Do Guinea Pigs Need Hay? [What Type of Hay is Best?]

Guinea pigs need hay for two main reasons:

  1. To help their digestive system
  2. To prevent them from getting bored

Hay helps keep a guinea pig’s digestive system healthy by providing roughage. This is important because guinea pigs can easily get constipated, which can lead to health problems. Hay also provides essential nutrients, such as vitamin C.

Most importantly, hay gives guinea pigs something to do. They love to play and explore, and hay provides the perfect opportunity for them to do this. It also helps wear down their teeth, which can become overgrown if they don’t have anything to gnaw on.

So, in short, yes, guinea pigs need hay! It’s an important part of their diet and helps keep them healthy and happy.

The Key Nutrients Found In Hay

  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Fiber
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium


Protein helps guinea pigs build and repair muscles, as well as maintain their coat. It’s also essential for overall health and growth.


Fiber helps guinea pigs digest food properly and maintain coat health.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps guinea pigs maintain healthy eyesight and boosts their immune system.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is essential for guinea pigs since they can’t make it themselves. It helps prevent scurvy and can help maintain skin and bone health.


Calcium helps guinea pigs maintain healthy teeth and bones.


Magnesium helps guinea pigs stay hydrated and helps convert food into energy.

The Best Types Of Hay For Guinea Pigs

There are many types of hay available for guinea pigs, but not all of them are created equal.

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Timothy Hay (Best Overall)

The best type of hay for guinea pigs is Timothy hay. Timothy hay is a type of grass hay that is high in fiber and low in calcium, which makes it ideal for guinea pigs. It is also very fragrant, which guinea pigs seem to enjoy.

Alfalfa, Oat, and Rye

Other types of hay that are suitable for guinea pigs include alfalfa hay, oat hay, and rye grass hay.

These hays are also high in fiber and low in calcium, but they are not as fragrant as Timothy hay.

Guinea pigs will still eat these hays, but they may not be as enthusiastic about them as they are about Timothy hay.

Avoid Bermuda Grass

Bermuda grass hay is the worst type of hay for guinea pigs. This type of hay is high in calcium and can cause health problems for guinea pigs if they eat too much of it. Avoid giving your guinea pig Bermuda grass hay if at all possible.

How Much Hay Should You Provide?

The amount of hay you should provide for your guinea pigs will depend on a few factors, such as how many guinea pigs you have and what other food sources you are providing.

Generally, it is recommended that you provide your guinea pig with an unlimited supply of timothy hay.

If you are unsure of how much hay to provide, it is always better to err on the side of too much rather than too little. Guinea pigs will usually eat as much hay as they need, so if you find that they are not eating all of the hay you are providing, simply reduce the amount until they start eating it all again.

Best Way To Store All That Hay

There are a few things to consider when storing hay for your guinea pigs.

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The first is whether or not the hay is fresh. Fresh hay should be green and have a sweet smell. If the hay is brown or has a musty smell, it’s best to throw it out.

The next thing to consider is how dry the hay is. Hay that’s too wet can mold and cause respiratory problems for your guinea pigs. Hay that’s too dry can be dusty and irritate your guinea pigs’ eyes and lungs.

The best way to store hay is in a dry, ventilated place like a storage bin with a lid or a wire cage.

Once you’ve found the perfect spot for your hay, make sure to keep an eye on it and replenish it as needed. Guinea pigs love to munch on hay, so it’s important to make sure they always have plenty of fresh, dry hay to nibble on!

What To Do If Your Guinea Pig Refuses To Eat Hay

If your guinea pig refuses to eat hay, it’s up to you to encourage them to eat it.

Make sure that the hay you’re giving them is fresh and of good quality. If the hay is old or has been sitting out for a while, it may not be as appealing to your guinea pig.

Try offering them a small amount of hay at first and gradually increasing the amount over time. Some guinea pigs may not be used to eating hay and may need to get used to the taste and texture.

If all else fails, you can try adding a small amount of vegetables or fruits to the hay to make it more appealing.

Remember, guinea pigs need hay in their diet for proper digestion, so it’s important to try and get them to eat it!