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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Lettuce?

Guinea pigs can eat lettuce but not all lettuce are recommended. Different types of lettuce contain different amounts of vitamin C, fibre and other vitamins and minerals so let’s take a look at the various types of lettuce, how good they are for guinea pigs, and a free alternative that is even better for your piggies!

Can guinea pigs eat Romaine lettuce?

Romaine, Cos and Little Gem lettuces all belong to the same lettuce variety and can all be eaten by guinea pigs. In fact, Romaines are the most nutritional lettuces, and contain a lot more vitamin C than other types of lettuce.

“Cos” is just another name for “Romaine” and one that is more common in the UK whereas Romaine is the name used in North America.  Little Gems are small versions of the Romaine/Cos lettuce and their leaves tend to be more compact.

Romaine lettuces are longer in shape than the round Butterhead variety and if you buy them from the supermarket they are often sold as “Romaine Hearts” which means they have had the darker outer leaves stripped.

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    Can guinea pigs eat Iceberg lettuce?

    Iceberg lettuce is very low in nutrients compared to other varieties such as Romaine, Butterhead and Red & Green Leaf lettuces but much higher in sugar content. Iceberg also has a higher water content than other lettuces.

    Too many watery foods can cause diarrhoea and as Iceberg lettuces don’t give your guinea pigs the nutritional benefits that other lettuces offer, we advise you avoid feeding Iceberg lettuce to your guinea pigs.

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    What other types of lettuce can guinea pigs eat?

    Guinea pigs can eat Butterhead, Boston, Bibb, red leaf, green leaf as well as other types of lettuce and salad greens such as rocket (arugula) and lambs lettuce. These all have varying amounts of nutrition and we’ve included some of the popular lettuces in our comparison table near the end of the article.

    Do guinea pigs like lettuce?

    Lettuce is a favourite food of guinea pigs and you’ll find that your guinea pigs will eat the lettuce before the rest of the veggies that are in their food bowl.

    As lettuces contain a sedative you should be careful not to give huge amounts but these salad vegetables can contribute to a good amount of your guinea pig’s regular diet.

    As with any fruit or vegetable, you should always give a good rinse through with clean tap water before feeding to your guinea pigs.

    What is a cheap alternative to lettuce?

    It’s important that guinea pigs have plenty of green leaves but lettuce can be expensive, especially if you have several guinea pigs. Foraging for leaves is actually much easier than you may think and you will save a good amount of money as it is not just cheap but completely free! This is a great alternative to lettuce and actually better for your guinea pigs too. Check out our forage page here…

    Nutritional information for lettuce

    Below is a comparison table showing the nutritional value per 100g of lettuce for Romaine, Red Leaf, Butterhead, Green Leaf and Iceberg lettuces.

    TypesVit CCalciumPhosFibreSugar
    Romaine24 mg33 mg30 mg2.1 g1.2 g
    Red Leaf3.7 mg33 mg28 mg0.9 g0.5 g
    Butterhead3.7 mg35 mg33 mg1.1 g0.9 g
    Green Leaf18 mg36 mg29 mg1.3 g0.8 g
    Iceberg2.818 mg20 mg1.2 g2 g
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