What kind of hay is best for guinea pigs?

Guinea pigs are delightful pets, known for their cute wheeks and playful nature. However, like any other pet, they require proper care and nutrition to thrive. One of the most important parts of a guinea pig’s diet is hay. Choosing the right type of guinea pig hay can significantly impact your pet’s health and happiness. This guide will help you understand the importance of hay in a guinea pig’s diet and how to select the best hay for your piggies.

The Importance of Hay in a Guinea Pig’s Diet

Hay plays an essential role in a guinea pig’s diet. It provides necessary fibre that helps digestion and maintains dental health by wearing down their continuously growing teeth. Additionally, it serves as an excellent source of entertainment as guinea pigs enjoy burrowing and playing in it.

The best hay for guinea pigs should be high-quality, dust-free, and fresh. It should also be available at all times as it makes up about 85-90% of their diet.

Understanding Different Types of Hay for Guinea Pigs

There are several types of hays available on the market, each with its unique benefits. In addition to shop bought varieties, don’t forget your local farmer can often provide fresh hay bales for a really reasonable price! Delicious barn dried hay can also be delivered to your door by companies like The Little Hay Co.

1. Timothy Hay: This is one of the most popular choices among guinea pig owners due to its optimal fiber content and nutritional value. It comes in three cuts – first cut (high fiber content), second cut (balanced nutrients), and third cut (soft and leafy). The second cut is often preferred as it offers a good balance between nutrition and texture.

2. Alfalfa Hay: Rich in protein, calcium, and calories, this type is perfect for young or pregnant guinea pigs. However, due to its high calcium content, it’s not suitable for adult guinea pigs as it can lead to urinary problems.

3. Orchard Grass Hay: This is a great alternative for guinea pigs allergic to Timothy hay. It’s soft, leafy, and has a sweet smell that guinea pigs love.

4. Meadow Hay: This type offers a wide variety of grasses and plants, providing diverse flavors and textures that guinea pigs enjoy.

Choosing the Best Hay for Your Guinea Pigs

When selecting the best hay for your guinea pig, consider the following factors:

1. Age and Health Status: Young, pregnant or nursing guinea pigs require more protein and calcium found in Alfalfa hay. Adult guinea pigs do well on Timothy hay or Orchard Grass hay.

2. Quality: Look for hay that is greenish in color, indicating it’s fresh and nutrient-rich. Avoid brown or yellow hay as it suggests poor quality or old stock.

3. Texture: The best hay for guinea pigs should be coarse enough to help wear down their teeth but not so rough as to cause injury.

4. Smell: Fresh hay has a sweet grassy smell which is appealing to both you and piggies.

5. Dust-free: Dust can cause respiratory issues in guinea pigs so always opt for dust-free options.

Choosing the right type of guinea pig hay is crucial for your pet’s health and well-being. While Timothy hay is often the go-to choice, mixing different types of hay will provide variety in taste and texture for your guinea pig’s enjoyment. Guinea pigs don’t just enjoy eating the hay, they also love playing and burrowing in it! Hide little veggie treats in a hay tray to keep them entertained for hours!

Using a hay tray keeps the mess contained while letting your piggies burrow and forage!



Remember, the best hay for your guinea pig should be fresh, high-quality, dust-free, and appropriate for their age. By providing your piggies with suitable nutrition, you’re ensuring they live a happy, healthy life full of wheeks and playfulness!


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