You may wonder what exactly are the Quaker Oats? Well, these are regular oats, under the brand name Quaker! This is a food company based in the USA and it produces oats and oat-based food products. So let’s see if our guinea pigs can eat delicious Quaker Oats or not.
Can guinea pigs eat Quaker Oats? Unfortunately no, guinea pigs cannot eat Quaker Oats. It doesn’t matter much which brand of oats it is, they can’t really eat oats in the first place. In rare occasions, the vet might recommend oats for the guinea pigs but only if the guinea pig is seriously underweight and if it has health problems due to an unhealthy weight. In other cases, oats are not good regular food for the guinea pig and they will cause rapid weight changes.
Sadly, oats are not good food for the guinea pigs. They can have oats only if they are underweight and if they need to bulk up very fast to become healthy again. So unless the vet recommends this, avoid any brand of oats for the guinea pig. Let’s read more about guinea pigs and Quaker oats below.
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Quaker Oats
- Healthy weight gain (if your guinea pig is underweight) – If the vet thinks your guinea pig is underweight and unhealthy, he will recommend oats as regular food. The Quaker Oats have a lot of calories, also they are rich in carbs and proteins too, and have fats as well. All of these nutrients will cause rapid weight gain for the guinea pig, especially if your furry friend refuses to eat normal amounts of food. Nibbling on Quaker Oats will help it recover fast and have a healthy weight in a short time.
- Anemia prevention – So, if your vet approved Quaker Oats as food for the guinea pig, the benefit will also be anemia prevention. Oats are rich in iron and this nutrient is crucial for the transfer of oxygen in the blood. Lack of iron leads to anemia (weakness and no appetite, pale skin and getting sick often).
- Healthy blood pressure and muscle/bone tissues – the potassium in Quaker oats will balance the blood pressure. This nutrient also strengthens the bones and muscle tissues in the body.
- Healthy fur and skin – the oats will make the fur stronger, in case your guinea pig suffered from hair loss. And we know that apart from diseases, sometimes hair loss happens because the body lacks essential nutrients from their diet. Also, oats will help in faster healing of sore skin under the fur, or it will soothe the skin on any bald spots (for severe hair loss cases).
Caution: Remember, give your guinea pig Quaker Oats only if the vet told you so.
Nutrition Facts of Quaker Oats
Half a cup of Quaker Oats, 170 g (6 oz), Old Fashioned, dry, these are the nutrition facts:
- High in calories – 150 calories. These oats are very caloric as you can see. It will cause rapid weight change in the guinea pig definitely. For us humans, a high amount of calories is needed during the day because we are more active, but our guinea pigs are not active that much.
- High in fat – 3 g. It might seem like this amount of fat is not that much, but if oats are eaten a lot or often, this may contribute to weight changes. Also, more fat means the blood vessels could get clogged, so the serving size is crucial here.
- High in carbs and protein – another proof that Quaker Oats are fattening is that they are rich in carbs and protein. So, there are 27 g of carbs and 5 g of protein! This is amazing if you start the day with oats for breakfast, but for guinea pigs, this definitely will change their weight in a short period of time. Carbs and proteins are needed on a daily basis for energy, but in excess, they will cause weight gain.
- High in fiber – 4 g. Quaker Oats are quite rich in fibers as well. As a rule, fibers are also crucial for a daily basis in order to ensure good digestion and bowel movements. But, fibers in large amounts can upset the stomach and even cause gas or loose stool, along with cramps and frequent bowel emptying.
- Sugar – 1 g. For us humans, 1 g of sugar doesn’t sound like too much at all. But, for the guinea pig sugar is a delicate nutrient. The stomach of guinea pigs doesn’t digest sugars very well, so pay attention to the portion size to avoid tummy cramps in guinea pigs
- Iron – 8%. One good thing about Quaker Oats is that they have quite a lot of iron. This is important to keep the blood healthy and strong, and to prevent anemia.
- Potassium – 4%. This nutrient balances the blood pressure to normal levels, but it also contributes to healthy bones and muscles as well.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Quaker Oats to Guinea Pigs
- Rapid weight gain – the Quaker Oats are rich in calories, but also they have quite a lot of carbs, as well as proteins and fats too. All of these nutrients, especially the carbs mostly, will make your guinea pig obese if it already has normal weight. For almost anorexic guinea pigs, the oats are good for them.
- Digestion problems – the digestion of the guinea pig will most likely be upset because of the sugar and fiber content. The guinea pigs are not meant to digest sugars very well, and if they eat excess sugars their tummy will be in pain and also they could get diarrhea. The same happens with excess fibers, especially when combined with sugar.
- Risk of clogged blood vessels – the fat content in Quaker Oats is not extremely high but it is high enough to cause health problems if this is eaten in excess or too often.
Quick Facts on Quaker Oats
- At first, Americans refused to eat Quaker Oats because they thought oats were only used as horse food back in the 1850s.
- The brand Quaker was first introduced to people in 1877. The man who owned a Quaker Oat Mill in Ohio was Henry Parsons Crowell. He was the first to introduce these oats as cereal food in 1877.
- The Quaker company was a result of a merge. Crowell together with the competitor Schumacher joined forces, and they had 5 other grain competitors on board too.
- Crowell was a philanthropist. He also was leading a charity organization that donated to evangelical groups and also to Christian universities. More than 70% of his earnings were donated to charity.
- Quaker Oats were the first ones to introduce ‘trial size’ oatmeal sample packs. These were placed in every mailbox in Oregon.
- The name of the man mascot of Quaker oats is Larry
- In 1922, Quaker introduced the “Quaker Quick Oats” which needed less cooking time, from the regular 20 to just 5 minutes!
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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