Guinea pigs can eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs with some of their most popular foods being lettuce, kale, parsley, coriander, cucumber, carrot, sweet bell peppers, tomato and apple. Our comprehensive guinea pig food list of over 60 fruit and veg tells you how often it is safe to feed these foods to your guinea pigs.
As well as our “at a glance” reference below, we’ve designed some safe food sheets showing the fruits, vegetables and herbs a guinea pig can eat with a colour picture of each food and how often they can have the food. You can buy and download the food sheets here…
|Food name||Type||How Often?|
|Corn on the Cob / Baby Corn||veg||Couple of times a week|
|Basil||herb||Couple of times a week|
|Beetroot||veg||Couple of times a week|
|Bok Choy (Pak Choi)||veg||A few times a week|
|Carrots||veg||A few times a week|
|Cauliflower leaves||veg||A few times a week|
|Celeriac||veg||Couple of times a week|
|Celery Stalks (and leaves)||veg||Couple of times a week|
|Collard Greens||veg||Couple of times a week|
|Coriander / Cilantro||herb||A few times a week|
|Courgette / Zucchini||veg||Couple of times a week|
|Cress (garden cress)||herb||A few times a week|
|Cucumber||veg||A few times a week|
|Dandelion Leaves (greens) & Flowers||forage||Couple of times a week|
|Dill||herb||Couple of times a week|
|Green beans (french beans)||veg||Couple of times a week|
|Kale||veg||A few times a week|
|Kohlrabi||veg||Couple of times a week|
|Lambs Lettuce||veg||Couple of times a week|
|Lettuce (Romaine/Cos/Butterhead/Red/Green Leaf||veg||A few times a week|
|Melon (all varieties)||fruit||Occasionally|
|Mint||herb||Couple of times a week|
|Parsley||herb||Couple of times a week|
|Peas||veg||Couple of times a week|
|Peppers (Sweet Bell – all colours)||veg||A few times a week|
|Radichio||veg||A few times a week|
|Rocket Salad / Arugula||veg||A few times a week|
|Swede / Rutabagas||veg||Occasionally|
|Swiss Chard||veg||A few times a week|
|Thyme||herb||Couple of times a week|
|Tomato||veg||Couple of times a week|
|Turnip||veg||Couple of times a week|
|Turnip Greens||veg||Couple of times a week|
|Watercress||veg||Couple of times a week|
|Buy and download our full colour printable safe food sheets here….|
But it’s better to change the veggies as much as you can from day to day, so feed your guinea pig as much variety as possible rather than giving them a lot of one or two vegetables.
Mixing several vegetables in their daily fresh food portion helps your guinea pigs get a good range of vitamins rather than a lot of a select few nutrients. This will contribute to them staying strong and healthy for longer.
About cup of vegetables is a good amount of fresh food for a daily portion for one guinea pig. This is not always easy to judge when you have lots of leaves so a little more is fine.
Guinea pigs tend to stop eating when they’ve had enough so after a few minutes, remove whatever veggies are left so it doesn’t attract flies or go bad. If you find they are leaving a lot each day, you’re probably feeding too much. If they are eating it very quickly and seem to be looking for more, give them a slightly larger portion.
You can feed them once a day or split the portion in two so they have one in the morning and one in the evening.
Fruit is high in sugar so your guinea pig’s fresh food should consist mainly of vegetables with the odd small piece of fruit now and again. We recommend a small piece of fruit about the size of one or two grapes each day at the very most, but it’s better not to feed them fruit on a daily basis.
A diet that is too high in fruit can cause diarrhoea and may lead to obesity which can cause other health problems in your guinea pig.
Green leafy vegetables are extremely important in a guinea pig’s diet. Some of the best greens and the ones they tend to like best are Romaine lettuce, green and red leaf lettuce, spring greens, kale, various herbs including mint, parsley, coriander (cilantro) and basil.
You can also feed your guinea pigs safe weeds and wild plants that you have foraged. Favourite forages with our guinea pigs are sow thistle and dandelion leaves and flowers.
Guinea pigs need plenty of vitamin C in their diet to keep healthy, as their bodies can’t make this vitamin by itself.
Some pet stores will tell you they need vitamin C supplements but these are usually unnecessary. Your guinea pigs should get plenty of this nutrient from their daily fresh fruit and vegetables. However, if they aren’t eating fruit and veg properly for whatever reason, it may be necessary to give a supplement.
Frozen fruits or vegetables are not suitable for guinea pigs and neither is tinned or canned food. If you can’t get fresh veggies for whatever reason, see if you can forage for safe plants or weeds. You may be surprised how many of these are growing around where you live.
Check out our full colour printable pdf download of fruit and vegetables that will help you on a daily basis to find the best fresh food for your guinea pigs.