Nuts are one of the tastiest and healthiest snacks we know and love. Of course, chips and similar snacks are super tasty, but let’s admit, they are not healthy. Almost all kinds of nuts are beneficial for our health, and numerous studies have proved this.
The nuts are a superfood that has to be consumed daily, but in moderate amounts, since it is very dense in calories and fats. Today, we will discuss if nuts are healthy and just as beneficial for guinea pigs as they are for humans. Now, let’s find out are guinea pigs allowed to eat nuts.
Can guinea pigs eat nuts? Guinea pigs can’t eat nuts because they contain large amounts of fats, among other harmful nutrients that are bad for them. Guinea pigs don’t benefit at all from fatty snacks. Their digestive system is too fragile to digest salty, caloric foods like snacks, fatty foods, and sugars. So, tasty and calorie-dense foods like nuts are a big no for the guinea pigs!
It seems that not all healthy foods are healthy for guinea pigs as well. Even though all types of nuts are vegetarian sources of nutrients, they are sadly not fit for the guinea pig’s gentle stomach. Guinea pigs are herbivores, but nuts are not good at all for them. So, in the sections below, we will cover the risks of feeding them to guinea pigs. Keep on reading!
Nutrition Facts of Nuts
Here are the nutrition facts per 100 g (3 oz) of nuts:
Energy – 605 kcal
Protein – 19.59 g
Total lipid (fat) – 53.62 g
Carbs – 21.04 g
Dietary fiber – 7.6 g
Sugars – 4.53 g
Calcium – 94 mg
Iron – 2.78 mg
Magnesium – 197 mg
Phosphorus – 389 mg
Potassium – 603 mg
Sodium – 313 mg
Zinc – 3.22 mg
Copper – 0.96 mg
Selenium – 73.8 µg
Vitamin C – 0.4 mg
Vitamin B-6 – 0.368 mg
Vitamin A – 1 µg
Vitamin E – 7.43 mg
Vitamin K – 11.6 µg
Thiamin – 0.216 mg
Riboflavin – 0.325 mg
Niacin – 7.785 mg
Folates – 75 µg
Carotene, beta – 7 µg
Lutein + zeaxanthin – 48 µg
Risks to Consider When Feeding Nuts to Guinea Pigs
Sadly, guinea pigs don’t have benefits from consuming nuts. In this section, we will talk about why can’t guinea pigs eat nuts and what are the possible risk that may happen if they eat them.
Nuts are incredibly caloric. This means there is a great risk of obesity in the long run or even gaining weight rapidly. Also, they have a high content of fats too. They can deposit in the organism, clog blood vessels, and mostly contribute to weight changes and fatigue as well.
Also, even if the amounts of carbs and proteins are great for humans and provide lots of energy and satiety for the whole day, sadly, guinea pigs can not enjoy the benefits of these nutrients from nuts.
Upset Stomach and Bad Digestion
Since the nuts are very dense in many nutrients bad for the guinea pigs, we should mention how they would affect their digestion. First, they have lots of fibers.
Normally, fibers are great for improving digestion and bowel movements, but they will surely upset the stomach and cause belly aches in large amounts. All of that will cause many problems for guinea pigs such as bad digestion, loose stool, flatulence, and constant pains until the bowel movements improve.
Also, the high amount of fats is the other great enemy of the guinea pig’s digestion. Sadly, the poor little guinea pigs can not have good bowel movements if they ingest fatty foods.
And lastly, there is sugar in nuts too. It may not be a very high amount, but together with the other harmful nutrients for the guinea pig, it will cause difficulties to its digestive health.
Nuts contain mineral calcium. This mineral is harmful to the fully grown and developed guinea pigs. While they are still young, it is useful for their bones. But, later on, it’s just piling up in their urinary tract. The problems that arise from this are bladder or kidney stones, frequent urinary infections, pain during urination, or even blood in the urine. If this is not treated on time, it can lead to renal failure, which is fatal!
Guinea Pigs and Nut Allergies
Unfortunately, guinea pigs can have allergic reactions to certain foods, and nuts are one of them. There are different symptoms of nuts allergies in guinea pigs. Most common include itching, swelling of the lips, difficulties in breathing, sneezing, vomiting, diarrhea, and so on.
It is important to visit the guinea pig’s vet if you notice these symptoms before some severe allergic reactions occur.
Even though guinea pigs have strong teeth, nuts may present serious choking hazards to them due to the shape and hard texture of the nuts. Also, nuts may get stuck between their teeth which is also dangerous for guinea pigs. So, it’s better to simply avoid feeding nuts to your guinea pigs.
More Information About Guinea Pigs and Nuts
In pet shop stores avoid mixes that have dried fruits, seeds, and nuts. They may be packed and labeled for rodents, but they are sold that way just for profits!
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Pine Nuts?
Guinea pigs can’t eat pine nuts as well. Besides being a risk for digestion among other things, the pine nuts pose a risk of choking. The guinea pigs can’t chew them properly and pine nuts being smaller than other nuts can get stuck in their throat.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Pistachio Nuts?
If you’re wondering are guinea pigs allowed pistachio nuts, here’s our detailed answer. Guinea pigs can’t eat pistachio nuts, and you need to avoid these nuts in their diet. Pistachio nuts are loaded with nutrients that are not good for guinea pigs, such as fats, carbs, sugars, calcium, etc. Also, pistachio nuts don’t have enough vitamin C for them, so guinea pigs do not benefit from eating pistachio nuts.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cashew Nuts?
Guinea pigs can’t eat cashew nuts as well. Cashew nuts are very unhealthy for guinea pigs and can cause more health-related problems than benefits to them. There are not enough vitamins and minerals for guinea pigs in cashew nuts.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Monkey Nuts?
Monkey nuts are peanuts in their shells, and guinea pigs shouldn’t eat these nuts. Monkey nuts are also very bad for their stomach, and they can choke on them as well. Also, monkey nuts contain allergens that can be very dangerous for guinea pigs that suffer from a nut allergy.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Macadamia Nuts?
Macadamia nuts are known as very healthy and beneficial for humans due to their nutrients. On the other side, they are also known as the most expensive nuts per pound in the whole world. But, are macadamia nuts safe for guinea pigs?
Macadamia nuts are not safe for guinea pigs, and they shouldn’t eat these nuts. No matter if they are very healthy for humans, we need to avoid feeding macadamia nuts to our guinea pigs because of possible health risks and choking hazards.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Almond Nuts?
Almond nuts are one of the most popular and nutritious nuts in the world, and people use them a lot in culinary arts. For our guinea pigs, almond nuts are not safe and recommended as well. Guinea pigs shouldn’t eat almond nuts because they don’t have vitamin C and other vitamins that may benefit them. Also, almond nuts are rich in fats, carbs, sugars, calcium, etc., which can cause health complications to guinea pigs.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Brazil Nuts?
Brazil nuts are also very nutritious nuts and source of many vitamins and minerals. These nuts are especially rich in the mineral selenium. Guinea pigs shouldn’t eat brazil nuts. There are not enough beneficial nutrients in brazil nuts for our guinea pigs.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Corn Nuts?
Corn nuts are actually toasted corn, and people consume them as a crispy and delicious snack. Guinea pigs can’t eat corn nuts for many different reasons. First of all, there is no vitamin C – the most important vitamin for guinea pigs.
Other nutrients may be dangerous for guinea pig’s health, such as fats, carbs, calcium, and sugars. Also, corn nuts are processed food, and guinea pigs shouldn’t eat any cooked or processed food. They enjoy eating only fresh and raw fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Pecan Nuts?
Pecan nuts are also forbidden food for guinea pigs. They are not toxic to them, but guinea pigs are not recommended to eat pecan nuts because of the possible risk that may happen. One of the major risks is the choking hazard. Also, pecan nuts are high in calories which can cause obesity and weight gain in guinea pigs.
Quick Facts on Nuts
- The cashew nuts are like poison ivy, aka they belong in the same group and have toxic shells.
- Pistachios are originally labeled as fruit, but they have the same green pigment as the veggie kale.
- Walnuts and their cultivation dates back to 10,000 BC!
- In China, pistachios are named ‘happy nut’, and in Iran, they are named ‘smiling nut’.
- Peanuts are not considered nuts. They belong to the legume group.
- Honeybees pollinate almonds so that they can grow.
- Pine nuts get their name because they are found inside pinecones.
- Brazil nuts are known for their creamy and delicate flavor.
- You will pay around $25 per pound of macadamia nuts.
- Macadamia nuts are also harmful to dogs and cause diarrhea and vomiting.
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.