15 Favorite Foods That Guinea Pigs Love
Finding your guinea pig’s favorite veggie treats can help a lot when training or bonding with a new guinea pig. Food is one of the best ways to a guinea pig’s heart.
These fruits and veggies are also very tempting options if you’re trying to coax a fussy guinea pig into eating vegetables for the first time.
In the list below, I’ll cover 15 of the most popular foods that most guinea pigs love. All guinea pigs have different preferences, so they may not like everything on this list.
However, even if you have a new or fussy guinea pig that doesn’t want to eat their veggies, you’re likely to find a hit or two from this list!
You can also check out the Guinea Pig Food Chart for an alphabetical list of everything your piggy can eat and how often they can have it, along with calcium and Vitamin C levels for each food.
*Important Note: The quantity of vegetables/fruit shown in the photos is for visual purposes only and not indicative of the correct amount to feed your guinea pig in one serving.
Carrots are a top favorite food of many guinea pigs I’ve met. When I adopted an ex-lab guinea pig, carrots were the only veggie she would eat initially. They made a great intro veggie to get her to eat other things.
If your guinea pig doesn’t take to carrots right away, try them in different forms. I find that many guinea pigs prefer smaller pieces of shredded carrots (also called match stick carrots).
If you’re hand-feeding a timid guinea pig, they may prefer to nibble from a full-size carrot instead.
Carrots are a bit high in sugar for a veggie, so avoid feeding them in large amounts. Chunky guinea pigs should be limited to just a couple of pieces as a treat. However, carrots are relatively low in calcium and have a lot of health benefits, so they’re a great veggie to offer your piggy.
2. Green Leaf or Romaine Lettuce
Green leaf lettuce and romaine are a hit with all my guinea pigs, past and present. Boston butter lettuce is also happily devoured. Lettuce is reasonably low in calcium and is loved by the vast majority of guinea pigs.
However, it’s crucial to also feed veggies with higher nutritional value, such as kale or bell peppers. Lettuce isn’t a significant source of nutrients for guinea pigs, so it shouldn’t be the primary veggie in their diet.
It can also potentially cause diarrhea if fed in excessive amounts, although I’ve never had this problem when feeding only a leaf or two a day. The extra water content in lettuce can be great for guinea pigs that don’t drink a lot from their water bottle.
Radicchio looks like a small red cabbage. I recently discovered this little gem and decided to try it. All of my guinea pigs loved it on the first try, which is quite an impressive feat! Clearly, there’s a new favorite veggie in our house!
Radicchio is low in calcium, which is good, but it’s also a pretty insignificant source of Vitamin C. It’s best to supplement it with plenty of vegetables that are high in Vitamin C to ensure that your guinea pig gets the nutrients they need daily.
This veggie is safe to feed a few times a week to your guinea pig.
Cilantro seems to be a favorite of most guinea pigs. This fresh-smelling herb is tasty and full of nutrients. Some guinea pigs may be put off by the intense smell at first. However, once they start eating it, most piggies love the flavor.
Cilantro contains many nutrients, including Vitamin C, calcium, Vitamins A, E, K, magnesium, and potassium. Due to the calcium content, coriander should be fed in small amounts, no more than twice a week.
You should also avoid feeding this herb to guinea pigs that are pregnant, injured, or scheduled for surgery. Cilantro can slow down blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding.
Fed sparingly, this food is a yummy source of nutrients for healthy guinea pigs!
For more nutrient-packed herbs that are safe for piggies, check out this complete list of safe and dangerous herbs for guinea pigs.
Parsley is another top guinea pig favorite. Parsley is also very nutrient-rich, with high levels of calcium and Vitamin C, among others.
Parsley can be found in 2 common varieties, curly or Italian flat-leaf. Both are safe for guinea pigs.
While parsley greens provide a great source of vitamins, they should also be restricted to a few sprigs 2-3 times a week because of the high calcium in this veggie.
Parsley is a great choice to feed more frequently to baby guinea pigs, as young guinea pigs under four months need higher levels of calcium and Vitamin C for proper growth.
6. Sweet Bell Peppers
Sweet bell peppers are the best vegetables to feed your guinea pig daily. They are very high in Vitamin C, relatively low in sugar, and low in calcium.
Some guinea pigs love bell peppers, and others eat them with less vigor. However, they are so high in Vitamin C that it’s worth encouraging your guinea pigs to eat them.
A couple of my piggies are less enthusiastic about their daily peppers, but they will eat them after everything else is gone. The other guinea pigs devour them like little vacuums.
Bell peppers come in 4 different colors; green, yellow, orange, and red. If your guinea pig doesn’t love one color, try the others and see if they prefer the taste of a different one.
I usually find that fussy piggies are most likely to eat green peppers; however, the other colors are higher in Vitamin C.
I’ve yet to meet a guinea pig that didn’t love fresh dandelions from the yard. Dandelions are cheap and contain many nutrients. They are a high source of calcium, so feed them in moderation to adult guinea pigs.
Be sure to pick your dandelions from your yard or another safe place that you know is pesticide-free. Guinea pigs can eat the entire dandelion plant, from the leaves and stems to the bright yellow flowers.
8. Fresh Grass or Wheatgrass
Guinea pigs love grazing on fresh grass outside. However, I recently tried growing wheatgrass for my piggies indoors in a wheatgrass planter kit, and they loved that as well! For some reason, grass tastes better when it’s in a fascinating new container that they can climb on and try to tip over.
Wheatgrass is a type of bright green grass. It is the same type of grass that is commonly sold as “cat grass.” Wheatgrass is also safe for guinea pigs and very tasty.
When you first start feeding wheatgrass, introduce it slowly with just a couple of minutes of grazing. As with all new foods, it’s best to introduce the grass in small doses to avoid stomach upsets.
You can also dig out a patch of grass from an untreated area outside and plant it in a pot in your window to grow for your guinea pigs over the winter months.
Cucumbers are very popular with most guinea pigs. These veggies are yummy, crunchy, juicy, and make a great snack.
They are relatively low in nutrients and high in water. For this reason, they should be fed alongside some more nutrient-rich veggies.
The high water level can cause diarrhea if cucumbers are fed in large amounts, so it’s best to offer just a couple of slices at a time.
The water content makes cucumbers a great veggie to provide during hot summers. It’s also a great veggie to feed to guinea pigs that don’t drink a lot of water on their own.
Some guinea pigs really love this curly green veggie. As it turns out, kale is one of the healthiest favorite foods your guinea pig can pick.
Kale is insanely vitamin-rich for people and piggies alike. It contains many nutrients, including lots of Vitamin C.
Kale is very rich in calcium at 254mg per 100 grams, so avoid feeding it more than about once a week to adult piggies.
It can be offered to baby guinea pigs a couple of times a week, as they can use the extra calcium for growing and bone development. When provided alongside low calcium vegetables, kale makes an excellent addition to your guinea pig’s veggie lineup.
11. Curly Endive and Escarole
Curly endive and escarole are leafy greens that most guinea pigs naturally love. They can be a bit on the bitter side for taste, but many guinea pigs prefer bitter over sweet flavors.
Curly endive resembles dandelion leaves a little with their long stems and wavy leaves. Escarole looks quite similar to lettuce.
Both of these greens contain more calcium than lettuce, but less than herbs or dark leafy greens like kale or collard greens.
Watermelon is a popular favorite fruit of many guinea pigs. I had a 100% success rate on the first try introducing watermelon to all my piggies.
There’s so much to love when it comes to this juicy summer fruit. Watermelon is not overly high in Vitamin C or calcium, but it is an excellent source of potassium and contains lots of water to keep your piggies hydrated.
Guinea pigs can eat the red fruit and the watermelon rind, but be sure to remove any hard seeds first.
For a thorough list of all the types of fruit you can feed your piggy, check out this list of safe fruits to feed guinea pigs.
Cantaloupe is a delicious fruit that contains a wealth of nutrients and antioxidants. It is also quite popular with guinea pigs! My entire herd devoured this fruit the very first time they tried it.
Before feeding cantaloupe, be sure to remove the rind and all seeds.
It can be a bit sugary as well, so limit your piggies to a small chunk of cantaloupe no more than once a week.
Blueberries are another top favorite of my piggies and many others! They are chock full of Vitamin C and many more vitamins and minerals.
They are also one of the highest antioxidant foods on the planet, which helps to reduce free radicals in your guinea pigs’ bodies and decrease the odds of cancer and other chronic health issues.
In addition, they can help discourage bacteria from sticking around in the urinary tract, potentially reducing the chances of your guinea pig developing UTIs.
As with all fruit, blueberries should be fed in small amounts. I typically give my piggies about 3 blueberries a week (1 every other day) as a healthy treat.
Strawberries are another delicious fruit that guinea pigs can eat. They are antioxidant-rich and contain a variety of nutrients. They are also lower in sugar in comparison to most fruits.
Guinea pigs can eat about one strawberry a week. The strawberry tops are also safe and nutritious and can be fed more frequently.
If you have strawberry plants in the garden, your guinea pigs can also eat the leaves from the strawberry plant. Some piggies love the leaves even more than the fruit itself!
Bonus – Oxbow Vitamin C Tablets for Guinea Pigs
This is not a veggie, but I had to include it, as these treats are one of my guinea pigs’ favorite things. Oxbow makes these Vitamin C tablets, which are basically little biscuit treats. All my guinea pigs go crazy for their treats every night.
Some guinea pigs can be hesitant to try them at first, but once they get the courage up to eat them, these treats become a favorite!
In addition, these little biscuits provide an additional source of Vitamin C. They are not necessary if your guinea pigs consume plenty of healthy veggies. However, they can give an extra boost if you’re not sure whether your guinea pigs are getting enough of this essential nutrient.
Introducing a New Food
When introducing a new food, do so slowly. Introduce just one or two new things at a time and in small amounts. Increase the amount very gradually to avoid stomach upsets. Also, ensure that your guinea pig always has free access to unlimited grass hay to prevent any digestive upsets.
Also, keep in mind that it can take some time for guinea pigs to try new foods. In the wild, guinea pigs would test unfamiliar foods by nibbling them just a bit and waiting to see if they caused adverse effects before eating more.
Pet guinea pigs will often do this too. Keep offering the food in small amounts for at least a few days before concluding whether they like or don’t like the food.
There are lots of great veggies you can feed your guinea pig. The list above provides a good starting point if you have a new or fussy guinea pig that doesn’t want to eat veggies.
All guinea pigs have different preferences, so your piggy may not like everything on this list. There are so many more veggies you can try as well. Tomatoes, celery, cabbage, spinach, and more! Keep trying new things until you find your guinea pig’s new favorites.
For some more inspiration, check out this complete list of safe foods for guinea pigs.