Can Guinea Pigs Eat Meat? (Risks & Alternatives – Explained)

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As a pet owner, you’ll notice that some small pets enjoy the delicious taste of meat too. For example, cats and hamsters can freely eat meat without experiencing health problems.

Since guinea pigs are among small pets, can they eat meat?

No, avoid serving your guinea pigs meat as they are herbivores (plant-eaters). Their digestive tract, from the mouth to the stomach, is not designed to digest meat. 

Therefore if your cavies accidentally eat meat, they’ll experience serious digestive problems.

I believe you now understand that guinea pigs can’t eat meat. So it is always better to prevent them from experiencing unpleasant symptoms.

Come to think of it – What happens if your guinea pigs eat meat regularly?

Continue reading to find out! 

What Happens If Guinea Pigs Eat Meat?

A lot of things will go wrong if guinea pigs eat meat. There will possibly be an imbalance in the proper functioning of their bodies.

Below are some of the health problems your cavies will be exposed to if you serve them meat:

Stomach Pain

Sometimes, the meat you buy may contain a parasite known as “tapeworm”. So if your guinea pigs eat meat, this parasite may be transferred to their digestive systems. 

As a result, they’ll experience stomach pain, nausea, breathing difficulty, and restlessness.

In addition, the small pets’ digestive systems are not designed to digest flesh.

Therefore digestion will be a serious problem and this will cause diarrhea, bloating, and stomach ache.


An Overweight Guinea Pig

Fat and cholesterol are commonly found in the meat diet. These two properties are the major cause of being overweight or obese. 

So if your small pets eat lots of flesh every time, they will be at risk of being overweight.

Apart from reducing their activity levels, obesity in guinea pigs can result in heart disease over time. Besides, grooming them will be difficult as a result of excess weight.

Liver Diseases

Iron is another important nutrient that is found in meaty foods. As you possibly know, iron improves overall blood health. 

However, too much iron in guinea pigs can cause liver diseases, cancer, and other diseases.


Excess consumption of meat can cause diabetes. That’s why some humans have reduced meat in their diet while others don’t eat it at all.

Diabetes is a serious disease that should be prevented by all means in your guinea pigs. Some of the symptoms of diabetes in cavies are weight loss, frequent urination, tremors, and excessive thirst.

To prevent diabetes, avoid feeding your small pets any diet that can cause it.

Shortens Lifespan

Normally, any guinea pig that constantly experiences the health problems above will not live long. For example, if your cavy has a serious illness like diabetes, he may not recover quickly.

Raw fruits, hay, pellets, and vegetables are healthier diets for guinea pigs compared to meat.

Why Can’t Guinea Pigs Eat Meat?

One main reason guinea pigs cannot eat meat is because they are herbivores. Feeding them meat will no doubt make the small pets experience great discomfort.

Digestion will be a serious problem if your guinea pigs eat flesh, especially if it’s in excess. Normally, your cavies’ diet should include hay, vegetables, pellets, or fruits.

What Should You Feed Your Guinea Pigs Instead of Meat?

There are several healthy diets that your guinea pigs can eat instead of meat. Here are some of them:


This is commonly known as the most important diet for your guinea pigs. It contains fiber for easy food digestion in cavies and also helps to keep their teeth in check. 

Ensure you always provide fresh hay for your guinea pig pets. It will improve their overall health in the long run.


Consider feeding your guinea pigs healthy fruits in moderation.

But know that not all cavies love eating fruits. Regardless, this should not discourage you from serving them the diet. 

A little healthy fruit once in a while is recommended. For example, you can serve them the fruits twice or thrice every week. 

Some healthy fruits for guinea pigs include the following:



Another great diet option for your cavies is vegetables. Since these small pets are herbivores, they love eating raw vegetables.  These plants 

These plants are rich in important vitamins and minerals that can help your cavies grow healthily. 

Include vegetables in their diet and you’ll notice an improvement in your guinea pigs’ health. 

Here are some of the healthy vegetables for guinea pigs:

Green beansCucumbersSweet potato


Most pet parents also feed their guinea pigs pellets. These are commercial food for guinea pigs that provide them with the necessary nutrients like vitamin A, C, calcium, and more. 

Avoid pellets that have not been approved by veterinary doctors. Also, make sure you follow all instructions on the pellet package.

Can I Feed My Guinea Pig Meat Soup?

A Bowl Of Meat Soup - Not Food For Guinea Pigs

No, do not serve your guinea pigs meat soup. There’s even a high chance that your tiny pets will not go near it when you give them. 

That’s because your furry friends have a great sense of smell. Once they smell the aroma of the soup, they’ll know it’s not a familiar diet like plants.

Clean water is preferable and healthier for guinea pigs than all types of soup.

Can Baby Guinea Pigs Eat Meat?

No, baby guinea pigs cannot eat meat at all. In fact, it is dangerous to feed meat to little cavies. Just as the adult guinea pigs cannot digest meat, the babies cannot digest it too.

Chewing meat will be difficult for the baby cavies because their teeth are not yet strong. Besides, their stomachs will not be able to handle the diet. 

And if they forcefully chew and swallow the diet, they’ll have indigestion and diarrhea.

Allow the mother guinea pig to breastfeed her babies for at least 4 weeks. Fortunately, baby cavies can eat the same diets as adults. 

So you’re free to feed them hay, fruits, and vegetables too. However, always remember that moderation is the key.

Do Wild Guinea Pigs Eat Meat?

No, wild guinea pigs do not eat meat. Instead, they eat herbs, fruits, vegetables, grass, flowers, and other seasonal plants.

Also, these cavies eat wild vegetables, and small branches to keep their teeth growth in check.

Keep in mind that these wild guinea pigs have a great sense of smell. Whenever they sniff flesh, they won’t eat them.

Same as the domestic guinea pig, wild guinea pigs can only digest plants. Sadly, meat can cause great discomfort for them too.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Crab Meat?

No, it is not safe to feed guinea pigs crab meat. Crabmeat contains too much calcium and phosphorus which can be poisonous for them. 

If your cavies eat too much of this diet, they’ll be at risk of bladder stones.

Can My Guinea Pig Eat Processed Meat?

No, avoid feeding your guinea pigs processed meat. Usually, processed or cooked diets cause stomach-related problems in our small pets. 

Moreover, all types of meat, whether cooked or processed, are unhealthy for guinea pigs.

Consider serving your cavies fresh fruits and vegetables instead of processed meat. Just ensure it is not in excess so that they’ll benefit from it.

Final Thoughts 

As we have come to the last part of this article, keep some important points in mind.

Your guinea pigs should not eat meat because they can’t digest it.

Stomach pain, obesity, liver diseases are some of the aftereffects of constantly feeding your guinea pig’s meat.

Just like our domestic cavies, wild guinea pigs cannot eat meat similarly.

Baby guinea pigs should feed on breast milk only. Both crab meat and processed meat are not safe for your little furry friends to eat.

Finally, instead of meat soup, serve your cavies hay, fruits, pellets, and vegetables.

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