Guinea pigs can eat tomatoes but you need to be careful not to give your small pets too much of this fruit. There are also parts of the tomato plant that are poisonous and unsafe for your guinea pigs to eat.
There are many varieties of tomato, some big and some very small. Most types of tomato including cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, plum tomatoes (not tinned!), beefsteak tomatoes and many other varieties are safe for guinea pigs to eat. But never feed your guinea pig the whole of a larger tomato as this is far too much for them.
Guinea pigs can eat baby tomatoes. Often the baby fruits and vegetables are sweeter so they may even prefer these. Baby tomatoes also represent a good sized portion of this fruit for your small pets.
The seeds of a tomato are safe for your guinea pigs to eat so if you’re feeding them a small tomato variety or a baby tomato you can give them the whole fruit providing it is very small.
Unripe tomatoes are more acidic so we don’t recommend these for your guinea pigs to eat.
Although we tend to think that all green tomatoes are unripe, there are some tomato varieties that are green when ripe such as the green beefsteak tomato.
Green varieties of tomato also tend to be more acidic and tart than the red varieties so these are probably not a great food for your guinea pigs either so we recommend you avoid these.
Guinea pigs can NOT eat the leaves of a tomato plant because they are poisonous. If you buy tomatoes on the vine, make sure you remove all the green parts from the tomato before feeding it to your guinea pigs.
The stems the tomatoes hang on and the spidery leaves that are attached to the top of the tomato and any green part of the tomato plant must NEVER be fed to your guinea pigs.
Tomatoes have a reasonable amount of vitamin C which is an important vitamin for our guinea pigs but sweet red bell peppers are a much better source of this nutrient with about ten times as much vitamin C than a tomato.
Fibre is an extremely important part of a guinea pig’s diet. Like all fruits and vegetables, tomatoes do contain fibre but dandelion leaves have about 3 times as much and mint has over 6 times as much fibre as tomatoes.
It’s important that guinea pigs don’t eat too many sweet foods and although tomato is classified as a fruit it isn’t very high in sugar. In fact, beetroot has more than twice as much sugar as tomato.
Guinea pigs can eat tomatoes a couple of times a week but only in small quantities. A baby-sized tomato or a piece of a larger tomato that is about that size for each guinea pig is enough. If they have too much of this fruit they may get diarrhoea.
You can give whole cherry tomatoes to your pet but larger tomatoes will need to be chopped into smaller pieces and only a small piece (the size of a small cherry tomato) given to them to ensure it doesn’t disrupt their digestion.
You might like to check out our Safe Fruit & Veg Sheets which tells you how often you can feed various fruit and veg to your guinea pigs. They are available online to buy, download and print.
Most guinea pigs love tomatoes. In fact, it’s tempting to give them more than they should have because they love this juicy red fruit so much. But tomatoes, although nutritious, aren’t as beneficial to their health as other foods such as kale, dandelion leaves, sweet bell pepper or parsley. So don’t give in to their demands – feed them what you know is best for their health.
Below is the nutritional value per 100g of tomatoes