Will Eating Pumpkin Kill Your Guinea Pig? (Find Out Now)

Can guinea pigs eat pumpkin?  Will it hurt my guinea pig? This is the question that many guinea pig owners ask themselves when they are deciding what to feed their little pets. I did a little research and here’s what I found.

As a general rule, pumpkin skin and flesh is safe for your guinea pig. However, only give your guinea pig a one inch cube of it, once or twice a week. Too much pumpkin can upset your guinea pig’s digestive system. Also, remove the seeds and pulp before feeding because they’re choking hazards.

can eating guinea pigs eat pumpkin

In this blog post, we’ll explore to safely feed guinea pigs pumpkin, the nutritional value of it, and how to choose the right type to feed your guinea pig. Ready? Let’s dive in!

Can Pumpkin Be Bad for Guinea Pigs? 

can guinea pigs eat pumpkin

Pumpkins pose the same common dangers as other fruits and veggies you feed to your piggies, so pumpkins aren’t bad for your guinea pigs.

These dangers include: allergic reactions, choking hazards, and overfeeding. If basic precautions are taken then none of these issues should be hazardous to a guinea pig’s health.

Be mindful of the following issues and take steps to feed your guinea pig safely :

  • Allergic reaction: Just like humans, some guinea pigs might allergic to this fruit. If this is your first attempt at feeding your pets this fruit, you should monitor them afterward to see how they react. Give your piggies a tiny bit (¼ inch cube) and see how they react. Do this for every new food that you introduce to your piggie’s diet. After feeding, if you spot any unnatural behavior, I would consider seeking professional help from a veterinarian.  
  • Choking hazard: Something else you need to be aware of is the choking hazard – especially the pumpkin rind and seeds. This one is easy to avoid. Just slice the pumpkin into miniature pieces. Don’t feed the your piggies the seeds. The seeds easily cause the guinea pig to choke.  Or they can become stuck in your piggie’s teeth (which are a nightmare to remove). Many pet parents remove seeds in bell peppers and other fruits for this reasons.
  • Overfeeding: Be careful about feeding excessive amounts of this fruit (or any other food) to your piggies. Overfeeding will lead to digestive issues and obesity for your piggies. Just like any animal, including us, we need to stick to a balanced diet to stay healthy. Therefore, supplying your guinea pig with a well-rounded diet is essential. 

Is Pumpkin Healthy for Guinea Pigs? 

So, piggies can eat pumpkins, but how healthy is it for them?

Pumpkin is a great way to add important nutrients like beta-carotene, potassium, and vitamin C to your guinea pig’s diet. These are all nutrients that are healthy for your piggies.

However, it’s best to limit the amount of this fruit that you feed your guinea pig due to its high sugar content. (As a rule of thumb, this is a small 1 inch cube, once or twice a week.)

Too much can upset a guinea pig’s digestive system and lead to gas or bloat which are harmful for guinea pigs.

If you’re able to stick with the recommended doses, here’s the health benefits for your piggies:

  • According to these researchers, pumpkins can actually help lower blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes from occurring with rats, meaning it could have the same effect on guinea pigs. 
  • Guinea pigs are mammals, and they’re known to have high percentages of water in their body. Because of the high amount found, they need to have access to a sufficient volume of water. Luckily, pumpkins contain 90% of this valuable resource, making them an excellent food source for keeping them hydrated
  • It contains high levels of vitamin A. This study confirms that vitamin A is significant for your piggie’s vision, reproduction, and growth. 
  • Including the above astronomical benefits, pumpkin also contains a high level of fiber. Fiber is absolutely essential for providing a healthy balance between flora in the gut and gastrointestinal motility (that means that the good bacteria and the way foods cruise through your piggie’s gut are in harmony and working well together)
  • Guinea pigs are like humans, as they cannot produce or synthesize vitamin C. Thus, it has to be provided by food or tablets. By providing adequate amounts of vitamin C to your guinea pigs, you massively decrease the possibilities of scurvy occurring.  The flesh contains a small amount of vitamin C, which can help keep scurvy at bay.

How Nutritious Is It For Guinea Pigs?

After reading the above, you now know that pumpkin is a safe food choice for your guinea pigs. However, if you want to understand more about its nutrition facts, read below.

According to U.S. Department of Agriculture, these are the nutritional contents of 100 grams (or half a cup) of raw pumpkin:

Carbs6.5 grams
Calories26 kcal
Protein1 gram
Fat0.1 grams
Vitamin A245% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
Vitamin C19% of the RDI
Vitamin K49% of the RDI
Copper, manganese, and riboflavin11% of the RDI
Potassium16% of the RDI
Iron8% of the RDI
Vitamin E10% of the RDI
Niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6 and  5% of the RDI
Folate6% of the RDI

Apart from the packed number of vitamins and minerals that are included, it also contains a high percentage of water.

From this, we can comfortably say that pumpkin can be healthy for guinea pigs if consumed in appropriate amounts. 

What Type Of Pumpkin Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

Many guinea pigs won’t eat anything but the smaller pie pumpkins. Other gourds and bigger varieties taste a little bitter to some piggies, who’ll then refuse to eat them.

Also keep in mind that some gourds are grown for competition size or decoration and aren’t as tasty. Just make sure you are buying the edible type.

The rule of thumb is that if you find a pumpkin in the supermarket being sold for pies, you’re good-to-go.

Do Guinea Pigs Like Pumpkin?

Some guinea pigs will enjoy pumpkin and others won’t.  I polled 142 guinea pig owners who tried feeding pumpkin to their pets.  58% of the respondents said their pets liked the it while 42% stated that their guinea pigs didn’t.  

can guinea pigs eat pumpkin

The only way to truly know if your pet likes pumpkin is to let them taste it. 

Just make sure you test for allergic reaction first by only feeding your piggie a quarter inch cube of it at first.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Pumpkin Seeds?

can guinea pigs eat pumpkin

The seeds of a pumpkin aren’t poisonous to guinea pigs.  Even though the seeds are fatty, they contain beneficial nutrients. 

However, you shouldn’t let your piggies eat them. The problem with the seeds is that they’re choking hazards for guinea pigs.

Guinea pigs aren’t able to throw up, so a piggie choking on a seed can be a terrifying situation.

Because of this, most people in the guinea pig community throw the seeds away and don’t feed them to their piggies.

It’s the safest option.

Full Disclosure:

While researching the topic, I found a handful of people who feed them to their furry friends (mostly under supervised situations).

My advice?

Don’t take the risk. The health risks seems to outweigh the benefits of feeding them to your piggies as-is. Particularly if you’re not comfortable performing the Heimlich maneuver on your little buddies.

Save the seeds for yourself or for the wild birds in your back yard.

Take a peek at this video on how to use pumpkin seeds as a deformer.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Pumpkin Skin?

Pumpkin skin and pumpkin rind is perfectly edible. If you’re going to feed the skin to your piggie, try to get an organic pumpkin. That way you’ll avoid the pesticides that are prevalent on non-organic varieties of the fruit.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Pumpkin Leaves Or Stems?

Pumpkin stems and pumpkin leaves are safe for your guinea pigs to eat. But you shouldn’t give them too much or feed them too frequently.

This is due to the high calcium content, which can cause a painful bladder and kidney stones in piggies.

So only serve pumpkin leaves to your piggies 2 to 3 time a week at most and no more than an inch or two for each serving.

Is The Pumpkin Pulp Of Okay For Guinea Pigs To Enjoy?

The fibrous pulp of pumpkins are a choking hazard. Avoid giving it to your little friends.

Once again, full disclosure:

Some pet parents do give the pulp (also known as the “goo”) to their piggies. And once again, my advice is not to.

Why take the chance?

How About Canned Pumpkin? Can Guinea Pigs Eat That?

Typically, guinea pigs shouldn’t eat canned or pureed pumpkin.

In fact, all canned and cooked food should normally be avoided.  They contain added sugars and preservatives, which aren’t good for your piggie’s health – like most types of human food. 

Raw fresh food is usually the way to go for your piggies.


While researching the topic, I discovered that many (not just a handful) guinea pig pet parents used canned pumpkin in homemade critical care recipes.

Please note that this is an emergency situation. This shouldn’tbe given to piggies  as an everyday part of their regular diet.

Critical care is a mushy guinea pig feed that’s given to piggies who don’t have an appetite. (Because anorexic piggies don’t live long.) The critical care is syringe-fed to the sick piggie until they’re able to eat on their own again.

The canned or pureed pumpkin (or other fruit) is mixed ground pellets and water to make the mixture tastier for the piggie.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Pumpkin Pie?

Guinea pigs can’t eat pumpkin pie Under no circumstances, should you feed your little friends any sort of pie.  It’s way too sugary and filled with ingredients that bad for your piggies.

How To Prepare Pumpkins For Guinea Pigs 

If you’re considering feeding your pet  pumpkin, you should think about following the tips below to ensure you’re doing it correctly. 

Failing to follow the appropriate advice could result in the pumpkin causing your guinea pigs some serious health issues.

Here’s how to prepare a one for you piggies:

  1. Feed it to your piggies fresh and raw
  2. Now you’re ready to begin. First, wash it thoroughly. From doing this, you’re removing any nasty bacteria, pesticides, or chemicals that may have been applied during harvest. 
  3. After this, cut off and trash the stem, along with any hard or thick outer peel/shell. (Unless you’re going to let your little friend try some.)
  4. Use a large spoon to scoop the seeds and stringy bits out. Throw them away. Then scoop out the flesh.
  5. If you’re happy with the result, you can then proceed to cut the flesh into tiny 1 inch cubes to ensure your guinea pig doesn’t choke on them. Again, remember not to overfeed them. One small cube cut down into even smaller pieces is more than enough. 
  6. If you’re pleased with the outcome, feed the tasty treat to your little friends
  7. When your piggies are finished with their snack, its a good idea to check around the area for leftover bits. Remove uneaten pumpkin as it’ll will have bacteria on them that can grow quickly and will attract pests.

How Much Pumpkin Can A Guinea Pig Eat?

One of the most important rules for feeding your guinea pig is the portion sizes. To help better understand how much you should be feeding your adored pet, see the below:

Guinea Pig AgePortion Size
Baby guinea pigs (0 to 6 months old)Not suitable for baby guinea pigs 
Adult guinea pigs (6+ months old)1-inch cube of fresh pumpkin, only to be consumed 1 to 2 times a week.

Fun Guinea Pig Activities Involving Pumpkins

Besides eating pumpkins, there’s a lot of fun you can have with them and your guinea pigs around Thanksgiving and Halloween. Take a look at some of the options below:

  • Use your furry friend as a model. Carve a pumpkin into the shape (or face) of your cute, little friend. Or paint a picture of your guinea pig’s face on it
  • Don’t want to feed your piggie pumpkin? No problem. Make a pepper pumpkin instead! Grab an orange pepper. Use a knife to carve out a face and stuff it with hay. Then give it to your furry friends to enjoy
  • Make an easy treat for your piggies that’ll last for weeks. Cut the flesh into tiny cubes. Pick up a pumpkin, cut it into cubes about 1 inch in size, bake them on low (about 275 degrees) for an hour and then set them out to dry. Give 1 or 2 each week for your furry friends to nibble on.
  • Create your own pumpkin hideaway for your piggie. On days when you can’t spend time with their pets in person, it’s nice to know that they’re still able to enjoy something new! The idea is simple: carve out some doors and windows and stuff in some hay or veggies for your little friends to munch on. Keep on eye on the pumpkins. They start to rot after a day or two, so you’ll need to throw it out.

What Should Guinea Pigs Eat? 

So, pumpkins come with an array of different benefits, but also some manageable cautions as well. It’s a tremendous treat-like snack to introduce into your guinea’s diet and something that most piggies will enjoy eating.

There’s a whole range of different vegetables that your guinea can enjoy. When taking care of your piggies, supply them with a balanced diet. That means gives them the right amounts of high quality guinea pig food.

Failing to do will increase the chances of illnesses and disease occurring. To help you develop a healthy diet for your guinea pig, see the below food that they can eat. 

  • Hay: One of the primary dietary needs for a guinea pig is hay. This is because of two reasons. Reason one is that hay is an excellent source of fiber, which your little friends need to digest food appropriately. Reason two is because it helps wear down their teeth. As peculiar as that may sound, it’s undoubtedly true. Guinea pig’s teeth need grinding down because they continuously grow throughout their lives. 
  • Pellets: Something else that is rather popular is commercial pellets. This type of food is an easy way to supply a balanced diet. The formula these pellets include is typically regulated to offer the right amount of essential nutrients. So when purchasing this type of food for your guinea, you’re guaranteed that it’s been tested and approved by a veterinarian expert.
  • Vegetables: A part of a healthy balanced diet for a guinea pig includes one cup of vegetables each day. Without a doubt, fresh, organically grown greens are the superior option, but you’re also able to opt-in for other types of vegetables. 
Zucchini Artichokes
Carrots and carrot topsMustard greens
PeasTomatoes (no stems or leaves)
Broccoli spearsGreen and red bell peppers
SpinachSpring mix

Herbs like a cilantro, dill, and fennel have essential minerals for your little friends to enjoy as well.  To better understand what vegetables you’re able to offer your guinea, see the below table:

Romaine lettuce (never iceberg lettuce)

The above vegetables can offer some great vitamins and minerals to your guinea pigs which will benefit their overall health. However, before feeding, you should also remember these tips:

  • Before feeding your furry friends veggies, be sure to wash them thoroughly to ensure you clean all the bacteria, chemicals, and anything else which is harmful off the surface. 
  • When introducing a new vegetable to your pets, you need to monitor your guinea to guarantee it isn’t allergic or has a bad reaction. If it does, seek professional help. If not, you know that vegetable is safe for consumption in the future. 
  • Remember, a cup’s worth of vegetables is more than enough for your little pet. Try not to overfeed them as it can have devastating consequences for their health. 

Fruits: Surprisingly, fruits can be offered as a nice little treat also. And there are plenty of nutritious fruits for choose from. However, these should only be served in tiny, one-bite pieces. This is because of the high sugar contents that are found within them.

If you want to treat your guinea to some fresh fruit, you’ll be safe with the following: 


Foods To Avoid At All Costs 

Of course, there are foods that guinea pigs need to avoid totally.

Some are much less obvious than others, so it’s more than helpful to be aware of these just in case. For a short and abbreviated list, see the below examples: 

NutsCorn kernels
Peanut butterIce Cream and dairy

As you can see, there are some not-so-obvious foods that guinea pigs have to avoid. Typically, you’ll need to dismiss food that is high in fat, sugar, is a choking hazard, or that when it generally doesn’t have any nutritional value. 

Final Thoughts

As you can see, feeding pumpkins to your guinea is entirely safe if you prepare and portion it correctly.  The benefits are clear.

And there’s a lot of fun to be had with pumpkins, too.

You’ve seen different types of fruits and vegetables that guineas can and cannot eat.  But remember that providing your furry friend with fresh water is important as well.

From developing an understanding of this, you’re able to ensure your guinea gets a variety of different foods while still maintaining a balanced, healthy diet. 

Guineas are like humans, and they can get bored of food pretty fast.

So to help them live a better life, consider mixing up their diet a bit.

Antidiabetic effect of flax and pumpkin seed mixture powder: Effect on hyperlipidemia and antioxidant status in alloxan diabetic rats. (n.d.). PubMed.

Guinea lynx :: Vegetable chart. (n.d.). Guinea Lynx :: A Medical and Care Guide for Your Guinea Pig. https://www.guinealynx.info/diet_vegs.html

Health benefits of pumpkin. (2020, September 23). WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-pumpkin#1

Mary Jane Brown (UK). (n.d.). Top 11 science-based health benefits of pumpkin seeds. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-benefits-of-pumpkin-seeds#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2

Nutrition facts for pumpkin leaves, raw, recommended daily values and analysis. (n.d.). Nutritional Values For Common Foods And Products. https://www.nutritionvalue.org/Pumpkin_leaves%2C_raw_nutritional_value.html

Nutrition facts for pumpkin, raw, recommended daily values and analysis. (n.d.). Nutritional Values For Common Foods And Products. https://www.nutritionvalue.org/Pumpkin%2C_raw_nutritional_value.html

Pumpkin nutrition facts and health benefits. (n.d.). Verywell Fit. https://www.verywellfit.com/pumpkin-nutrition-facts-calories-carbs-and-health-benefits-4165492

Pumpkin: Nutrition, benefits and how to eat. (n.d.). Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/pumpkin-nutrition-review

Pumpkins are a natural laxative and the seed is a Dewormer. (2019, October 18). Crazy Plants Crazy Critters. https://crazycrittersinc.com/pumpkins-are-a-natural-laxative-and-the-seed-is-a-dewormer/

A review on pharmacological activities and utilization technologies of pumpkin. (n.d.). PubMed.

WareN, M., & L.D. (n.d.). Pumpkin seeds: Benefits, nutrition, and dietary tips. Medical and health information. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/303864#nutrition

WareN, M., & L.D. (n.d.). Pumpkins: Health benefits and nutritional breakdown. Medical and health information. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/279610#benefits

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