Nuts are the tastiest and healthiest snacks we know of. Of course, chips and similar snacks are super tasty, but let’s admit, they are not healthy. All kinds of nuts are beneficial for our health, and numerous researches 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. But, today we will discuss if nuts are healthy and just as beneficial for guinea pigs as they are for humans.
Can guinea pigs eat nuts? No, guinea pigs cannot 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 systems are too fragile to digest salty, caloric foods like snacks, fatty foods, and sugars as well. So, the 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 the guinea pigs as well. Even though all types of nuts are vegetarian sources of nutrients, sadly they are not fit for the gentle stomach of the guinea pigs. The cavies are vegetarians and herbivores, but nuts are simply not good at all for them. So, in the sections below we will cover the benefits of nuts in general, but most importantly the risks of feeding them to guinea pigs. Keep on reading!
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Nuts
Sadly, guinea pigs don’t have benefits from consuming nuts. If tasting them and enjoying their taste counts, then there is just that one ‘benefit’. However, tasting nuts is not worth risking the health of the guinea pig. Many of the nutrients will damage its stomach and digestion, weight, urinary tract, as well as their bowel movements.
Nutrition Facts of Nuts
Since all nuts are not good for guinea pigs, as for example for the nutrition facts we will analyze the almonds. Here are the nutrition facts per 100 g (3 oz) of almonds:
- High in calories – 575 calories. This amount of calories is too high for humans, let alone guinea pigs. It increases risks of weight gain (or obesity) if consumed in large amounts.
- High in carbs and proteins – there is 21.7 g of carbs and 21.2 g of proteins. These amounts are great for humans and it provides lots of energy and satiety for the whole day. Sadly, guinea pigs cannot enjoy the benefits of the carbs and proteins from nuts.
- High in fibers – 12.2 g. With this amount of fibers, the digestion is greatly improved.
- Sugar – 3.9 g. Who would have thought that nuts have almost 4 g of sugars? Roasted or not, they still have natural sugars. This is beneficial for humans, but not at all beneficial for the guinea pigs. They don’t digest sugars well.
- High in fat – 49.4 g. Similar to the part about calories above, this amount of fat is really high and humans take it with precaution as well. For guinea pigs, this is a definite NO! Just imagine what this amount of fat would do to their tiny fragile bellies!
- Vitamin E – 131%. If there is one good thing about nuts, it is definitely the benefits of receiving vitamin E. This vitamin is crucial for healthy skin, hair, nails, preventing inflammation, skin cancers, for better eyesight and slower aging of the skin too. The immunity is improved and the heart is also kept in great shape for much longer.
- Riboflavin aka B2 – 60%. This vitamin is essential for converting fats, proteins, and carbs into energy. Also, it promotes better transferring of oxygen throughout the whole body.
- Calcium – 264 mg. A mineral vital for creating strong bone tissues during growth. However, this amount is insanely high for guinea pigs. They don’t benefit from calcium because it makes lots of urinary fatal complications for them.
- Iron – 21%. Iron is essential for strong blood and a good amount of red blood cells, which will prevent anemia.
- Magnesium – 67 %. A mineral vital for keeping muscle tissues strong and healthy.
- Zinc – 21%. Zinc is very important for the health of the skin. If there is an irritation of the skin or rash and similar skin issues, zinc is the compound that helps with faster healing.
- Manganese – 114%. The manganese is an antioxidant that lessens the risk of many diseases. It keeps the immunity safe against the free radicals and the damage they can cause.
- Cholesterol – 0%. This is why nuts are very healthy for the cardiovascular system.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Nuts to Guinea Pigs
- Obesity risk – 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, clogg blood vessels, and mostly contribute to weight changes and fatigue as well.
- Upset stomach and bad digestion (fibers fats sugars) – Since the nuts are very dense in many nutrients bad for the guinea pig, we should mention how they would affect the digestion of the cavy. First, they have lots of fibers. Normally, fibers are great for improving digestion and bowel movements, but in large amounts, they will surely upset the stomach and cause belly aches. With this, there is 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 cavies cannot 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 wreak havoc on its digestive health.
- Urinary complications – Nuts contain mineral calcium. This mineral is detrimental for 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!
Quick Facts on Nuts
- The cashew nuts are like poison ivy, aka they belong in the same group
- Pistachios are originally labeled as fruit, but they have the same green pigment as the veggie kale
- Walnuts and their cultivation date 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 in the legume group.
If the guinea pig can’t have nuts, can it at least have seeds?
No. guinea pigs cannot consume seeds as well. Besides being a risk for the digestion among other things, the seeds pose a risk of choking. The guinea pigs could not chew them properly and seeds (being smaller than nuts) can get stuck in their throat.
How to prevent any digestion problems for my guinea pig? Which foods of this type should be avoided?
In pet shop stores avoid the 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!
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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