Often mistaken to be the same thing, hamsters and guinea pigs are two different animals. Guinea pigs tend to exhibit a few similarities to hamsters, but this does not put them under one category. The rivalry between these two animals cannot even allow you to place them in the same cage.
So, if guinea pigs and hamsters don’t get along that much, can guinea pigs eat hamster food? The answer to this question is yes, they can, but under limited amounts. The fact that guinea pigs don’t get along with their counterparts, hamsters, doesn’t mean that they can’t eat their food. The only downside is that you will need to regulate the hamster food you give to your cavy. Hamster food is made of nuts, corns, seeds, and other crunchy foods. As you can see, there are hamster foods that your little cavies cannot feed on. Generally, anything seed like is a potential choking hazard for your guinea pig and should be avoided. Guinea pigs’ diet is somewhat connected to hamsters’ food, and this is the reason why the two can share. But this does not apply to every meal, just some.
Now that you have your answer, it’s time to look at the nitty-gritty info about hamster food. We will be talking about benefits, nutrition and even possible risks among other factors.
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Hamster Food
What does your cavy stand to gain by eating hamster food? Are there any benefits that your little pet can get from sharing the hamster’s diet? Let’s look at some of the benefits of feeding your cavy hamster food:
- Good digestion. These foods are rich in dietary fiber which is essential in the process of digestion and bowel movement in general. If you want your little pet to have an easy time with digesting foods, hamster diet is the right plan to use. Remember that cavies naturally have a weak digestive system and thus offering assistance to them goes a long way.
- Weight control. Hamster foods can enhance loss of weight in your guinea pig. They have less calories thus that will reduce the overall amount of calories taken in by the body in addition to their ability to induce satiety.
- Control of blood sugar. Since hamster foods are less sugary, they can control the levels of blood sugar in guinea pigs just as they do for hamsters. Again fiber that is found in most of these foods also can control blood sugar levels.
- This food can help with cholesterol. Cholesterol is a toxic compound that is found in the body. When it is too high, it can cause severe damage to the heart and can even lead to the death of your little pet. Hamster foods can rectify this fault and reduce the presence of cholesterol.
- Boosts the immunity. Hamster foods have ready nutrients that can benefit the immune system of your cavy. This will help them fight diseases and infections thus emerging as strong and healthy pets.
- Control of blood pressure. Studies have shown the ability of some hamster foods being applied for the control of blood pressure in cavies. This means that feeding your guinea pig these foods can potentially reduce the risks of rising blood pressure levels.
- Helps in the elimination of free radicals. Some hamster foods are filled with antioxidants that aid in the removal of free radicals from the body. Free radicals occur due to metabolic processes that are normal to cavies but can be dangerous if not dealt with accordingly.
Nutrition Facts of Hamster Food
There’s a lot your guinea pig is set to gain when it comes down to the nutrients in hamster foods. The following are some of the nutrients that you can expect in most hamster foods:
- Dietary fiber – This is quite common in most hamster foods, and it helps the cavy to have a smooth bowel movement on top of boosting the entire digestion process.
- This mineral is vital in the maintenance of a good heart system and the guard against any heart-related complications.
- These are necessary for the elimination of free radicals from the cavy’s body.
- Vitamin A. This vitamin is essential when it comes to boosting immunity and also boosting eyesight.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Hamster Food to Guinea Pigs
Since the two animals, hamsters and guinea pigs, have a traditional rivalry for each other, it is expected that their foods cannot be entirely safe for either side. On the side of guinea pigs, these are the potential risks associated with feeding them hamster foods:
- Choking hazard. Your guinea pig can suffer choking-related problems from consuming hamster foods such as seeds. Seeds are therefore not advisable for cavies and should be avoided by all means. In case your guinea pig swallows a seed by mistake, offer it sufficient water and stop the feeding process right away. If the situation gets out of hand, then you can take it to the nearest vet for a quick solution to the problem.
- Most hamster foods lack vitamin C. This is a high risk especially if you’re feeding your cavy these foods regularly. By now you should know that guinea pigs can neither create nor store vitamin C on their own. That is why they need an external source for the vitamin and denying them that is equal to destroying their health and immunity.
Quick Facts on Hamsters
Most people have had hamsters as pets, and in most cases, they have no idea of some facts about these animals. So, having looked at how hamsters’ food can benefit your cavy and how much nutritional content they have, take a look at the following quick facts about these pets:
- Hamsters are rodents and belong to the Cricetinae
- There are about 25 different species of hamsters in the world.
- The most popular variety of hamster kept as pets are the Syrian hamster.
- As cute as hamsters look, they are equally used for scientific tests in labs.
- Hamsters are easy pets to handle in terms of care and food. They can also undergo harsh conditions as compared to other pets and are friendly to humans.
- These pets exist in various colors to choose from depending on the species. You, therefore, have a variety of colors to choose from as a pet owner.
- Hamsters move around employing scent and smell. They use this feature to locate food and to trace their movements.
- These animals are color blind on top of having terrible eyesight.
- These pets are good at digging and can dig huge holes which they use to move around.
How Often Can I Feed My Guinea Pig Hamster Food?
Since the foods are vitamin C deficient, you can give them to your cavy only once a week and supplement them with other healthier foods. Cavies need vitamin C, and thus you cannot afford to deny them this vitamin. You can use hamster foods as extra snacks or treats which you give occasionally.
Can My Guinea Pig Feed on All Hamster Foods?
Unfortunately, no is the answer to this question. You cannot feed your cavy seeds for instance, because of the potential choking hazard that they present. Simply avoid hamster foods that are tiny and can choke your little cavies.
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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