Best food for guinea pigs

Guinea pigs have a few very important requirements when it comes to food. And as long as you supply these daily requirements, your guinea pigs should live long and healthy lives. The best foods for guinea pigs are a mixture of hay, pellets and vitamin C rich veggies.


Hay is roughage, and guinea pigs need this roughage 24/7 every single day in unlimited amounts.

The type of hay is important too. You cannot give an adult guinea pig alfalfa hay because it is rich in calcium which can lead to bladder stones. This is only beneficial to babies up to six month old and pregnant sows.

Meadow fresh hay is the best type of hay to give your guinea pigs. It must be soft without any prickles or sharp bits as these can poke their mouth and eyes. Straw is not acceptable as it is very sharp and causes hay poke and sometimes mouth sores.

Hay can be used as bedding, or kept tidily in a hay rack or container. NEVER buy a rack with holes that your guinea pig could get its head stuck in.

This wire hay rack is very dangerous because guinea pigs love to burrow into the hay and will try to squeeze inside the bars, possibly getting its head stuck. Many cavy owners are warning people against this after having had this accident happen. If you were not around, the guinea pig could suffocate to death.


Guinea pig pellets are a specially made mix with the nutrition and vitamins that are needed on a daily basis. Pellets are not essential, you can make up this nutrition in veggies, but pellets are recommended to make up the nutrition that your cavy needs.

Its is very important that you pick the right kind, some companies care only about the sales of the product, not what is in it! Some of the products that are sold in pellets are terribly bad  for guinea pigs and can lead to health problems.

You will rarely find the perfect pellets as nearly all companies contain one or more of the below ingredients, but make sure that there is not too much of one thing.

Things to Watch out For!

• Animal products
• Beet pulp
• Corn products
• Seeds, Nuts, or Oils
• Rice Bran or Rice Flour
• Vegetable Fibre
• Corn syrup
• High fructose corn syrup
• Sucrose
• Propylene glycol
• Food colourings
• Propyl gallate
• Potassium sorbate
• Sodium nitrate, or sodium metabisulfate
• Ethoxyquin
• Butylated hydroxyanisole
• Lots of wheat
• Lots of soy

List from guinea pig lynx

Which Pellets should I get?

Read my reviews on guinea pig pellets here! Oxbow is the most highly recommended brand of pellets in the guinea pig world.

Veggies! 😀

Few people seem to realize that guinea pigs need to have once cup of fresh veggies everyday! They must have a variety of vegetables that make up the quota of vitamin C.

best-foods-for-guinea-pigsWhy is vitamin c so important?

Guinea pigs cannot make their own vitamin c, like we can, so they have to eat the right amount of veggies to be able to get it. The best foods for guinea pigs are carrots, cilantro, romaine lettuce, capsicums, zucchini, endive and cherry tomatoes are all very good for a daily basis.

For every other day, you can give them cucumber, chickweed, chard, a small bit of fruit and arugula. It is important to check before feeding them anything different as some vegetables like rhubarb are poisonous.














6 thoughts on “Diet

  • May 12, 2016 at 2:52 am

    I have raised mice, hamsters, gerbils and rabbits but never had guinea pigs while growing up. While they all have different dietary needs, I never realized how specialized you need to be with guinea pigs. This is good to know as I may decide to get some of those too . It has been a few years since I have had any furry friends other than my dogs. And guinea pigs are just so darned cute!

    Are there any characterisics I need to look for when buying from a breeder or pet store to make sure they are healthy?

    • May 12, 2016 at 3:11 am

      Hi Sue!
      Thanks for your comment! Well, first of all I highly recommend buying from a rescue or searching for unwanted guinea pigs in your area. There are just so many that need homes. I have a huge long list of rescues, so if I don’t have one in your area I’d be surprised!

      For healthy, happy guinea pigs you need to look for bright alert eyes, not dull, cloudy or watery. Glossy fur without any bare patches and make sure that you check the gender! You don’t want to accidentally get a pregnant female. This happens all the time, especially in pet stores.

      Many guinea pigs have a dull, thin coat of hair which is due to improper diet. I’ve often gotten guinea pigs like this, and watched them fill out and gloss over! So it really makes you realize just how important the correct diet is!

  • November 27, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Guinea pigs are so cute! 😀

    I have a small squirrel, do you know what food is best for them?

    I would love to adopt a guinea pig as I love animals.

    It looks you are a big fan of Guinea Pigs, I honestly did not know that they eat veggies and vitamin C.

    Thank you for sharing this awesome post and have a good day ahead! 🙂

    Your friend Anis 😀

    • November 27, 2016 at 10:49 pm

      Hi Anis!
      I wouldn’t have a clue what squirrels eat!? What do they eat? I didn’t even know that people kept them as pets?! You could look it up on google, I’m sure there are others with squirrels who know what they can eat 🙂

  • November 27, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Hey, Emma,

    This is so useful to learn about the best foods to feed Guinea Pigs.

    I did not know that feeding adult guinea pig with alfalfa hay could lead to bladder stones.

    I have to agree about the good veggies to feed these lovely animals. Veggies are always a good idea when it comes to having a healthy diet in both humans and animals.

    I really appreciate your article.

    Kind regards,

    • November 27, 2016 at 11:04 pm

      Thanks Jason! Glad you found this helpful 😀


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