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Vegetables and Fruits Safe for Guinea Pigs To Eat – The Happy Cavy “Snack” List

Published: 5/31/2010 | Author: HappyCavy | Updated: 1/15/2018

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Guinea pig safe food list
Photo courtesy of HappyCavy fan pyza*

Guinea pigs are always eating. Whether it’s pellets, grass hay, daily greens, or the occasional fruit snack, it may often seem like your guinea pig is born to eat (and create magic beans).

With an insatiable diet comes the responsibility to learn what constitues a proper guinea pig diet. Choosing guinea pig safe foods can be a bit of a challenge. There are so many types of fruits, vegetables, and herbs that guinea pigs can eat.

So what should you be feeding your guinea pig?

What fruits and ?  What fruits can guinea pigs eat?? And herbs? What about those?

  • What can guinea pigs eat?
  • Which vegetables, fruits, and herbs are safe to feed your guinea pig?
  • Are the foods you have been giving your cavy “guinea pig safe“?
  • Besides water, hay, and pellets, what else can your guinea pig eat?

→ Jump to the Guinea Pig Safe Food List

First, let’s take a look at the basics of a guinea pig diet or jump to What The Happy Cavy Herd Eats for a general guide on the daily dietary requirements of guinea pigs.

A guinea pig’s diet should consist of the following:

#1. Water

Glass Water Bottle

A constant fresh source of fresh (preferably filtered but NOT distilled) clean, room-temperature water is an absolute must.

Water bottles should be emptied, rinsed, and re-filled each day.

#2. Grass Hay

40% off Hay at

High-quality grass hay (such as timothy hay) should be available at all times for your guinea pig. Hay delivers the fiber that that is essential for your guinea pig to be able to properly digest and proces food and nutrients. Without a constant intake of fresh hay, guinea pigs’ digestive tracks can shut down. Plus, hay helps guinea pigs keep their teeth clean prevents their teeth from growing too long.

How do you know if hay is high-quality? High-quality hay should be green with pliable stalks, free of mold and foreign particulates, and fragrant (not dusty or void of smell). Cheap, store-bought hay is no substitute for fresh, high-quality yummy goodness.

Most hay purchased at “big box” stores (PetCo, etc.) is NOT high-quality hay. Farm-to-cage is ideal and special caution should be taken when providing the most important food of your guinea pig’s diet: high-quality, pesticide(?) free hay.

Shopping for Hay?

Use coupon code ‘HappyCavy‘ to get FREE SHIPPING for the best hay available at Small Pet Select!

NOTE: An alfalfa hay mix (1/2 timothy, 1/2 alfalfa) should be primarily fed to young guinea pigs under the age of 4 months and pregnant or nursing cavies. Because alfalfa hay is high in calcium, it should NOT be fed to healthy, adult cavies. Healthy, adult guinea pigs should be fed lower-calcium hays such as timothy hay or orchard grass hay.

#3. Pellets

Guinea Pig Pellets

Provide your guinea pig with about 1/4 – 1/8 cup of plain, corn- and seed-free guinea pig pellets for eating each day. Pellets are less important than a constant supply of fresh grass hay, though pellets can provide additional vitamins and nutrients that your guinea pig isn’t getting from hay alone, especially if the pellets are fortified in Vitamin C.

Guinea pig pellets should consist of only high-quality hay and should be served in a ceramic bowl, which is large enough to not tip over.

NOTE: Pellets alone are NOT a substitute for hay! High-quality grass hay is a must for proper guinea pig health.

Vitamin C

Like Humans, guinea pigs cannot manufacture their own vitamin C. To prevent survy and other health issues, each guinea pig should get 10 to 30 milligrams of Vitamin C each day; young, ill, nursing and/or pregnant animals require extra Vitamin C. While many guinea pigs will get an adequate serving of Vitamin C from vegetables and pellets, you may wish to supplement your cavy’s diet with a small amount of Vitamin C, either in power or tablet form.

NOTE: It is NOT recommended that you use water-soluable drops for supplementing Vitamin C. Watch How to Give Vitamin C to Your Guinea Pig (video) to see how HappyCavies get their Vitamin C.

Vegetables, Herbs, & Other Foods

Vegetables at Grocery Store

Guinea should be fed only up to 1 cup (240 mL) each (adults) of vegetables per day. However, it is ideal for you to limit their intake of vegetables. Just because they CAN have up to 1 cup doesn’t mean they need it. Please remember that your guinea pig’s food supply should NOT be mainly vegetables. And watch their calcium intake! Foods high in calcium can lead to the formation of bladder stones and other health issues.

To help you find which vegetables, herbs, and fruits are safe to feed your guinea pig, please refer to the Guinea Pig Food List below.

NOTE: Always introduce new foods to your guinea pig slowly and patiently. Begin introducing new foods by providing a small piece or two during the “first try”. Then, portions of a particular guinea pig safe food may be increased slightly with each subsequent serving. The way that you introduce nutrients is as important as a healthy diet. Guinea pigs have a sensitive digestive system which is easily upset.

Help Us Maintain The Food List!

There are so many foods a guinea pig can eat. If you know of a food that is not included in this list which you think we should add, please let us know!

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Guinea Pig “Safe Food List”

Updated: April 14, 2014

Click a letter to view that vegetable and refer to the “Notes” for cautionary advice.

Information on this chart is derived from the USDA Nutrient Database, from SR22 to SR25 datasets. Information may have changed since the publication of this chart.

This chart takes into consideration several factors to arrive at our feeding frequency suggestions: sugar, calcium, phosphorous, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, oxalic acid content, and calcium to phosphorous (Ca:P) ratio. Not all fields are displayed due to space requirements. Chemical composition can be referenced at the USDA Nutrient Database.

IMPORTANT: There are other important nutritional factors not represented in this chart. Please use GuineaLynx’s Vegetable/Fruit resource for additional information such as Calcium/Phosphorus Ratios and Oxalic Acid information:


Almost daily  
Frequently: 2-4 times per week  
Occasionally: 1-2 times per week  
Rarely: 1-2 times per month

DO NOT copy or distribute this list it without express permission from Contact us if you wish to use this list on your website.


Recommended Feeding Frequency:

Almost daily
Frequently: 2-4 times per week
Occasionally: 1-2 times per week
Rarely: 1-2 times per month

(fresh & raw)
in mg (per 100g)
in mg (per 100g)
Alfalfa – pellets 0 2200 Alfalfa pellets are suitable for young, growing and/or pregnant guinea pigs (under 1 year of age).
Ref. Pellets: Alfalfa vs Timothy.
Apple 4.60 6.00 Apple seeds are poisonous
Apricot 10.00 13.00  
Arugula lettuce 15.00 160.00
Asparagus 17.69 28.14 May cause gas or bloating.
Banana 9.10 6.00 Can cause constipation.
Basil 4.5 38.0 Can cause constipation.
Beet greens/leaves
(beetroot greens/leaves)
30.00 117.00  
Beets (beetroot) 4.90 16.00  
Bell pepper     See Peppers (capscium)
Blackberries 21.00 32.00  
Blueberries 9.7 6.00 Feed in moderation.
Broccoli raab, rabe, rapini 93.00 48.00 May cause gas or bloating.
Broccolini 93.00 48.00 Stems are liked better than flowers
Brussels sprouts 85.00 42.00 May cause gas or bloating.
Cabbage, green 51.00 47.00 May cause gas or bloating.
Cabbage, red 57.00 51.00 May cause gas or bloating.
Cabbage, Chinese pak-choi 45.00 74.00 May cause gas or bloating.
Cabbage, Savoy 31.00 35.00 Feed in moderation. May cause gas or bloating.
Cantaloupe (rock melon) See Melon – Cantaloupe (rock melon)
Carrots 5.9 33.00 High Vitamin A. Feed in moderation.
Carrots, baby 2.60 32.00 High Vitamin A. Feed in moderation.
Carrots, top greens unknown unknown Unknown nutrient makeup. Feed sparingly.
Cauliflower / Broccoflower 46.40 22.00
Celery 7.00 40.00 Choking hazard. Remove the celery “veins” to prevent hazard.
Cherimoya 9.00 23.00 Very in very small amounts.
Cherries (without pits) – sour 10.00 16.00
Cherries (without pits) – sweet 7.00 13.00
Chicory, greens 24.00 100.00
Chicory, witloof 2.80 19.00
**Cilantro (corriander) 27.00 67.00 Feed in moderation.
**Collards 35.30 145.00 May cause gas or bloating.
Corn on the cob (1 med ear) 6.10 2.00 May cause gas or bloating.
Cranberries 13.50 7.00 Feed in moderation.
Cress, garden 69.00 81.00
Cucumber with peel 5.30 14.00
Dandelion Greens 35.00 187.00
Dill 85.00 208.00
Eggplant 6.5 6.5
Elderberries 36.00 38.00 Feed in small amounts.
Endive (escarole) 6.50 52.00  
Fennel, fronds & leaves not recorded specially for fronds & leaves not recorded specially for fronds & leaves Feed rarely.
Grapefruit, white 37.00 15.00 Sour foods can cause mouth sores.
Grapes 4.00 14.00  
Grass (lawn) See Hay
Green beans, snap 12.20 37.00
Hay varies by type varies by type IMPORTANT: Read Selecting Hay.
Honeydew 120.00 135.00 See Melon – honeydew
Kale 120.00 135.00
Kiwifruit, fuzzy (kiwi or kiwi fruit) 92.70 34.00 Remove brown, fuzzy skin.
Kohlrabi 62.00 24.00 Feed in moderation.
Kumquat 37.40 44.00  
Lavender 12.00 215.00  
Lettuce –
butterhead, boston, bibb
3.70 35.00
Lettuce –
romaine (cos lettuce)
4.00 33.00
Lettuce –
red leaf
3.70 33.00
Mammy-apple (mamey) 14.00 11.00  
Mandarin orange (or tangerine) 30.80 14.00 Feed in small amounts.
Mango 27.70 10.00  
Melon – Cantaloupe (rock melon) 36.70 9.00 Feed in small amounts.
Melon – casaba 16.00 5.00  
Melon – honeydew 24.80 6.00  
Melon – watermelon 9.60 8.00  
Mint (peppermint) 31.80 243.00  
Mustard greens 70.00 103.00 May cause gas or bloating.
Nectarine 5.40 5.00  
**Okra 21.10 81.00
Orange 53.20 40.00 Citrus can cause mouth sores.
Oregano 2.30 1597.00 Feed in very small amounts.
Papaya 61.80 24.00  
**Parsley (curly or flat) 133.00 138.00
Parsnip 17.00 36.00
Passionfruit, purple 30.00 12.00
Peach 6.60 5.00  
Peas, edible-podded 40.00 25.00
Pears – Asian 3.80 4.00  
Pears – European 6.60 18.15  
Peppermint 31.8 243.00  
Peppers (capscium), sweet green 80.40 10.00 May cause gas or bloating.
Peppers (capscium), sweet orange 146.7 0.00 May cause gas or bloating.
Peppers (capscium), sweet red 127.70 7.00 May cause gas or bloating.
Peppers (capscium), sweet yellow 183.50 11.00 May cause gas or bloating.
Persimmon 66.00 27.00 Feed in very small amounts.
Pineapple 15.40 7.00 Citrus can cause mouth sores.
Plum 9.50 4.00  
Pumpkin 11.00 39.00 High in Vitamin A.
Pumpkin Leaves 11.00 39.00 High in Vitamin A.
Quince 15.00 11.00
Radicchio 8.00 19.00  
Radishes 14.80 25.00  
Raspberries 26.00 25.00
Raspberry leaves (from raspberry plant) 25.00 22.00
Spearmint 13.3 199.00 Feed in very small amounts
**Spinach 28.10 99.00 May cause gas or bloating. Contains high levels of oxalic acid.
Squash, summer 17.00 15.00  
Squash, winter 12.30 28.00  
Starfruit 34.40 3.00  
Strawberries 56.70 14.00 Feed in moderation.
Sweet potato 22.70 22.00
Sweet potato leaves 11.00 37.00
**Swiss Chard 30.00 51.00 Feed in moderation. May cause diarrhea.
Taro leaves 52.00 107.00
Thyme 160.01 405.00 Feed in moderation.
#Tomato, red, cherry tomatoes 19.10 5.00 Avoid leaves and stems (poisonous) – See Dangerous Food List
Turnip greens 60.00 190.00
Watercress 43.00 120.00
Watermelon See Melon – watermelon
Watermelon rind Vitamin & mineral content unknown. Watermelon rind is safe.
Wheatgrass ~4.00 ~28.00 Fresh grasses may cause gut upsets.
Zucchini (courgette) 28.00 1.00

# Vitamin C values for tomatoes differ depending on variety and season.

** Contains oxalic acid which may contribute to the formation of bladder stones.

Please email website[at] to make additions to this list.

Vegetables and Fruits Safe for Guinea Pigs To Eat - The Happy Cavy "Snack" List, 4.4 out of 5 based on 1481 ratings
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About HappyCavy

HappyCavy is the Internet's only 4-webcam broadcast inside the lives of a female guinea pig herd from Portland, Oregon.

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  • Diet What are good veggies and fruits to feed my guinea pigs
  • We sway our hips when we’re being playful or trying to say “get outta my way!” Since females have really big bums we like to use them in a lot of our social activities. Hip/bum swaying can also be the first signs of a fight if your guinea pigs are new cagemates. If they have just met each other, just be ready to throw a towel over one if you see a lot of hip swaying, teeth chattering, etc.

    In fact, Buttercup is swaying her bum at Feebee right now. Buttercup is playful today and is just trying to get her sister to play with her. Feebee wants none of it! XD

  • Denisew76

    I seen someone feed their guinea pig dill.  I don’t see it on the list. Is it okay to include this in the diet?

  • Thanks for your comment! Dill has been added to the list as a safe food. But it has a really strong flavor so your guinea pig make not like it from first taste 😀

  • TheCitrusGuy

    Can piggies eat Sorrel? Specifically red veined sorrel.

  • Hi TheCitrusGuy! Can guinea pigs eat sorrel, that’s a tough question.

    Please consider sorrel NOT SAFE to feed to your guinea pig. Guinea Lynx mentions that “wood sorrel” is OK for guinea pigs to eat in very small amounts, but here’s our reasoning for “Not Safe”:

    Reason #1The Wikipedia entry about Oxalis says that there are over 900 species in the wood-sorrel family Oxalidaceae. In our opinion, this makes it incredibly hard to identify with 100% accuracy that the type of Oxalis (wood-sorrel) you are feeding is safe for eating.

    Reason #2 – Our humans follow the rule: If a food is is questionable or difficult to claim as “safe” or “not safe”, DON’T give it to your guinea pig

    If anyone as any more information about sorrel, please Reply to my comment.  We’d love to hear from you!!


  • Skk8

    my guinea pigs love red onion, i try not to give them it to often as i no its not that good for them but they love it

  • Onion certainly isn’t the best choice for a snack, but it is interesting that your piggies like it!

  • Kyunghee Choi


  • You are most welcome 🙂

    We’re excited you for! Please post some photos of your piggies to so we can see your fuzzy friends when they arrive 🙂

    xoxo ~ Hammy

  • Lovejuliopiggy

    this is an awesome website and I have used the info! 🙂

  • Bethslittlebuddies

    Can I feed my guinea pig, Jack mulberries?

  • Bella,Rosie,&Moo

    I am wondering cam Guinea pigs have fresh cherries without the pits?

  • Yes, guinea pigs can eat cherries!  In fact, cavies love them, especially those with a “sweet tooth” 🙂

  • Not sure 😐  I’ve read that mulberry leaves are safe, but not sure about the actual berry.

  • I wouldn’t worry too much, the reason corn/seeds are unsafe is that they can be choking hazards and they provide no real nutritional value.  Take a look at the post Should Pellets Be Unlimited or Fed In Moderation, there are some recommendations for high-quality, seed- and corn-less pellets.

  • Kelisha

    can Guinea pigs eat the white part of a cos lettuce

  • Yes, guinea pigs CAN eat the white parts. However, the white parts have high water content which can easily cause bloating, without providing much nutrition. We say skip it, just because we can doesn’t mean we should 🙂

  • Kelisha

    thanks i want quite sure also whats a good trwat to feed them every now and then?

  • We each get a small serving of organic dark greens each day, or small pieces of carrot or cucumber on the weekend. Occasionally we get small bits of fruit like apple slices and tiny slices of orange. We love them!

  • Pingback: Diet What are good veggies and fruits to feed my guinea pigs()

  • Rosie

    What herbs can be eaten by guinea pigs, they love parsley but I am making some pots up for their run outside so am looking for a selection of different herbs or grasses to put into them
    Thank you

  • Hi, Rosie! Below are some herbs we like to eat, but there may be more that are guinea pig safe, so check the list too.

    REMEMBER: Many herbs are high in calcium and other minerals, so feed sparingly:

    – Basil
    – Cilantro (Coriander)
    – Dill
    – Mint
    – Parsley (curly and flat leaf)
    – Thyme

  • Hi i bought Hartz guinea pig food and i wanted to know if thats a Good brand i bought it because it was on sale

  • what do you think about this brand for my 5 week old piggies. ?They are not liking kaytee brand I got at petsmart and found this on amazon,
    Oxbow Cavy Performance Young Guinea Pig (Alfalfa Based), 5-Pound Bag

  • Daniel

    if u dont have hay, will the guinea pig die? wat is a good brand?

  • Guinea pigs do need hay, Timothy hay is the best. You should be able to get Timothy hay from local pet feed stores inexpensively and in bulk; just be sure to inspect for mold or other particulates which would indicate low-quality. And then there’s the expensive store-bought hay…which is all equal in quality, really. Some people love Oxbow Hay, I’ve heard.

  • ATB

    I have a few quick questions. My guinea pigs favorite foods are strawberry leaves and kale, but I’ve tried to cut the kale out of his diet because a humane society website stated it is toxic in excess. How much kale in a guinea pig diet his healthy/safe? Also, I saw that raspberry leaves are safe so I assumed strawberry leaves would be as well. Was this an okay assumption?

  • BobbyTheLlama

    hey, just thought I’d let you know, guinea pigs aren’t allowed to eat citrus fruits or anything that grows from a bulb, like onions, they’re also not supposed to eat cabbage.

  • M&M

    Can piggy’s eat popcorn? I bough a popcorn cob for my piggy’s at petsmart but just found out they can’t have corn….. also, it wouldn’t have any butter or salt or anything.

  • Hi, ATB! Strawberry leaves (the tops) are safe, just feed only once in a while as they are high in sugar and an “unnatural” snack for pigs. Kale is very high in calcium, which can lead to a painful condition called bladder stones. Best to limit kale to once per week, just a leaf or two per pig. Happy munching!

  • Unfortunately, M&M, corn and its fluffy counterpart popcorn (even if without butter or salt) is not safe for guinea pig consumption Though wouldn’t that be cute to see a cavy snacking on popcorn? But no 🙁

  • M&M

    Darn! I guess I will just have to make the popcorn for myself! 🙂 It stinks though because the corn was labeled as a guinea snack. Pet stores should really be more careful with their labels.

  • Agreed! 🙂

  • tina

    can they eat lilac tree flowers??

  • tina

    we got 2 guinea pigs for the kids but i think one is pregnant she is so big now in just a few weeks. what do i need to do for her to give her the best chance at a safe birth she is only 8 months old it seems too young to be a mom.or is she just a big eater they eat non stop!! do i need to seperate them in different cages they dont fight or anything and are suppost to be both girls.

  • I have heard of guinea pigs eating lilac tree flowers, but I do not know well enough if they are safe and, if they are, what potential risks it might pose (read: mineral composition). Perhaps you can read up on Guinea Pig Safe Flowers to find some edible flowers for your guinea pig?

  • Please direct off-topic questions to Ask Hammy. But we have no experience with pregnancy and can only help by recommending that you consult with your family vet. Wish I could help more! 🙂

  • S K

    Hellos! I’m curious to know if I can feed any of the above vegetables and fruits dried? I own a dehydrator and dehydrate my own fruits and vegetables. I don’t add anything, no oils, sugars, salts etc, I just slice the fruits and dehydrate them as snacks for myself, or for rehydration later. Just curious as it seems like it would be a good way to make homemade piggie snacks!

  • That’s a great idea! Dehydration simply removes water, so the plant is still “safe” for guinea pig consumption. However, you will need to feed very small pieces of the dehydrated fruit of vegetable, since, though it is smaller after dehydration, its mineral composition is the same. This means, because you shouldn’t feed 3 strawberries to a guinea pig in one sitting, you shouldn’t feed 3 dehydrated strawberries in one sitting, either. Smaller doesn’t mean less risk when it comes to the warnings on this chart. With that in mind, and only if feeding very small pieces, dehydrated should be just fine. And methinks that’s a pretty clever idea 🙂

  • S K

    Thank you so much! Since strawberries are coming into season, I will experiment with this 🙂 If I am successful, I will post a picture of my piglins enjoying their dehydrated snack 🙂

  • Awesome, thanks!

  • Sherry

    My piggy (Daryl) is also potty trained. He is a very smart little fellow and taught himself to go in one place. I set a feeding bowl in his space when I first brought him to his furever home and he mistook it for his potty. I lined it with paper towels (white only, no ink or prints) and put some hay in it to absorb the pee. Needless to say I had to purchase him another bowl for his food, he does know the difference in the two bowls and has never pottied in his food bowl. It does make for easier daily cleaning of his space.

  • Name

    can guinea pigs eat beet tops

  • Name

    or chard?

  • Yes, guinea pigs can eat chard, just cut up the stalks to make it easier for them to eat. And don’t go overboard, just a little at a time 🙂

  • Yes, beet tops are OK if you feed just once or twice a week 🙂

  • John Dargan

    can you feed guniea pigs watermelon?

  • Yes, guinea pigs can eat the red part of watermelon, just a few small pieces once or twice a week, though.

  • Harmony

    My friend just gave me one of her guinea pigs that she didn’t want and I know that the only kind of food that it has ever had was stuff you buy in a bag. It just looks like brown pellets and some other stuff. I don’t really remember what it looks like and they ran out of the food before I got her but that kinda worries me. I let her sit in my yard and eat some grass and I gave her some apple yesterday. Should she be okay if I just start giving her her grasses and hay and other stuff and not the other stuff or could this hurt her stomach?

  • Most guinea pigs are not used to live grass. All cavies require high-quality pellets (pure timothy hay pellets, like available at and dried grass hay (available online or at pet feed stores). They also need constant access to fresh water. Check out What Guinea Pigs Eat for a more thorough explanation of a guinea pig’s dietary requirements. 🙂

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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 and Rosie were the most recent addition on February 8, 2015 and June 6, 2015, respectively. Learn more about the guinea pigs here.

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