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Dangerous Guinea Pig Food List – Unsafe Foods

Published: 8/23/2010 | Author: HappyCavy | Updated: 2/19/2014

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Small guinea pig eating grass

Guinea Pig Dangerous Foods

Updated: January 10, 2013

The below Guinea Pig Dangerous Foods List is a compilation of vegetables, fruits, and herbs that are not safe for guinea pig consumption.

Jump to the Guinea Pig Safe Food List to find out what plants are edible for guinea pigs.

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Anemone (windflower, tumbleweed)
Autumn crocus
Any kind – Too high in fat.
Baked goods (cakes, cookies)
Any kind – causes gas/bloating.
Bishop’s Weed (Ammi majus)
May contain toxic levels of nitrates.
Black locust
Caster oil plants (castor bean, palma)
Cherry trees (wild and cultivated)
Christmas pepper
Clematis (virgin’s bower)
Any kind – Too high in fat.
Coffee, soda
High in sugar, caffeine.
Daffodil (narcissus, jonquil)
Dairy products
Delphinum (larkspur, staggerweed)
Dicerna (bleeding heart, dutchman’s breeches, squirrel corn, turkey corn)
Diffenbachia (dumb cane)
Elephant ear
English ivy
Euphorbia (annual poinsettia, mexican fire plant, fire-on-the-mountain, snow-on-the-mountain)
Garland flower
Glory lily (climbing lily, gloriosa)
Golden chain
Goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria)
  See Bishop’s Weed
Ground Elder (Aegopodium podagraria)
  See Bishop’s Weed
Too pungent.
Hot herbs and spices
Lettuce – Iceberg
Low nutrition, high water content.
Indian spurge tree (pencil tree, malabartree, pencil cactus, monkey fiddle)
Jerusalem cherry
Jams, jellies, fruit preservatives
High sugar content.
High sugar content.
Lantana camera (red sage)
Marsh marigold (cowslip)
Matrimony vine
Meadow saffron
Mountain laurel
Mushrooms (amanita muscaria&amanita phalloides)
Any kind – too high in fat.
Olives (canned)
Pickled or brined vegetables are
NOT safe for guinea pigs
Peppers – hot and chiles
Phytolacca (poke weed, poke berry, ink berry)
Pickled vegetables (dill, pickles, capers, sauer kraut)
Pine needles
Poinciana (bird-of-paradise)
Poison hemlock
Potato and potato tops (leaves)
Poisonous if green or sprouted. Yams and sweet potatoes are OK in moderation.
Pyracantha (firethorn)
Raw beans
Rhododendron (laurels, rose bay, azalea)
Rosary pea
Choking hazard.
Snow-in-the-mountain (Aegopodium podagraria)
  See Bishop’s Weed
Soda, soda pop
High in sugar, caffeine.
Spring adonis (pheasant’s eye)
Strelitzia (bird-of-paradise)
Sweet pea
Dangerous of eaten unprepared or raw.
Tomatillo – leaves and stalk
Tomato – leaves and stalk
Trumpet flower (chalice vine)
Water hemlock
Yellow oleander (lucky nut, tiger apple, be-still-tree)
Dangerous Guinea Pig Food List - Unsafe Foods, 4.4 out of 5 based on 155 ratings
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  • kara

    what would happen if they ate pine neddles

  • Hammy

    Pine needles are toxic to guinea pigs. The result of eating them could be anything from debilitating illness to death. If you suspect that guinea pig has eaten pine needles, schedule an appointment with a guinea pig vet ASAP.

  • Erica Hardison

    is it ok for guinea pigs to eat baby food?

  • Sophie Taouk

    Are fresh, non canned olives safe to eat?

  • Hammy

    Without knowing the ingredients, I would safe to say it’s probably not safe for guinea pigs.

  • Julie Gilmore

    I have 4 guinea pigs that love to eat kale. But, this is the second time that I have bought the kale, came home to wash and chop it, and found some little bugs on it. So, I looked up what they were, and it seems like they are aphids. It also said that aphids are on a lot of kale, and sometimes you can’t even see them. It’s gross to think that the pigs and I have been eating buggy kale. But, my question is, if the pigs accidentally eat these aphids, can it make them sick or give them some kind of mites or anything? Can it effect them in any way that would be bad?

  • Tim Harb

    I also put a folded pan with the hay in it. I buy grass hay bales so i can change it quite often with a very low price. I just make sure to get it with some green in it and also will mix some green alfalfa in mine. especially since mine are just a few months old.

  • Hammy

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing, Tim!

  • Bella

    My guinea pig, Rocco, won’t eat unless I put treats in his pellets. I don’t want to give him too many treats, but I also don’t want him to stop eating his pellets! What should I do?

  • Hammy

    Give him only hay and pellets. When he’s hungry for them, he’ll eat them, I’m sure of it.

    Guinea pigs are able to live on timothy hay alone, and many Humans think a “timothy hay only diet” is ideal. But to do this, the hay must be high quality.

  • cara

    what happens if my guinea pig eats garlic? -just wondering

  • chris

    my guinea pig somehow managed to grab a chilli pepper (picled) last night now he sounds weezy and not himself this morning can u help

  • Hammy

    Unfortunately, there’s not much help we can provide as we’re not licensed veterinarians. So it’s time for a trip to the vet! You can refer to the Guinea Pig Vet Directory to find a guinea pig doc near you:

  • Felicity Burkett

    Can they eat chesse?

  • Hammy


  • Piper

    Can my

  • Hammy

    They shouldn’t “eat” them as food, but they can chew on the tubes to trim their teeth (make sure to remove or carefully cut away each piece with glue!). They shouldn’t have the paper provided to them at all.

  • Piper

    Thank You so much!!!!!!!

  • Piper

    Can/should they chew on dyed/colored wood or not?

  • Hammy

    Yep, as long as it is animal safe, non-toxic dye, and if the wood is guinea pig safe. :)

  • Piper

    thank you!

  • jess

    They have eaten a couple of leaves of English Ivy, what will happen!?

  • Hammy

    I am not entirely sure, as it can cause discomfort, but has a low toxicity level. You should place a call with your vet immediately to get their expert opinion.

  • Piper

    Some food has corn should i take it out or can i leave it?

  • Hammy

    Take it out. And, in the future, purchase pellets without corn. Local feed stores are a great place to find timothy hay-only pellets for guinea pig adults. To find local feed stores, use a search string like “feed store timothy hat pellets [CITY NAME HERE]“)

  • Syd

    Our guinea pigs have eaten oak leaves my little sister gave them. Could this kill them?

  • Hammy

    Your guinea pig should be OK, they can tolerate oak tree leaves. But I don’t recommend feeding them oak tree leaves with any kind of frequency.

  • sadie

    I’ve been giving my guinea pigs pepper since I got them 3 years ago and they’ve been fine? Well one of them, Bert died this morning and I’m really not sure why! My mum found him just on his side and he was gone :( any suggestions on why he died? would he have been in pain? he’s been acting fine until about yesterday when he was being a bit shy and timid, usually he’s right at me for food when I come out to feed him! :( so upset :(

  • Katy

    I have a herb garden, I know cilantro and dill are ok, but would basil (purple and green), sage, or cuban oregano be safe for my pups?

  • Catherine

    I had a guinea pig who had a stroke once… Maybe a heart attack or a stroke?

  • Laura Watson

    hi I have my kids nursery guinea pigs for the weekend it was a last minute thing. but can they eat sprouts, carrot, sugar snaps and green apple? thank you. I’ve had rabbits before but not guinea pigs so bit unsure x

  • Brianna Taryan Whitford

    Do not feed them peppers all the time!!!!! But once a while every 2 time a week it can cause source so since u feed them it all the time they may die or get sick take them to a vet ♥♡

  • Brianna Taryan Whitford

    It dies

  • Brianna Taryan Whitford

    No but never feed it to them again

  • Brandy

    Ice burg lettuce also causes bloating in guinea pigs

  • Brandy

    I noticed in the comments that you said peppers should only be fed magbe twice a week but red peppers are one of the highest in vitamin c on the list of safe things for them and they only need 2 table spoons a day to give them their daily requirement on vitamin c.

  • chontelle

    my guinea pig is bloated! is there anything i can do?? there is no change in diet and nothing has changed so i really don’t know why this has happened.

  • HappyCavy

    Oh no! If it truly is bloat, an immediate trip to a vet is required. Bloat can be very deadly, and happen very fast. Find a guinea pig expert near you at and start reading up bloat at GuineaLynx here. They have some great advice!

  • Rebecca

    I fed my piggy iceberg lettuce.. Is it totally bad for them?

  • Evan

    This web site is helpful!!!. Thank you Evan age 8 it is helping my 2 pigs

  • HappyCavy

    Hi, Evan! I’m glad we can help! :D

  • Amber West

    Can i give my pig clover out of my yard

  • HappyCavy

    I can’t find any info on the USDA Nutritional database, and there isn’t anything online that I could find, either. So, it’s probably best to skip it just to be safe :)

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About This Guinea Pig Website

HappyCavy has been online since June 2009 with Hammy and Piglet. In October of 2009, a sweet, fuzzy cavy named Bitsy joined the webcam broadcasts.

Feebee and Buttercup were welcomed to the HappyCavy Forever Home as friends and co-conspirators in January 2011. Dot joined us on July 2012, and Winnie was the most recent addition on February 8, 2015. Learn more about the guinea pigs here.

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