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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Avocado? Nutrition Facts & FAQ

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Avocado

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Dr. Lauren Demos  Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Guinea pigs are quite the little herbivorous critters, constantly snacking on leafy greens and yummy hay. But when it comes to dishing out every plant we can, we have to ask ourselves what is safe for our little buddies. After all, they can’t eat everything.

Avocado is incredibly toxic to certain household pets—but what about guinea pigs? Unfortunately, avocado is toxic to guinea pigs—well, at least certain parts. And, the non-toxic parts are full of unnecessary fats. So, ultimately, when it comes to feeding guinea pigs, avocados should be on the “no” list.

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What Makes an Avocado Toxic to Guinea Pigs?

Avocado seeds, stems, leaves, and skin contain persin, a highly toxic component for many animals. This substance is very dangerous to many of our domestic pets, but not humans. Surprisingly, laboratory studies are actually trying to prove that this component causes apoptosis in breast cancer cells! Miraculous!

But clearly, what’s suitable for one species is not good for all.

Signs of toxicity due to ingesting persin in guinea pigs include:
  • Inflammation
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Fluid buildup around the heart muscle
  • Heart arrhythmia
  • Death

Even if you try to eliminate the skin as best as possible, there’s no surefire way to tell that you haven’t left any tiny parts that could trigger a reaction in your guinea pig. It’s simply not worth it!

Safe Parts of the Avocado

The internal fruit of the avocado is completely fine for your guinea pigs to eat. It is likely very yummy for them, and it is soothing to their system. They are full of ultra-beneficial vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K

However, it is extremely high in fat, which is not good at all for your herbivorous little friend. A diet that is too high in fat can lead to internal issues with the digestive and gastrointestinal tract.

halved avocado on a plate
Image Credit: Anne, Pexels

Safe Feeding Suggestions

We do not suggest feeding your guinea pig any avocado. However, if you go against our advice and choose to give your guinea pig avocados anyway, we prefer you to be safe. Ultimately, you decide what’s best for your piggy pal.

Ensure all of these stems, seeds, skin, and leaves are nonexistent. Mash up the avocado to make it easier for your guinea pig to consume. You can mix this mashed delight in with other guinea pig-friendly food items.

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Guinea Pig-Safe Veggies & Fruits

Instead of avocado, there is a laundry list of other fruits and vegetables that are completely safe and extremely healthy for your guinea pigs.

Some examples include:
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Endive
  • Carrot tops (go light on carrots)
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Beets
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Kale
  • Mint
  • Apples
Two guinea pigs are eating cabbage leaf
Image Credit: yurilily, Shutterstock

Other Plants to Avoid

Avocado isn’t the only toxic or potentially dangerous plant for guinea pigs. Here, we will discuss other relatively common but unsuitable plant-based snacks for your ornery rodents.

These plants include, but are not limited to:
  • Rhubarb
  • Nightshade
  • Dandelions
  • Chives
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Potatoes

Other fruits and veggies might not be harmful, but they aren’t great for frequent consumption.

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Guinea Pig Diet

Guinea pigs can be very digestive and only sensitive. They require a very particular diet to stay fit, healthy, and vibrant. They require a commercial pellet containing all the nutritional value that nourishes their body.

Also, many guinea pigs require additional vitamin C, as their bodies don’t produce it independently. Sometimes, commercial diets lack the appropriate amount of vitamin C your guinea pig needs. Examples of vitamin C-rich veggies include broccoli, bell peppers, and kale.

You must always have Timothy hay on hand for your guinea pig, as they require constant fiber in their diet for their digestive tract to work correctly.

Anything additional that you add to your guinea pig’s diet should be completely supplemental. They can enjoy a variety of plant materials in moderation. Always make sure they’ve had their appropriate amount of guinea pig-specific food during the day before you offer any additional goodies.

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Guinea Pigs + Avocados: Final Thoughts

Remember that avocado stems, leaves, seeds, and skin are incredibly toxic to your guinea pig. Keep them away at all costs. Even though the internal fruit of the avocado is technically safe for guinea pigs to consume, that doesn’t necessarily mean they should.

Avocados are extremely high in fat, which throws your guinea pig’s gastrointestinal system off balance. It’s best to stick with beneficial plants for your guinea pig, such as those mentioned in this article. Also, keep in mind that nothing compares to daily well-balanced diets.

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Featured Image Credit: Gil Ndjouwou, Unsplash

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