Pasta is the one food item that literally everyone loves. Nobody refuses a plate full of spaghetti or macaroni with some nice sauce, cheese topping, spices, ketchup, and mayo, or anything you can imagine. Pasta is incredibly versatile and easy to cook. It is perfect comfort food when we lack time to cook. Pasta is done is 7 min after that we can add whatever we can find, and the tasty meal is done! Have you wondered if our pets like pasta? In this article, we are going to talk about pasta as potential food for the guinea pigs. Now, let’s find out in our guinea pigs are allowed to eat pasta!
Can guinea pigs eat pasta? No, guinea pigs cannot eat pasta. This is because pasta has a lot of carbs because it is made out of flour and guinea pigs cannot digest the flour very well. You might notice that the guinea pigs will like to chew dry, uncooked pasta because it feels good for their teeth. However, raw or cooked pasta is definitely not a good type of food for guinea pigs.
If you want to avoid the stomach problems and indigestion in guinea pigs, do not feed them pasta at all.
It sounds really sad that cavies cannot try the delicious Italian masterpiece – pasta. But, this isn’t such an awful thing, if we consider and compare the pros and cons of this food for guinea pigs. If the cons outweigh the benefits, then surely the guinea pigs will be happier to chew some veggies and fruits, rather than pasta. Wouldn’t you also want to avoid foods that make you bloated and crampy? Of course! Then, it is the same for guinea pigs. And since you are the owner, you have the responsibility to eliminate bad foods from the guinea pig’s diet.
In the following sections below, we are going to explore more in detail why pasta is not good for the guinea pigs.
Main Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Pasta
There are no essential benefits of pasta as food for guinea pigs. If there is one major benefit, it would be the delicious taste of this food! However, this doesn’t count as a health benefit of course.
Pasta may offer some nutrients like proteins, some fiber, iron for the blood, vitamins for the immune system, and some antioxidants. But, they come at the cost of stomach pains and indigestion for the poor little cavy.
Nutrition Facts of Pasta
Here are the nutrition facts for 100 g (3 oz) of pasta, boiled, enriched with salt:
- Energy (kcal) – 221.2
- High in carbs – 43 g
- Protein – 8.1 g
- Fiber – 2.5 g
- Sugars – 0.78g
- Fat – 1.3 g
- Thiamin – 0.38
- Riboflavin – 0.19
- Niacin – 2.36 mg
- Vitamin B6 – 0.07 mg
- Pantothenic acid – 0.16 mg
- Calcium – 10 mg
- Iron – 2 mg
- Magnesium – 25 mg
- Phosphorus – 80 mg
- Potassium – 63 mg
- Sodium – 1.4 mg
- Zinc – 0.7 mg
- Copper – 0.14 mg
- Manganese – 0.44 mg
Risks to Consider When Feeding Pasta to Guinea Pigs
- No scurvy prevention – pasta doesn’t have vitamin C at all. And our guinea pigs really need this vitamin to be healthy, and more importantly, to survive. When guinea pigs lack vitamin C in their diet, they are more prone to scurvy. This disease can even be fatal, these are the symptoms: discharge, bleeding, rough coat, loss of appetite, weight loss, diarrhea…
- Cardiovascular problems – the pasta has some amounts of sodium (salt) and fats. These amounts might not be too high, but it is enough to potentially affect the blood pressure and health of cardiovascular organs of the guinea pig. With excess fats, arteries get clogged over time, and with excess salt, there is a risk of hypertension and water retention.
- Urinary problems – in pasta there are two minerals which are bad for cavies; the calcium and phosphorus. They are good for creating strong bone tissues, but this doesn’t apply for grown cavies. Excess of such minerals in the body of the guinea pig could result in bladder and kidney stones, painful urination, bloody urine, or urinary infections that are too frequent. There is even another stage to this, the renal failure.
- Unhealthy weight – pasta is filled with carbs and calories. No wonder it is not a diet-friendly food for losing weight! Carbs and calories are the main things that cause rapid weight gain. So, in order to keep the cavy healthy just avoid pasta.
Fun Facts About Pasta
- Pasta is technically a type of noodle.
- First book reference for pasta was back in 1154.
- Pasta is mainly made of durum flour (wheat flour).
- There are more than 600 pasta types, with over 1300 names.
- Most popular pasta types are: macaroni, spaghetti, and penne.
- Pasta comes in many varieties: short, long, egg, fresh, al Forno, and minute.
- The fresh egg pasta contains egg, of course, and it is more tender.
- Pasta can also be baked or mixed with soups and stews.
- Traditionally, pasta is cooked not fully soft, and this is called ‘al dente’.
- The ancient Greeks believed that a god Vulcan was the inventor of the pasta-maker (for pasta dough).
- Ancient Romans fried the pasta.
- Uncooked pasta has a shelf life of approximately a year.
- Italy makes 1.432.990 tons of pasta annually.
- Dogs and cats eat pasta!
- National Pasta Month is in October.
- European aristocrats had a term for overblown hairstyles, ‘macaroni’ – the voluminous, curly hair.
- ‘Spaghetti’ means strings, ‘vermicelli’ means worms, ‘orecchiette’ means ears, and ‘farfalle’ means butterflies. Italians had a strange concept for coining pasta names!
- At first, pasta was eaten in China, not in Italy! This dates back to 5000 BC.
- Thomas Jefferson was the first to bring pasta to the USA. he introduced this food to America in 1789.
- The typical serving size for pasta is 100 g. We all eat much more, let’s be honest!
- In the past, people were fooled to believe that pasta grew on trees. Back in 1957, the BBC showed a documentary for spaghetti in Switzerland, i.e., spaghetti crops! It showed people that picked spaghetti from bushes!
- The most popular pasta brand in Italy is ‘Barilla’.
Source: Pasta Manufacturing
There is no point to speak of serving size or how often can you give pasta to the cavy. You might think to give it just a few macaroni or 1-2 strands spaghetti just for taste, but this is also a big no! No matter how small the serving would be, it would still cause tummy aches for the poor little furball.
- What can be similarly tasty as pasta for the cavy?
You can be creative and make a tasty vegan meal for your beloved guinea pig. For example, the main ingredient can be sweet potato, with ‘toppings’ such as baby corn, beet greens, broccoli, or carrots.
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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