Today we will talk about everyone’s favorite probiotic – yogurt! This food item is incredibly nutritious, beneficial and tasty. Well, there isn’t a person who dislikes this healthy food item. However, you are here to see if guinea pigs can consume yogurt, don’t worry we will carefully discuss yogurt as potential food for guinea pigs.
Can guinea pigs eat yogurt? No, guinea pigs cannot eat yogurt because they are lactose intolerant. Eating dairy products will cause problems for guinea pig’s digestive system.
The guinea pigs will experience cramps, bloating, gasses and even loose stool by eating yogurt. You don’t need to risk the health of your guinea pig by giving it yogurt – no matter how healthy this food is!
Well, yogurt might be a superfood with tons of benefits, but sadly yogurt is not good for our guinea pigs. Of course, it is not a life or death situation if the guinea pig tries yogurt by accident, let’s say. Still, this food should not be given at all to the guinea pigs, similar to sugars, or processed foods. All of these are not well digested by the guinea pig.
If you are interested, we will provide more details for yogurt as food for the guinea pigs (risks, nutritional value and fun facts) in the following sections.
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Yogurt
Sadly, the guinea pigs cannot have the benefits that come with this healthy probiotic food. Yogurt is always good for us, but it isn’t for our cavies. If we put aside the risks of consuming yogurt, the benefits for the guinea pigs would be probably healthy probiotics (bacteria and yeast) and nutrients (vitamins and minerals) that contribute to the overall stronger immune system and better health of all organs in the body. But, there are plenty of other foods that are safe for consumption by guinea pigs, and they have the same nutrients as yogurt (or even more), sadly almost none contain probiotics. Stick to the fruits, vegetables, herbs and pellets as a certain rule for a healthy diet of your furry pet.
Nutrition Facts of Yogurt
In 100 g (3 oz) of plain yogurt, these are the nutrition facts:
- Normal amount of calories – 56 calories. This is a normal amount of calories, i.e., it doesn’t affect the weight in unhealthy ways.
- Carbs and proteins – in yogurt, there are 7.7 g of carbs and 5.7 g of protein. This is why yogurt is such a healthy food, the ratio of the two main energy sources is relatively close and similar. Nutritious enough, and it provides a good feeling of satiety.
- High in sugar – 7.7 g. The amount of sugar in yogurt is insanely high for the guinea pigs! They cannot digest excessive amounts of sugar, and their stomachs start to hurt and cramp from the excess sugar.
- Low in fat – 0.2 g. Yogurt is also not fattening, and the low-fat amount makes it a truly healthy food indeed.
- Vitamin C – 1%. The essential vitamin for health and survival of the guinea pigs. They don’t produce it naturally, and sadly they can’t store it either.
- Thiamin – 3%. Thiamin is the B1 vitamin and it keeps the brain, muscles, nerves, stomach, intestines, and heart healthy. It also improves the electrolyte flow to the muscles and nerves.
- Riboflavin – 14%. Known also as the B2 vitamin. The B2 turns consumed foods into energy, and it also promotes better oxygen flow in the organism.
- Niacin – 1%. Niacin is the B3 vitamin; it lowers the cholesterol, prevents from diabetes and heart diseases, and it improves the skin quality too.
- Vitamin B6 – 3%. The B6 improves sleep, reduces stress, and it produces serotonin (happiness hormone).
- Vitamin B12 – 10%. The B12 vitamin keeps all nerves and blood cells healthy. It can also prevent anemia and weakness.
- Pantothenic acid – 6%. This is the B5 vitamin; it creates new blood cells and converts food into energy.
- Calcium – 20%. Calcium is the mineral essential for strong bones. But, it is harmful to the urinary system of the guinea pigs. The only time it is beneficial is when the guinea pigs are still growing. However, they can’t eat yogurt anyway, so this is not a risk here.
- Magnesium – 5%. Magnesium keeps all muscle tissues strong and healthy.
- Potassium – 7%. The potassium lowers the blood pressure, reduces the risk of stroke, and it prevents muscle mass loss. Also, it improves the density of bones and prevents kidney stones formations.
- Zinc – 6%. Zinc boosts the immunity, improves recovery time during cold and flu, and it reduces the risk of chronic illnesses.
- Copper – 1%. Copper forms the red blood cells. It boosts the immunity too, also makes nerves and cells healthier, bones stronger and it can prevent cardiovascular issues too.
- Selenium – 5%. Selenium prevents some cancers, heart diseases, thyroid problems, and it boosts immunity.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Yogurt to Guinea Pigs
- Bad digestion – the guinea pigs are lactose intolerant and for them consuming dairy would have the same effects as processed foods, bread, sugars and similar. Yogurt contains lactose, but sugar as well, and lots of it. Imagine what problems would arise for the poor little furry thing! Stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhea, gasses and indigestion pains.
- Urinary problems – yogurt has lots of calcium too, like all dairy products. Calcium can severely damage the health of the urinary system of guinea pigs, or the overall health as well. When this mineral is found in excess in guinea pigs, there is a great risk of bladder and kidney stones, infections, painful urinating and blood traces in the urine. Sometimes, this can get even worse and the kidneys could stop working (renal failure).
Quick Facts on Yogurt
- The first form of yogurt was goat and sheep milk placed in gourds in the warm weather, and it formed a curd. This was around 5000 BC
- In the USA, yogurt became very popular in the last 40 years
- People in France and Turkey consume the most yogurt worldwide
- In the USA, yogurt is consumed mainly for breakfast, whereas in Europe it is consumed for lunch and dinner.
- National Frozen Yogurt Day is February 6th.
- National Greek Yogurt Day is November 9th.
- Most common yogurt is cow milk yogurt.
- In the Hindu worship, there is a beverage made of yogurt, sugar, milk, honey and butter. It is considered a ‘nectar of immortality’.
- Greek yogurt is regular yogurt that was strained.
- There is also Icelandic yogurt. This type is much thicker than the Greek yogurt and contains more protein too.
- One serving of yogurt has the same amount of calcium as 7 whole eggs.
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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