Can Guinea Pigs Eat Dog Food?

Shortly and sweetly – no, they can’t. By asking this question, I presume that you have a Piggy and a Doggie under one roof, and you’re just one curious owner. The guinea pig may try to nibble on the dog treats, but trust me, they’ll just look away. Also, science explains this well. While guinea pigs are herbivores, dogs are carnivorous omnivores. And so, dog food gets manufactured in the carnivorous diet style. So, giving guinea pigs dog food is not only wrong but also awkward. I mean, who does that?

Furtherly, dog food contains grains that cannot be downed by guinea pigs. Although guinea pigs can nibble on dog biscuits, some experts say that it provides no nutritional value. So, be advised to feed guinea pigs with their necessary dietary needs.

What Happens If A Guinea Pig Eats Dog Food?

What does dog food contain that can affect guinea pigs? Well, dry meat and preservatives, mostly.  While preservatives are not suitable for Piggy, dry meat is entirely indigestible. Piggy’s stomach is in no shape to digest any kind of meat. It is a herbivore, remember?

Also, dog food has fat, protein, and grain that can destroy Piggy’s organs, specifically, its kidneys and liver.

One more thing – digestive shock! Dog food is strange, and the stomach will not remain still, causing irritation and pain to the guinea pig. 

Feeding Piggy food meant for Doggie is putting them in a dangerous situation. Always try to get healthy grass and veggies instead of throwing dog biscuits to the pet.  

What Foods Can Kill Guinea Pigs?

1. Snacks Meant For You. Your chips, cereals, and flavored items are toxic to Piggy. Avoid them so that your pet does not get poisoned.

2. Citrus Fruits. Their high acidity levels will make the pig’s stomach to act up.

3. Chocolate. How much sugar is on a single bite of a chocolate bar? Too much – that’s the answer. Piggies’ digestive systems are sensitive – they find it hard to break down the complex sugars in chocolate bars. If they nibble and swallow on chocolate, they may get pains and cramps. Also, the pigs’ stool may change.

Apart from the sugar breakdown business, chocolates have a caffeine-like component – theobromine. Guinea pigs should not consume this component because it can speed up heart rates. This diastolic-systolic change may lead to a fatality.

4. All Dairy Products. They may prove very problematic to the guinea pig’s stomach.

5. Rhubarb – every bit of this plant is poisonous. Sadly, many owners have come out to talk about the fatal effect that rhubarb leaves have had on their guinea pigs. Rhubarb leaves contain the nephrotoxic and corrosive oxalic acid. Humans themselves have gotten poisoned by these leaves, making them a no-no-no for the furry animals. The acid is not only on the leaves but also on the stalks.

6. Sugar – the industrial kind.

7. Most Houseplants are toxic to Piggy.

8. Potato Chips – these are detrimental to the well-being of your guinea pig. They have significant loads of salt that the guinea pig’s digestive system cannot handle.

At all costs, avoid feeding the pet privet, sorrel, yew, and ragwort.

Feeding the pigs any meat may reduce your pig’s lifespan or even invite sudden death.

Remember, processed foods should never make their way into Piggy’s cage. By far, they are the most toxic. If young children are around, make sure that they don’t sneak in any of their snacks to feed their little furry guinea pig.

How To Keep My Guinea Pig Happy And Healthy 

1. Give the animal a constant supply of grass hay. I’m talking about Oaten, Timothy, grassy hay, or Barley. However, the pool food should avoid alfalfa (Lucerne) or Clover hay – these are too high in calcium and protein.

About the hay:

1. It should be there 24 hours a day, seven times a week.

2. It should be of good quality. I’m talking about:

a) Dry – the hay should have stayed in the sun long enough to all the dew to evaporate.

b) Sweet-smelling – as you pick out the hay, make sure that is doesn’t have a pungent smell that could put Piggy off. Let it be as fresh-smelling as the morning dew.

c) Without mildew, fungus, or mold – these could affect the pig’s stomach.

Why is hay quality an all-important thing? Well, it provides the chewing material needed to make sure that the pig’s tooth growth gets inhibited. Constant chewing means that Piggy’s teeth are wearing out, maintaining gastrointestinal and, most importantly,  dental health.

3. Make sure that you contain the hay in a basket or a hayrack. Using the basket/hayrack prevents the hay from sitting on the floor, avoiding contamination by Piggy’s waste. When soiled, the grass becomes dirty, damp, and moldy. Then, it becomes sick hay that is very unhygienic to your pig – it could make them sick, as its name.

4. Offer fresh and leafy veggies, fruits, and herbs. I’m talking about the following food items:

a) Basil

b) Borage

c) Broccoli

d) Brussels sprouts

e) Cabbage

f) Carrot tops

g) Coriander

h) Dandelion greens

i) Dark-leafed lettuce

j) Dill

k) Endive

l) Kales

m) Mango

n) Marigold

0) Marjoram

p) Mint

q) Nasturtium

r) Papaya

s) Parsley

t) Rocket

u) Rosemary

v) Seedless apples

w) Silverbeet

x) Snow peas

5. Give Piggy a dietary source of Vitamin C. Piggy and its systems do not allow for protein synthesis from food substances, like humans and their systems. Check the following food items:

Leafy green veggies

Red, orange, and green capsicum




Vitamin C food items are great, but guinea pigs should consume them moderately.

6. Chemicals should not have sprayed the herbs, fruits, grass, and vegetables. Insecticides/pesticides could harm Piggy. Clippings from lawnmowers should never make their way into Piggy’s stomach as they could make him sick because of gastrointestinal blockages.

7. Go for commercial, high-quality guinea pig pellets. Make sure that they have a minimum of 16% in terms of fiber content. Offer them in small quantities, and never give them as a main meal. Make sure that the pellets get eaten as soon as you buy them. This move helps take advantage of the high levels of vitamin C, which is in the fresh food balls. If they stay for too long without Piggy not eating them, the vitamin will fade away (however that works, no one knows!). 

8. Remove all uneaten food from your pet’s enclosure. After a few days, uneaten food may start to rot and become toxic, threatening to hurt your guinea pig.

9. If you want to inject some new food into the pig’s diet, do it gradually. The new-food introduction style will help your pig’s system to make adjustments and avoid sudden sickness. Start by mixing the fresh food with the regular diet, but in small quantities. Then, slowly increase the amount over a fortnight.

10. With all the food, never forget to give cleanly fresh water all the time. Install wall dispensers in the enclosure and let the water drip into small water bowls. While doing all that, make sure that the water does not leak and dampen the food. When the water gets dirty, get the bowl out of the cage, pour the water out, dry the item, and refill it.

To Eat, Maybe To Eat Or Not To Eat: Guinea Pig Edition 

This section will tabulate a list of some popular foods. Many people have been asking the question, ‘Can my guinea pig eat…’, and the answers are here for thirty-five (35) foods. The table will guide you on whether to feed the foods to Piggy, or something therebetween.

No.FoodShould Piggy Eat (Yes, No, Maybe)Why/How To Deliver The Food
1.Iceberg lettuceNoIt is low in fat
2.CheeseNoCheese is a dairy product – Piggy has no enzyme to digest it
3.OrangesYesExcellent source of water and fiber
4.BananasMaybeNot too much because of the high sugar content
5.Green lettuceMaybeLittle or no nutritional value
6.CabbageMaybeIt could get Piggy bloated, and too much gas will make it uncomfortable
7.Cheerio’sNoNot recommended because of health purposes
8.Peanut butterNoZero health benefits
9.PineappleMaybeMake sure it is ripe and fresh, and not too much of it
10.WatermelonMaybeToo much of watermelon means too much sugar for Piggy
11.LemonsNoHighly acidic
12.BlueberriesMaybeToo much of blueberries means too much sugar for Piggy
13.TomatoesMaybeNot unripe or its leaves or stem. Feed Piggy the ripe fruit only.
14.PopcornNoMinimal health benefits, substantial danger
15.Scrambled eggsNoMay make them feel unwell
16.MilkNoDairy product. Piggy has no enzyme to digest it.
17.PizzaNoToo much cheese, which is a dairy product
18.BreadNoToo much sugar
19.RiceNoExpert advice: could cause significant health issues
20.KiwiYesIn small amounts because of sugar content
21.PicklesNoToo acidic
22.MushroomsNoPossibly toxic
23.Bird seedsNoChoking hazard
24.GarlicNoExpert advice: could cause significant health issues
25.HoneyNoWay too sugary
26.Dried beansNoExpert advice: could cause significant health issues
30.Garden shrubs

From the above, you see that most foods are a no-no for Piggy. The more you avoid them, the better.  For the maybe ones, remember that the pet should take them moderately.

Is My Guinea Pig Happy? How Do I Know? 

In this section, I will bring to your attention the top three ways to know whether Piggy wants to eat. While the behaviors may not apply to all guinea pigs, the list is good enough to guide you on understanding Piggy and its friends better.

1. Piggy will start to beg for food. If guinea pigs want to eat, they will stand up on their hind legs. Then, they will stare at you excitedly, and with eager eyes. This behavior is all in the spirit of getting your attention, and of course, some food.

2. The pig will start to make squeaking sounds. If you know behavioral psychology and conditioning, you understand this one already. When you open the fridge, the guinea pig may have gotten conditioned to think that you are about to feed it. Then, the squeaks come out and may annoy you a lot. At this moment, you should pick out that Piggy is hungry. So, go and check whether his food supply is in plenty. Replenish the food pool if it is lacking, and ignore the squeals if food is there. By now, you should know that guinea pigs are, to a great extent, greedy.

3. Piggy will eat its dropping. In science, guinea pig poop goes by the name Coprophagia. You may see Piggy ducking its head underneath its body, followed by the sound of munches. Their droppings contain vitamins K and B. So, consider getting foods rich in those vitamins as soon as possible before Piggy eats, you know, whatever it’s been eating.

4. Piggy will wheek, and it may get into your nerves. The sound of wheeking suggests that they want veggies. You could be coming near the hutch (cage, enclosure), chopping on the board, rustling a bag, or sounding your voice. These movements produce sounds that get them thinking, ‘Oh, food is around!’.

Well, now you should know when Piggy is hungry (or greedy). Make sure that the pig’s feed is an entire herbivore diet.

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