We have had many guinea pigs over the years, and still have several guinea pigs. With our experience, we have learned a lot about what is best for our piggies. Guinea pigs can live a long and healthy life, especially when fed a healthy and well-balanced diet.
Here are some of the things that we have learned to avoid, to keep our guinea pigs happy and healthy.
*Please note, always do your research! I am not a veterinarian – these are just what we have found seems to be our healthiest options.
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Avoid: foods with artificial dyes or flavors
I am a label reader, and just like foods for myself, I avoid unhealthy foods for the guinea pigs. There are a lot of colorful treats out there, and while they are cute, they are often loaded with artificial dyes and colors. There is no reason to feed pets unhealthy things, when there are plenty of natural and healthy options that they love!
Some good options: Oxbow Guinea Pig Treats, pea flakes (in moderation)
Avoid: Dairy, including treats containing dairy
Guinea pigs are herbivores, and it doesn’t make sense to give them any dairy products. Yogurt drops look yummy and the guinea pigs seem to like them, but we stopped giving them any dairy-based treats. Dairy is simply not a part of a guinea pig’s natural diet.
Avoid: seeds and corn
Seeds are not particularly good for guinea pigs, as they are high in fat. We have also noticed that the guinea pigs tend to get their teeth stuck in pieces of dried corn, so we avoid those ingredients.
Avoid: too much fruit or fruits that aren’t safe for guinea pigs
We avoid giving the guinea pigs too much fruit at once. This should be a small treat, and not given in any large amount.
Some fruits are not safe to give to guinea pigs such as avocados. I always do my research first!
Avoid: too many veggies or veggies that aren’t safe for guinea pigs
Vegetables should be given in moderation. Always check before giving your guinea pig vegetables, and know which ones are safe and which ones aren’t. Some vegetables that they shouldn’t have are leeks, shallots, cabbage, broccoli. I always check and do my research first.
Alternative: smaller portions of veggies, homegrown fresh grass
Avoid: (not a food!) Cedar or Pine Bedding
Just as a side note, bedding plays a big role in your guinea pig’s health.
Cedar bedding can contain harmful oils that can be damaging to a guinea pig’s respiratory system, and cause major respiratory issues.
Instead, use cloth cage liners, paper bedding, or aspen shavings.
Check out my Tips for Using Cage Liners for Guinea Pigs.
Check out our other guinea pig blog posts:
What We Feed Our Guinea Pigs
Gift Ideas for Your Guinea Pig
Fun Guinea Pig Toys for All Ages
Tips for Using Cage Liners for Guinea Pigs
Pros and Cons of Guinea Pig Fleece Cage Liners
Guinea Pig Food: What We Feed Our Piggies
Basic Supplies for Guinea Pigs
How to Grow Grass for Guinea Pigs Using Seed Sprouting Trays
Why Guinea Pigs Make Great Pets for Kids
This is good info to know. I will pass this on to friends with pets.
This is all good to know. I’d love to get a guinea pig at some point.
Good to know, my son has a 1 hamster, and back in my mind, I always think that they are the same lol but I guess they have different body sizes. Thank you for sharing this!
This is so informative, I’m gonna share this with my daughter who has a Guinea Pig. Thanks for sharing this with us!
Who knew that guinea pigs had such restricted diets? I will share this info with my niece!
My childhood friend had a few guinea pigs. This list is an awesome resource for pet owners.
It’s important to know what it’s ok and what is not! Thanks for these instructions!
We had guinea pigs back in my hometown before too. Glad you’re sharing all these.