Guinea pigs absolutely love to eat veggies and fruits such as cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, apples, and pears. When guinea pigs aren’t munching on fruits and veggies, you’ll find them eating hay. Their preferred hay is timothy and meadow. They also enjoy eating plants such as chickweed and dandelion leaves.
What You'll Learn
Basic Guinea Pig Diet
Before considering which treats you should give your guinea pig, it is important to ensure that all basic dietary needs are met. Guinea pigs eat only plant-based foods, which means they’re herbivores.
A guinea pig’s daily diet should consist of a mix of hay (e.g., timothy, meadow), guinea pig pellets, vegetables (e.g., red/green lettuce, romaine lettuce), and foraged weeds (e.g., dandelion, chickweed). Similarly, all the treats and snacks that you give your guinea pig should be plant-based as well.
Guinea Pigs’ Favorite Treats
Guinea pigs have sensitive stomachs and they are prone to gain weight. Because of this, being mindful of the types and amounts of snacks you give your guinea pig is crucial. Guinea pigs should only receive snacks occasionally and in small amounts so their health won’t be compromised.
When it comes to safe and enjoyable treats and snacks, there are various vegetables, fruits, and plants that guinea pigs go crazy for!
Keep reading to learn more about some of the most popular treats and snacks that guinea pigs love to eat.
In addition to their daily assortment of vegetables (e.g., red/green lettuce, romaine lettuce, kale), there are many vegetables that guinea pigs also enjoy.
One popular summertime treat is cucumbers. Cucumbers are packed with water, making it the perfect treat to cool down and hydrate your guinea pig during those hot summer days.
Another popular vegetable is carrots, which many guinea pigs are absolutely obsessed with. Below are several of the most popular vegetables that guinea pigs love to eat.
- Bell Pepper
Guinea pigs don’t just love their vegetables, they absolutely love fruit too. Slicing up and serving some delicious fruit as a treat will send any guinea pig into food heaven. Listed below are some of the most popular fruits that guinea pigs enjoy.
Popular Wild Plants
Another way to spice up your guinea pig’s snack options is to give them the occasional wild plant. Two of the most popular wild plant treats that guinea pigs are in love with are chickweed and dandelion leaves.
So long as the wild plants are safely foraged, they are another great natural snack option for your guinea pig. The most popular wild plants that guinea pigs love to eat are listed below.
- Dandelion Leaves
- White Clover
While there are many store-bought treat options out there, you may need to filter out which treats are safe for your guinea pig to eat.
Although they may be tasty, they could potentially cause harm. Snacks high in sugar and/or are highly processed are not safe for guinea pigs to consume. Additionally, treats with no nutritional value may lead to weight gain and possibly even diabetes.
Although it is not recommended to give guinea pigs store-bought treats, it is possible to find high-quality guinea pig treats in store and online. Just be sure to research the contents of any non-natural treats before handing them over to your guinea pig.
Foods That Should Never Be Given to Guinea Pigs
Keep in mind that guinea pigs have very sensitive stomachs. As a general rule of thumb, too much of the treats listed above can cause harm to a guinea pig. Too much of anything outside of their normal diet can cause guinea pigs to develop serious health problems such as diabetes, tooth problems, and other health complications.
Beyond those concerns, there is also a list of foods and plants that should never be given to guinea pigs under any circumstances.
Why Certain Foods Should Be Avoided
Like humans, guinea pigs appreciate and enjoy a diet filled with new and exciting foods. While giving your guinea pigs treats and snacks can be a fun experience for both of you, it is important to be well informed.
Although there are a variety of foods and plants that are safe for guinea pigs to eat and snack on, there are even more foods and plants that are dangerous for them to consume and should be avoided altogether.
Which Foods Should Be Avoided?
Listed below, you will find a brief list of some of the most dangerous foods for guinea pigs to consume. These foods should never be given to guinea pigs, not even as a snack or treat.
- Bok choy
- Iceberg lettuce
- Peanut butter
- Dairy products
Which Plants Should Be Avoided
Several plants are also dangerous for guinea pigs to eat. Listed below are several plants that should never be given to a guinea pig.
- Deadly Nightshade
- Lily of the Valley
- Scarlet Pimpernel
There are a variety of foods that most guinea pigs love and get excited to eat, but every guinea pig is unique and has its preferences. When it comes to providing your guinea pig with snacks and treats, the most important factors to consider are what to give and how much to give. Find out which snacks and treats your guinea pig loves most by exploring some of the safe options listed in this article.
Recommended For You