Safe and Unsafe Foods for Guinea Pigs

When feeding guinea pigs, you should know what food is safe for them and what isn’t.

Alongside unlimited timothy hay, 1/8 cup of timothy-based pellets, and freshwater, guinea pigs should get 1 cup of fresh vegetables. The veggies should be two servings each day. A good veggie feeding routine should be once in the morning/afternoon and again at night. You can feed them fruit, but because of how much sugar is in it, it should only be given 1-2 times a week and be a small serving. Organic vegetables and fruits are always better but not necessary. Be sure to clean all veggies and fruits that your piggies will eat.

Here’s a complete list of safe foods for guinea pigs:


  1. Red/green leaf lettuce (daily)
  2. Butterhead lettuce (daily)
  3. Romaine lettuce (daily)
  4. Arugula (daily)
  5. Asparagus (1-2 times a week)
  6. Beets (1-2 times a week)
  7. Carrots (2-4 times a week)
  8. Bell peppers (daily, no seeds)
  9. Cabbage (once a week)
  10. Broccoli/cauliflower (1-2 times a week)
  11. Celery (2-4 times a week)
  12. Parsley, cilantro, basil, dill, dandelion, mint, thyme (1-2 times a week)
  13. Corn on the cob (once a week, can eat the whole cob)
  14. Cucumbers (daily, skin included)
  15. Eggplant (no leaves as they are toxic), squash, zucchini (once a week)
  16. Endive (1-2 times a week)
  17. Fennel (2-4 times a week)
  18. Kale/spinach (2-4 times a week)
  19. Mustard greens (1-2 times a week)
  20. Pumpkin (once a week/rarely, no seeds)
  21. Radicchio (2-4 times a week)
  22. Radishes (once a week/rarely)
  23. Sweet potato (once a week/rarely, a small amount, only safe potato for guinea pigs)
  24. Swiss chard (2-4 times a week)
  25. Cherry tomatoes (2-4 times a week)
  26. Tomatoes (2-4 times a week, no leaves or stems)
  27. Brussels sprouts (once a week)
  28. Green beans/peas (1-2 times a week, fresh)
  29. Bok choy (once a week)
  30. Parsnip (1-2 times a week)

Feed fruit once or twice a week and in small amounts. The high sugar can cause mouth sores and can lead to obesity.


  1. Apple (no seeds, stem)
  2. Banana
  3. Oranges/tangerines (remove seeds)
  4. Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries
  5. Watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe
  6. Pear (remove seeds, stems)
  7. Kiwi (remove skin)
  8. Apricot/nectarine/peach (no pit)
  9. Grapefruit (remove seeds)
  10. Grapes (seedless)
  11. Mango
  12. Papaya
  13. Pineapple (only flesh)
  14. Plums (remove any pit)
  15. Cherries (remove any pits, stems, and leaves)

There are many things that guinea pigs cannot eat as well. This list will include all toxic foods that are harmful to your piggies.

Toxic/unhealthy food:

  1. Onions/garlic
  2. Mushrooms
  3. Chocolate/candy
  4. Caffeine
  5. Soda/juice
  6. Dairy (any kind)
  7. Meat/animal by product
  8. Alcohol
  9. Potatoes
  10. Rhubarb
  11. Spicy foods
  12. Nuts/seeds
  13. Canned/frozen vegetables or fruits
  14. Bread/grains
  15. Avocados
  16. Rice
  17. Peanut butter
  18. Popcorn/chips
  19. Any pet food not designed for guinea pigs
  20. Oak/maple/evergreen leaves
  21. Pine needles
  22. Anything with pesticides
  23. House plants/flowers
  24. Beans
  25. Ginger
  26. Coconut
  27. Treats or pellets that have seeds, colorful pieces, yogurt, or nuts
  28. Lemons/limes
  29. Iceberg lettuce (provides no nutrients, is stringy, and can cause diarrhea)
  30. Oregano (isn’t poisonous but contains a very high amount of calcium)
  31. Any processed food

It’s safe to say that almost all items listed are foods people eat. Giving any of these food items to your piggies is unsafe, can be dangerous to their health, and should always be avoided. If you accidentally feed any of these items to your piggy, call your veterinarian immediately to get medical advice on what to do. Guinea pigs have fragile digestive systems, and even a tiny amount of one of these foods can make them seriously ill.

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