*RECIPE UPDATED* 4/24/20 Tweaked ingredient amounts, order of mixing and added some ground oats (oat flour) to help them hold together better.
I’ve created dog and cat treat recipes, but no guinea pig recipes – and – seeing that we don’t have a dog or a cat, but we do have two adorable piggies!! (Peanut Butter (PB) and Cinnamon (Min-min) I was feeling a little guilty…. So, I created a recipe using their kibble, applesauce, shredded carrots and the fine hay bits from the bottom of their hay box. They were not a huge hit at first nibble – their treat of choice is fresh cilantro or berries…but I offered them several more times and they did enjoy gnawing on them. Guinea Pigs and rabbits have teeth that continually grow, so they need to gnaw a lot to keep their teeth from getting too long – these are perfect for that! …and they use up the kibble and hay bits from the bottom of the bins – bonus!
Looking for some other Guinea Pig Treat Recipes? I found these from Small Pet Select (where I buy our pellets & bedding.)
"gnaw, gnaw" Biscuits: Teeth Tamers for Guinea Pigs and Rabbits Recipe
- 1 cup kibble (guinea pig or rabbit)
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 3/4 cup finely shredded carrot
- 3/4 cup old fashioned oats, ground or 3/4 cup oat flour
- 1 cup small pieces of Timothy hay (I used the fine bits from bottom of box)
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix together the kibble, applesauce and carrots to hydrate them.
- Stir in the other ingredients. Mixture should be moist enough to hold together when squeezed in your hand. (May need to add 1 tablespoon or so of water as kibble and hay textures can vary.)
- Spread mixture onto prepared baking sheet and pat until about 1/4 - 1/2 - inch thick.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and use a pizza wheel or knife to cut into squares (don't separate at this point.)
- Continue baking for another 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cut on the same scored lines. Separate them on the baking sheet. Bake another 30 minutes.
- Use a small spatula to turn the squares over. Bake for 45-60 minutes more or until dried to the desired consistency. When they seem just about all dried, I usually turn off the oven and let them cool in the warm oven - helps dry them out even more.
- Store in an airtight container.
Love this idea!!
Our piggies love the hard hay cubes that Kaytee makes, but I like your idea of using up the left-over bits of hay and kibble and making our own even better!! I wonder if you could add some parsley to the mix too?
Hi Nicholle –
Glad you like the recipe!! I’m sure you can adjust the recipe with lots of different items! I need to bake up a batch myself! Will be a great stocking stuffer for the piggies!
Happy Holidays to you!
Tina ( :
Can I make it without the applesauce
Hi Miranda – You could possibly swap out the applesauce with pumpkin puree – I had asked my vet about using pumpkin and oats in guinea pig treat and she said small amounts are okay. Best to double check with your own vet. But I think that’s what I would try as a substitute.
How long do they last? I am wondering how much to make and save. Thanks!
I would say they last at least 2 weeks in an air tight container. We just kept them in a zip top bag.
My guinea pig “Butch” absolutely loves these, the only problem I have is trying to get them to stay in cubes.! They just seem to break up. I will just have to play with how much water and maybe bake them longer. Butch doesn’t seem to mind whether they are in a cube or not! LOL
Hi Beverly! I’m so glad Butch loves them!! Yes, sometimes you have to tweak the water – for me it depends what particular kibble I’m using at the time. Give Butch a pet for me! Take Care!
My piggie loves this stuff, too, and I also have a problem keeping it from just turning into a crumbly mess. By the time I get enough moisture added to keep it from crumbling they never really dry out during baking (~2 hrs at 300F). At least I know the ingredients are ok and I can just give them in a separate bowl.
Hi Angela – See first direction – 300 degrees – Thanks!! Take care!
I’m making these for the first time! Fingers crossed they like them!
I made a batch for the guineas using guinea pig pellets and another batch for my rabbits using rabbit pellets!
The oven actually smells really good. Lol.
Hi Eric – Thanks for letting me know! I hope they love the recipe!!
We tried and they came out mush! They loved the mush. Suggestions to make them more bar like?
Yes, I find different brands of kibble can vary in texture. I say to start with 1/2 cup water in the recipe, but maybe you should start with no water, then add a tablespoon at a time once all the other ingredients are mixed in to make them soft enough to spread out. You can adjust the baking time too – as needed to dry them out. Enjoy!
These turned out amazing! My guinea pigs and rabbit love them. First off I did end up using the full amount of water, I used one average size banana since I didn’t have an apple which really made the kitchen smell so good! Then I just mixed all ingredients by hand to incorporate it evenly, followed directions on the recipe. The last 15 minutes of cooking time I turned the oven off and left them in there to completely cool. I hope this helps. I will make these from now on.
Great idea with the banana Kathy!! Glad they enjoyed – give them a pet from me!
How often can these be fed? I saw the comment above that they last approximately two weeks, but I’m unsure if I should cut the recipe in half or not.
Hi Brianna – you can always check with your vet, but I give them a few times a week. I’ve noticed that different brands of kibble can vary quite a bit in texture, so you can tweak the final texture with a little more water or applesauce if needed to help hold together.
I wonder if I could add a bit of flavour free gelatin to the water, to make the mix stick together since I tried only with water and they break and pulverize very easily… I was thinking about a fourth of an envelope, which is usually dissolved in 1 cup of water, I bought some treats that our piggie Chloe loves, that are hay and thyme and among the ingredients they list gelatin… She also loves the peanut shaped treats from Kaylee but they are difficult to find and relatively expensive ($4.99 for a pack of two). They have a thick hay base and then they have seeds and kernels on top: sunflower, wheat, corn, etc.
That’s a good question Monica – I would maybe double check with your vet to make sure the gelatin is safe first. I find I have to play around with the texture of the mixture as I’ve noticed different brands of kibble give me different results. Let us know what you find out – I’ll check with our vet on our next visit too!
I saved this recipe a while back and have been looking forward to making it, but I noticed that your recipe was updated recently. Are oats safe for guinea pigs? I thought they had potential to damage their urinary systems, but I’m not sure!
Hi Alaina – I did update – folks were having trouble getting them to stick together.
I asked my veterinarian on our last visit (I asked if I could add pumpkin and/or oats). She said both were okay in smaller amounts.
So 3/4 cup in 60 treats seems good to me. I only give our piggie 1 per day. Small Pet Select Website (where I buy our hay and kibble) – has oats in their treats that they sell and in their recipes too. But double check with your veterinarian if you’re not sure! Take care!! Wheeek, wheek.
(Let me know if you want the original recipe – I can provide that to you!)
My guinea pig Daisy is turning 3 and I want to make this for her and her house mate Cupcake but I don’t have applesauce. do I have to use applesauce can I just leave it out and add extra water?
Happy Birthday to Daisy and “wheek, wheek” to Cupcake! I have heard other people have used mashed banana or pumpkin and yes you may need to adjust the water a little bit. You want just enough that they hold together – but not too wet that they take forever to dry out in the oven.
I really like this and how easy it is to make. I am going to add dry clover to what I make and see if my buddy likes it. Thank you so much for this.
Let me know! Our piggies, Peanut Butter -squeaks for these!
I love this idea for the fine bits of hay at the bottom of the bag! Our piggies never eat it and I’ve always hated throwing it away. Thanks for the recipe!
How many “gnaw, gnaw” Biscuits can my guinea pigs eat in daily?
Hi Wendy – I always stuck to 1-2 per day. But you can always double check with your vet at your next appt.
Did not work for me,A giant crumbly mess
Hi Willa – sorry to hear that. I have made with various brands of kibble/hay and you do need to tweak a little to get the texture just right. Hi to you piggy(ies)!
I previously made a treat recipe for my guniea pigs similar to this one and they loved it but it didn’t stick together and we were just left with crumbs. I thought this would be different because of the exact measurements and I was still left with the same problems (crumbs). I did not blend the kibble because it was not stated in the directions but now i’m thinking that i c
should have…. The problem with this is that the mixture sticks together when you put it in your hand but all is changed once it’s in the pan..
Hi Alice – I have found that different brands of kibble end up with different textures. Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro used to work well for me. When I switched to Small Pet Select Pellets they didn’t stick as well. Make sure the hay is very small bits – sometimes I will grind them up smaller. The pellets shouldn’t need to be ground as the moisture from the applesauce causes them to expand and turn into a damp sandy texture. Hope that helps – hello to your piggie(s)!
My rabbit Harlo, lived this. She was begging for more! I definitely recommend this recipe 🐰🍴😋
Love it!! Hi Harlo!
My rabbit Harlo, lived this. She was begging for more! I definitely recommend this recipe 🐰🍴😋
So glad! Hi to Harlo!
My guinea pig loved them too. Yet they still crumbled quickly. I rehydrated the recipe and put everything into a food processor and rolled them out again. They came out really hard and are doing their job of keeping her teeth worn down. Plus my guinea pig still loves them and she is a picky one. Thanks
Great feedback – Thanks Cynthia – “Wheek, wheek!” to your piggie!
Hey, my cookies for my guinea pigs didn’t turn out very well,they were all mooshi and looked a bit gross. At first the recipe looked a bit sketchy but after it looked a little less sketchy carrying on I put it in the oven and it was still Mushi and all after all I probably would never do this again
Sounds like the mix was too wet for some reason – sorry they didn’t work out for you!
Five stars for the baking technique alone! I have been wrangling with making guinea pig biscuits for a couple of years and this is the best baking technique so far! My recipe includes running a couple of T-hay treats through a dedicated coffee grinder and adding minced dehydrated apple to ground up pellets and hay. I’ve tried cupcake papers, silicone candy molds, and manually forming the biscuits and they ALWAYS crumble to where I end up with way more crumbs than biscuits. This technique of pressing, baking, cutting, and baking at low temp worked really well for me. Winner, winner, guinea dinner!!! Woo hoo!
Hi Mizz P – So glad the technique worked well for you! Always reminds me of playing with mud pies when I was little – lol!!
This recipe is awesome, and so easy!! It is going to save me a small fortune every month as my bunnies usually only chew on the super expensive Kaytee Timothy hay hideouts. I’ve been sending your link to all the bunny people I know! Thank you!!!!! Clearly the tweaked version is great, because mine turned out just fine!
Hi Emily! So glad they turned out well for you! Hi to all the bunnies!! ❤️
Hi Christina! I love this recipe and am definitely going to try it! It is such a good way not to waste the bottom-of-the-bag-bits of hay! I do have 1 question though. Does it have to be actual applesauce, or could it be like a substitute with no preservatives/artificial coloring, flavouring/sugar? My sister has made an applesauce consistency a bit like a smoothie that was the consistency or applesauce. Would that work too? (It has no yogurt or protein powder in it).
Also! I started reading this article and saw your guinea pigs’ names! Peanut Butter and Cinnamon! One of my guinea pigs’ names is Peanut Butter, and we call her PB! Also, they have a friend guinea pig named Cinnamon Vanilla! We don’t call her Min-Min, we call her Cimi, Cim, or Cimi Nilla. (My other guinea’s name is Kernal.) I just thought that the similar names were cool!
Hi Shiloh – Hi to your piggies! If the homemade applesauce is a little different texture than store-bought, you may need to just use less/more water to get an overall texture that works well for you.
Ok! Thanks so much. I only saw this now, I’m sorry. But u will definitely try this recipe; I’m sure my pigs will like it!!
I love this recipe! I have been wanting to find one for my piggie. Going to try it and see if he likes it. Thanks!
I hope your piggy enjoys them! Sometimes you have to “play” with the texture as various kibble brands hydrate differently. Have fun!
Are you sure that 3/4 cup of ground rolled oats equals the same as 3/4 cup of oat flour? Seems to me that grinding 3/4 cup of rolled oats would result in LESS powder than 3/4 cup. I’m asking because I’d like to reduce prep time by using store-bought organic, whole grain oat flour. I’d also like to use a 4 oz jar of the Beech-Nut baby food line of organic puréed fruit (or veggie) rather than fresh fruit or veggie. My bunny loves the Beech-Nut baby foods as medicine mixers and the formulas have no preservatives or fillers.
Hi Jo – Yes, that’s correct for regular and quick oats – would be different for steel cut.
can u use honey to act as a bonding agent
I would maybe ask the vet to make sure – I know they’re not supposed to have much sugar.
Please note Guinea pigs CANNOT / SHOULD NOT EAT OATMEAL,OATS,or Oat flour! oats contain a lot of phosphorus, a mineral that damages their urinary system.
So why take the chance. Yes the word “treat” means what it is “treat”!
But many like to spoil with treats thinking it will make them happy when it just makes the owners happy and yet hurts Them in the long run!
Always research each Ingredient within a recipe,because even tho they love the “treat” it may due harm and they can’t do research on ingredients to know how to avoid harmful goods! Banana is a better binding agent
Thank you for your comment – I actually vetted the recipe with my veterinarian and she said it was fine for treats. But yes, you should only feed your pet what you and your vet deem safe. I have made them without the oats. You just have to play with the amount of kibble – and yes banana would be a great substitute. Take care!
I don’t have applesauce and I heard people used mashed banana instead. How much should I add of banana?
I would add about the same amount as the applesauce. You can always adjust the texture with water.