Can Guinea Pigs Eat Grass Instead of Hay?

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As a new guinea pig owner, there’s more to be concerned about in caring for your pet’s diet. More importantly, knowing how safe some foods are for them, especially fruits and veggies. For these herbivores, hays happen to be their major food and this keeps you wondering, can guinea pigs eat grass instead of hay?

Yes! Guinea pigs can eat grass but it’s not a good substitute for hay. Hay contains more fiber and other nutrients compared to grass – which is important for your guinea pig’s growth.

However, If you still want to feed your cavy grass, make sure it’s free from chemicals. I recommend introducing it slowly to your guinea pigs.

You normally see all kinds of grass around and would be tempted to let your cavy eat on any one of them. 

However, being not sure of the type to feed them makes me wonder, can guinea pigs eat all types of grass? Let’s dive deeper into this article to find out.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat All Types of Grass?

Guinea Pig Eating Grass

No, they can’t. You can’t just spot any grass and feed to your cavy or let them graze on it. Some grasses aren’t just suitable for them to eat. However, some grasses are suitable for your cavy to eat.

 Let’s go further to know the types of grasses your guinea pigs can eat.

What Types of Grass Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

We’ve provided you with different options of healthy grasses your guinea pigs can eat so you don’t get confused finding the grasses that are safe for them. Feel free to let them eat these.

Wheat grassCat grassNapier grassRhodes grassGarden grassWild grass
Buffalo grassOrchard grassFescue grassBluegrassClover grassZebra grass
Bermuda grassLemonade grassMeadow grassGoose grassCouch grassElephant grass
Oat grassGrass pelletsReed canary grassNut grassYard grassPet grass

Can Baby Guinea Pigs Eat Grass?

Yes, they can. Baby cavies can have grass not long after birth. In about 24 hours, they’re able to digest solid grass. 

They get fully used to eating it after about a week or two, but still have their mother’s milk. Most veggies aren’t fine to feed baby guinea pigs because of the high content of some nutrients that may be too harsh for them. 

Grass, on the other hand, has moderate nutrients and wouldn’t harm your baby cavy. Still, these grasses should come into their diet slowly at this early stage of their lives and also in bits. They’re still babies and mostly depend on their mothers’ milk.

How Much Grass Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

A lot! Your guinea pigs can eat grass as much as they want to. There’s no moderation for this one.

Unlike most fruits and veggies that serving size is important, grasses can be eaten in large amounts. Also, the fiber in it isn’t much, so your guinea pigs need to eat much to get the required amount of fiber they need.

It’s a portion of food they can have every day with worries, whether it’s a lawn, garden, or wild grass available, to make sure it’s clean and safe to feed them. 

Moreover, you can collect the grass yourself and feed them to your cavy as much as they want. This method is safe as you get to wash them and carefully select the ones good for them to eat.

Health Benefits of Grass on Guinea Pigs

Grass - Healthy Food for Guinea Pigs

Grass has some health benefits on your cavy. So, a handful of grasses every day doesn’t just keep your guinea pig’s belly happy but also promotes good well-being. Here are some of these benefits.

  • Boosts Immunity

Vitamin C is a major nutrient in grass and it’s necessary for your cavy in fighting any disease that arises in their body, especially scurvy which is common and caused by a lack of vitamin C in their body. 

  • Aids Weight Loss

The fibers in the grass can fill your cavy well so they can have it rather than eating a lot of food at once to get filled. This way, they won’t gain too much weight. Feeding them grass is a way to keep them in good shape.

  • Reduces Cholesterol Level

Feeding your guinea pig’s grass will help reduce the level of cholesterol in their bodies. When this cholesterol level is high in the body, it creates issues on their health so a daily grass diet will help avoid it. 

  • Speeds up Recovery from Injuries

The nutrients in grass help in blood clotting. Also, it closes wounds faster and quicken the recovery process of any injury your cavy may have.

  • Reduce Inflammation

Grass helps reduce inflammation in certain areas of their body. This situation normally arises as a cavy grows older so for these grazers, they’ll still benefit from this grass even as they grow old.

  • Keeps Blood Sugar in Check

Grass is low in sugar and this is great for cavies. Too much sugar can make your little pet sick, and sometimes could be fatal.

Most foods they eat can increase their blood sugar level and adding grass to their diet helps reduce the level of sugar in their bodies.

What Are Other Alternatives for Grass?

Besides grass, there are some other veggies you can feed your guinea pig. 

For you not to bother searching for the safe ones to feed your furry friend, we’ve shared some of these healthy veggies you can add to their diet plan. See them below.

CabbageCilantroBeetSweet Potato
ParsleyMintCarrotArtichoke
LettuceCucumberSpinachBasil
PumpkinTomatoWatercressRomaine
Bell pepperCeleryZucchiniKale
Brussel sproutsAsparagusGreen beansBroccoli

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Dead Grass?

Dead Grass - Food for Guinea Pigs

Yes, guinea pigs can have dead grass. You might think of it as harmful because it isn’t fresh one. These are just fresh grasses that are left to die off after being cut from their roots. 

They’re normal foods for rabbits and bigger animals like horses. Interestingly, cavies can eat both fresh and dead grass. It won’t harm your pet at all. 

These grasses are a kind of hay and ones your cavy would love to get their teeth busy on. However, cavies love fresh grasses and it’s more healthy for them.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Grass in Winter?

Yes, they can. However, it gets pretty cold during these times so placing your cavy on the grass isn’t safe for them at all. 

They could get a chill, especially if it’s damp. All you have to do it’s to prepare these grasses for them and keep them away from the cold.

And if you want to take them outdoors, make sure their hutch is well protected from the cold.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Grass in the Yard?

Sure, they can! Grasses in the yard are fine for them to eat. However, you shouldn’t just conclude that the grasses around are free from the things that could harm them, like chemicals. If you have a grass area that grew naturally and it’s free from chemicals, it’s pretty safe for them to eat. 

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Wet Grass?

Yes! Your cavy can have wet grass. It’s either the naturally wet grass outside, probably your lawn, or some collected ones that got wet when you washed them. while preparing for them. The only thing you should be worried about is your little pet getting wet. 

So, taking them out and leaving them to graze freely on wet grasses is a bad idea. For creatures so small, getting wet is pretty easy. And also, when this happens they could get infected. 

So, if you can collect the wet grass yourself, it’s fine. However, you should also watch out for molds that do form on wet grass.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Grass Clippings?

Grass Clippings - Not Healthy for Guinea Pigs

No! You should avoid feeding them grass clippings. These clippings are exposed to lots of things that could harm your cavy. You should also know that they ferment quickly and you would create severe health issues when it gets into your pet’s mouth.

When you mow your lawn, normally around summer or spring, weeds get mixed up with these clippings.

There could be toxic weeds in these clippings and you won’t want your cavy to eat them mistakenly as they can create health issues for them.

Also, if you happen to use chemicals on your garden of veggies and fruits, the clippings around would get some of these chemicals too. If you allow them to eat the grass that way, they’ll become sick as a result of the harmful chemicals they got on them.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Lawn Grass?

Lawn Grass - Good for Guinea Pigs to Eat

Absolutely! These herbivores are good grazers so lawn grass is just perfect for them. 

Aside from eating these lawn grass, they love to run freely around it. Before you let them loose on any lawn, make sure it’s safe from anything harmful to your little pet. 

Be sure there are no chemicals on it, especially herbicides and pesticides that are normally used on plants. Not only should they be free from chemicals, but also poisonous plants or weeds that will cause serious harm to their health. 

Also, choose an area that’s not commonly visited by other animals. The grasses in these busy lawns normally get quite dirty, especially from animal dung and urine, and that’s unsafe for your cavy to eat.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, your guinea pigs can eat grass. However, this doesn’t make grass a substitute for hay in their diet. Grass can’t replace hay at all. Grass has moderate amounts of vitamin C and other useful nutrients. 

In addition, the fiber in it is pretty small and this is one of the reasons it cannot serve the same purposes as hay in their diet. 

Fiber is a major nutrient a guinea pig needs every day and hays have lots of it. This is why in all the fruits and veggies you give your cavy, hays remain an important part of their diet which grass can’t replace.


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