to prevent choking, and cut the squash into slices or bite-sized pieces to make them easier and safer for your pet to eat.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Sweet Potato?
While most potatoes are unsafe for guinea pigs due to their toxic ingredients, sweet potatoes are fine in moderation once or twice a week at most. They are very starchy and high in carbs, so they aren’t suitable as staple vegetables.
Sweet potatoes are also somewhat high in oxalates, which are harmful to guinea pigs in large amounts.
However, they have a decent amount of vitamins and nutrients and are very tasty to guinea pigs, making them a great occasional treat.
Be sure to only feed your guinea pig raw sweet potatoes, as cooking them eliminates much of their nutritional value and gets rid of their crunchy texture, which cavies love.
Cut them into slices or bite-sized pieces for best results.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Zucchini?
Similar to squash, zucchini is another good semi-regular vegetable most guinea pigs greatly enjoy eating. It’s packed with nutrients and has a high amount of vitamin C your pet needs to thrive. Only offer it raw to get the most nutritional value.
Strangely, many guinea pigs don’t enjoy the skin of zucchini, so it’s best to remove it entirely before offering it to your pet.
It’s also good to remove any seeds and cut the zucchini into slices or small pieces.
Generally, zucchini is safe to offer to your guinea pig around twice per week in moderate amounts.
It should only be fed to your pet raw since cooking it will make it harder to digest and get rid of its important nutrients.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Radishes?
Radishes are safe as an occasional food for your guinea pig no more than once or twice per week. Radishes have many nutrients and a great taste and texture, but it is fairly high in oxalic acid.
Additionally, radishes are fairly high in calcium, which is good, but too much of it is known to cause bladder stones in guinea pigs.
Combined with its high amount of oxalic acid, radishes just aren’t ideal staple vegetables, but they’re fine on occasion.
Most guinea pigs enjoy the texture of radishes, though not all of them like the unique, almost “spicy” taste.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Pumpkin?
Pumpkin is well-loved by guinea pigs due to its sweet and savory taste and good texture, but it is fairly nutritionally poor. Avoid feeding them the seeds, but the skin is safe. Pumpkin should only be offered once a week or so at most.
Pumpkin leaves and flowers are also safe for your guinea pig and are more nutritionally rich than the flesh of the vegetable itself.
It has a moderate amount of vitamin C but is fairly low in most other nutrients and vitamins.
Additionally, pumpkin has an unusually high amount of sugar, meaning too much of it will contribute to obesity and runny stools.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Bell Pepper?
Bell peppers are good semi-regular veggies for guinea pigs because they are high in vitamin C and low in sugar. It is safe to feed them to your cavy two to three times per week in moderate amounts.
Overall, green bell peppers are best for guinea pigs because they have the lowest sugar content and generally the highest vitamin and nutrient content otherwise.
Be sure to remove any seeds and cut them into easy-to-eat slices before feeding.
All colors of bell peppers are safe for guinea pigs in moderation, and most cavies love the rich taste and crunchy yet juicy texture.
What Other Foods Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
The majority of your guinea pig’s diet, or around 70%, should be made up of grasses such as Timothy hay, orchard grass, and wheatgrass. They should be offered a pile roughly the size of their body each day. Other safe foods include various types of herbs and flowers.
As far as safe foods other than fruits and veggies go, most of them consist of grasses, herbs, and even flowers and weeds like dandelions and dandelion greens.
The bulk of your piggy’s food intake should consist of hay and grasses.
These foods not only help with digestion but are also good for controlling how rapidly their teeth grow.
Pellet food should also be offered daily in unlimited amounts.
Pellets, hay, and various grasses are staple foods that should be given to and eaten by your guinea pig daily.
You can also read our topic on what can replace Timothy hay for guinea pigs for more ideas.