Can Guinea Pigs Eat Zucchini

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Zucchini? [Serving Size, Risks & More].

In this blog post, we’re going to talk in-depth, about whether it’s safe for guinea pigs to consume ZucchinI.

We’re going to assume that the majority of you haven’t randomly stumbled across this guide, but you instead have a pet guinea pig and are looking for nutritional guidance on which foods to feed your furry friend. If so, keep reading, you’ll want to make sure that these adorable little animals that bring you a lot of happiness are well taken care of, and live long and healthy lives.

These pets are perfect for families, especially those who have small children because they are easy to care for and are more cuddly than a hamster and or fish.

Anyway, let’s talk more about the topic, and give you some of the details behind Zucchini, and whether it’s a good idea to feed it to your cavies.

Zucchini being served

Can my guinea pig eat zucchini?

The short answer to this question is, yes! Zucchini is a safe food for guinea pigs to eat.

Zucchini, also known as courgettes, or summer squash is derived from the varieties of the zucchini plant (Cucurbita pepo), which is date back as far as 10,000 years ago. It is a summer plant, very similar to the likes of strawberry, lime, and blueberry plants. Cucurbita pepo is also closely related to winter squash, which comes from a slightly different type of plant.

Contrary to popular belief, zucchini is actually a fruit and not a vegetable. This is what it’s botanically classified as.

However, why is this food the ideal choice?

Why is Zucchini suitable for a Guinea pig to eat?

A guinea pig‘s diet is quite a complicated topic.

This is because your furry friend needs a good varied diet to help maintain nutrient and vitamin levels, but also to prevent imbalanced levels of certain bacteria and fungi.

What is the best diet for Guinea pigs?

As we can see from VCA Hospitals’ advice:

The preferred basic diet for guinea pigs is unlimited amounts of Timothy or other low-calcium hay, supplemented with smaller amounts of commercial, high-fiber, Timothy-hay based guinea pig pellets. Vitamin C should be given each day to help maintain and boost your guinea pigs immune system. Hay should be offered throughout the day. Hay and pellets should be supplemented with a variety of fresh, well-washed, leafy greens or colored vegetables (especially those high in vitamin C, such as bell pepper, tomato, and asparagus).

Other good choices for vegetables include green and red leaf lettuce, Romaine lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, endive, kale, carrot tops, beet greens, cilantro, carrot, and squash. Iceberg or head lettuce has little nutritional value and is mostly water, so it should not be offered.

Thus, squash (summer squash) is recommended as a good source of vitamin C, which is highly important for your cavies’ overall health.

However, as is described above, Guinea pigs have delicate digestive systems, meaning that bacterial imbalances can occur due to a one-sided diet. Therefore, be sure not to overfeed your pig on Zucchini, as it can cause diarrhea and even more serious issues.

Guinea Pig Eating Hay

Instead, be sure to give your guinea pig constant access to timothy hay. This is because it’s crunchy to eat, which helps wear down their herbivore teeth, which grow continuously throughout their lives… So they need to chew on tough vegetation to wear them down. Additionally, because their digestive systems is so complex, it requires high levels of fibre to keep it working optimally. Therefore, hay is the perfect food source!

Feed your Guinea pig on fresh fruit, including organic zucchini, so there are no pesticides or unwanted chemicals. And always wash the fresh vegetables and fruit that you buy, to help remove excess soil and dirt.

Some guinea pigs love eating peeled zucchini, where others much prefer to eat the skin. But we advise only feeding the skin if it’s organic.

Nevertheless, courgette is the perfect choice of fruit to add to your guinea pig‘s diet in small quantities.

Let’s further explore the nutritional aspects and health benefits of zucchini.

benefits of zucchini for cavies

Health Benefits of Zucchini

1. High in Vitamin C

Zucchini is a rich source of vitamin C, which is vital when it comes to the overall health of your pig.

Similarly to humans, guinea pigs are not able to produce their own vitamin C, and therefore require it from the food they consume.

Without enough vitamin c in their diets, guinea pigs can become very ill with scurvy [Azeah]. For those that may be unaware of what this is, it’s simply a vitamin C deficiency.

It also helps with digestion, with having good levels of fiber.

2. High in Antioxidants

zucchini is packed full of antioxidants such as vitamin A, superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSHpx) and glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase) which are useful for preventing disease by eliminating free radicals in your guinea pig‘s body. Additionally, these antioxidants also fight inflammation and oxidative stress, which is a primary cause of premature aging.

3. Helps to Improve Digestion

It helps to improve digestion with its good fiber content and essential electrolytes/nutrients.

4. Low in Sugar, Sulfer, and Salt

Three of the elements we want to try and minimize in our pet’s diet. Luckily summer squash doesn’t contain much of these, so you can rest assured when giving your guinea pig zucchini.

It’s also low in oxalic acid, which is the most common cause of bladder stones, so that’s another worry which can be relieved.

5. Great for Heart Health

Zucchini is a high source of potassium, which is beneficial for the heart.

6. Ideal for weight loss

Guinea pigs can often experience trouble with their weight, and this food is perfect as it’s high in water content but low in calories and carbs. So your guinea will be able to lose excess weight by eating this fresh food.

7. Helpful to maintain good eye health

Summer squash provides a high dose of phytonutrients, which include vitamin C, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, lutein and manganese. All of which help to protect your guinea pig‘s overall eye health.

8. Maintain Strong Bones

Summer squash is rich in phosphorus which helps in the development and to maintain strong bones.

It also affects how the body uses carbohydrates and fats, and is necessary for helping product proteins, which are used for recovery and healing. Therefore, it’s a wonderful food for young guinea pigs or ones that are potentially unwell or in the process of healing.

balanced diet for guinea pig/cavy

How Much Vitamin C Should a Guinea Pig need?

The average guinea pig should get around 10 – 30 mg of vitamin C on a daily basis.

Pregnant guinea pigs will require more than this.

However, an unhealthy guinea pig will ultimately require anywhere from 100 – 200 mg, to provide a boost to its immune system.

Also, if you suspect that your guinea pig is becoming ill, it may be useful to provide more vitamin C, but we suggest seeking medical assistance from a veterinarian for this.

Nutrients in Zucchini

Zucchini is packed full of vitamins, minerals, and omega 3 & omega 6 fatty acids.

courgettes are made up of 90% water, so it’s extremely hydrating for your pet guinea. And because of this, it’s ultra-low in carbs and calories, which make it perfect for helping your pet to lose excess weight.

According to Nutritiondata, 1 medium-sized courgette, which weighs approximately 196g, has the following nutritional information:


Vitamin A – 248IU

Vitamic C – 21.1 mg

Vitamin D – 0.0 mg

Vitamin E – 0.1 mg

Vitamin K – 5.3 mcg

Thiamin – 0.1 mg

Riboflavin – 0.2 mg

Niacin – 0.6 mg

Vitamin B12 – 0.0 mg

Pantothenic Acid – 0.2 mg

Choline – 11.8 mg

Betaine – 0.0 mg


Calcium – 18.6 mg

Iron – 0.4 mg

Magnesium – 21.1 mg

Phosphorus – 47.1 mg

Potassium – 325 mg

Sodium – 12.4 mg

Zinc – 0.4 mg

Copper – 0.1 mg

Manganese – 0.2 mg

Selenium – 0.2 mcg

Fluoride – 0.0 mg

Fats & Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids – 58.3 mg

Omega-6 fatty acids – 34.7 mg

Young Cavy Eating

How Much Zucchini should I give to my guinea pig?

We know that the average guinea should get between 10 – 30 mg of vitamin c per day, and the typical medium-sized, fresh zucchini has 21.1 mg of vitamin C.

However, we recommend feeding less than 1/4 of a cup of raw zucchini, limited to 2-3 times per week.

The reason for this is, we want to make sure that our guinea has a balanced diet, which includes other vital foods and leafy greens like romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, parsley, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, peppers, spinach, broccoli, cucumber, sweet potato, and carrot.

How should I prepare zucchini for my guinea pig?

Firstly, we always recommend buying organic zucchini, why?

Because a lot of the non-organic ones have pesticides and a protective wax layer, put on them during the storage and transportation process, to help preserve their freshness.

Now, if you can’t get hold of organic, don’t worry! You’ll just need to wash the skin thoroughly with warm/hot water before serving it to your guinea pig.

Secondly, we recommend leaving the skin/peel on, as this is where the majority of the fruit‘s phytonutrients and antioxidants are stored.

Finally, you’ll want to cut the zucchini into small slices, and you can even cut these up into semi-circles for when you serve them to your guinea pig.

Can I serve my Guinea Pig Cooked Zucchini?

It’s highly important that you do not serve your guinea pig cooked zucchini, this is because their digestive system can only digest raw foods.

Feeding cooked courgette would only jeopardize the health of your furry friend, which would break most guinea pig owners‘ hearts, so don’t do it.

Stick with raw and fresh veggies!

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve addressed some of the most common FAQs that we see on a daily basis.

Can guinea pigs eat yellow zucchini?

Yes, guinea pigs can eat yellow zucchini (yellow courgette), just as they can eat green ones.

Yellow courgette is often a little sweeter and softer, which your guinea may or not favor. The reason being is that they often prefer the crunchier types.

Is yellow squash safe for guinea pigs?

Absolutely, yellow summer squash is very healthy due to it’s high vitamin C and A content. Alongside this, it has key minerals such as phosphorus and potassium which are vital for a guinea pig‘s overall health.

However, this should only be given to your guinea pig in moderation. Around 1/4 of a cup serving size, not more than 2 times per week.

Can guinea pigs eat green zucchini?

Yes, guinea pigs can eat green zucchini (green courgette), just as they can eat yellow ones.

Green courgette is often more crunchy and more bitter than yellow ones, and guinea pigs will often prefer this.

Can guinea pigs eat zucchini leaves, flowers, and stems?

Yes, guinea pigs can be fed zucchini leaf and stems. Additionally, they can also eat the flowers, since they are full of great nutrients like beta carotene, and more vitamins and antioxidants.

However, only provide a small amount of this 1/4 cup, as you’ll want to provide a balanced diet.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Zucchini Skin?

Yes, it’s safe for guinea pigs to eat the skin of a zucchini. The peel actually contains the majority of the fruit‘s nutrients and antioxidants. We recommend getting organic zucchini, to make sure that the skin hasn’t been waxed. If in doubt, be sure to wash the fruity thoroughly before serving to your furry friend.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *