Unsafe Foods for Guinea Pigs

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Your guinea pig’s tummy is quite delicate and if you feed your pet the wrong types of food it can make your guinea pick ill causing diarrhoea or more serious health problems.

There are some foods that are bad for your guinea pig and others that are actually poisonous and must be avoided completely. 

Remember that although you may view a particular food as a tasty treat, this same food if given to your guinea pigs could be extremely dangerous. Also bear in mind that your cavy is vegan. They don’t eat any animal products or by-products of animals.

List of Foods & Plants that are Poisonous or Dangerous for Guinea Pigs

  • Any snack made for a human
  • Bindweed
  • Buttercups
  • Celandine
  • Cereal
  • Chocolate (very dangerous)
  • Citrus Fruit (the acid can cause problems with their sensitive tummies)
  • Dairy produce of any kind
  • Deadly Nightshade
  • Dock Leaves (young ones are supposed to be ok but it is unadviseable to feed them these just in case)
  • Flowering plants
  • Foxgloves
  • Grain
  • Honeysuckle
  • Horse Chestnut
  • Houseplants
  • Meat of any type
  • Nuts
  • Onion (or onion-related vegetables)
  • Poppies
  • Potato and potato leaves and any potato products such as chips or crisps
  • Privet
  • Ragwort
  • Rhubarb (all parts of the plant are poisonous)
  • Seeds and pips found in fruit (particularly apples)
  • Sorrel
  • Sugar (some fruits are ok but should only ever be given in strict moderation very occasionally)
  • Tomato leaves (the tomato fruit is safe but remove the green spidery stalk)
  • Yew

There are bound to be other items that aren’t included in this list, so always check before giving your guinea pigs a new food and don't take any risks with unidentified weeds or plants.

Remember that some safe wild plants can look extremely similar others that are actually poisonous so make sure you have identified any plants accurately.

Take a look at the safe food list (vegetables and fruit) for guinea pigs which will help you choose the best food for your pets.

Guinea Pig Treats

Before buying treats that are labelled suitable for guinea pigs, do check the ingredients. It’s surprising how many contain seeds and grains which are unsuitable for your cavy. 

Some of these treats may also contain mealworms which are not suitable either as they are a form of meat.

Fresh Fruit

Certain fresh fruits can be fed to your cavy but should only be given as a very occasional treat. When you do offer this to your guinea pig, always make sure that you remove any seeds , stones and pips because they will not be able to digest these and, in the case of apple seeds (which contain small amounts of cyanide), can be dangerous.

Useful Pages Relating to Your Guinea Pig's Daily Diet

Food a guinea pig needs on a daily basis

What feeding hay is best?

What is the recommended pellet food?