The Wonderful World Of Pets

Pet Nutrition 101: Three Foods You Should NEVER Feed Your Guinea Pig And Why (Plus Some Alternatives)

by Samuel Sullivan

Guinea pigs, those loveable, squeaking little rodents that people keep as pets, are a good first pet for most children. They are easy to care for, generally sweet-tempered and very social creatures. However, if you choose to get a guinea pig (or two, since your guinea pig can get very lonely when you are not home), you need to know more about pet nutrition for these little creatures. Here are three foods you should never feed a guinea pig and why.

Stalks of Celery

While your guinea pig may love celery (and not many rodents ignore this veggie snack!), feeding your guinea pig a long stalk or even a shortened and cut stalk of celery could actually kill them. This is because the strands along the back of the stalk can get caught in the guinea pig's throat and choke the poor little creature. If you really want to provide a little celery snack to your cavy (another name for guinea pig!), then chop the veggie up into tiny slices or tiny diced cubes so that the celery strands cannot hurt your little furry friend.

Rabbit Food or Other Small Animal Food Not Made for Guinea Pigs

Guinea pig food is specially made for guinea pigs. It is not processed in the same way as rabbit food or other rodent food mixes, and is missing a chemical that is actually toxic to guinea pigs. Additionally, other rodent pellet food mixes are missing nutrients and vitamins that are vital to the health and well-being of your guinea pig. As tempting as it might be to buy a cheaper rodent pellet mix, it is not worth your pet's life.


Potatoes are another vegetable that are off-limits for guinea pigs. The excess starch is thought to cause kidney stones, which your poor guinea pig cannot pass through his or her tiny urethra. Ergo, regular feedings of potatoes to your furry friend could cause death by kidney stone. Potatoes can also cause a lot of bloating and discomfort, which could result in more urgent cries from your cavy during the night, making it a very sleepless night for you and a decreased appetite for your pet. Instead, offer your pet just about any other type of green, leafy vegetable or orange veggie, including bits of sweet potato, pumpkin and every kind of lettuce imaginable. Corn on the cob is also safe, if you give your pet only a very little bit.

For more information, contact a veterinarian, like one at Clayton Veterinary Associates.