Best Food For Guinea Pigs


The best food for guinea pigs is simple. They need a diet that is healthy and nutritious, but when it comes to food, guinea pigs are simple animals. They eat just like most other small mammals, they eat plants and grasses often mixed together with a small amount of seeds or nuts.

Best Food For Guinea Pigs

Food ItemWeight or
Volume of Food
Vitamin C in weight or
volume of food
Amount needed to
provide 25mg/day
Guava1 cup = 165mg377mg1.1 tbsp
Red Peppers1 cup chopped = 149g190mg2.1 tbsp chopped
Kale1 cup chopped = 67g80.4mg5 tbsp (1/3 cup)
Tendergreen1 cup chopped = 150g195mg2.1 tbsp chopped
Parsley1 cup = 60g79.8mg5 tbsp (1/3 cup)
Broccoli1 cup chopped = 91g81.2mg5 tbsp (1/3 cup)
Broccoli flowerets1 cup = 71g66.2mg6 tbsp (between 1/3 and ½ cup)
Broccoli leaves1 oz = 28g26.1 mg2 tbsp
Broccoli stalks1 oz = 28g26.1 mg2 tbsp
Lambsquarter1 oz = 28g22.4mg2.2 tbsp
Cauliflower1 floweret = 13g6.0mgAbout 4 flowerets
StrawberryAvg berry = 18g10.6mgAbout 2.5 average berries
Kiwi1 cup = 17 g164mg2.4 tbsp
Green pepper1 cup chopped = 149g120mg3.4 tbsp chopped
Mustard greens1 cup = 56g39.2mg½-3/4 cup
Cooked broccoli1 cup = 156g101.2mgcup
Cooked Brussels sprouts1 cup = 156g96.7mgJust over cup
Kohlrabi1 cup = 135g89.1mgJust over ½ cup
Papaya1 cup = 140g86.5mgJust under 1/3 cup
Snap peas1 cup = 98g58.8mgJust under ½ cup
Turnip greens1 cup = 55g39.5mgJust under ½ cup
Red cabbage1 cup = 70g39.9mgJust under ½ cup
OrangeAvg orange = 131g69.7mgBetween 1/4 and ½ avg orange
Cooked kale1 cup cooked = 130g53.3 mgAbout ½ cup
Peas1 cup = 58mg58mgAbout 1/2 cup
ClementinesAvg Clementine = 74g36.1mgAlmost ½ average Clementine
Cantaloupe1 cup balls = 177g65mgBetwee1/4 and ½ cup of melon balls
Pineapple1 cup chunks = 165g78.9mg1/3 cup of chunks
Dill weed5 sprigs = 1g0.9mg154 sprigs
Dried tarragon1 oz = 28g14mgAbout 4 tbsp
Dried basil1 oz = 28g17.1mgAbout 3 tbsp
Dried oregano1 oz = 28g14mgAbout 4 tbsp
LemonAvg lemon = 58g30.7mg80% of average lemon
Dried cilantro1 tbsp = 2g9.9mg2.5 tbsp
Chinese cabbage
(pak choi or bak choi)
1 cup shredded = 70.0g31.5mgOver ½ cup
Beet greens1 cup = 38g11.4mgOver 2 cups
Starfruit (carambola)Avg fruit = 91g31.3mgOver ½ of an average starfruit
Collard greens1 cup = 36g12.7mg2 cups
Watercress1 cup chopped = 34g14.6mgAbout 1 and ½ cups
GrapefruitAvg fruit = 120g38.5mgJust under grapefruit

Best Vegetables for Guinea Pigs That Are High in Vitamin C

Veggies are one of the best sources of Vitamin C for your guinea pig. They are all natural, healthy, and contain many other great nutrients as well. However, some of them should be fed more sparingly than others due to high levels of sugar, acidity, calcium or phosphorus.

Leafy greens are commonly rich in Vitamin C and other nutrients, but they often have higher than average levels of calcium. Too much calcium can contribute to the formation of bladder stones, which is a painful condition that can prevent guinea pigs from peeing and often requires surgery to remove.

Some fruits provide a great source of Vitamin C, but they are often high in sugar. Too much sugar can cause obesity and related health problems in guinea pigs. As with anything in life, moderation and variety are key to a healthy guinea pig diet.

1. Sweet Bell Peppers

Sweet bell peppers, also known as capsicums, are one of the best sources of Vitamin C for your guinea pig. They come in several colors; red, yellow, orange, and green.

Red bell peppers are the highest in Vitamin C, at about 300mg of Vitamin C per cup. They also have a slightly higher level of sugar, which can cause obesity in guinea pigs if fed too much.

Green bell peppers are still high in Vitamin C, at 160mg per cup. They can also be fed quite regularly with their lower sugar content. Orange and yellow are in the middle for both Vitamin C and sugar content.

It’s a great idea to feed bell peppers to your guinea pig daily and rotate through different colors each day for more variety. Bell peppers have more sugar than leafy greens, but much less sugar than any kind of fruit. They are also low in calcium, making this a great staple vegetable in your guinea pig’s diet.

2. Parsley

Parsley has very high levels of Vitamin C, but unfortunately it also has high levels of calcium. This makes it an excellent veggie for young, growing guinea pigs. However, it can cause bladder stones in adult piggies if fed too frequently. Therefore, it’s best to limit this veggie to a couple times a week.

Many guinea pigs love parsley, so it can be a great addition to your piggy’s diet in moderation. It’s a very nutrient rich food that provides countless health benefits for your guinea pig.

3. Kale

Like most leafy greens, kale is very nutrient rich. It is quite high in Vitamin C, and also a rich source of calcium. Another great veggie for baby guinea pigs. For adults, it’s a great addition to your guinea pig’s diet a couple times a week.

Be sure to rotate with lower calcium foods when you feed veggies like kale. This ensures that your guinea pig is getting a balanced mix of vegetables without high amounts of calcium.

4. Guava

Guava is another healthy and unique food to add to your guinea pig’s palette. This fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin C for guinea pigs. Guava actually contains 4 times as much Vitamin C as an orange!

As with all fruits, guava is high in sugar, and also has a higher level of acidity and phosphorus. Because of all this, it shouldn’t be fed in large quantities. You can safely feed a small slice once or twice a week.

Guava can be served peeled or with the skin intact. However, unless you buy the fruit organic, it will likely have been exposed to pesticides. For this reason, it’s probably best to peel the skin off for your guinea pig.

5. Oranges

Oranges are a good source of Vitamin C. However, they are high in sugar, acidity and calcium as well. Because of this, it’s best to feed oranges sparingly. A slice once or twice a week is fine for your guinea pig.

Orange peels are also safe for guinea pigs and they contain even more Vitamin C than the oranges themselves! Many guinea pigs won’t eat orange peels, but if you have one that will, it’s a great thing to feed them. However, make sure the oranges you buy are organic, because orange peels are often loaded with pesticides.

6. Thyme

Thyme is a herb that guinea pigs can eat. You may be surprised to learn that thyme actually contains a ton of Vitamin C. It is right on par with bell peppers, and it even contains more Vitamin C than parsley. It’s high in fiber and low in sugar, making it a super healthy herb for guinea pigs.

Unfortunately, thyme also contains incredibly high levels of calcium. Because of this, it should be fed in very small quantities, no more than once or twice a week. However, because it’s so nutrient rich, guinea pigs can get a lot of Vitamin C and other benefits from eating thyme even in very small amounts.

Thyme is also a low maintenance and easy to grow plant. If you have space in your garden, consider growing your own so you have a fresh supply of organic thyme for your piggy. Thyme is also a perennial plant, meaning it will keep growing back year after year with little ongoing care.

7. Mustard Greens

Mustard greens are a good source of Vitamin C, but like most leafy greens, they’re high in calcium. They’re also a bit acidic, and contain some phosphorus. Just like other types of leafy greens, feed this one sparingly once or twice a week, and mix it up with some lower calcium veggies.

8. Turnip Greens

Turnip greens are similar to mustard greens in nutritional value, so it all comes down to your guinea pig’s preference between the two. Both are a good source of Vitamin C and a bit higher in calcium. Turnip greens are very nutrient rich and make a great addition to your guinea pig’s diet on a rotational basis with other healthy vegetables.

9. Kiwi

Kiwi is very high in sugar and should be fed in small amounts, no more than once a week. Kiwis contain some calcium and phosphorus, which can contribute to bladder stone formation. They are also a little acidic, which can cause stomach upset for your guinea pig if fed in large amounts.

With that said, kiwi is a great source of Vitamin C. Even when fed in small amounts, it provides a substantial amount of Vitamin C for your guinea pig. In addition, they provide a great boost of Vitamins A, E, and K.

10. Mango

Mango is a good source of Vitamin C, and it also provides a decent amount of Vitamins A and B6. Like kiwi, mango is quite high in sugar and should be fed once a week max. It should be offered in small amounts, only a small cube or thin slice at a time. Feed only fresh mango, and avoid anything that has been frozen or dried.

Mango should also be fed to your guinea pig with the skin and pit removed. Mango skin has no real health benefits and it’s often sprayed with pesticides. The middle pit of the mango is much too big and hard for your guinea pig to eat.

11. Strawberries

Strawberries are a yummy treat for guinea pigs. Strawberry tops are a hit with most guinea pigs as well. Strawberries are high in all kinds of nutrients, including Vitamin C.

Like all fruits, they contain some sugar and should be fed sparingly. However, they do have comparatively less sugar than most other fruits. However, it’s still best to stick to just one strawberry once a week or so.

Be sure to buy organic or thoroughly rinse strawberries before feeding them to your guinea pig to wash away any pesticide residue.

12. Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe is a rich source of Vitamin C. It is quite high in phosphorus, so it should be fed in small amounts, no more than once a week. In addition, the rind and seeds should be removed before serving to your guinea pig.

Seeds pose a choking risk, while the tough texture of the rind is too rough for guinea pigs to chew and digest. However, the flesh of the cantaloupe contains many vitamins. This makes it a healthy treat for your guinea pig, provided it’s fed occasionally and not in excess.

13. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a healthy food for your guinea pig and can be fed a few times a week. They are very nutrient rich, and contain a decent amount of Vitamin C. Guinea pigs can eat small and large tomatoes alike. However, they should only eat about one cherry tomato at a time, or an equivalent slice of a larger tomato.

Tomato seeds are small enough to not cause any choking issues, so you don’t need to worry about removing them. Make sure to remove any leaves or stems from the tomato before feeding them to your guinea pig, as these parts are very poisonous to guinea pigs. Only feed tomatoes that are completely ripe, as unripe green tomatoes are also poisonous.

14. Broccoli

Broccoli is also high in Vitamin C. The flower part of the broccoli is the highest in Vitamin C, but the stalks and stems also have quite a bit of this nutrient. However, broccoli is a gassy vegetable and it can cause bloating and stomach discomfort if fed too much.

Broccoli is also a bit higher in calcium. Because of this, it’s best to limit this veggie to a couple times a week, and feed it in small amounts. It’s also important to introduce broccoli slowly into your guinea pig’s diet. Feed just a few bites at a time, gradually increasing the amount each time you feed it.

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