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What Should I Feed My Guinea Pig Daily? (10 Healthy Foods)

Tim Rhodes
Written by Tim Rhodes Last Updated: September 17, 2021

“What should I feed my guinea pig daily?” is a question many new guinea pig owners ask.

Understanding guinea pig’s diet is crucial if you want them to stay healthy and happy for a long time.

Just like any other pet, your guinea pig can have its preferences.

Once you create a solid healthy food routine for them, feeding your furry pet becomes fairly simple and easy.

However, you have to be aware that guinea pigs have a very delicate digestive system and that there are a few important things that you have to consistently keep in mind if you don’t want your guinea pig to get sick.

The first thing you have to keep in mind is that guinea pigs (just like humans) cannot make their own vitamin C, so you have to make sure that they get this supplemented in guinea pig’s diet daily.

If you’re feeding your guinea pigs high-quality hay and good pellets, they’ll likely have enough.

But since it’s difficult to calculate how much they exactly take, you can always supplement their vitamin C in your guinea pig’s diet (more on that later).

What Should I Feed My Guinea Pig Daily?

Guinea pigs are herbivores and their food consists mainly of hay, pellets, fresh vegetables, and a lesser quantity of fruits.

A constant everyday fresh supply of water is also very important.

Quality hay is the foundation of any guinea pig’s diet because they need its fiber to have healthy digestion.

Additionally, foods rich in fiber helps in preventing the continuous growth of guinea pigs’ teeth.

There are a couple of different types of hay that guinea pigs like, but Timothy Hay is the undisputed choice for most guinea pigs, even those who need dietary restrictions because of health issues.

Make sure to change hay every day in your guinea pigs’ cages, so that they always have plenty of fresh, dry, and clean timothy hay, which they can eat, chew on and play with.


Apart from an unlimited supply of timothy hay, grown-up guinea pigs need raw and fresh vegetables and fruits, rich in fiber and vitamin C.

Vitamin C is a crucial component in your guinea pigs healthy diet, as guinea pigs cannot produce their vitamin C.

At the same time, vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy, a potentially fatal illness in guinea pigs.

If your guinea pig hasn’t had a sufficient amount of vegetables in the, which is often the case when you purchase a guinea pig from a pet store, slowly introduce a new food into your guinea pigs’ diet.

Your guinea pigs need to adjust their digestive system to new foods.

Guinea pigs should get at least 10% of their body weight in vegetables a day which is around one cup per day per guinea pig.

If your pigs have never eaten any veggies, you can start with carrots since they are usually easy to digest.

Give your guinea pigs a very small piece of carrot and check after a day if there are any signs of illness like a bloated stomach or a change in their poop.

If your guinea pigs are satisfied fine with their piece of carrot, you can give it to them again.

You always want to check your guinea pigs for any signs of illness whenever you introduce a new fresh vegetable and you should always start with small pieces first.

Start with the non-watery vegetables and slowly move to the watery ones.

Don’t offer them large portions of food when making this transition.

If you encounter a problem with a new vegetable you can go back to the veggies that worked.

Make sure to keep giving them the new vegetable for a week or two so that you know with certainty that they can handle it.

If there seems to be no problem with the non-watery vegetables you can slowly introduce watery vegetables like small pieces of bell pepper, celery, or zucchini.

If your guinea pigs seem to be fine with all these veggies you can slowly give them small pieces of lettuce and cucumber.

All types of cucumber and lettuce are watery, so these are the last things you want to try.

You should also keep in mind to always wash their vegetables thoroughly to remove any pesticides and to serve the vegetables when they’re at room temperature and not straight out of the fridge.

Here are a few examples of healthy good vegetables you can feed your guinea pig:

  • Carrots: They are high in sugar so they shouldn’t be fed in huge quantities but they are a great source of energy
  • Bell pepper: Red, Yellow and green are all great sources of vitamin C but remove the seeds before feeding
  • Chicory: High in vitamin C and Calcium. It’s best to remove the outer layers before feeding them to your guinea pigs
  • Cucumber: A fresh and watery vegetable that most guinea pigs like, especially in the summer. They have a very high water percentage so they should be given in moderation because too much can cause diarrhea and bloating. The outer skin of the cucumber is also edible for your guinea pig
  • Lettuce: There are many different varieties of lettuce that you can feed your guinea pig. Avoid iceberg lettuce, not because it’s toxic which most people claim, but because it has very high water content and provides almost no nutritional value and there are other types of lettuce that are a much better choice for your guinea pig. For example, red leaf, romaine green leaf, bibb, Boston, or leaf lettuce
  • Fennel: A very filling and stomach-friendly vegetable. It has no sugar, low amounts of fat, and a good amount of vitamin C
  • Celery: You can feed both the leaves and the stalk to your guinea pig, but you should be wary that it contains high levels of water, so it should be given in moderation
  • Zucchini: A healthy vegetable that provides various vitamins and minerals


Fruits shouldn’t be given too often since they have a much higher level of sugar and acid.

This can cause your guinea pigs to not only get fat but also develop sores around their mouth.

For these reasons, you should only give them very small amounts of fruit once or twice a week.

When you want to introduce a new fruit, you should apply the same rules as with vegetables.

Give them a small piece of the particular fruit and see if they get any illness like diarrhea or bloating, slowly increase the amount over an extended period, if there are no problems.

And remove or slowly decrease the amount of fruit from their food if they do seem to get sick.

Here are a couple of safe fruits:

  • Apples: Guinea pigs love apples and they can be a great first fruit to introduce if they have never had fruit before. You should be wary that sometimes apples can be a bit sourer because of their higher levels of acidity. Avoid these types since they can upset their stomach and try to only give them sweet apples
  • Bananas: Both the peel and the banana can be eaten by your guinea pig, but since bananas are low in vitamin C and high in sugar you should only give them in very small quantities
  • Raspberries, Strawberries, Cranberries, Blueberries, and Blackberries

Berries are tasty and unproblematic treats.

They also have high levels of Vitamin C which can be very beneficial for your guinea pig and give them that extra boost of vitamin C they may otherwise not get with only hay and vegetables daily.

The leaves of these berries are also edible for them and they might even prefer them over the fruit itself.


Good quality commercial vitamin c fortified pellets can be an important part of your guinea pig’s diet.

Together with other quality food, pellets can be a convenient way to assure that your guinea pig is getting the necessary quantity of nutrients and remain healthy.

Choose specially designed guinea pig pellets that have vitamin C in them.

Since vitamin C loses its effectiveness over time you want to also to buy in small quantities and store it in a cool dark place.

When selecting pellets for your guinea pig, you should avoid those which contain animal by-products, nuts, seeds, oils, dried fruits, and corn products.

Also beware that there are no preservatives, sweeteners (fructose, sucrose, corn syrup), colorings, or added chemicals inside their pellets.

Alfalfa pellets are usually recommended for growing and pregnant guinea pigs.

Once they get a year old you can introduce them to a timothy-based pellet, which has a bit less calcium.

You can read a comprehensive article on how to recognize quality vitamin c fortified pellets.

Things You Should Avoid Giving Your Guinea Pig

There are a few types of foods you should not give to your guinea pig.

Some foods can cause a bloated stomach and too much gas, some are extremely high in levels of sugar and fat, some may be poisonous, while others just don’t have any nutritional value.

You should avoid giving them meat, dairy products, chocolate potatoes, seeds, mushrooms, garlic, onion, peanut butter, or bread.

Never give them any (house) plants, grass, or flowers from your garden since they can contain pesticides.

So now you know what you should and shouldn’t give your guinea pigs to feed for them to have a healthy lifestyle.

10 Guinea Pig Foods For A Healthy, Daily Diet

Here are some amazing healthy and tasty foods and treats that your piggy might adore eating.


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


This hand-selected hay from Kaytee guarantees long fiber strands and the right leaf to stem ratio to support a healthy digestive system for your guinea pig.

This product is produced in the most optimal ecological location for moisture and climate control and is then stored in a protected environment to make sure it preserves its quality and superior nutritional value.

It is also lower in protein and calcium than alfalfa hay which is good for their urinary health.

There should always be an unlimited amount of hay available for your guinea pig to keep them healthy and strong and this product is a go-to for a lot of small animals including guinea pigs.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Lower protein & calcium ensures a healthier urinary system
  • Long High fiber strands support digestive health
  • High-quality nutritional value

2. Oxbow Essentials Adult Guinea Pig Food

Oxbow Essentials Young Guinea Pig Food - All Natural Guinea Pig Pellets - 5 lb.
  • ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS FOR YOUNG, PREGNANT, OR NURSING GUINEA PIGS: Made with protein-rich Oxbow Alfalfa for optimal...
  • SUPPORTS MUSCLE & BONE DEVELOPMENT: Made with balanced protein and calcium sources to support the muscle and bone...
  • PERFECT FOR PICKY EATERS: Uniform pellets prevent selective feeding
  • FORTIFIED FOOD: Fortified with vitamins and minerals for optimum health
  • VETERINARIAN RECOMMENDED: Formulated with the guidance of top veterinarians and nutritionists

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

Once your guinea pig is more than six months old you should switch their alfalfa pellets into hay.

Oxbow’s Adult Guinea Pig pellets are specially designed from high fiber timothy grass that contains a lower level of protein, calories, and calcium than young guinea pig food.

This is important since adults have different nutritional needs and don’t need the same level of these nutrients to have a balanced and healthy diet.

These pellets also provide a good dose of stabilized vitamin C.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Hand-selected and high in fiber
  • Lower levels of protein, calories, and calcium
  • Contains vital nutrients like stabilized vitamin C

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

3. Kaytee Timothy Complete

Kaytee Supreme Guinea Pig Food 10 Pounds
  • Natural seeds and grains
  • Kaytee is a Veterinarian Recommended Brand
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • High quality ingredients
  • Contains Long Lasting vitamin C

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

Timothy Complete is pelleted food developed by a nutrition expert for animals to make sure your guinea pig gets the necessary nutrients and vitamins for a long and healthy life.

The pellets are made from high-quality hand-selected hey containing long-lasting vitamin C and fibers to support a healthy digestive system.

The added vitamins & minerals in these guinea pig pellets support the overall health of your guinea pig and help prevent selective feeding.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Supports Dental Health
  • Contains long-lasting Vitamin C
  • Prebiotics and probiotics to support digestive health

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

4. Oxbow Western Timothy Hay

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

Oxbow’s Western provides good, basic grass hay with quality nutrients and a fresh fragrance.

The long-standing fibers, low protein, and low calcium make sure that your guinea pig’s digestive and intestinal systems are healthy.

The high-fibers also lower the occurrence of intestinal gas and bloating.

Pros & Benefits:

  • High-quality fibers
  • Helps your pet to meet his specific nutritional requirements
  • Promotes a natural chewing behavior that helps prevent teeth problems

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

5. Kaytee Timothy Hay Plus Carrots

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

This hand-selected bundle of high-quality hay is ideal for guinea pigs over 6 months of age because it’s higher in fiber to support digestive health and lower in protein and calcium than alfalfa hay to support urinary health.

The carrots ensure the package for higher nutritional content.

Pros & Benefits:

  • High Fiber supports digestive health
  • All-natural, no artificial colors or preservatives
  • Added variety provides great taste & nutrition

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

6. Small Pet Select-Sampler Box

Small Pet Select - Healthy Snackers - Pear/Blueberry
  • Is great for foraging
  • Use for training
  • All natural human grade food ingredients
  • Made in small batches to ensure the highest quality product

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

There are 4 types of best-selling hay in this box.

This is a great solution if you want to test out and introduce a new type of hay to your guinea pigs.

You have the 2ND cutting(perfect blend of leaves and stems), 3RD cutting (super soft and leafy), Oat Hay (a tasty high fiber alternative), and Orchard hay (High fiber and great for variety).

2ND cutting is usually the most popular since it has just the right amount of protein and fiber.

The 3RD cutting is quite soft and leafy with not so much stem, but it’s still great hay to give.

Orchard and Oat hay make a niche change and are a great addition to their hay rotation.

Oat hay is thick, crunchy, and rich in fiber which some guinea pigs enjoy.

Orchardgrass hay can both be used as bedding and a delicious meal.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Great way to test out which hay your guinea pigs like
  • Oat hay is great alternative hay for people with allergies
  • Adds variety to your guinea pigs’ diet

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


If you want to spice things up a little bit more, give them something different for a change.

You should try to give them Vitasmart Guinea Pig Food.

It contains a variety of seeds and vegetable-based pieces that can encourage your guinea pigs to keep eating the necessary nutrients.

It’s also filled with antioxidants, which can strengthen their immune system as well as omega-3 fatty acids that can help support healthy skin and shiny coats.

They also claim that their product is highly bioavailable, which means that your guinea pigs’ bodies can use the vitamins and minerals that are present in this food more effectively.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Contains Vitamins A, C, D, and E
  • Natural oils and fatty acids for healthy skin and a shiny coat
  • Fortified vitamins for a clean diet

8. Vitamin C

Viva Naturals Vitamin C 1000mg - Non-GMO Vitamin C Supplements with Citrus Bioflavonoids & Rose Hips...
  • ✔️ Essential Immune Support Supplement* – Protect yourself all season long with our specially formulated...
  • ✔️ Features Non-GMO Vitamin C – Our vitamin C is made with Non-GMO Quali-C from Scotland, one of the...
  • ✔️ Helps Fight Free Radicals* – Our vitamin C supplement is the trifecta for daily antioxidant action.* Our...
  • ✔️ Supports Collagen for Hair, Skin, Nails & Joints* – Often going under the radar, ascorbic acid vitamin C...
  • ✔️ Quality You Can Trust – Our vitamin C capsules are Non-GMO and vegetarian friendly, making them the...

Last update on 2023-06-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you provide your guinea pig with good pellets and treats, they should get the necessary vitamin C.

But just to be on the sure side of things, you can always supplement their diet with a little bit of extra vitamin C.

You can apply a tiny quantity of Vitamin C powder to a small piece of cucumber.

Try to dissolve the powder as much as possible and then feed it to your guinea pig, and watch him gobble it down.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Easy way to ensure your guinea pig gets enough Vitamin C

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

9. Kaytee Banana Flavored Yogurt Dipped Treat

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

Not necessary to have, but it can be a good treat for your guinea pig.

This banana-flavored treat is an excellent source of additional Vitamin C.

You can also use it to train your guinea pig by treating them with this healthy snack.

Pros & Benefits:

  • A good training tool to reward your guinea pig
  • Ideal for bonding and playtime

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

How Much Should a Guinea Pig Eat Per Day?

Guinea pigs can be a little bit neophobic when it comes to their food.

So you have to keep in mind that guinea pigs need a healthy consistent diet.

This means that you should avoid any abrupt or significant changes in their diet at any time, since this can cause all kinds of problems in their gut, like diarrhea.

But that doesn’t mean that you can never change or add new things to their diet one day.

You just have to be aware that it needs to be done very slowly.

So don’t be afraid to try out the different types of hay, vegetables, and pellets.

Once you find a good eating regimen your guinea pigs will love you forever.

Follow us for more information on guinea pigs, and if you have any other tips or questions about what to feed your guinea pig every day, feel free to let us know in the comments below.

Final Thoughts

In addition to quality timothy hay and vitamin C fortified pellets, feed guinea pigs with fresh portions of raw high-fiber fruits and vegetables every day.

Don’t forget that pet guinea pigs need large amounts of fiber and vitamin C and that a guinea pig’s overall health depends on a well-balanced daily diet.

Proper nutrition is the key to their long life.

A piece of fresh fruit and leafy greens should be a part of your guinea pig daily diet, as well as root vegetables, and quality pellets that will help in trimming their continuously growing teeth.

With a constant supply of timothy hay and fresh and clean water, you will provide adequate care to your guinea pig.



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