We all know that one of the healthiest foods in the world is nuts and seeds. Any type of sweet treat is better with walnuts. They make any dessert tastier and healthier, but they are also perfect as stand-alone snacks, in trail mix, and in other recipes too. But for guinea pigs, it’s not beneficial.
Guinea pigs cannot eat walnuts because walnuts can cause allergic reactions in guinea pigs. Also, the sharp parts of the walnut, when consumed, can cause small, dangerous cuts in the digestive system of the guinea pigs.
Nutrition Facts of Walnuts
These are the nutrition facts for 100 g (3 oz) of walnuts:
- High in calories – 654 calories. Walnuts are healthy food. But even for humans, it is recommended that you eat just a small handful of them daily. Walnuts, in large amounts, can be very fattening food.
- Proteins and carbs – 15.2 g of proteins and 13.7 g of carbs. These amounts can also be fattening if consumed in excess.
- A moderate amount of fiber – 6.7 g. Walnuts have a normal, moderate amount of fiber. This is good, because a deficit of fiber causes constipation, and excess of it causes loose stool.
- Sugar – 2.6 g. Even though walnuts have a neutral taste, they still contain sugars. Sugars aren’t very well digested by guinea pigs. In excess, they cause belly cramps and bowel problems.
- High in fat – 65.2 g. Walnuts are famous for their high-fat content. These are healthy for the heart or the cardiovascular system. However, a high amount of fats could be fattening if consumed in excess.
- Vitamin C – 2%. Naturally, the guinea pigs cannot produce this vitamin and they need it in high amounts.
- Thiamin – 23%. The other name for this vitamin is B1. The B1 vitamin stops any possible complications with the nerves, brain, heart, muscles, intestines, and stomach. And, it also creates a better flow of electrolytes to the nerves and muscles.
- Calcium – 98 mg. Calcium is a much-needed mineral for creating healthy and strong bones. The guinea pigs need it only while they are young and still growing. But, when they grow up fully, a high amount of calcium is harmful to their urinary systems.
- Iron – 2.9 mg. Every cell in the body contains iron, but the red blood cells have the highest amounts of iron. This mineral removes fatigue and boosts immunity.
- Copper – 79%. Copper is another nutrient that is essential for the body of a guinea pig because it forms red blood cells. With this, bones are healthier, nerves and blood vessels too, and immunity is better as well.
- Phytosterols – 72 mg. Phytosterols are plant sterols that can reduce the cholesterol in the blood.
Are Walnuts Bad for Guinea Pigs? | Possible Risks
- Urinary complications – Walnuts contain quite a lot of calcium. This mineral can seriously damage the urinary systems of guinea pigs. With excess calcium, there is a risk of kidney and bladder stones, painful urinating, blood in the urine, or even frequent urinary infections.
- Digestion problems – The sugar content in walnuts is not too high, but it must be mentioned as a potential risk for digestion. If guinea pigs consume sugars, the digestion can be painful, resulting in loose stool.
- Rapid weight gain – If guinea pigs could eat walnuts, and if they consumed them often, there would be the risk of rapid weight changes. Walnuts have a lot of calories, carbs, and fats. All of these nutrients contribute to weight gain if consumed in high amounts.
- Risk of allergies and choking – You can’t really know whether the guinea pigs will have a walnut allergy or not, but walnut allergies are very common for them. Also, the walnuts have an uneven shape and are crunchy, and this could be a choking hazard for the cavies.
- Risk of cuts in the stomach – Walnuts can even cause minor injuries and cuts in the gut. After chewing and ingesting them, they can tear the inner stomach lining with the sharp bits that aren’t properly chewed.
Quick Facts on Walnuts
- Walnut cultivation dates back to 7000 BC.
- The Romans and Greeks used walnuts for medicinal purposes.
- The walnut is native to the Balkans, then to the East to the Himalayas, and all the way to the Southwest of China.
- Romans called walnut the ‘Jupiter’s royal acorn.’
- In ancient Persia, walnuts were kept aside only for royalty. This is why even today, walnuts are also called ‘Persian walnut.’
- Walnut oil is very popular as a salad dressing.
- California produces the most walnuts worldwide.
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
An Investigation Into the Relationship Between Owner Knowledge, Diet, and Dental Disease in Guinea Pigs (Cavia Porcellus)
Nutrient Requirements of Laboratory Animals: Fourth Revised Edition
The Effects of Diet on Anatomy, Physiology and Health in the Guinea Pig