What Can Guinea Pigs Eat? In a previous article, we talked about feeding guinea pigs. In it, we explained what the diet of these animals should be like to provide them with complete, balanced and healthy nutrition.
What Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
And we achieved this with a combination of hay (70%), fresh vegetables (20%) and feed (10%). Today we will go deeper and analyze what guinea pigs can eat. We will give you a very complete list with everything you can offer your little one without worries.
Remember that guinea pigs are herbivores, and they have a diet based mainly on hay, which gives them all the fibre they need to be healthy. But the ideal is to offer them different fresh fruits and vegetables every day.
What Veggies Guinea Pigs Can Eat?
Leafy vegetables are the most suitable for a guinea pig’s diet and the ones that we should offer them in greater quantity, such as arugula, lamb’s lettuce, escarole and chard. These should make up 75% of your daily vegetable ration.
But the rest of the vegetables are also very good for them. The most recommended are broccoli, cabbage and baby sprouts, but the possibilities are endless and the more variety you offer, the better. We recommend that you use at least three different types of vegetables each day.
This is the list of vegetables for guinea pigs:
- young shoots
- Green or red pepper
- Green beans
- Brussels sprouts
What Vegetables Can Guinea Pigs Eat Daily?
Vegetables that guinea pigs can eat daily: lamb’s lettuce, arugula, escarole, endives, chicory, and peppers.
Vegetables that can be eaten in moderation: lettuce (avoid iceberg), Swiss chard, spinach, watercress, celery, zucchini, cucumber, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, carrots, pumpkin, tomato, artichoke.
As you already know, the extra supply of vitamin C is vital for these animals. You can offer it through nutritional supplements and naturally by choosing the foods richest in this vitamin. Arugula, lamb’s lettuce, peppers, broccoli and carrot tops provide your guinea pig with a high vitamin C content.
We can choose between some vegetables or others depending on what our guinea pig needs. There are more or less caloric vegetables, and it is something that we can take into account when choosing them. For example, pumpkin and chicory will help the guinea pig gain weight; On the contrary, zucchini, cucumber and eggplant are very good options for weight control.
There are also vegetables with beneficial properties for kidney and urinary function, such as Swiss chard, or for the liver, such as the artichoke. Celery and red pepper are very good at the time of shedding.
What Fruits Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
Despite what many people think, fruits are not part of a guinea pig’s natural diet. They feed on hay, grass, and other plants in the wild but not fruit, tubers or cereals.
That is why the consumption of fruit should be reduced and not be part of your daily diet. You can include them in your menu from time to time, a couple of times a week, or use them as a prize. Fruits have a high sugar content that can be detrimental to your guinea pig’s health. In addition, they also have a high water content, and if you overdo them, they can cause diarrhoea.
List of Fruits Guinea Pigs Can Eat
- Tomato (never the plant or its leaves; they are toxic)
The best fruits for guinea pigs to eat are apple, pineapple, kiwi, watermelon and strawberries. The banana is high in sugars, so it is not convenient to give it often; you can offer him a small slice as a treat, and he will love it!
The richest fruits in vitamin C are melon, strawberries, nectarines, papaya, mango and kiwi, the latter being the one with the highest contribution.
Remember to wash the fruit well and cut it into small pieces, always removing the bone or seeds.
What Plants Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
In addition to the best-known fruits and vegetables, there are other vegetables that we can give our guinea pig: aromatic and wild herbs.
- milk thistle
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Lettuce?
The answer is “Yes”, but before talking about it, we want to talk about the main food and prohibited food for guinea pigs.
In case you didn’t know, guinea pigs are also called guinea pigs and guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs have pellets and hay as their main food in captivity, but it does not mean that they cannot eat other foods, as long as you know how to control the quantities and avoid their abuse.
Remember that a guinea pig needs a supply of important daily calories and vitamins for it to have a healthy and balanced life.
Lettuce for Guinea Pigs
The guinea pig can eat lettuce but with the condition that it cannot be given as the main food, and it will also depend on the type of lettuce since there are lettuces that are not recommended for guinea pigs.
You have to focus on lettuce as a snack for the guinea pig (treat), that is, something in a moderate and controlled quantity on a daily basis.
Benefits of Lettuce for Guinea Pigs
The most remarkable thing about lettuce is its vitamin C content, surely the best contribution for your guinea pig.
Importance of Vitamin C for Guinea Pigs
This basic nutrient is necessary for the general well-being of the guinea pig.
The curious thing is that the guinea pig is unable to synthesize vitamin C. Therefore, in the absence of this vitamin, the guinea pig can suffer serious health consequences such as deficiency and deterioration of defences. These consequences could cause other infectious diseases.
Another guinea pig disease due to vitamin C deficiency is scurvy, which is the arrest of collagen production within the guinea pig’s body. This can have bad consequences since collagen is necessary for the formation of tissue and bone.
Other disease problems due to lack of vitamin C are in the skin and joints of your rodent friend.
What Lettuce Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
There are lettuces that are not recommended or prohibited for guinea pigs.
The choice of lettuces will have to be consulted beforehand with your trusted veterinarian to guarantee a correct diet for guinea pigs.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Iceberg Lettuce?
The vast majority of veterinarians do not recommend the consumption of this lettuce since it contains few nutrients. Then it has high water content, and its consequences in large consumption can lead to stomach problems in the guinea pig, such as pain or diarrhoea.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Romaine Lettuce?
This lettuce is the star lettuce for guinea pigs, easy to chew and digest and rich in vitamin C. Even so, and it does not mean that we should not give lettuce moderately on a daily basis. Remember, “Like a snack.”
How to Give Lettuce to a Guinea Pig?
Before giving the lettuce to your guinea pig, the important thing is that it is fresh. If you have it in the fridge, take it out beforehand and leave it for a few minutes until it reaches a normal temperature, that is, pleasant.
If we tell you that, it is because very cold lettuce can cause digestive problems such as diarrhoea in your pet.
Then, wash it well with water and make sure that there are no bugs or dirt left.
You can cut the lettuce into medium-sized pieces. Give him the right and necessary amount for the consumption of that moment to prevent remains from being left there and ending up rotting in his cage. This could be a hotbed of bacteria and disease-causing your rodent friend.
What Peppers Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
Among the vegetables that guinea pigs can eat daily are red and green peppers, rich in vitamin C and ideal nutrients for their health. It is recommended to give only a small piece, without exceeding.
You can also give him foods rich in iron and fibre daily, such as lamb’s lettuce or watercress, arugula or escarole, which offer a good supply of vitamin C and perfect nutrients for our guinea pig.
As you can see, the list of foods that guinea pigs can eat is very extensive; however, there are others that can be harmful to them. This other article tells you what those forbidden foods for guinea pigs are.