Everyone loves ice cream. It would be almost impossible to find a single person who would refuse ice cream, especially during summer. Even some pets are fond of such mouthwatering treats, but sadly in most cases, they are not so healthy for them. Most animals have problems with digesting sugars and can even develop additional health issues afterwards. Our pets’ health should always be a priority, so let’s explore can guinea pigs have ice cream in their diet.
Can guinea pigs eat ice cream? Guinea pigs can’t eat ice cream because of the following reasons: ice cream is a dairy product and it contains sugar. Dairy products and sugar are not good for the fragile digestive system of guinea pigs. If the guinea pig eats some ice cream, side effects like diarrhea are to be expected. Also, ice cream is cold which can also negatively impact the guinea pig’s health.
Surprisingly, many owners give ice cream to their guinea pigs and this is a big mistake. This is why it’s very important to know the possible side effects of guinea pigs eating ice cream. In the following sections, find out the nutrition facts of ice cream and the risks of feeding ice cream to guinea pigs. Let’s begin!
Nutrition Facts of Ice Cream
In 100 g (3 oz) of ice cream, there is:
- Energy – 207 kcal
- Protein – 3.5 g
- Total lipid (fat) – 11 g
- Carbs – 23.6 g
- Dietary fiber – 0.7 g
- Sugars – 21.22 g
- Calcium – 128 mg
- Iron – 0.09 mg
- Magnesium – 14 mg
- Phosphorus – 105 mg
- Potassium – 199 mg
- Sodium – 80 mg
- Zinc – 0.69 mg
- Copper – 0.023 mg
- Selenium – 1.8 µg
- Vitamin C – 0.6 mg
- Vitamin B-6 – 0.048 mg
- Vitamin B-12 – 0.39 µg
- Vitamin A – 118 µg
- Vitamin E – 0.3 mg
- Vitamin K – 0.3 µg
- Thiamin – 0.041 mg
- Riboflavin – 0.24 mg
- Niacin – 0.116 mg
- Cholesterol – 44 mg
Risks to Consider When Feeding Ice Cream to Guinea Pigs
One risk of consuming ice cream is sugar content. That amount of sugar is too much for guinea pigs to digest normally. Guinea pig’s digestive system is very sensitive, and foods high in sugar can lead to many digestive and stomach problems.
Dairy additives in ice cream are just too much for them to handle. Guinea pigs are not meant to digest dairy products, and they can’t consume foods like milk, yogurt, and cheese. So, they shouldn’t eat ice cream due to dairy additives in it.
Lack of Vitamins
Guinea pigs need many vitamins, and don’t get us wrong ice cream has vitamins, but in minimal amounts. There are some small amounts of vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin K, but not enough for a healthy diet. Especially when we talk about vitamin C. This vitamin is a crucial part of the guinea pig’s diet. Without vitamin C, the guinea pig can get a disease called scurvy which manifests itself with the following symptoms such as a rough coat, swollen joints, weight loss, diarrhea, and more.
Ice cream has calories, carbs, proteins, sugars, and fat in huge amounts. They are useful for getting energy, but they are fattening, as well. Due to that, it’s recommended to avoid feeding ice cream to guinea pigs. They may develop problems with weight gain, which can lead to many health problems and even diabetes.
Ice cream is too cold for guinea pig’s stomach because they can’t eat frozen food. Stomach aches will appear simply because they cannot handle cold food, this is also true for some humans. If your guinea pig accidentally had ice cream and shows signs of tummy pains or similar symptoms, go to the vet as soon as possible. Also, ice cream can be bad for guinea pig’s teeth.
There is one more reason why ice cream is so bad for guinea pigs. Ice cream has a lot of calcium and sodium, which can be dangerous to them in excess. If you give your guinea pigs foods rich in calcium and sodium, they may get some urinary problems. Especially calcium can develop bladder and kidney stones, so it’s very important to provide them foods low in calcium.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Chocolate Ice Cream?
Guinea pigs can’t eat chocolate ice cream or any other type of ice cream. Eating ice cream can lead to many health problems that we have mentioned above. Guinea pigs can’t eat chocolate as well, so chocolate ice cream is totally forbidden to them. It’s full of calories, fat, sugar, calcium, and dairy additives that are very harmful to guinea pig’s stomach and digestive system. If you want your guinea pigs to live a long and happy life, feed them only hay, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Chocolate ice cream is an extremely unhealthy and unnecessary type of food in their daily diet.
Quick Facts on Ice Cream
- The ice cream was originally made from ice back in the 10th century.
- Mass ice cream production started in 1851 in the USA.
- Ice cream is not the healthiest food, but it provides a lot of energy.
- In one year, on average, every person consumes 48 pints of ice cream in the United States.
- Vanilla is the most popular flavor of ice cream.
- To make one gallon of ice cream, we need around 11 liters of milk.
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
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.
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.
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.