Guinea pigs are foraging animals, so it is ok for them to eat as much grass as they like.
Guinea pigs’ digestive system is designed for lots of forage and most of their diet should consist of roughage, like a good quality timothy hay and veggies. Also remember that guinea pigs are one of the few species that require a daily intake of vitamin C, which grass can be a good source of.
Can guinea pigs eat grass clippings?
No, please don’t feed your guinea pigs any grass clippings. Grass clippings can be contaminated with weeds, dirt, bird poop, dog urine or pesticides.
Another big reason NOT to feed grass clippings to your guinea pig is that the pile of mower grass clippings quickly ferments. The finely chopped grass gets devoured so quickly that they barely even chew.
Fermentation then continues in the guinea pig’s guts and causes bloating, which is very serious in guinea pigs. Without immediate vet care guinea pigs can die from bloat.
So to summarize:
- No, to grass clippings
- Yes, to grazing on clean chemical free grass. (But it still can come at a price, you may need to regularly deworm your guinea pig as the soil and grass can contain parasite eggs.)
- Yes, to picking strands of grass by hand, giving them a good wash and feeding it directly to your guinea pigs.
What if you don’t have access to a lawn or clean grass?
You can always plant cat grass or wheat grass in a container, inside or outdoors. Then you can cut a few fresh clean pieces for them every day with complete peace of mind.
Can guinea pigs have grass instead of hay?
There is no substitute for the roughage and nutrients that hay provides a guinea pig. Lawn grass can be fed as a snack in addition to hay, but not instead of.
Things to keep in mind:
If a professional lawn care company cares for your home’s garden, then there is a good chance that there might be chemicals on your lawn. Chemicals and pesticide contaminated grass should never be fed to guinea pigs as the poison will be fatal for them.
If your guinea pig is not used to grass, you have to introduce it into their diet slowly, by giving them a few pieces at first before moving to handfuls of grass.