Can Ferrets Eat Guinea Pig Food? What You Need To Know

guinea pig eating

No, Ferrets cannot eat guinea pig food as ferrets are obligate carnivores which means that they could only eat animal-based products as part of their meal. Guinea pigs are also herbivores which is as close to being complete opposite as compared to ferrets.

This article explores about why ferrets cannot eat guinea pig food by covering topics such as what guinea pigs eat, nutritional content of foods eaten by guinea pigs, reasons behind guinea pig food not being favorable to ferrets and many more

What do guinea pigs eat

fruits vegetables
Image Credit: Harvard Health

A good guinea pig diet consists of 80-90% of unlimited grazed grass or high-quality feeding hay. Their diet also consists of things such as

  1. Leafy greens, vegetables, herbs
  2. Pelleted guinea pig food.
  3. Hay
  4. Grass

The following are the vegetables that guinea pigs usually eat

  • Bell peppers
  • Green beans
  • Rocket
  • Savoy cabbage
  • Spring greens
  • Watercress
  • Carrot tops
  • Celery leaves
  • Cauliflower leaves and stalks
  • Courgette (and flowers)
  • Baby corn on cob
  • Peas (leaves and pods)
  • Tomato – but NOT the leaves/vine as these are poisonous.

Guinea pigs also eat a variety of fruits such as

  • Melon
  • Kiwi
  • Strawberry
  • Blueberry
  • Pear
  • Cherry
  • Squash
  • Banana
  • Plum

Nutritional Content Of Guinea Pig Food


Image Credit: YuMove
Calories30-50 kcal
Protein5-10 grams
Fiber 20-35 grams
Fat 1-2 grams
Carbohydrates20-30 grams (mostly in the form of sugar and starch)

Hay is one of the most common foods that guinea pigs are provided and by just looking at the nutritional content of hay we can see that it contains high amounts of fiber, medium amounts of protein, low fats and high amounts of carbohydrates.

This type of nutritional composition is not the best for ferrets as ferrets only need a diet that is high in protein, fats and low in carbohydrates and fiber.

Additionally it also contains sugar and starch which can cause very bad symptoms in ferrets such as lethargy and hyperglycemia.


guinea pigs eating grass
Image Credit: HayPigs!
Calories30-90 kcal
Protein5-15 grams
Fiber15-35 grams
Fat 1-3 grams
Carbohydrates 15-40 grams (mostly in the form of sugar and starch)

Grass is also another food that is common among guinea pigs. The nutritional content of grass is similar to that of hay so not further explanation is required regarding it. 

Providing either hay or grass can lead to similar problems in ferrets. The first thing is that ferrets cannot even digest it. Certain issues would still occur when feeding hay or grass even if ferrets were able to digest non-animal based foods.

Why Ferrets cannot eat guinea pig food?

Ferrets cannot eat guinea pig food because a guinea pig diet consists of herbs, vegetables, fruits which cannot be digested by the ferret digestive system.

Ferrets are strict carnivores which means they cannot digest anything that is non-animal based whereas guinea pigs are herbivores which means that they can only digest herbs, vegetables and certain types of fruits.

Related Read: Can Ferrets Eat Bananas? What You Need To Know?

What can be the potential drawbacks of giving guinea pig food to ferrets

As from the above text it is known that the digestive system of ferret doesn’t allow guinea pig’s food to be digested. Certain issues such as digestive upset, reduction in bone growth, lethargy or even death (if consumed in large amounts) can occur if your ferrets are given guinea pig foods. 

What foods should you provide to your ferrets?

different types of meat
Image Credit:

Ferrets can  only eat animal based foods which means that their diet should only consists of foods such as

  1. Lamb
  2. Eggs
  3. Chicken
  4. Tuna(As a treat)
  5. Beef
  6. Pork
  7. Whole Prey Animals such as rabbits, rats, rhodents.etc
  8. Commercially Available Ferret Treats

What are some other foods that you shouldn’t feed your ferret?

Choosing foods to not give your ferrets is quite simple as they cannot digest anything that is not animal-based. Some of the options include things such as

  1. Fruits
  2. Vegetables
  3. Chocolate
  4. Caffeine
  5. Alcohol
  6. Anything high in sugar
  7. Anything high in fiber
  8. Anything high in carbohydrates

Last Updated on 28 February 2024

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