Fruits and vegetables are an essential part of guinea pig’s food regimen. But, there are some foods that are absolutely forbidden for guinea pigs. There are also some foods that can be given to guinea pigs but are harmful if given in excess.
What can’t guinea pigs eat? There are many things that guinea pigs can’t eat, such as any type of meat, dairy products, and sweets. Guinea pigs are plant-eating animals and food containing these things needs to be off of your list for their diet. Also, there are certain vegetables, fruits, and other foods that guinea pigs can’t eat because they are toxic for them, this means that even if something is classified as a vegetable or a fruit can be toxic for guinea pigs. Furthermore, there are foods guinea pigs can eat but only in moderation and small serving sizes and if you give them those foods in excess, they can cause health problems. Guinea pig’s digestive system is very sensitive and it is not made to digest any food that contains a lot of sugar, salt, and fat. A wrong diet can be fatal for guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs are neophobic, which means that once they start eating something they do not want to try anything else. So it is even more important to feed them a variety of food in the early stages of their development.
In the following section, we’ll give to you a full list of foods not to feed guinea pigs and also foods that you can give to guinea pigs in moderation and a lot of supervision. Let’s begin!
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Foods Not to Give Guinea Pigs: Detailed List
What foods can’t guinea pigs eat? As we have mentioned, any type of meat, dairy products and sweets are totally forbidden for guinea pigs. That means those foods aren’t recommended for giving to guinea pigs even in small amounts or in moderation.
This is a list of unsafe foods for guinea pigs that you need to avoid completely:
As mentioned before, guinea pigs can only digest plant-based food. So, dairy products like milk, yogurt, curd, cheese, cream cheese, should not be fed to them, because those products can cause stomach problems in guinea pigs, for example, diarrhea.
Seeds are high in fat content. Also, they can choke your pet. Guinea pigs are plant-eating animals and usually like to rely on soft things. Seeds are not suitable for them even if the seed products, in the pet store say “good for guinea pigs”.
Soft seeds like those found naturally in peppers, cucumber and tomatoes are safe. On the other hand, guinea pigs can choke on the seeds from apples, watermelons, and oranges. This is why they need to be removed.
7. Some Vegetables
There are also certain vegetables that aren’t good for guinea pigs:
Rhubarb – is toxic to guinea pigs and avoid giving it to them even in moderation because it is rich in oxalic acid.
Icebergs lettuce – isn’t toxic but don’t give it to guinea pigs because it can cause them some health issues. It doesn’t have any nutritional value for guinea pigs and only can cause bloating or gas and diarrhea.
Potatoes – are toxic to guinea pigs. They are also rich in carbohydrates and calcium so guinea pigs shouldn’t eat them even from a nutritional standpoint.
Leeks and chives– fall in the category of onions and can cause blood disorders, so don’t give them to guinea pigs.
Jalapenos – aren’t good for guinea pigs because they’re very spicy and they can cause problems for guinea pig’s stomach and digestive system.
Ginger – is not recommended for guinea pigs because of calcium and sugar content.
8. Multivitamins | Supplements
Vitamins generally should not be given to guinea pigs as they can lead to an excess of vitamins and minerals which is harmful to guinea pigs. It is better to consult the vet before you feed guinea pigs any multivitamin supplements.
Oak plants are poisonous for guinea pigs and can cause diarrhea, extreme pain in the abdomen and loss of interest in eating which can lead to death.
Guinea pigs shouldn’t eat bread as it is made out of grains. Bread is high in fat, sugars and carbohydrates which can make your guinea pig fat. Bread also consists of preservatives that are not good for guinea pig’s health. Also, guinea pigs can even choke on bread as it is sticky.
Many vegetables already have salts and minerals, therefore if you are giving your guinea pigs balanced diets, salt is not necessary. Excess salt can lead to bladder stones in guinea pigs.
Again, any type of sweet food is harmful to guinea pigs. Sugar can cause serious health problems such as blindness, diabetes, weight gain, and indigestion. Human beings also tend to experience reduced eyesight when suffering from diabetes.
Cereal grains should not be given to guinea pigs due to the high content of sugar and carbohydrates. They can also cause a choking hazard. Though cereal based products like corn flakes can be fed to guinea pigs, it should be done once in a month.
Guinea pigs should not eat any type of wild mushrooms, because there are many mushrooms that are poisonous. They can be fed with cultivated mushrooms, but they do not have any nutritional value for guinea pigs. So, it is best to avoid feeding them mushrooms and give them something else with better nutritional values.
Hostas are toxic to most of the animals, and it is better not to take a risk with your guinea pigs.
Rice cannot be fed to guinea pigs, because rice is grainy and that isn’t good for them. Also, cooked rice is a bad solution because guinea pigs cannot eat cooked food.
25. Junk Food
Most of the junk food is rich in fats and carbohydrates. Feeding them junk food can cause excessive weight gain and various health problems as well.
Guinea pigs should not be fed with spicy foods like chilies or hot pepper. Mild bell peppers can be given in a lesser amount. Spicy food can cause them pain in the stomach and they don’t know how to deal with it.
Do not feed stale food to your guinea pigs. It is better to buy small bags of food for them so that the food remains fresh. Also, make sure to clean the old food kept in the cage, as old and dirty food can cause health problems.
There are also foods that guinea pigs cannot eat in large serving sizes or very often, so be careful when feeding guinea pigs with these following foods:
Fruits that are rich in sugars and carbohydrates should be given in moderate amounts and not really that often.
Stone fruits like apricot, peaches, and plums need to be fed to guinea pigs in moderation because stone fruits contain cyanide and are rich in sugars which aren’t good for guinea pigs.
All kinds of exotic fruits like papaya, mango, tangerines, and others need to be given to guinea pigs in small amounts and not every day because everyday consumption can cause serious digestion related problems and severe pain in the abdomen caused by an obstruction in the gut.
Banana needs to be fed in small amounts because it can cause constipation if overfed and it is highly advisable to not feed it to your guinea pig if he has diabetes.
Pears can cause diarrhea, and since it is also rich in sugars, it is not suitable for guinea pigs suffering from diabetes. Be very careful with the serving sizes.
Kiwi, lemon or mandarin can irritate the guinea pig’s mouth. So, they should be fed rarely.
Watermelons should also be fed keeping the serving size in check to avoid the consumption of too much sugar.
Dragon fruit should be fed only 2-3 times a week in small portions. It is high in sugar and calcium which is not good for guinea pigs.
Spinach contains oxalic acid and calcium so it should not be given often.
Broccoli is rich in vitamin B5, A, and C but it contains also oxalates that cause stomach disorders (gas) in guinea pigs. So, it should be fed to guinea pigs in small serving sizes.
Carrots which are a good source of nutrition for guinea pigs (vitamins and minerals) can lead to the coloration of their urine. Carrots also have high sugar content, so it is advisable to feed them with carrots only two times a week and in small amounts.
Peppers, swede, and turnips need to be given in moderation because of sugar and oxalic acid content.
Radishes – are high in sodium and calcium so it’s better not to give them to guinea pigs very often.
Herbs like oregano, rosemary, mint, and basil need to be given in moderation because of the high amount of calcium they contain.
In order to be a good owner to your little pet, it’s very important to know what can guinea pigs eat and not eat. They are very sensitive animals and you need to be sure about what foods are toxic to guinea pigs so that you can avoid having them in their diet. When the wrong type of food is given to your guinea pigs, it can cause severe problems and can be a very painful experience for your pet, which in the end can even lead to death.
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