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Should Guinea Pigs Eat Grass? (Hazards, How Much & More)

Tim Rhodes
Written by Tim Rhodes Last Updated: September 5, 2021

Should guinea pigs eat grass or they can only eat hay, guinea pig pellets, fresh fruits, and vegetables?

Hay is grass that has been dried, cured, and baled.

Commonly, guinea pigs feed on timothy hay or orchard grass.

But the main question is if you can feed your guinea pigs fresh grass.

Is fresh grass safe for guinea pigs?

Even though giving fresh grass to guinea pigs in captivity is not common, you should know that, in the wild, guinea pigs were grazers!

Should Guinea Pigs Eat Grass?

Yes, guinea pigs should eat grass, both fresh and dried.

It helps their digestive systems function properly.

Therefore, grasses are safe.

Ideally, the healthy diet of a guinea pig consists of vegetables and fruits (which are the main source of vitamin C), herbs, guinea pig pellets, and, of course, hay.

Hay is one of the most important nutrients in your pet’s diet because of the fiber it contains, which maintains your guinea pig’s digestive system healthy and helps in keeping its teeth trimmed.

For that reason, guinea pigs should have a constant supply of timothy hay every day!

Before we continue, take a look at these top-rated, healthy guinea pig foods:

Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Food for Pet Guinea Pigs, 5 Pound
  • Larger, crunchy pieces supports dental health through natural chewing activity
  • Kaytee is a Veterinarian Recommended Brand
  • Prebiotics and probiotics to support digestive health
  • Naturally preserved for ideal freshness
  • Specially formulated for guinea pigs
Kaytee Timothy Complete Pet Guinea Pig Food, 5 Pound
  • Supports dental health through natural chewing activity
  • Kaytee is a veterinarian recommended brand
  • Prebiotics and probiotics to support digestive health
  • Made with Timothy Hay
  • No loose seeds or sugary fruits

Last update on 2023-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Are Guinea Pigs Herbivores?

Yes, guinea pigs are herbivores.

They cannot eat meat, dairy products, or any type of processed food (cooked, baked, fried, etc.)

All the nutrients guinea pigs need are in fresh fruits, vegetables, and hay, as well as commercial guinea pig pellets that are enriched with vitamin C.

If you decide to give fresh grass to your guinea pigs, that won’t be a mistake.

However, keep in mind that the indoor lifestyle of your guinea pig required a diet that primarily consisted of grass hay, pellets, and raw vegetables.

Therefore, if you decide to introduce fresh grass into your guinea pig’s diet, you should do it slowly, just as you’d do with any new type of food.

Hay and fresh leafy vegetables should always make the bulk of your pet’s regular diet.

Guinea pigs feel comfortable with fruit and veggies 99% of the time.

Feeding them with these is as economical as it can get, and they feel comfortable with it.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Fresh Grass?

Yes, guinea pigs can eat fresh grass.

Your guinea pig’s digestive tract is fragile and designed to digest food rich in fiber.

When guinea pigs eat grass, they get sufficient fiber, which is great as fiber aids in your pet’s digestion.

Both fresh grass and grass hay contain plenty of fiber and that is why fresh grass would be a suitable meal for your guinea pig.

The grass is always a good source of nutrition for them, but it can also be useful to pay close attention to as soil and fresh grass contain parasites and parasite eggs.

Deworming your guinea pigs periodically can be the right move if you implement fresh grass into your guinea pigs’ regular diet.

What Type Of Fresh Grass Guinea Pigs Love?

Guinea pigs love all types of grass, although it’s not recommended to let them eat Lucerne (alfalfa) or Clover, not even dried alfalfa and clover hay, as these are too high in protein and calcium, which is not safe for guinea pigs.

Actually, don’t feed guinea pigs with any herbs, grasses, or vegetables that are high in protein and calcium as these can cause health problems in your pets.

Also, don’t feed them grass that grows just near the road or grass cuttings; make sure that the grass is clean and safe for your guinea pigs.

They won’t be picky and will eat whatever is in their way, any grass they come across.

Is Letting Guinea Pigs Eat Fresh Grass Outside a Good Idea?

No, letting your guinea pigs run around and eat grass in your backyard is not a bad idea.

However, it is not the best idea either.

There are several important things to which you should pay attention.

Your guinea pigs will run, forage and chew on grass, but you will have to make sure that the grass is dry.

Don’t let your guinea pigs eat grass that is wet or damp, or spend any time in it.

If you let your piggies run on wet grass, they will be wet themselves.

Not only they can catch a cold, but they can also suffer from skin conditions, hair loss, fungal infections, and the formation of lesions on their skin.

Moreover, the grass that has been wet for some time can become moldy, which will have a detrimental effect on your pet’s health.

Likewise, you will need to pay attention to the weeds that are growing in your yard, as some of them can be lethal for guinea pigs.

Finally, never let your guinea pigs on grass that was previously treated with pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals.

Otherwise, your guinea piggies can become severely ill or even die.

Is Fresh Grass a Sufficient Meal for Guinea Pigs?

No, fresh grass is not a sufficient meal for guinea pigs because it is not a good source of vitamin C.

Grass for guinea pigs is not sufficient to fulfill your pet’s daily needs for vitamin C.

These small animals need lots of vitamin C, but the content of vitamin C in fresh grasses, grass hays, and legume hays is very low.

To provide your guinea pig with sufficient amounts of this vitamin, you need to feed your pets with fresh and raw food rich in this vitamin.

The lack of vitamin C is detrimental for guinea pigs.

It causes scurvy, a potentially lethal disease if it is not treated.

For that reason, feed your guinea pigs with raw and fresh foods rich in vitamin C such as leafy greens and

  • Bell peppers
  • Tomatoes (the fruit but not the leaves)
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Parsley
  • Kale

Guinea pigs can eat an unlimited amount of fresh grasses and hay, and they should have it readily available every day.

Besides, guinea pigs munch on hay all day, which is great as hay contains fiber that is beneficial for their digestion and also helps them in keeping their teeth trimmed.

Here are the top guinea pig products on the market:

Last update on 2023-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Is Grass Hay Better Than Fresh Grass for My Guinea Pig?

In captivity, hay is an essential part of your pet’s diet and it is available throughout the whole year.

Without hay, your guinea pig can become ill because hay helps them digest their food and keeps their digestive system healthy.

Also, without fiber in the hay, a guinea pig’s stomach doesn’t work properly and can easily develop digestion problems and diarrhea.

Likewise, hay helps your piggies grind their teeth to a suitable length.

Also, piggies like hay for bedding.

All these are advantages of hay, which doesn’t mean that fresh grass is not important.

However, it is much less important compared to hay.

Fresh grass can be a good addition to your pet’s diet as it contains some important vitamins and minerals, although in low amounts.

What Types of Food Guinea Pigs Shouldn’t Eat?

While you can feed guinea pigs grass, you shouldn’t let them eat any herbs that are dangerous for them.

Guinea pigs like fresh raw grass but they cannot distinguish which herbs and plants are dangerous for them.

Pay close attention to weeds growing in your garden or in the area where you let your piggies run around.

You should know that many plants people keep at home are lethal to your pet, including some of the foods that we, humans, can regularly eat.

For instance, you should never let your piggies eat any kind of seeds because they represent a choking hazard for them while apple seeds are also poisonous to these small animals.

You should also avoid feeding guinea pigs with food rich in calcium and that has high sugar content, as such foods can cause health issues that are hard to treat.

Final Thoughts

You can let your guinea pigs eat grass, as the grass itself cannot do them any harm.

Dry and fresh grass is perfectly safe for guinea pigs.

However, never let your guinea pig run around in wet grass or eat it.

Not only your pet can catch a cold but it can also suffer from various skin conditions.

Likewise, wet grass that has been damp for a long period of time can become moldy, which is very dangerous for your guinea pig.

For that reason, the safest option is to let your pet eat grass that wasn’t treated with any chemicals, pesticides, or anything else that can harm them.

The safest thing is to let them eat as much grass hay as they want, which is readily available throughout the whole year.

Also, don’t forget that your guinea pig needs vitamin C as a part of its regular diet, and the best way to provide it to your pet is through fresh and raw fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C that are safe for guinea pigs.


Tim Rhodes
Tim Rhodes

Hi there! My name is Tim Rhodes and I'm a guinea pig enthusiast through thick and thin. My mission is to teach others useful tips and tricks about these cute creatures. When I'm not writing, I enjoy kickboxing and work as an animal trainer.

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Check out these most popular guinea pig products on the market:

Last update on 2023-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API