What Are Guinea Pigs Allergic To?

Fortunately, guinea pigs are NOT allergic to cuteness.
Fortunately, guinea pigs are NOT allergic to cuteness.

Although guinea pigs are becoming more popular as pets, not all vets and pet-sitters know what they are allergic to. It is therefore up to you as guinea pig guardian to know. Here are the main allergens:

Aloe Vera

This popular antibacterial is natural and gentle enough for babies and puppies, but not guinea pigs. It makes them itch. Even products with a small percentage of aloe vera will irritate a piggy's skin so much they will scratch themselves open. This was discovered only a few years ago, so any older books that recommend aloe vera gel for guinea pigs are wrong.

Cedar Shavings

Cedar is a cheap and widely available bedding often touted for guinea pigs. However, they are allergic to the oils in cedar bedding. Over time, they will develop health problems in their internal organs. Some will immediately get skin rashes from it.


Chocolate will make guinea pigs very sick, if it doesn't kill them. They just can't handle it. You probably already know this, but anyone visiting may not. Guinea pigs tend to explore the world with their mouths, so they will nibble on a proffered piece.

Iceberg Lettuce

Guinea pigs will argue with you about this, as they do love the taste, however, iceberg lettuce is the least nutritious of lettuces and can cause painful digestive problems. It is also thought that iceberg lettuce may contribute to kidney problems, so stick with the Romaine.

Pine Bedding

Pine was considered the premium guinea pig bedding until a few years ago, when it was proven that not only can it bring about liver damage with long term use, but it's also a home for mites that not only bother small animals, but can make pet owners itch, too.

Certain Medications


Just as it would with a human who is allergic, penicillin will kill unless an antidote is administered in time. Death is usually by diarrhea, as all of the good bacteria in the digestive system is killed off. As most other pets are not allergic to penicillin, it couldn't hurt to gently remind your vet.

Other Medications to Avoid

  • amoxicillin (Clavamox)
  • ampicillin
  • bacitracin
  • cefadroxil
  • cephalexin * (derivative: Cefadroxil)
  • cephalosporins
  • cephazolin
  • chlortetracycline
  • clindamycin
  • dihydrostreptomycin
  • erythromycin
  • lincomycin
  • oxytetracycline
  • streptomycin

Comments 50 comments

Tina Orchard 8 years ago

this site don't really tell me if a guina pig is allgic to nuts (anytype)

cynthia 7 years ago

guinea pigs are not alergic to cedar bedding b/c my teacher has used cedar bedding for 3-4 years and has not had any problems with it

anonymus 7 years ago

What else are they allergic to??

5pigs 7 years ago

Cynthia... cedar is the worst bedding you can use for any small animal. Google cedar toxicity in small animals and do your research. For Guinea pig health see

Valerie 7 years ago

I went to the vet cause my piggy had some infection on his right paw. He recommended me to use aloe vera.

Kathleen 7 years ago

THis is just the hing im looking for! I am now glad I know that aloe Vera is not good for guinea pigs thank you!:) that helps me a lot.

piggyluvr 7 years ago

i have two guinea pigs. I was watching one eat today and i saw her with a huge/medium bald spot! Ive ben gathering information on if they shed what are mites and all the other looking at my guinea pig, it might have mites. btw i use PIne Bedding!

Piggy_Mad 7 years ago

my piggie died because of bad medicene.always check labels and thx for telling me about those medicenesbeing bad!

gplovr 7 years ago

omg,thank for the advice i wouldent have knowed about the medicene thing;)

Fran 7 years ago

My guinea pig has mites (again) and I dabbed it with aloe vera after a bath and she screamed!!! Will never use again. (Bathed her again later to get it off of her) Before - when our g pigs had mites - vet gave a shot of ivermectin and the mites were gone. Now we're going back. (This vet rx'd fish oil cap innards on her food) ((Didn't work)) And by the way - things that harm pets don't always do immediate harm. Sometimes it takes years (as in the cedar shavings). Cedar repels most insects (and animals) because they are so toxic.

scott 7 years ago

im making a cage for a guinea pig, what kind should or shouldn't use. Im doing this for my little brother who desperatley wants a guinea pig. Do you have any suggestions on how to make a guinea pig cage or what it should look like (dimensions). Also thx for all the wonderful info on their allergies it really helps me out XD.

scott 7 years ago

in cages that you buy at the store they have plastic bottoms. do GP's usually eat stuff like plastic or stuff other than veggies? If so is it harmful for them to consume plastic.

Amber 7 years ago

Im working on saving up for a guinea pig and I think that this sight will really help my guinea pig live for a long time. Thanks!

Piglover 7 years ago

When you are bathing your guinea pig, do you have to buy a special shampoo for them or should you just wipe them down with a wet cloth?

daniellelelele :) 7 years ago

how come my guinea pig seems real lonely?

and we cant play with her because she bites a lot!

help :[

Ruby 7 years ago

Hi do you have to bye special guinea pig bathing stuff your can you just wash them in water? please answer

Ruby 7 years ago

how do you tame your guinea pigs mine are real scared

sasha 7 years ago

Your guinea pig just has to get used to you. If you don't play with it it will never have the chance. It is important that you slowly introduce yourself to it. If you stick your finger in its cage it will naturally think it is soemthing to chew on. Try holding veggies out to your little piggie. IT will grow to associate you with the tasty treat. Make sure you give your guinea pig plenty of time and attention an eventually it will grow to love you just as wny other animal would. It is important that you make this connection. Guinea pigs are social creatures and need someone with whom they can connect and spend time.

Rhiannon  7 years ago

Hi I am thirteen and my two guinea pigs have mites and i think they are alergic to them. they keep itching and scratching and turning round, and then. having a FIT. I have bathed them in mite shampoo for guinea pigs, kept an eye on them, and everything like that. I don't know whether to take them to the vets about it, because a friend told me that they couldn't get rid of the mutes, their guinea pig lost it's fur and when they took it ti the vets it was given an injection -which killed it. I am so so worried, and i don't know what to do, it terrifies me when they start fitting, and i don't want them to die as i love them very much. PLEASE HELP!

Oxnard 7 years ago

and check the right dosage of ivervectin for your g pig and how to use

oxni 7 years ago

go to vet also

Counter Cynthia 7 years ago

To Cynthia: These are COMMON allergys to guinea pigs. MOST are allergic to cedar, but that does NOT mean YOUR guinea pig. Ok?

C3nV 7 years ago

Just got three Guinea pigs... very excited. They are VERY verbal and lots of fun. Thanks for all the info.

Jon 6 years ago

Just got two cute guinea pigs recently. one is about 8weeks and the other I would say is about 5-6weeks. Well the little one; I'm noticing is starting to scratch from time to time. Concerned so I made an appointment with the vet. I'm worried though because I'm afraid they may mis-diagnose and they give him some medication that will harm him. I understand that if they are scratching, could be mites. Can anyone tell me what medication if vet prescribes maybe harmful so I don't allow him to apply that particular medicaton.

livi 6 years ago

have a three year old guinea pig named fluffy. yester day i gave some treats that looked likedried banana and a blue round thing. today i went to see her and the treats were organized! the bananas were in on corner of her food bowl and the blue things at the other corner.

elizabeth 6 years ago

i just got a 4 month old guinea pig. when i put her on a towel to hold her, she sneezes. can guinea pigs be allergic to washing detergent?????

livi 6 years ago

i have no idea! my gp doesn't sneeze but she HATES to be held! last time i tried to give her a bath, i was washing her in my laundry sink (we never used it)and she tried to jump out. how can i make her stay calm???? please help!!! oe her very much!!!!

tk12 6 years ago

ummm i had my gp for like a year and im only 17 and i don't no how to give my gp a bath i didn't no if i should cause i don't want to hurt him at all and he already don't like being touched but anyways he was really fat but then he is getting really skinny and i don't really understand why

a dad 6 years ago

I wish my daughter had visted this site.................I just buried 3 guinea pigs for her

Jenysa 6 years ago

Is It possible for guiniea pigs to be allirgic to cats? I Have two kitties, and sometimes tey get into my room, where Binferd My guinea pig is, We put him on the floor to let him run around and he started sneezing and scratching his eyes, and then white stuff was coming out of his eyes, And sometimes his eyes get really gross i don't know how to explain it, but im worried about him, So does anybody know if this could be happening beause of my cats?

3 gps 6 years ago

i have 3 gp and i have always used cedar shavings and the gp are just fine but i love this website bc i was about to use aloe vera when i came apon this website thank you for saving my gps life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i wanna gp! 6 years ago

im getting a gp next week for my bday and im wondering if they r allergic to nuts cause i sure am

haha 6 years ago

hahahahahhahahhahahha they are useless animals

Olivia 6 years ago

If you think gp are so useless then why are you visiting this site?? And if your gp is new and your scared to give it a bath search it online on instructions and wait till he is used to you. If your gp is allergic to your cats, keep your cats away from them.

nikki 6 years ago

How can I get my guinea pig to stop being sceared and do guinea pigs allways shake when you hold them and is it usial if it keeps peeing on you


olivia  6 years ago

@nikki is your gp new??? if he/she is, let it get used to you. if your gp is like mine, she dosent like getting picked up bc shes scared but others love to be held. if it keeps peeing when you hold it, maybe try picking it up with an old towel or thin baby blanket. i use my baby blankets i had for my dolls when i was little. :P hope this helps :D

abbie 5 years ago

r they allergic to spinich leafes

new gp 5 years ago

i have a question. my gp is new (just got him today) and i picked him up and he was calm. so a few hours later i picked him up, and he peed and pood on me? why did he do that??? and he also bites me, well not really i think a nibble :( please help :(

livv 5 years ago

@new gp

mine pees and poos when i hold her too...he could be scared like mine but what i do is take an old thin baby banket or old cloth and hold her bith that but if you decide to do that, don't like rap him up tiightly or anything. also, gps are curious and explore mostly with their mouth so if he bites just tell him noo or something. hpe i helped :)

BabyChubchub 5 years ago

My gp just had a baby but there was a lot blood. But it stopped. i also gave her a lot more waterand food. But will it start again? please help soon

Guinea pig universe 5 years ago

i have one gp and i got her from petco. i am a 12 tear old girl and i heard to get them at shelter..... idk about it but this really helped. my gp is litter box trained and i use fleece in my cage. FLEECE SAVED MY LIFE. it is so easy to slean her cage. all i need to do is wash the sheet and her igloo etc. and the litter box training is GREAT!!!i will never use any wood in her cage, i usee carefresh bedding in her litter box. she is really good. if it pees or poos on you then leave it in its cage to get used to its new home for the first 2-3 days then carefuly take them out and take it step by step and play with them everyday. if you cnt take dem out everyday or they bite you and you dnt wanna, say their name anychance you c them, and place ur hand in their cage and pet them. biting: if they bite or nibble or cause any biting pain, shout OUCH!! or NO!!! because they didn't mean to hurt you, they were just looking for something to nibble on. give them fruints and veggies evryday but mostly vegies bc fruits r high in sugar and acid and can cause mouth sores. I HAVE VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE!!!! THIS IS MY PAGE!!! HOPE I HELPED A lot!!

et 5 years ago

I just got a guinea pig and her nose and eyes keep running and she keeps sneezing. She eats and drinks regularly. Does she have allergies or what else could be going on?

help 5 years ago

Ok i just gave my guiena pig a bath and he keeps scrathing what do i do ?

Ladyd 5 years ago

Et... It sounds like your gp has several symptoms going on. Because gp needs to be given vitamin C everyday I would highly recommend oranges apples and celery to start. The pet stores also provide vitamin C tablets for gp to chew on. make sure to keep them in a no draft room. Sometimes the stress of new surroundings can also cause some discomfort. Make sure the bedding is changed regularly and you wash your hands frequently. Provide a small hand towel, so that your pet can curl up for warmth. If none of these work, it's time to go to a vet for a vitamin c shot.

Ladyd 5 years ago

Help... Make sure you are using a shampoo that is for guinea pigs only. It should not contain aloe Vera. Because gp has sensitive skin they should not be washed too often. My vet recommends once a month. Always makes sure the gp is rinsed well. And kept warm until completely dried before placing it back in the cage. If your gp has really sensitive skin make sure to use only fragrance free gp shampoo. I know some people dry their hair with a blow dryer, but this too can overdry your gp skin. A warm towel would work just fine.

amanda 4 years ago

Can guinea pigs have corn on the cob?

Nicole 4 years ago

One of my guinea pigs is allergic to hay

ashley johnson 4 years ago

that is so cute

ashley 4 years ago

imy gunea pig dide and i am sad

jessie 4 years ago

i think you should of listed ALL that guinea pigs are allergic to. I was enjoying it till i got angry about that. just close down the website SHAMEFUL BEHAVIOUR!!!

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