Grass and Wild Plants

You should only allow your guinea pigs to eat fresh grass. Don’t give them dried or brown grass, grass clippings from the lawnmower, or ornamental grasses. Ensure the grass has come from your garden and not somewhere where it may have been contaminated (car fumes, agricultural chemicals, animal excrement or urine, etc).
When picking grass to feed to your guinea pigs, remove the roots and soil clump if you pulled up too much! An easy method of picking grass for your guinea pigs is to use a pair of kitchen scissors to trim long grass without pulling the roots from the ground.
In addition to the very tasty fresh grass growing in your garden, guinea pigs can eat some of the wild plants too. When providing an outdoor play area for your guinea pigs, you must check the area thoroughly to pull up any poisonous plants before allowing your guinea pigs out to play.

Safe Plants Poisonous Plants
Dandelion flowers

Dandelion leaves

Clover

Beech

Buttercup

Chrysanthemum

Clematis

Crocus

Daffodil

Deadly Nightshade

Foxglove

Holly

Hyacinth

Hydrangea

Ivy

Poppy

Ragwort

St John’s Wort

Treats

Many people like to give their pets a treat. This is great as long as you know what you’re actually giving them. A treat intended to bring together guinea pig and owner may actually be having a negative affect on the health of your pet.

Fruit and vegetables
The best treats you can give to your guinea pig are fruit and vegetables. Fruit should generally be given as a treat and not as part of a regular diet. This is mainly due to the sugar (too much sugar can upset the flora in the gut and interrupt the normal digestion of other foods) or high water content present in fruit (very watery foods given too frequently can cause moth sores and diarrhea). Remember, these are treats you can give, not foods you should give. Please see the nutrition table above for more information.

Commerical treats
Like fast food in humans, a lot of commerical treats are the junk food of the guinea pig world. Most brightly packaged commercial treats you can buy in pet shops are unsuitable to give to a guinea pig due to the ingredients they contain, including sugar, fat and large amounts of calcium. Some treats (such as berry sticks) contain seeds which can get stuck in the teeth and pose a choking hazard, and these are usually bound together with honey, which is also unsuitable.

If you want to treat your guinea pig to something from a pet shop, I highly recommend giving them “Excel Nature Snacks” (Burgess). Each stick contains dried grass, vegetable oil, and either dried dandelion, mint or nettle. The ingredients are basic and there are no additives or unnecessary items listed in the nutritional information on the packet.

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