Can Guinea Pigs Eat Bananas?

Lauren Jones, VMD
By Lauren Jones, VMD on Mar. 25, 2024
Guinea pig eating banana

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Ever wonder, “can guinea pigs eat bananas?” Bananas are a favorite food for many pets, and guinea pigs are no exception. In moderation, bananas can safely be offered to guinea pigs.

Always ask a veterinarian before offering new food to your guinea pig.

Are Bananas Good for Guinea Pigs?

Bananas provide some health benefits for guinea pigs. Most notably, they are good sources of vitamin C and potassium.

  • Potassium is an electrolyte that supports proper organ function and blood properties.

  • Vitamin C is a required supplement for guinea pigs, since they cannot make their own vitamin C.

Bananas should not be the primary source of vitamin C for a guinea pig. Many veterinarians advise pet parents to instead feed a vitamin C supplement, which provides proper amounts of vitamin C for guinea pigs.

Bananas also provide fiber, which aids in digestion. Too much fiber, however, may cause diarrhea or gastrointestinal upset in guinea pigs.

The downside to providing bananas to guinea pigs is that the fruit is high in sugar—which is one reason it tastes so yummy to guinea pigs! However, guinea pigs often struggle with obesity and overfeeding, which is why moderation is key. Guinea pigs should only consume about one slice of a banana as a treat every few days, or less if your guinea pig is given other fruits and treats.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Banana Peels?

Most veterinarians agree that banana peels may be offered to guinea pigs, but again, only in moderation.

If you offer your pig a banana peel, rinse the banana thoroughly to remove any potential pesticides or fertilizers used during the farming process. These chemicals are dangerous and even fatal to guinea pigs. Remove any stickers on the fruit as well.

Can Guinea Pigs Be Allergic to Bananas?

It is possible, although unlikely, for a guinea pig to be allergic to bananas. There are typically two main types of allergic reactions pet parents should look out for:

  • Anaphylactic reactions can cause sudden swelling of the throat, potentially causing suffocation or difficulty breathing. If your pet is experiencing an anaphylactic reaction, seek veterinary care immediately.

  • Gastrointestinal upset and/or skin itchiness. Both conditions can worsen if not treated by a veterinarian, so always have your pet examined whenever they exhibit abnormal behaviors or symptoms.

Stop feeding bananas if your guinea pig experiences any type of adverse reaction, and discuss with your vet.

How Much Banana Can a Guinea Pig Eat?

Moderation is vital when feeding fruits and treats to guinea pigs. Fruits and treats should be less than 5% of their diet.

Too much fiber, carbohydrates, or sugars can cause diarrhea, obesity, or long-term diseases like diabetes. Typically, one slice of banana is all a guinea pig should eat, not more than a few times a week.

How To Safely Feed Your Guinea Pig Bananas

Freeze-dried or cooked bananas will have less nutritional value to your guinea pig.

Use fresh ripe bananas cut into ½ inch thick slices or small to medium diced bananas. These methods are typically the easiest and piggie-approved methods of feeding.

Most pigs prefer their bananas in their regular food dish or even a forage bowl, which makes mealtime more stimulating and doesn’t allow pets to eat too quickly.

Frozen bananas may offer a fun, different treat to a guinea pig; however, use caution, as the frozen pieces may present a choking hazard.

When feeding a food for the first time, always monitor a guinea pig for signs of distress. Even guinea pigs eating routine foods should be monitored when possible. Make sure all foods are small enough not to present a choking hazard. Signs of choking in guinea pigs include drooling, gagging, and coughing, and pigs may even pass out from a lack of oxygen.

What Other Foods Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

A guinea pig’s diet should include unlimited amounts of hay at all times. Timothy hay is the most commonly fed hay for guinea pigs. They may have dental and gastrointestinal issues if they don’t have unlimited access to high-quality hay.

Guinea pigs pet parents can also offer small amounts (1–2 tablespoons per day) of high-quality pellets as a supplement.

Along with bananas, guinea pigs can enjoy other fruits as an occasional treat, including:

  • Cantaloupe

  • Apples

  • Strawberries

  • Blueberries

  • Oranges

Guinea pigs should also eat approximately 1 cup of vegetables each day. Common vegetables include:

  • Parsley

  • Romaine lettuce

  • Leaf lettuce

  • Carrots

  • Clover

  • Dandelion greens

Lauren Jones, VMD


Lauren Jones, VMD


Dr. Lauren Jones graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2010, after receiving her bachelor's degree...

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