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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Grass? What You Need To Know

Nicole Cosgrove

Guinea pigs are herbivorous, meaning that they rely on plant matter for survival. So, can they eat grass? Yes, they can and do. In the wild, guinea pigs spend most of their time grazing in small herds, with grass being one of their staple sources of nutrition.

Guinea pigs require lots of roughage in their diet, as it helps trim their continuously growing teeth. Additionally, it provides them with dietary fiber, which is necessary for gastrointestinal health. Grass is one of the best sources of roughage for guinea pigs.

As such, if you have a pet guinea pig, it is crucial that you provide it with lots of grass or/and grass hay. Some of the best grass hays to offer your piggy include Barley, Timothy, and Oaten hay.

However, you should not feed Alfalfa (Lucerne) or Clover hay to a guinea pig, as these hays contain too much protein and calcium for guinea pigs to process properly.

In addition to a constant supply of fresh grass, consider providing your guinea pigs with the following:

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1. A Variety of Leafy Greens and Herbs

snow peas_John Cummings_Wikimedia
Image Credit: John Cummings, Wikimedia

Guinea pigs also derive nutrition from a variety of dark-leafed lettuces, such as dandelion greens, rocket, and snow peas. Herbs are important to guinea pigs, too, with some good examples being basil, coriander, borage, rosemary, dill, and marigold.


2. A Dietary Source of Vitamin C

carrots_File Upload Bot_Wikimedia
Image Credit: File Upload Bot, Wikimedia

Just like ourselves, guinea pigs cannot synthesize or store vitamin C. This means that part of a guinea pig’s diet should consist of foods that are rich in vitamin C. This vitamin is essential for ensuring a robust immune system.

Some of the best sources of vitamin C for guinea pigs include capsicum and leafy green vegetables. Consider giving them to your piggy daily. While fruits such as berries, carrots, and pineapples are rich in vitamin C, you should not give them to a guinea pig regularly due to their high sugar content.


3. High-Quality Guinea Pig Pellets

Guinea pig pellets are excellent sources of numerous vitamins and minerals. Therefore, consider getting high-quality commercial pellets for your piggy, such as Small Pet Select Guinea Pig Food Pellets. This product is fortified with all the essential vitamins and minerals a guinea pig requires to thrive.


4. Lots of Fresh Water

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Image Credit: Karisa Studdard, Pixy.org

Since the majority of a guinea pig’s diet consists of roughage, it is critical for these critters to have access to fresh water at all times, as water helps with digestion. Change your piggy’s water daily since guinea pigs tend to contaminate their water with droppings.

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Conclusion

Do guinea pigs eat grass? Yes, they do. In fact, grass is an important part of their diet. You can also feed them grass hays apart from Alfalfa hay and Clover. However, before you buy any grass, vegetables, or fruits for your guinea pigs, first make sure that they were grown organically. This is because guinea pigs are sensitive to the chemicals used in pesticides. Lawnmower clippings are also not good for guinea pigs since they tend to cause gastrointestinal distress.

Trying to find what else guinea pigs eat? Take a look at:


Featured Image Credit: Piqsels

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.