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                    A Guinea Pig's Diet


In order to stay healthy, have soft, gleaming fur, and sparkling eyes, a guinea pig needs to maintain a healthy diet. The most important food for a guinea pig is fresh plants.

Remember, every guinea pig is an individual, so if one doesn't like apples much, for instance, there's probably nothing wrong with the guinea pig or the apples.


One of the most healthy plants for a guinea pig is normal grass. But if you want to feed them some grass, don't just pick it anywhere. Try not to pick it where dogs are often walked - the guinea pigs might catch a disease, or parasites. Certainly do not feed the guinea pigs plants which are growing near roads, as the dirty air and benzene liquid which the cars expose causes the local plants to mutate and become highly poisonous. It is best if you find a spot where a lot of clean, rarely mowed grass grows, and pick grass from that place.

                                Wild Plants

These plants are often fed to guinea pigs:



Dandelion - Guinea pigs love to eat dandelions, they especially like the sap, but some types of dandelions are also harmful in some ways, so don't feed too much of it. The percentage of dandelions in your guinea pig's green diet should be about 30%.

The common dandelion which is safe to eat in unlimited portions has leaves growing almost straight from the roots, and separate bare stems with single flowers at the top.


Nettle - The nettle's leaves are incredibly rich with vitamins. Nettle should be collected and fed while it's blooming (from May to September), it can be tied up in a bunch and allowed to hang until it's dried, in an airy place, but certainly out of direct sunlight. Its stem and flowers should be removed, and the leaves can be threshed into flour before being fed.

Red Clover - It's very beneficial for a guinea pig to eat it. Red clover can be fed altogether, with the flowers.

These are some plants that are very poisonous and must NOT be fed to guinea pigs.

Black Henbane

Common Jimson Weed

Greater Celandine




Lily of the Valley



Swamp Wild Rosemary


Potatoes - books usually say that potatoes are alright to eat, but practice shows that you can't always trust books.

Fruits and Vegetables Suitable for Guinea Pig Feeding

Apples - should be included in every meal.



Salad - Salad is exclusively famous for containing almost all vitamins that are known to be in plants.

Cabbage (but not cauliflower, eating cauliflower causes diarrhea and can kill a guinea pig in a single day.)

Parsley - very rich with vitamins A and C.

Carrot - carrot can be fed with both the root and the leaves - especially the leaves. The carrot supplies animals and humans with almost all required vitamins.

Cucumber - an acknowledged delicacy among the guinea pigs. Watery, juicy, delicious, and loud smelling cucumber is the perfect way to fulfil a guinea pig's thirst and win his trust. However, 99% of the cucumber is water, so it is not much of a vitaminiser.

                            Other Foods

Milk MUST NOT be given to guinea pigs!!!

Hay - the hay dust should be removed before feeding. It should not be wet, as it loses its dry flavour. It should not contain harmful or poisonous plants.

Oats - the most beneficial grain food.

Wheat - only the grains, of course!

Corn - the dried grains.

Sunflower Seeds


The grain food can be bought at pet-shops, usually a mixture of the most important grain foods.                        

Bread - white bread supplies the guinea pigs with vitamins, but it is best to dry it before feeding, as guinea pigs have trouble digesting fresh bread.

Clean Drinking Water - the most important component in a mammal's diet - guinea pigs must always have enough fresh, clean, water. It should be placed in a heavy ceramic water bowl, so that the pet doesn't turn it over, but better still, if it's contained in a special water bottle attached to the outside of the cage, with a straw running into the cage, the end slightly blocked by a metal ball, so that the guinea pigs can get water if they nose the movable object.

A modern water bottle should have:

a) A lid to keep the water from evaporating, and to keep it clean.

b) A screw to screw the bottle to the cage from inside.

c) A tiny metal ball at the end of the tube, blocking the water, but allowing it to go, if the guinea pig pushes it with its nose.

Important! Before being placed in the water bowl (or bottle), the water must be boiled, and allowed to cool completely.




Copyright(c) 2003 Ekaterina Romanova. All Rights Reserved.