Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Peas? Vet-Reviewed Nutrition Facts & FAQ

Jessica Kim

By Jessica Kim

Bowl of green split peas on wooden background

Vet approved

Dr. Amanda Charles Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Amanda Charles

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Derm) MRCVS

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

Learn more »

Guinea pigs are naturally herbivores with diets that mostly consist of a variety of grasses, hay, and leafy greens. They can also safely eat most vegetables that humans can eat. So, guinea pigs can safely eat peas and other kinds of legumes, like sugar snap peas and green beans.

However, as with most foods, peas should be given in moderation and should not be a staple part of a guinea pig’s diet. They’re best served as a special snack because they’re not nutritionally sufficient for guinea pigs.

Click Below to Skip Ahead:

Divider Guinea Pig

Guinea Pigs Can Safely Eat Peas

Peas are a relatively safe food choice for guinea pigs. They’re a good source of vitamin C, which is essential for guinea pigs. Guinea pigs can’t produce their own vitamin C, so they need plenty of outside sources to avoid a vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C is essential to a healthy immune system, skin and coat health, and joint health.

Image Credit: wantul, Pixabay

How to Give Peas to Your Guinea Pig Safely

It’s best to give guinea pigs fresh peas only and avoid canned or cooked peas. Canned peas can lose up to half of their vitamins A, C, thiamin, and riboflavin during their heating process. They can also contain high amounts of sodium, which can lead to health complications like salt toxicosis. Another form of peas to avoid is dried split peas. This form of peas can be too hard for guinea pigs and can cause tooth damage or be a choking hazard.

When choosing vegetables, opt for organic vegetables to avoid the risk of your guinea pig ingesting pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Make sure to thoroughly wash vegetables before feeding them to your guinea pig.

Only give a couple of sugar snap peas or a couple of split peas to your guinea pig. While peas are a good source of vitamin C, they do not contain the right balance of other important nutrients to be a diet staple.

A Healthy Diet for Guinea Pigs

The majority of a guinea pig’s diet consists of grass and hay, and they must have a consistent supply of it every day. Most pet guinea pigs commonly eat Timothy hay, orchard or oaten. Owners should be wary of feeding their guinea pigs alfalfa and clover hay because they can contain excessive amounts of calcium and protein. For most adult guinea pigs it’s best to stick to low-calcium hay varieties.

Guinea pigs will also appreciate eating small portions of a variety of vegetables and fresh leafy greens every day. Some leafy greens they can safely eat include arugula, dandelion greens, and carrot tops. Some vegetables other than peas that they can eat in moderation are broccoli, endives, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. Guinea pigs can also eat herbs like basil, dill, cilantro, and parsley.

You can feed your guinea pig some fruit, and they can safely enjoy small amounts of apple (not the seeds), melon, and kiwi. Just keep in mind that fruit should be given as occasional treats because of its high sugar content. Feeding your guinea pig too much sugar can harm their gut health and cause serious cases of diarrhea.

Make sure to be mindful of your guinea pig’s vitamin C intake. Most pet piggies’ diets also include a small amount of guinea pig pellets fortified with vitamin C.

guinea pig eating basil
Image Credit: TJ Images, Shutterstock

Divider Guinea Pig


In general, it’s safe to feed your guinea pig peas in moderation. Just make sure to feed them raw and fresh peas and avoid dried, canned, and cooked forms. As with any new food, be sure to introduce it gradually and avoid sudden diet changes.  If you’re concerned about the effects peas can have on your guinea pig’s health or have any other questions about their diet, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian to determine if they’re appropriate and safe for your guinea pig to eat.

Related Reads: 

Featured Image Credit: baibaz, Shutterstock

Jessica Kim

Authored by

Jessica is a freelance writer who spends most of her day researching and writing while her fluffy Cavapoo, Nora, naps beside her. She loves and appreciates pets and animals because there’s so much to learn from them, and they do so much for people. As a dog mom, she understands the special connection that pet parents have with their pets. So, she loves sharing helpful information that people can use to better understand...Read more

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database