Finding your guinea pig’s favorite veggie treats can help a lot when training or bonding with a new guinea pig. Food is one of the best ways to a guinea pig’s heart. These veggies are also very tempting options if you’re trying to coax a fussy guinea pig into eating vegetables for the first time.
In the list below, I’ll cover ten of the most popular foods that most guinea pigs love. All guinea pigs have different preferences, so they may not like everything on this list. However, even if you have a new or fussy guinea pig that doesn’t want to eat their veggies, you’re likely to find a hit or two from this list!
Carrots are a top favorite food of many guinea pigs I’ve met. When I adopted an ex-lab guinea pig, carrots were the only veggie she would eat initially. They made a great intro veggie to get her eating other things.
If your guinea pig doesn’t take to carrots right away, try them in different forms. I find that many guinea pigs prefer smaller pieces of shredded carrots (also called match stick carrots).
If you’re hand-feeding a new guinea pig, they may prefer to nibble off a full-size carrot instead.
Carrots are a bit high in sugar for a veggie, so avoid feeding them in large amounts. Chunky guinea pigs should be limited to just a couple of pieces as a treat. However, carrots are low in calcium and have a lot of health benefits, so they’re still a great veggie to give your piggy.
2. Green Leaf or Romaine Lettuce
Green leaf lettuce and romaine are a hit with all my guinea pigs, past and present. Boston butter lettuce is also happily devoured. Lettuce is low in calcium and is loved by the vast majority of guinea pigs.
However, it’s crucial to also feed veggies with higher nutritional value, such as kale or bell peppers. Lettuce isn’t a significant source of nutrients for guinea pigs.
It can also cause diarrhea if fed in excessive amounts, although I’ve never had this problem feeding a leaf or two a day. The extra water content in lettuce can be great for guinea pigs that don’t drink a lot from their water bottle.
Radicchio looks like a small red cabbage. I recently discovered this little gem and decided to try it. All six guinea pigs loved it on the first try, which is quite an impressive feat! Clearly, there’s a new favorite veggie in our house!
Radicchio is low in calcium, but it’s also an insignificant source of Vitamin C. This veggie is safe to feed a few times a week to your guinea pig. Still, it would be best to supplement it with plenty of vegetables high in Vitamin C.
Coriander seems to be a favorite of most guinea pigs. This fresh-smelling herb is tasty and full of nutrients. Some guinea pigs may be put off by the intense smell at first. However, once they start eating it, most piggies love the flavor.
Cilantro contains many nutrients, including Vitamin C, calcium, Vitamins A, E, K, magnesium, and potassium. Due to the calcium content, coriander should be fed in small amounts, no more than twice a week.
You should also avoid feeding this herb to guinea pigs that are pregnant, injured, or scheduled for surgery. Cilantro can slow down blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding.
Fed sparingly, this food is a yummy source of nutrients for healthy guinea pigs!
Parsley is another top guinea pig favorite. Parsley is also very nutrient-rich, with high levels of calcium and Vitamin C, among others.
While parsley greens provide a great source of vitamins, they should also be restricted to a few sprigs 2-3 times a week because of the high calcium in this veggie.
Parsley is a great choice to feed more frequently to baby guinea pigs, as young guinea pigs under four months need higher levels of calcium and Vitamin C for proper growth.
6. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers are the best vegetables to feed your guinea pig daily. They are very high in Vitamin C, relatively low in sugar, and low in calcium. Some guinea pigs love bell peppers, and others eat them with less vigor.
Two out of my six piggies are less enthusiastic about their daily peppers, but they will eat them after everything else is gone. 🤣 The other guinea pigs devour them like little vacuums.
Bell peppers come in four different colors; green, yellow, orange, and red. If your guinea pigs don’t love one color, try the others and see if they prefer one of the others.
I’ve yet to meet a guinea pig that didn’t love fresh dandelions from the yard. Dandelions are cheap and contain many nutrients. They are a high source of calcium, so feed them in moderation to adult guinea pigs.
Be sure to pick your dandelions from your yard or another safe place that you know is pesticide-free. Guinea pigs can eat the entire dandelion plant, from the leaves and stems to the bright yellow flowers.
Guinea pigs love grazing on fresh grass outside. However, I recently tried growing wheatgrass for my piggies indoors in a wheatgrass planter kit, and they loved it! For some reason, grass tastes better when it’s in a fascinating new container that they can climb on and try to tip over. 🤣
Wheatgrass is a type of bright green grass. It is the same type of grass that is sold as “cat grass.” Wheatgrass is also safe for guinea pigs and very tasty, apparently.
When you first start feeding wheatgrass, introduce it slowly with just a couple of minutes of grazing. As with all new foods, it’s best to introduce the grass in small doses to avoid stomach upsets.
Cucumbers are very popular with most guinea pigs. These veggies are yummy, crunchy, juicy, and make a great snack. They are relatively low in nutrients and high in water. For this reason, they should be fed alongside some more nutrient-rich veggies.
The high water level can cause diarrhea if cucumbers are fed in large amounts, so giving just a couple of slices at a time is best. The water content makes cucumbers a great veggie to provide during hot summers. It’s also a great veggie to feed to guinea pigs that don’t drink a lot of water on their own.
Some guinea pigs really love this curly green veggie. As it turns out, kale is one of the healthiest favorite foods your guinea pig can pick. Kale is insanely vitamin-rich for people and piggies alike. It contains many nutrients, including Vitamin C.
As with most leafy greens, kale contains some calcium, so avoid feeding it more than 2-3 times a week. When provided alongside low calcium vegetables, kale makes an excellent addition to your guinea pig’s veggie lineup.
Bonus – Vitamin C Biscuits
This is not a veggie, but I had to include it, as these treats are one of my guinea pigs’ favorite things. Oxbow makes these Vitamin C tablets, which are basically little biscuit treats. All my guinea pigs go utterly nuts for their treats every night.
In addition, the tablets provide an additional source of Vitamin C. They are not necessary if your guinea pigs consume plenty of healthy veggies. However, they can give an extra boost if you’re not sure whether your guinea pigs are getting enough of this essential nutrient.
Introducing a New Food
When introducing a new food, do so slowly. Introduce just one or two new things at a time and in small amounts. Increase the amount very gradually to avoid stomach upsets.
Also, keep in mind that it can take some time for guinea pigs to try new food. In the wild, guinea pigs would test unfamiliar foods by nibbling them just a bit and waiting to see if they caused adverse effects before eating more. Pet guinea pigs will often do this too. Keep offering the food in small amounts for at least a few days before concluding that they like or don’t like the food.
There are lots of great veggies you can feed your guinea pig. The list above provides a good starting point if you have a new or fussy guinea pig that doesn’t want to eat veggies.
All guinea pigs have different preferences, so your piggy may not like everything on this list. There are so many more veggies you can try as well. Tomatoes, watermelon, blueberries, basil, spinach, and more! Keep trying new things until you find your guinea pig’s new favorites.