Guinea pigs primarily eat grass or hay: in fact, this should make up around 85% of their total diet. They also eat approximately a cup of greens and vegetables a day and a spoonful of hay pellets. You can also feed the occasional treat.
Treats can include fresh fruit, or you can buy commercial guinea pig treats that usually combine several ingredients and come in a convenient package. When feeding treats, you should reduce the amount of pellets and fresh food you are giving to account for the extra calories you feed and to ensure your cavie doesn’t put on weight. Never reduce the ratio of hay in your guinea pig’s diet.
Below, you will find reviews of the best treats for guinea pigs, including budget to premium options and a selection of flavors and styles.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Kaytee Timothy Biscuit Small Animal Treats||
|Best Value||Peter’s Apple Slices Nature Treats||
|Premium Choice||Exotic Nutrition Munchers Carrot Crunchers||
|Exotic Nutrition Green Pea Flakes||
|Naturals by Rosewood Nature’s Salad Treats||
The 10 Best Treats for Guinea Pigs
1. Kaytee Timothy Biscuit Small Animal Treats – Best Overall
|Main Ingredient:||Wheat Flour|
Kaytee Baked Apple Timothy Biscuit Small Animal Treats have the main ingredients of Wheat Flour, Timothy Grass Hay, and Soy Oil. They are flavored with apple, to make them more palatable and appealing, as apple is typically one of a guinea pig’s favorite food treats. The treats are supposed to be chewy, which will appeal to your long-toothed cavies, and because they’re high in fiber, the small animal treats can help with digestion, although they shouldn’t replace natural dietary hay.
The treats have decent ingredients, are well-priced, and the apple flavoring means they will prove popular with most piggies, making them the best overall treats for guinea pigs. But, despite claims that they are chewy, they are quite hard which makes it difficult to break them in half for treat training and may put some guinea pigs off of eating them.
2. Peter’s Apple Slices Small Animal Nature Treats – Best Value
|Treat Type:||Dried Fruit|
|Main Ingredient:||Dehydrated Apple|
Apple really is a popular treat with guinea pigs. It is a fruit, so it has natural sugars and tastes sweet, which is what makes it such a popular snack. And while you do need to feed conservatively, natural sugars are better for your guinea pigs than refined sugars and artificial sweeteners. Rather than making sure you have fresh apples at home whenever you want to provide a treat, these inexpensive Peter’s Apple Slices Small Animal Nature Treats are dehydrated slices of apple. The slices do not have any additional ingredients and because they are dehydrated, or dried, it means that they have a good shelf life.
The apple slices are very reasonably priced, don’t contain any hidden ingredients, and are convenient, making them our choice as the best treats for guinea pigs for the money. But because dried apple slices do become brittle after the dehydration process, they can get bashed around and broken into virtually unusable pieces.
3. Exotic Nutrition Munchers Carrot Crunchers – Premium Choice
|Treat Type:||Dried Vegetable|
Carrots are another popular treat with guinea pigs. They are naturally crunchy, and they do contain fiber and other beneficial vitamins and minerals. However, they are also high in natural sugar, so they should really only be fed as a treat and not too often.
Exotic Nutrition Munchers Carrot Crunchers Small Animal Treats are dried carrot sticks. They do not contain any other ingredients, which means that there are no additives or artificial ingredients. The chewing of the dehydrated carrot helps keep jaws and teeth healthy, while the dehydrated treats will keep on the shelf for longer than fresh carrots.
The treats are natural, and most cavies love them, but they are quite expensive considering they are really just dried carrots.
4. Exotic Nutrition Green Pea Flakes
|Treat Type:||Dried Vegetable|
|Main Ingredient:||Green Pea|
Peas are a good addition to your guinea pig’s diet. Guinea pigs cannot synthesize vitamin C themselves, which means they must get this essential vitamin from their diet. Some guinea pigs love the tiny treat, although there are always exceptions. Rather than keeping a fresh supply of snap peas around, Exotic Nutrition Green Pea Flakes are dried green peas. The dried vegetable has a longer shelf life than fresh peas, but still contains the same nutritional value.
The treats are quite expensive, although the 3-ounce bag should last a while and the bag itself is resealable, which helps ensure that you can keep them longer. The drying process also means that the Green Pea Flakes have a harder, crunchier texture than fresh peas, which many cavies prefer.
5. Naturals by Rosewood Nature’s Salad Small Pet Treats
|Treat Type:||Dried Food|
|Main Ingredient:||Oat Flakes|
Dried food is useful as a treat because it can be stored longer term and because it is dried, it has a crunchy texture that most guinea pigs love. While most dried treats consist of a single type of fruit or vegetable, Naturals by Rosewood Nature’s Salad Small Pet Treats includes ingredients like marigold, dandelion, nettle, and peppermint. The ingredients are left in their natural shape and are considered suitable for a host of small pets including guinea pigs.
The treats are reasonably priced and come in a 7-ounce bag, so you get a good amount for your money. While the food is reasonably priced and contains natural foods, the oats and grains aren’t especially good for guinea pigs. As with any of the items on this list, it should only be fed as a treat and not as a main part of your cavie’s diet.
6. Oxbow Simple Rewards Oven Baked Small Animal Treats
|Main Ingredient:||Timothy Grass|
Oxbow Simple Rewards Oven Baked with Apple & Banana Small Animal Treats are alfalfa-based treats that include fruit or vegetables as a tasty treat. There are a variety of different flavors including these apple and banana treats. Oxbow has made the treats so they are low in calcium and protein while offering a beneficial protein-to-fiber ratio.
The treats are reasonably priced and include decent-quality ingredients, but the pieces are thick and can be difficult for guinea pigs and other small pets to eat. They also tend to break down in the bag so they can be a little dusty.
7. Vitakraft Crunch Sticks Fruit & Honey Guinea Pig Treats
|Treat Type:||Chew Treats|
Vitakraft Crunch Sticks Fruit & Honey Chewable Guinea Pig Treats are chew sticks that contain grains and fruits. They are also fortified with vitamins and minerals to provide your cavie with a nutritional boost. The stick has a wooden core that is safe if chewed and that holds the whole treat together. It also has a clip so the treat can be hung from the cage, and the pack, which includes two treats, is reasonably priced.
However, the treats do contain a lot of seeds and honey. The honey makes the sticks chewy and palatable, but honey is full of sugar, and seeds are not ideal for guinea pigs so the treat should be given sparingly.
8. Higgins Sunburst Veggie Stix Treats for Guinea Pigs
|Treat Type:||Treat Sticks|
|Main Ingredient:||Ground Corn|
Higgins Sunburst Veggie Stix Gourmet Treats for Guinea Pigs are treat sticks made with the main ingredients of ground corn and ground wheat, as well as alfalfa meal and vegetables. The sticks do not contain any artificial colors or preservatives. The sticks come in a resealable bag and are reasonably priced.
The sticks are quite hard and long, so if your guinea pig likes a crunchy challenge, they may prove popular, otherwise, you will have to break the treats up yourself so that your cavie can eat them.
9. Ecotrition Snak Shak Guinea Pig Treat
|Treat Type:||Chew Treat|
|Main Ingredient:||Pine Wood Shavings, Alfalfa|
The Ecotrition Snak Shak Guinea Pig Treat is a chew treat that is designed to look like a piece of wood and contains a combination of alfalfa and seeds. The treat is inexpensive and dynamic because it encourages your guinea pig to figure out how to get to the food within. The external stick itself is made of pine wood shavings.
As long as your piggie isn’t eating too much, wood shavings are considered safe for guinea pigs, but they don’t offer any nutritional value and you may not want to encourage your small furry friend to be eating wood.
10. Ware Critter Pops Small Animal Fun Chew Treats
|Treat Type:||Chew Treats|
Ware Critter Pops Small Animal Fun Chew Treats are colorful treats made from a combination of puffed rice, corn, and food colorings. They are reasonably cheap and come in a choice of sizes, as well as a variety of pack sizes. They are meant to be crunchy, which helps encourage chewing and promotes healthy teeth and they may help prevent boredom in the cage.
However, guinea pigs don’t eat rice, which is the main ingredient in these treats, and the use of food coloring isn’t ideal, even if it does give the treats their interesting colors. There are more natural and nutritional treats available.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Treats for Your Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs make great pets. They’re sociable, fun, and they like to chatter, which can be a great noise to hear as you go about your daily life. However, they do require more care and attention than smaller caged pets like hamsters. They need time out of their cage every day and if you want to be able to handle your cavies regularly, you should start when they are young and keep up with daily handling. However, they are intelligent little pets, and they are smart enough that they can even be trained.
This is where guinea pig treats prove especially useful. They make great training aids because they encourage your Guinea Pig to repeat actions in exchange for a tasty morsel of food. But guinea pigs do have specific dietary requirements and can have sensitive stomachs if you give them the wrong foods.
Guinea Pig Diet
Guinea pigs are herbivores. They only eat plant-based foods and should never be given any meat. In the wild, they would primarily eat grass with some wildflowers. As pet owners, we need to try and provide a similar diet that consists of roughly the same kind of foods. While we might not be able to consistently provide fresh grass to meet a cavie’s dietary needs, we can feed hay instead.
Around 85% of a pet cavie’s diet should consist of hay and grass. Ideally, this should be fresh grass from the garden or Timothy hay. Hay provides the fiber that guinea pigs need and the grinding, chewing motion required to eat it also helps maintain their teeth and prevent the need to have them ground or filed down. There is no such thing as too much hay for a guinea pig. It should be free-fed, which means that you will need a hay feeder or you can provide a pile of hay on the floor of your cavie’s cage so that they can graze whenever they want.
Greens and Vegetables
You should also feed a variety of fresh greens and vegetables every day. These help meet your cavie’s other vitamin and mineral requirements, especially their vitamin C requirements. Like humans, guinea pigs cannot synthesize vitamin C themselves, which means they must get it from their diet. Bell peppers, asparagus, broccoli, spring greens, and tomatoes are some of the foods you can give a guinea pig that are known to be high in vitamin C.
Pellets are the final part of a guinea pig’s daily diet. Owners generally give a spoonful of pellets each day. These need to be hay-based pellets and are fortified with vitamins and minerals, including that all-important vitamin C. Pellets may not be necessary if you are sure you are meeting all of your cavie’s dietary requirements.
You can feed the occasional treat. Treats include fruits such as apples and bananas. These are popular with most guinea pigs because they are high in natural sugars, but these natural sugars are the reason that fruit should only be given sparingly. Too much fruit can cause your guinea pig to gain weight, and this can lead to a host of health problems and may shorten your cavie’s life.
If you are unable to regularly provide fresh fruit, you can buy commercial guinea pig treats such as those listed above. When doing so, make sure they are manufactured for guinea pigs. Avoid feeding too much of any food or treat that is high in sugar: some manufacturers add honey to make the chews chewier, but if you give a guinea pig too much honey, it will put on weight.
Can Guinea Pigs Have Cucumber?
Guinea pigs can eat cucumbers. In fact, they can eat the skin, the flesh, and a small amount of the seeds. Cucumbers are high in water content, though, and feeding too much cucumber may cause diarrhea, so avoid giving too much, too often.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Raw Carrots?
Carrots are considered a good treat, but they are higher in sugar than a lot of other vegetables, so they should not be fed every day and won’t constitute part of your guinea pig’s daily vegetable portion. However, they are considered a beneficial treat because carrots are high in vitamin C. Your guinea pig may appreciate the crunchy texture of carrot sticks and carrot pieces.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Raw Tomatoes?
Tomatoes are considered a safe vegetable to feed your guinea pig. Do not feed the vines or leaves, as these are poisonous to cavies. Tomatoes are another food source that is high in vitamin C so are considered a good addition to your piggie’s diet.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberries?
Strawberries are soft, juicy, and full of sugar. They are considered a treat: they are safe to feed, as they aren’t poisonous or toxic, but the high sugar content means they should not be a regular addition to your pet’s diet.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cheese?
Guinea pigs are strict herbivores, which means their gastrointestinal tract is unable to process meat or animal-based products, which includes dairy. Even if your guinea pig wanted to eat cheese, it would not be able to digest the ingredients, and cheese, milk, or other dairy products would likely cause diarrhea and make your guinea pig sick. Do not feed your Cavie any form of dairy product.
Guinea pigs are seen as a popular pet choice because they’re larger and easier to handle than small pets like hamsters and mice. However, they do require more care and more time. When it comes to diet, these herbivores are surprisingly easy to feed because they have a diet that consists of 85% hay or grass, with a selection of greens and vegetables fed daily to supplement the hay. They can have occasional treats, including fresh fruit or commercially available treats, fed sparingly and infrequently.
The reviews above list ten of the best treats for guinea pigs and include Kaytee Baked Apple Timothy Biscuit Small Animal Treats which are reasonably priced and contain Timothy hay and apple to make them an appealing snack. Peter’s Apple Slices Small Animal Nature Treats are really inexpensive and because they are essentially just apple, owners can be sure they aren’t feeding any artificial ingredients that might be bad for their cavies.
Featured Image Credit: Lost_in_the_Midwest, Shutterstock