“Can guinea pigs eat grass clippings?” is a common question asked during spring and summer when people start cutting grass in their yards.
YES, they can!
With most of those grass clippings taken away for recycling or compost, you might naturally wonder if it’s safe to feed them to your furry friend.
KEEP READING to find out as we explore what grass clippings are, their safety, and how to prepare them for your guinea pigs…
Table of Contents
- Grass clippings are safe for guinea pigs to eat if they are free of harmful chemicals.
- Overfeeding grass clippings to your guineas can lead to digestive problems, so providing a balanced diet with hay, vegetables, and a small amount of fruit is essential.
- Grass clippings should not be the only source of nutrition for guinea pigs as they lack essential vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamin C.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Grass Clippings?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat grass clippings. Grass clippings can offer a great addition to your guinea’s diet, but feed this food source in moderation!
As observed by Chris Starbuck from the Department of Horticulture, grass clippings have a wide range of uses in agriculture :
“These materials are a valuable landscape resource when composted or used as a mulch.”
Check out this informative video on the benefits of grass clippings, which gives a visual representation of what makes them such a great addition to your garden and animal’s diet:
Now, let me tell you about the other side, the DANGERS of glass clippings:
#1 Lawnmower Exhaust
Unless you’re using a manual grass cutter or an electric lawnmower, a typical gas-powered mower will expel harmful exhaust gas.
Grass clippings will be exposed to these harmful gas as it’s getting mowed.
Therefore, feeding guinea pigs grass clipping could potentially make them sick.
During the spring and summer, weeds will start growing in the yard. As you mow the lawn, the weeds will get cut and end up with the grass-clipping mix.
Most types of weeds are toxic to guinea pigs. This includes Mallow, GoldenRod, Coltsfoot, Sorrel, and Ivy.
If you have a garden full of vegetables and other plants, you may use pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers, which will eventually get onto the grass.
While these chemicals will make plants grow and keep pests away, they are very toxic to your guinea pigs. By feeding them grass clippings, they can ingest these harmful chemicals, too .
If you plan to feed them grass clippings, ensure the grass is free of chemicals.
Can You Feed Guinea Pigs Grass?
The grass is a kind of hay, and guinea pigs primarily eat hay as part of their daily diet, and it’s full of fiber which they need to stay healthy.
So, the grass is excellent for guinea pigs to eat. The only problem you need to be aware of is what the grass is exposed to.
In the backyard, grass can be exposed to harmful chemicals used to treat the lawn and garden, bird droppings, and other pets’ urine and feces.
To safely feed grass to guinea pigs, you’ll need to ensure the grass is immaculate.
Also, ensure the grass is fresh and only use a shear to cut the grass.
Read more about what grass can guinea pigs eat.
Introducing Grass To Guinea Pigs
It’s vital to introduce grass gradually to them to ensure the balance of bacteria in the hindgut is kept in check.
If the grass is consumed too quickly, the bacteria can become unbalanced and cause digestive problems.
Most of the time, it will lead to bloating and diarrhea.
Start by introducing grass in small quantities by mixing it with the foods they are used to eating. Mixing grass with hay is an excellent way to introduce new food to them.
Over about 1-2 weeks, gradually increase the amount of grass to feed them.
How to Prepare Grass for Guinea Pigs
Grass makes excellent food for guinea pigs, but only if adequately prepared.
This means the grass will need to be extremely clean and free of any chemicals and pesticides — otherwise, your guinea might get sick!
Gather a small amount of grass and use a shear to cut it. Always use fresh grass to feed them to prevent any fermentation of the grass.
With the fresh grass in hand, place it into a colander, and wash it thoroughly with water.
Make sure to clean it well and that there are no droppings, urine, or bugs on it. As for pesticides, it’s not possible to remove them by washing them.
How Much Grass Can a Guinea Pig Eat?
Baby guinea pigs should only be given a few pieces. Make sure to introduce grass to them gradually. After a couple of weeks, you can give them more grass.
For an adult guinea pig, you can give them a big handful of grass. If this is their first time tasting grass, mix it with their staple food of hay, making it easier for them to eat.
How Often Can A Guinea Pig Eat Grass?
Since grass is a natural diet for guinea pigs, they can eat it daily.
Make sure to feed them other food so they won’t get bored with the same food daily.
As for their staple food, it’s essential to feed them fresh hay daily. The hay should be available to them 24/7, and hay will keep their digestive system running smoothly.
CHECK: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Lemon Grass?
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can grass make the guinea pig sick?
Grass can make your guinea pig sick. Feeding them too much fresh green grass at once can make them very ill. It’s better to give them grass gradually to prevent any digestive issues.
2. Can guinea pigs eat grass from the yard?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat grass from the yard. However, you must ensure it’s free of chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.
So, can guinea pigs eat grass clippings? You bet!
Yes, guinea pigs can eat grass clippings in moderation to supplement their regular diet.
However, ensure that the grass is free from pesticides and herbicides and that the clippings are not contaminated with dirt or other debris. Happy munching for your piggies!
1. Starbuck C. Grass Clippings, Compost and Mulch: Questions and Answers [Internet]. extension.missouri.edu. Available from: https://extension.missouri.edu/publications/g6958
2. Aktar W, Sengupta D, Chowdhury A. Impact of Pesticides Use in agriculture: Their Benefits and Hazards. Interdisciplinary Toxicology [Internet]. 2009;2:1–12. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2984095/
Alina Hartley is a small-town girl with a ginormous love of bearded dragons. It all started with Winchester, a baby bearded who was abandoned at the shelter by his former owners because of a birth defect that caused one front leg to be shorter than the other. Alina originally went to the shelter looking for a guinea pig, but one look at Winchester and it was love at first sight. From that day on, Alina has dedicated her life to learning everything she can about bearded dragons. She loves helping new beardie parents start their incredible journey with these magnificent reptiles.
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