Mushrooms are vegetables that are available in many different strains. Although they are classified under vegetables, mushrooms aren’t plants as such. They belong to the fungi kingdom, but they are slightly different since they can be eaten.
Some types of mushrooms are not edible for humans, and some are safe to eat. But is it the same for guinea pigs?
Can guinea pigs eat mushrooms? Guinea pigs can safely eat raw mushrooms such as white, button, and portobello. However, some wild mushrooms are poisonous and should be avoided.
This article will discuss if guinea pigs can eat mushrooms, whether feeding your guinea pig with mushrooms will have any benefit to its health, and a few more facts about the mushrooms.
So, keep reading to get more information about mushrooms in guinea pigs’ diet.
Are Mushrooms Good for Guinea Pigs? | Health Benefits
Mushrooms are good for guinea pigs, but only certain types of mushrooms are safe to eat. There are different types of mushroom strains found in the world, and some can be poisonous for your little pet.
Here are some of the health benefits of mushrooms:
Boosting Cardiovascular Health
Mushrooms are filled with potassium, a known agent good for heart health. Potassium works hand in hand with sodium to control blood pressure. When you feed your guinea pig with mushrooms, you will help them evade cardiovascular diseases and unexpected rises in blood pressure.
Due to the presence of dietary fiber in mushrooms, they can aid your little pet with digestive processes. In addition to that, it helps alleviate digestive problems such as constipation.
Fiber is a well-known filler, and this means that it will make your guinea pig have the feeling of satiety. For this reason, it helps to reduce the number of calories taken into the body of your pet. When calories are reduced, then this can lead to weight control.
Boosts Immune System
Selenium is one compound found in mushrooms that have demonstrated the ability to fight off diseases and promote the immune system.
Eliminates Free Radicals
Free radicals are naturally occurring due to metabolism but can cause damage to cells and other body parts if not handled correctly. Mushrooms have antioxidants that are beneficial to guinea pigs in the sense that they eliminate free radicals from their bodies. This may also help to ward off diseases from attacking your little pets.
Improves Neurological Health
The brain is another integral part of the body, and when it is healthy, its performance will improve. B vitamins found in mushrooms may have some significant benefits to the brain, thus performing optimally.
Boosts Muscle Movement
Choline is a nutrient that is readily found in mushrooms, and it aids with the development of healthy and robust muscles. It is also ideal for smooth coordination and movement of muscles.
Guinea pigs cannot naturally create nor store vitamin C in their bodies. And that is the reason why the guinea pigs most need it. Luckily, this vitamin is present in mushrooms, although not in a high amount.
Soreness or swelling occurs as a result of a disease attack or injuries. The condition can be chronic if not taken care of adequately. Fortunately, mushrooms have the nutrient choline that can help control this condition.
Nutrition Facts of Mushrooms
You cannot conclude that mushrooms are nutritious per se, but they equally have some nutrients that may help your guinea pig. Here are some of its nutrients:
- Vitamin C
- Dietary Fiber
- Vitamin D
- B vitamins
Risks to Consider When Feeding Mushrooms to Guinea Pigs
Less Nutrients Content
This fungus cannot be considered as very nutritious food. As an example, it contains less amount of vitamin C, which is much needed to guinea pigs daily diet.
It may also have dietary fiber, but it can make your guinea pigs full and may not have any room for much nutritious food, considering it has fewer nutrients than other vegetables.
As earlier stated, certain strains of mushrooms may be poisonous to your guinea pig. It is essential to identify which mushrooms are may be poisonous and avoid them before they cause a problem in the life of your cavy.
If you are not sure what types of mushroom to feed your guinea pig, you should consult a qualified person in that field.
Guinea pigs have different bodies and immune systems, just like humans do. Whenever you notice any strange reaction after feeding your guinea pig, you should stop the feeding process immediately and offer sufficient water as first aid.
In case the symptoms persist, visit a vet for further assistance.
Serving Size and Frequency of Mushrooms for Guinea Pigs
Raw mushrooms can be given to your guinea pigs as a treat, 1 to 2 times a week, and in a small amount. It is much healthier compared to commercial treats in pet stores.
What Are the Types of Mushrooms That Are Safe for Guinea Pigs?
In general, white, button, and portobello mushrooms are safe for cavies to eat and don’t contain poison. On the other hand, some wild mushrooms can endanger the life of your guinea pig. For this reason, it should be avoided at all costs.
But if you are not sure what type of mushroom to feed your guinea pig, it is wise to consult a professional vet to help with the decision.
What Happens If My Guinea Pig Ate Wild Mushrooms?
A wild mushroom is dangerous to your guinea pig when ingested. In case your pet consumes a toxic mushroom, some symptoms may occur.
Signs of Wild Mushroom Poisoning
- Difficulty in breathing
- Lack of appetite
- Fast pulse
- Skin rash
What to Do if My Guinea Pig Ate Wild Mushrooms?
Once you suspect that your guinea pigs ate a toxic mushroom, immediately call your vet for assistance. You must also take note of the following:
- Observe some of the signs mentioned above.
- Monitor your pet’s behavioral changes and its eating habit.
- It should also help your vet if you take a sample of the mushroom that your guinea pig has ingested.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Mushroom Soup?
Guinea pigs cannot eat mushroom soup. Your pet cannot properly digest this meal. Also, soup may be too salty and seasoned, which may cause complications.
The only thing that guinea pigs can comfortably sip and enjoy is water.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cooked Mushrooms?
Unfortunately, guinea pigs cannot eat cooked foods, and this isn’t any different with mushrooms. Again, cooking the fungus can void off the little nutrients present thus, making it completely useless.
Quick Facts on Mushrooms
You may know mushrooms all too well, but the following quick facts will fascinate you:
- Several years back, giant mushrooms dominated the earth even before trees emerged.
- There is a strain of mushroom that dissolves itself. For this reason, it needs to be eaten immediately after picking.
- A strain of mushroom known as death cap mushroom is known as a slow poison as it gives no signs of poisoning until later on when it damages the body.
- Mushrooms have a closer relationship with humans than they have with plants.
- A perfect circle that forms on mushrooms is known as a fairy ring.
- Recent research has shown mushrooms can fight cancer.
- Psychedelic mushrooms make reindeers get high when they eat them.
- Mushrooms are stated to perform better where there is lighting.
- A 20-foot tall mushroom existed around 350 million years ago in Saudi Arabia.
- In Oregon, there is a 2400-year-old mushroom that covers about 2200 acres. It is slowly eating up the surrounding trees in that forest.
- Laetiporus is a wild mushroom that nearly tastes like fried chicken.
Here is a video of some information and facts about mushrooms:
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.
List of Sources
A Care Guide for Your Guinea Pig (Cavia Porcellus)
The Nutrition Source: Mushrooms
Mushrooms—Biologically Distinct and Nutritionally Unique: Exploring a “Third Food Kingdom”