You bring guinea pig hay into your house by the box full for your furry friends and suddenly you realize this is grass. Yep. This is grass! Can guinea pigs eat grass? They thrive on it! But what about the grass outside? Or the grass growing in the yard or in the forest?
There are actually over 11,500 species of grass. That’s a lot of grass! And there’s a lot to consider when it comes to feeding guinea pigs grass.
What Grasses Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
Guinea pig hay is simply grass that’s been dried out. So we’re talking about a guinea pig's absolute favorite food here!
Most types of fresh grass are safe for your guinea pig. But it’s best to avoid alfalfa, lemon, and clover grass because they’re too high in calcium and protein. At least your cavy shouldn’t be eating these a lot.
Some grasses that guinea pigs love are Timothy grass, orchard grass, oat grass, buffalo grass, wheat grass, bluegrass, centipede grass, ryegrass, and Bermuda grass.
Dandelions are one weed that guinea pigs can eat! So while you're picking up some grass you can grab some dandelions too.
Check out Saskia and her guinea pig Podrick on YouTube as they show you some of the grasses they find where they live!
What Grasses Shouldn’t Guinea Pigs Eat?
So that leads us to the grass in your backyard. Can you just go pick some grass for your cavy to snack on? That depends!
The grass you feed your guinea pig must be:
clean and dry (definitely no lawn clippings from the mower)
free of chemicals and pesticides
weed-free (some weeds are poisonous for guinea pigs)
The other problem that comes up with fresh grass is that parasite eggs can sit in the soil and on blades of grass. So guinea pigs that graze on fresh grass should be checked for intestinal parasites regularly. They may need deworming.
If your guinea pig eats fresh grass then make sure your exotic vet knows!
The Importance of Grass In a Guinea Pig’s Diet
When you feed your guinea pig hay then you eliminate a lot of concerns that come with fresh grass. You also give them a little more roughage to chew and wear down their teeth. But some people choose to supplement their guinea pig’s diet with fresh grass.
A wild guinea pig would spend all day grazing on fresh grass so it’s certainly not a bad idea! Fresh grass gives them more tastes and textures to enjoy.
Hay and grass supply them with the fiber their digestive system needs. A high-fiber diet keeps them feeling their best and full of energy to chew… more fiber! So the more ways to get the fiber in, the better!
For a limited time only Small Pet Select is offering a 10% discount on the Sampler Hay Box.
The Sampler Hay Box is perfect for paw parents that are trying to figure out which hay is best for their little guy or gal. The box includes samples of our 2nd Cutting “Perfect Blend” Timothy, 3rd Cutting “super soft” Timothy, Oat Hay, & Orchard Hay.
What else could you need?
Use discount SAMPLER10 at checkout to get 10% off (while supplies last.)
Your furry friend will thank you for it. We promise.
*Minimum purchase of $20.00 for discount to be applied. One use per customer.*
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Grass For Vitamin C?
We know that guinea pigs need to get Vitamin C from fresh veggies. While fresh grass does have vitamin C, it’s not as high as some fresh vegetables.
But grass is a much cheaper way to get fresh food into your guinea pig’s diet! Just make sure you aren’t forgetting about Vitamin C in their diet as well.
Guinea Pigs Need Grass
Timothy grass hay and Orchard grass hay are some of the favorite options for guinea pig hay. Both of these are low in calcium, fat, and protein and high in fiber. Which is just what the doctor ordered for our little cavies.
It’s important that a guinea pig's main food source is low in fat, protein, and calcium so while trying different types of grass is fun, make sure the main dish checks these boxes.
So, can guinea pigs eat grass? They better! But it’s up to you to decide if that includes fresh grass or just grass hay. Both check the most important box! The fiber box.
We are not veterinarians, and none of our information should be construed as veterinary advice.
Before adding any new product, please consult your exotic veterinarian. If your pet is acting unwell and you have concerns for their well being, please contact your vet immediately.