Guinea pigs are herbivorous, meaning they rely on plant matter for survival. So, can they eat grass? Yes, they can and do eat grass! 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 plenty of roughage in their diet, as it helps trim their continuously growing teeth. It also provides them with dietary fiber, which is necessary for gastrointestinal health. Grass is one of the best sources of roughage for guinea pigs.
So, if you have a pet guinea pig, it is crucial that you provide them with plenty of grass and/or grass hay. The best grass hays to offer your piggy include barley, timothy, and oaten.
However, you should not feed alfalfa (lucerne) or clover hay to a guinea pig, as these contain too much protein and calcium for guinea pigs to process properly.
Top 4 Additional Foods You Can Provide a Guinea Pig
In addition to a constant supply of fresh grass, consider providing your guinea pigs with the following.
1. A Variety of Leafy Greens and Herbs
Guinea pigs can derive nutrition from a variety of dark-leafed lettuces, such as dandelion greens, arugula, and snow peas. Herbs are also important for guinea pigs, with good examples being basil, coriander, borage, rosemary, dill, and marigold.
2. A Dietary Source of Vitamin C
Just like humans, 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, as it is essential for ensuring a robust immune system.
The best sources of vitamin C for guinea pigs include capsicum and leafy green vegetables. Consider giving them to your piggy daily. While fruits like 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 that a guinea pig requires to thrive.
4. Plenty of Fresh Water
Since most 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.
Guinea pigs can indeed eat grass, and 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 give any grass, vegetables, or fruits to your guinea pig, make sure to wash them first. Guinea pigs are sensitive to the chemicals used in pesticides. Lawnmower clippings are also not good for guinea pigs because they tend to cause gastrointestinal distress.