What to Feed a Guinea Pig

Have you recently adopted a Guinea pig? These adorable little furballs, also known as cavies, make wonderful pets. They are super cute, don’t need a lot of room, and are fairly easy to care for. In order to keep your tiny pal happy and healthy, you’ll need to be sure to feed him a proper, nutritious diet. Below, a Poway, CA vet discusses feeding Guinea pigs.


Hay is very good for Guinea pigs. It helps keep their digestive systems running smoothly, and it’s also great for their teeth. Make sure your cavy always has plenty of fresh quality hay, such as Timothy hay.


Your Guinea pig can have commercial pellets for his breakfast and dinner. These are formulated to provide proper nutrition. Ask your vet for specific advice, including portion sizes and feeding times.


Guinea pigs must have Vitamin C in their diets, as they can get very sick without it. Make sure your cavy gets plenty of leafy greens. Dandelion leaves, Romaine lettuce, spinach, and kale are all suitable for your little pal.

Your furry friend can also have Swiss chard, collard greens, mustard greens, carrots, green peppers, and zucchini. Keep in mind that many veggies are only safe in small amounts. For instance, pumpkin and cucumbers should only be fed occasionally. Ask your vet for specific recommendations on portion sizes and feeding frequency.


Many herbs are also safe for cavies. Cilantro and parsley are a few good options. Oregano, peppermint, and spearmint are also fine on occasion.


Cavies love fruit! Apples (without seeds or pips), bananas, pineapples, melons, pears, peaches, plums, mandarins, and oranges are all safe for cavies. Your little pet can also enjoy blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries on occasion. Just be sure not to give your cavy too much fruit, because it is high in sugar. Ask your vet for specific advice.


Many common foods can make these little ones very sick! Chocolate; caffeine; garlic, onions, scallions, or chives; and potato or tomato leaves are a few foods that are dangerous for Guinea pigs. Also, never give your cavy a new food without thoroughly researching it first. Last but not least, always wash foods carefully before handing them over to your tiny buddy.

For more information on feeding your Guinea pig, please feel free to contact us, your Poway, CA veterinary clinic, anytime!

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