Can Guinea Pigs Eat Tomatoes? (Healthy or unsafe?)

Find out if tomatoes are safe and healthy for guinea pigs.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen comments on Instagram photos or YouTube videos that say tomatoes aren’t safe for guinea pigs and they shouldn’t be fed. And those comments always have just as many people replying saying tomatoes actually are safe!

So what advice are you really supposed to follow? Today we’ll be answering the question once and for all – can guinea pigs eat tomatoes, and are they healthy and safe?

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can guinea pigs eat tomatoes

Guinea Pig Diet Basics

Before we jump straight into talking about tomatoes, I want to quickly cover the basic diet required for guinea pigs. That way, you can be sure you’re feeding a balanced diet that will keep your pet happy and healthy.

90% of a guinea pig’s diet should be high-quality grass hay. They should have access to hay at all times so they can constantly be grazing throughout the day. Grass hay includes types like Timothy hay and Orchard grass, which are both good options for feeding your piggies. Hay keeps your guinea pigs teeth in good shape and their digestive system running smoothly.

A quick note about alfalfa hay – it should only be fed to guinea pigs under six months old. This goes for pellets too; you don’t want to feed an alfala-based pellet to adult guinea pigs.

Guinea pigs should also receive a small amount of healthy pellets each day. The general rule is 1/8 cup per guinea pig per day. You want to find a pellet that is timothy based. It should only contain pellets – no added colorful bits, corn, or seeds. These are just junk food and don’t do anything for your pet. I usually try to stick with a pellet that has lower calcium – my personal favorite is Oxbow Garden Select Adult Guinea Pig Pellets.

Fresh water should be available in a bowl or bottle at all times as well. No dehydrated piggies here!

Finally, guinea pigs should get about a cup of fresh vegetables every day. With veggies, your main goal is to provide a variety so they get all the vitamins and essential nutrients they need.

There are a ton of veggies (and fresh fruits!) that are healthy for guinea pigs, but it can be overwhelming to put together a feeding plan. Make sure to download my free veggie feeding guide for a list of safe veggies and a sample weekly diet plan!

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Tomatoes?

Yes, guinea pigs can eat tomatoes!

There are some things you need to be aware of though before you just start throwing tomatoes in their cage!

First, not all parts of the tomato plant are safe. Do not feed the tomato stems or the tomato leaves – they are toxic to guinea pigs. The leaves, flowers, stems, and any other green parts of a tomato are unsafe and unhealthy.

Most types of tomatoes are safe for guinea pigs – including plum tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and some types of green tomatoes. I personally would stay away from green, yellow, or unripe tomatoes, however, as they are more acidic and your piggy is less likely to enjoy them. If you are feeding larger tomato varieties, make sure to only be feeding small pieces.

You also don’t want to suddenly start feeding tomatoes every day. They are very acidic and too much tomato might give your guinea pig mouth sores if they have too much too quickly. They also have a high water content that can upset a guinea pig’s digestive system. Start with small amounts and increase the serving size over time. If you do notice your guinea pig is prone to getting sores in their mouth, you can switch to feeding only red tomatoes and only as an occasional treat.

With any new food you are introducing to your guinea pigs you want to do so gradually to not upset their stomachs. Start with once or twice a week and increase the frequency over a month or two.

Should baby guinea pigs eat tomatoes? Babies (under six months old) have much more sensitive digestive systems that could be more easily upset by the acid in the tomatoes. I would only try very small pieces occasionally mixed into their leafy greens to get them familiar with different veggies.

Are Tomatoes Healthy for Guinea Pigs?

The answer to this question is also yes! Their nutritional content makes them a great addition to a balanced guinea pig diet.

Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin c for guinea pigs. Since they can’t produce their own vitamin c, supplementing it through their diet is very important to avoid health issues. A lack of vitamin c could cause scurvy or digestive issues. Adding in tomatoes a few times a week is a great way to provide vitamin c directly into your pet’s diet.

They are also a good source of vitamin a and are a decent source of dietary fiber.

They also provide variety. No other vegetable tastes much like tomatoes, so it is definitely a specific taste that will be different for your guinea pigs. I’ve found that most piggies love them – but there will always be a few that don’t!

Tomatoes also do not have a high sugar content, so you don’t have to worry about feeding it often as long as you’re feeding in small quantities. They also don’t have too much calcium (which can lead to bladder stones over time).

Nutritional Breakdown of tomatoes:

  • Vitamin C: 13.8 mg
  • Sugar: 2.6 g
  • Calcium: 10 mg

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Tomato Seeds?

One of the most common reasons I’ve seen given against feeding tomatoes to guinea pigs is that it is not safe to feed the seeds. Many people think they can choke on the seeds of tomatoes so they shouldn’t feed them at all.

It is true that they could potentially choke on the seeds. However, this is why I feed cherry or grape tomatoes. The seeds are small and are much less likely to pose a choking hazard. If you are feeding a larger variety of tomato, I would remove the seeds from the pieces you are feeding. I’ve been feeding tomatoes for almost six years and have never had any issues with choking on seeds – but of course, there is always a choking risk with any food.

I personally think the health benefits and adding variety to my guinea pigs’ diet is more beneficial than the low risk of them choking on the seeds – but you will have to make that decision for your own pets!

Most guinea pigs will enjoy tomatoes if they are offered. Make sure to wash all veggies before feeding them to get rid of any pesticides or germs from the store. And also make sure the tomatoes are ripe and not mushy or going bad. You don’t want to feed rotten tomatoes to your piggies!

I personally give my guinea pigs tomatoes on a regular basis. I think they can be a great addition to a guinea pig’s diet and don’t have any adverse effects if fed in smaller pieces. Test out tomatoes with your own guinea pigs and see what they think of them!

Learn More About Feeding Guinea Pigs:

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Tomatoes?

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