Sometimes, we give our pets foods that we eat without knowing the dangers or merits to some of them. If you keep a guinea pig, you have to admit that you have often wondered about giving them some bread. What could go wrong if a cavy tried bread or something pastry-like? We think bread is such an essential and necessary food and presume that nothing could go wrong with such a neutral taste. So let’s find out whether your adorable guinea pigs can enjoy having bread in their diet.
Can guinea pigs eat bread? Guinea pigs can’t eat bread because of the possible choking hazard. Bread isn’t toxic to guinea pigs, but because bread is a processed food, it will present problems for their digestive system. If the bread is soft and chewy, it becomes a choking hazard for the guinea pig because it might stick to their mouth and even cause them to choke.
In general, bread products and processed foods are not good for guinea pigs and can cause them many health issues, from bloating to sticking to teeth and choking them. Compared to fruits and veggies that are packed with minerals and vitamins, bread has only empty calories and lacks other nutrients. In the following sections, read more about the nutrition facts of bread and some possible risks that can happen if you feed bread to your guinea pigs. Let’s begin!
Nutrition Facts of Bread
The following are the nutrition facts for 100 g of white bread:
- Energy – 266 kcal
- Protein – 8.85 g
- Total lipid (fat) – 3.33 g
- Carbs – 49.42 g
- Dietary Fiber – 2.7 g
- Sugars – 5.67 g
- Calcium – 144 mg
- Iron – 3.61 mg
- Magnesium – 23 mg
- Phosphorus – 98 mg
- Potassium – 126 mg
- Sodium – 490 mg
- Zinc – 0.74 mg
- Copper – 0.101 mg
- Selenium – 22 µg
- Vitamin C – 0 mg
- Vitamin B-6 – 0.087 mg
- Vitamin B-12 – 0 µg
- Vitamin A – 0 µg
- Vitamin E – 0.22 mg
- Vitamin D – 0 µg
- Vitamin K – 0.2 µg
- Lutein + zeaxanthin – 44 µg
Risks to Consider When Feeding Bread to Guinea Pigs
The most significant risk of bread for guinea pigs is the disturbance and imbalance of their digestive system. Unlike us humans, guinea pigs do not digest pastries and doughs and because of that will suffer from certain discomforts. Also, eating bread can cause bloating which can be very serious and impede their digestion.
White bread tends to create more side effects when compared to brown flour bread. Other common problems in the gastrointestinal region are gases, vomiting, diarrhea, and pains. You surely don’t want your guinea pig to suffer from such discomforts and pains, so avoid bread at all costs.
Another risk factor is when the bread is too soft and fresh, this type of bread, when chewed, can easily get stuck around the mouth and teeth of the cavy, causing it to suffocate or choke! White and especially soft bread is a great choking hazard for guinea pigs.
Unfortunately, guinea pigs can quickly develop urinary bladder or kidney stones. That happens because of calcium, but also sodium in foods we’re feeding them. As we can see above in the nutrition facts of bread, there are large amounts of calcium and sodium. That’s extremely bad for your guinea pigs, so it’s important not to feed them with bread or bread products in general.
Symptoms of bladder and kidney stones are very painfully for guinea pigs. Some of them are blood in the urine, weight loss, appetite loss, pain during urination, and others. There are many other fresh vegetables and fruits low in calcium and sodium that you can provide to your little pets instead of bread.
Lack of Vitamin C
In general, bread does not offer many beneficial nutrients that guinea pigs need. In fact, for the guinea pigs, it has almost no nutritional value and benefits, apart from just filling up the stomach with calories. Bread does not offer cavies with the essential vitamin C for their overall health. Without this vitamin, guinea pigs can get a severe disease known as scurvy. To prevent this disease, guinea pigs need food rich in vitamin C in their daily diet.
If guinea pigs eat bread, especially white bread, there is a greater risk of weight gain and obesity. The amount of calories, protein, fat, carbs, and sugars in bread are high for guinea pigs. We would single out fats and sugars as very bad nutrients for them as well. Guinea pigs can’t digest these nutrients as they’re incredibly unhealthy for them and can lead to obesity and other health problems.
If your guinea pig accidentally eats some bread, look for symptoms around their belly. If it’s bloated, it will look sort of rounder or distended. This a build-up of gas, but it can be worse sometimes. If it’s a more severe type of bloating, the cavy would breathe heavily and become restless in movements.
All of this can be very serious and if this happens, take the guinea pig to the vet as soon as you can. The treatment might include antibiotics, pain meds, or even surgery, and sadly, bloating will repeat itself if the nutrition is not improved.
More Information About Guinea Pigs and Bread
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Wheat Bread / Brown Bread?
Guinea pigs can’t eat wheat bread or brown bread because this type of bread doesn’t have nutrients that are good for them. Even if people eat wheat bread as a part of their healthy diet, guinea pigs still have no benefits from it. Carbs are the main nutrients in wheat bread, and there is also a lack of essential vitamins and minerals. Guinea pigs need only hay, pellets, and fresh, raw vegetables, and fruits. Any cooked food is forbidden for them.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat White Bread?
Guinea pigs can’t eat white bread. This type of bread also doesn’t have enough essential nutrients for maintaining the guinea pig’s well being. White bread is high in carbs, which means that it can increase blood sugar, so guinea pigs may become obese and develop diabetes. Also, because of the choking hazard, it’s important to avoid feeding bread to guinea pigs.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Bread Sticks?
Guinea pigs can’t eat bread sticks because these sticks usually have salt on them. Salt isn’t good for guinea pigs, and they don’t need an additional source of salt. Excess salt can cause bladder stones in guinea pigs, so we don’t recommend feeding them bread sticks. Also, other bread risks apply as well in addition to salt.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Banana Bread?
Guinea pigs can’t eat banana bread, although they can eat raw bananas in moderation. Banana bread is processed food and it doesn’t have nutrients that can benefit guinea pigs, unlike bananas that have some vitamin C, vitamin A, and other vitamins and minerals. It’s better to give them a small amount of fresh and raw banana.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Bread Crumbs?
Guinea pigs shouldn’t eat bread crumbs because these crumbs also don’t have any benefits for them. Bread crumbs are mainly used when preparing meals as an ingredient. If they are dry and crispy, they won’t be a danger to the guinea pig but crumbs are just empty calories for them, which means it pointless to give them to guinea pigs.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Bread Crust?
Guinea pigs can’t eat bread crust. Even if the bread crust does not stick to the teeth and mouth of the guinea pig because of its texture, guinea pigs still don’t get any beneficial nutrients. With bread crust, there is only the possibility of digestion problems and weight gain for guinea pigs.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Corn Bread?
Guinea pigs can’t eat corn bread because they will have trouble digesting it. But, can guinea pigs die from corn bread? Guinea pigs will not die from corn bread if they have consumed a small amount. But if you give them corn bread as a part of their daily diet, your guinea pigs will get severe health problems and probably have a shorter lifespan.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Garlic Bread?
Considering that guinea pigs can’t eat garlic, it’s not recommended to feed them garlic bread. Feeding guinea pigs with a small amount of garlic bread won’t kill them, but some serious side effects will appear. The following are some of them: bloating, gases, vomiting, or diarrhea. So, to avoid these side effects, don’t give guinea pigs garlic or garlic bread.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Multigrain Bread?
Guinea pigs can’t eat multigrain bread because this type of bread has the greatest danger when it comes to choking. This bread contains different types of grains and seeds that can be a choking hazard to guinea pigs. Multigrain bread can be made from barley, flax, oats, millet, and wheat, but also include different seeds such as flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and so on. Most of the mentioned seeds are forbidden food for guinea pigs.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Rye Bread?
Guinea pigs can’t eat rye bread because this bread also has some potential downsides for them. Some of them are lack of needed nutrients, the possibility of choking due to texture, and problems with digestion processes and urinary tract. Many people enjoy eating rye bread because of its stronger flavor, but that doesn’t mean you can give it to your guinea pigs as well.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Pita Bread?
If you thought you will be able to give your guinea pig some pita bread while you preparing one for yourself at home, you’re wrong. Guinea pigs can’t eat pita bread because this type of bread also isn’t safe for them. There is no vitamin C and other beneficial nutrients in pita bread, but also it comes with the possibility of digestion problems, choking hazards, and obesity.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Stale Bread?
Guinea pigs can’t eat stale bread due to the possibility of the fungus presence. Considering that guinea pigs can’t eat bread and bread products in general, stale bread is even more dangerous for them. Stale bread has mold on its surface that are actually fungi. These fungi give the bread an ugly flavor, but also they are very harmful to guinea pig’s health and can cause severe infections.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Toasted Bread?
Guinea pigs can’t eat toasted bread as this bread simply isn’t good and healthy for them. Toasted bread lacks one of the essential nutrients for guinea pigs, and that’s the vitamin C. Can the guinea pigs eat other things similar to toasted bread, maybe crackers or pretzels? Under no circumstances should you feed guinea pigs with such things! Avoid chips, pretzels, crackers, and similar snacks. They are too greasy, seasoned, and contain additives, which means that their digestion will be just as complex as the regular bread or toasted bread, if not worse.
Can Guinea Pigs Have Zucchini Bread?
Guinea pigs enjoy eating zucchini due to its taste and texture, but what about zucchini bread? Guinea pigs shouldn’t eat zucchini bread no matter how healthy zucchini is for them. Zucchini bread is processed food, and zucchini in it loses its beneficial nutrients. Guinea pigs shouldn’t eat any cooked or processed food, which includes zucchini bread.
Quick Facts on Bread
- There are many types of bread in the world that differ in taste, shape, size, and texture.
- Bread is one of the favorite and most sold foods in the UK. Around 99% of households buy bread every day.
- On average, each American eat 53 pounds of bread every year.
- Around 12 billion sandwiches are eaten every year in the UK.
- The longest loaf of bread in the Guinness Book of World Records was 1.2 km long.
Before I let you go, one final thought on food. With food, you can’t ever be too careful which is why I get all guinea pig food from a reliable source such as Amazon. If you are not sure what to order but believe your little piggies deserve some great treats please check our Helpful Guide to the Best Guinea Pig Treats to get some ideas. We have also made a full list of foods that guinea pigs can and can’t eat (150+ Types of Foods). Be sure to also check our recommended products page for everything you will ever need to assure a happy life for your Guinea Pigs. Hope this information was helpful and you have found the answer you were looking for.
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List of Sources
National Research Council (US) Subcommittee on Laboratory Animal Nutrition, Nutrient Requirements of Laboratory Animals: Fourth Revised Edition, 1995., Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1995.
Norman, R., Wills, A. P., An Investigation into the Relationship between Owner Knowledge, Diet, and Dental Disease in Guinea Pigs (Cavia porcellus), Animals: an open access journal from MDPI, 2016.
Witkowska, A., Price, J., Hughes, C., Smith, D., White, K., Alibhai, A., Rutland C. S., The Effects of Diet on Anatomy, Physiology and Health in the Guinea Pig, Journal of Animal Health and Behavioural Science, 2017.
Hirsch, E., Some determinants of intake and patterns of feeding in the Guinea pig, Physiology & Behavior, 1973.