Can Guinea Pigs Eat Rye Grass? [& How Much?]

Rye grass is perfectly fine for guinea pigs to eat in small quantities. It is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Too much rye grass consumption may cause digestive problems, which you’ll definitely want to avoid.

You want to make sure your guinea pig is eating a well-balanced diet, with a few treats here and there. But you absolutely want to ensure they do not ingest anything that is potentially toxic and could harm them!

So what is rye grass, and is it safe for guinea pigs to eat? Keep reading to find out!

What Is Rye Grass?

If your home has a front or a backyard, chances are the lawn contains ryegrass. If you drive by a pasture with animals grazing, chances are, the pasture contains ryegrass. And if you’ve ever played baseball on an athletic field or played golf on a golf course, you guessed it, they probably contained ryegrass!

The short, green blades of grass found in lawns, a pasture, fields where sports are played – more than likely, that’s ryegrass.

Because of its fast germination, insect and disease management, and erosion control, rye grass is a great choice for covering spaces of land that need the year-round shield of plant growth.

Essentially, it’s very common, and you probably see it every day without even realizing it’s called ryegrass.

You might be tempted to bring your guinea pig outside on your front lawn to let them graze. They get fresh air, different scenery, and space to roam around. But is the rye grass safe for them to eat?

The next section outlines what a guinea pig’s diet should consist of and what is and is not acceptable for them to consume, including rye grass.

What Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

Guinea pigs should be given foods that address their dietary needs, and a good foundation allows some room for different types of snacks for them to nibble on.


The fundamental block of a guinea pig’s diet is hay. They can eat hay all day – seriously! Specifically, Timothy hay reigns supreme, and guinea pigs can eat boundless amounts of this type of low-calcium hay. Some benefits of Timothy hay are that it helps with digestion and keeps their teeth trimmed.

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Vitamin C

Vitamin C is the most important nutrient that guinea pigs need. It is essential to nurture and support their skin and joints. In addition, it plays a big role in the healing of wounds.

Guinea pigs can’t produce vitamin C on their own, so their diet must provide them with the proper amount of vitamin C that they need.

If they don’t receive a sufficient supply of vitamin C, they can become weak and sluggish, and a severe deficiency could have life-threatening consequences.

Fresh Fruit and Veggies

Fresh fruit and bright vegetables provide decent amounts of this important nutrient. They should also supplement their vitamin C intake from specially formulated pellets for guinea pigs.

In addition to hay and vitamin C, leafy lettuce and vibrant vegetables are a great addition to a guinea pig’s diet. This includes Romaine lettuce, kale, cauliflower, carrots, and squash.

Bell pepper, tomato, and asparagus are high in vitamin C and thus excellent options to feed your guinea pig.

Be wary of giving your guinea pig iceberg or head lettuce, as it contains mainly water and does not have substantial nutritional value.

Certain foods should be avoided in a guinea pig’s diet. These include nuts, seeds, cereals, grains, wild mushrooms, berries, avocado, bread, and chocolate.

Hay and vitamin C are non-negotiable foundational blocks of a guinea pig’s diet and must be included in their daily meals.

If they are getting the necessary amounts of these two things on a daily basis, it is perfectly fine to allow them to feast on other edible treats.

The next section answers the question about whether rye grass is safe for guinea pigs to eat.

Is It Safe For Guinea Pigs To Eat Rye Grass?

Rye grass is perfectly fine for guinea pigs to feast on in small amounts. So bring some tufts of grass from your lawn inside for your little furry friend to nibble on. Or, take your guinea pig outside in a safe and supervised area and let them take in the fresh air while snacking on some grass.

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Either way, you can let your guinea pig eat rye grass in moderation without worrying about it being toxic to them.

In fact, you don’t have to stop at rye grass. Many types of hay and grass are completely fine for guinea pigs to eat. Meadow hay, fescue, oaten, pasture, paddock hays are perfectly suitable in a guinea pig’s diet.

Oat grass, buffalo grass, and clover are acceptable types of grass for guinea pigs to consume. They can also have dandelion, milk thistle, and fresh herbs.

Not only is rye grass safe for guinea pigs to eat, but it also has an additional benefit. One advantage of rye grass, as well as any other grasses and hays, is that it helps guinea pigs to keep their teeth in good shape.

An interesting fact about guinea pigs is that their teeth continuously grow throughout their life, so keeping them occupied with safe grasses and hays to chew on keeps their teeth trimmed. It’s a win-win!

Something to keep in mind is that moderation is important. Too much rye grass could cause digestive trouble, which you certainly want to avoid. So, if you notice a change in the bowel movements of your guinea pig, this could be related to the amount of rye grass they are consuming.

Decrease the amount of rye grass they are eating, and see if that helps ease any tummy issues they are dealing with. As you get familiar with the dietary needs of your guinea pig and what works for them, you can adjust the type and amount of particular foods they have access to.

The takeaway is that rye grass, in small amounts, is completely fine for your guinea pig to eat. Let them have a little rye grass feast.