Fruits and vegetables are an essential part of guinea pig’s food regimen. But, there are some foods which are an absolute no-no for guinea pigs. There are also some foods which can be given to guinea pigs but are harmful if given in excess. 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.
What is the worst food you can give to a guinea pig? The answer is any kind of meat. Guinea pigs are plant eating animal and food containing meat should be off your list for your pet. Their digestive system is not made to digest meat. If fed, they can become seriously ill.
A full list of foods to avoid giving to a guinea pig:
1. Dairy products – As mentioned before, guinea pigs can only digest plant-based food. So, dairy products like milk, curd, cheese, cream cheese, should not be fed to them.
2. Avocado – Guinea pigs may like the taste of it, but avocados should not be given to your guinea pigs. These are too high in fat content. Even if you want your guinea pig to gain some weight, avocado is not a suitable option, give them grass instead.
3. Oats – Though, oats can be given to your guinea pig since these are high in fiber content but the amount should be less. Oats consists of carbohydrates which break down quickly into sugars in the digestive tract. They are also high in sugar that will disrupt the bacteria in the gut, which can lead to pigs not wanting to eat because they feel ill.
4. Whiskey or any other alcohol – Guinea pig is a brittle animal and does not tend to tolerate whiskey or any other alcohol. So it is highly advisable to not even put a drop of alcohol in their mouth if you don’t intend to put them to sleep forever.
5. Seeds – Guinea pigs should not have seeds at all.
- 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 says ‘good for guinea pigs.’
- Seeds also consist of sugars and starches which can cause a change in digestive bacteria, intestinal complications, and obesity. Guinea pigs do not have self-control, so it is our responsibility to keep them healthy.
- Though soft seeds like those are naturally found in peppers, cucumber and tomatoes are safe. But, seeds like in an apple, watermelon, and orange can choke them to death and should be removed before feeding.
6. Fruits – Fruits are rich in sugars and carbohydrates.
- Stone fruits like apricot, peaches, and plums are toxic to guinea pigs.
- Stone fruits contain cyanide and are rich in sugars which are a deadly combination for guinea pigs.
- All kinds of non-native fruits like papaya, mango, pomegranate can cause serious digestion related problems and severe pain in the abdomen caused by an obstruction in the gut.
- Rhubarb, which is rich in oxalic acid, is also toxic to guinea pigs.
- Banana can cause constipation if fed overfed and it highly advisable to not feed it to your pig if he has diabetes.
- Pears can cause diarrhea, and since it is also rich in sugars, it is not suitable for cavies suffering from diabetes.
- Kiwi or Mandarin can irritate their mouth. So, it should be fed rarely.
- Watermelons should also be fed keeping the quantity in check to avoid consumption of too much sugar.
- Feed fruit should be feed only twice a week in small portions. They are high in sugar and can cause mouth sore if given too often.
- Vegetables – Although, guinea pigs are plant-eating animals, there are some vegetables which they might not like that much.
- Onions and cabbage can make their stomach bloat. Guinea pigs do not have any way to let out that extra gas out of their body as unlike us human beings. Onions can also lead to blood disorders. Similarly, garlic is also toxic to guinea pigs.
- While tomatoes can be fed once in a while, tomato leaves and stalks are not suitable to feed as these are toxic.
- Legumes – Legumes based plants are usually good for health, but if fed in excess, it can lead to the formation of urine stones as legumes are rich in calcium.
- Icebergs lettuce or lettuce should be fed in small amounts due to its high nitrate content which can cause bloating or gas and diarrhea.
- Asparagus is highly diuretic and should be fed rarely.
- Spinach contains oxalic acid so it should not be given often.
- Zucchini is not a favorite food of guinea pigs.
- Potato sprouts and peelings are also rich in carbohydrates, so it is better to avoid them.
- Radishes are high in oxalates, so these are to be given rarely.
- stomach (gas) disorders in guinea pigs. So, it should be fed in small amount only.
- Beans cause the formation of gas in the stomach and causes bloating.
- Leeks and chives fall in the category of onions and can cause blood disorders.
8. Multivitamins generally
9. Commercial rabbit food – The commercial rabbit foods are not good for guinea pigs because they are low in vitamin C, high in vitamin D and also contain drugs to prevent coccidiosis, which can make guinea pigs extremely ill.
- Chocolates or candies – These have a high content of sugar than any other stuff and also are high in fats and carbohydrates. So, it is plain no for guinea pigs. Make sure your kid is not feeding them some of these.
11. Herbs – While herbs can be a significant source of essential minerals, there is a long list of herbs that are toxic to guinea pigs. Acacia, Aconite, Beech, Bindweed, Buttercups, Celandine, Cherry Trees, Clematis, Columbine, Daffodils, Daisies, Deadly Nightshade, Acanthus, Agave, Arum, Autumn Crocus, Belladonna, Boxwood, Broom, Buddleia, Christmas Rose, Cyclamen, Datura, Elder, Ferns, Geraniums, Holly, Honeysuckle, Ivy, Juniper, Laburnum, Lilly, Lilly of Valley, Lupine, Monkshood, Oleander, Primrose, Snowdrop, Thimble, Tree of life, Windflower, Yews.
12. Oak – Oak plants are poisonous for guinea pigs and can cause diarrhea, extreme pain in the abdomen and loss of interest in eating leading to death.
13. Bread- Since bread is made of grains; it should be given in small amounts only. Grains consist of high fat, sugars and carbohydrate content which make your guinea pig fat. Bread also consists of preservatives which is not good for guinea pig’s health.
14. Hay pellets – the guinea pig can become more prone to dental and digestive problems.
15. Vitamin C supplements – It is one of the essential elements of the guinea pig diet, but it is better to fulfill that requirement in the form of diet that has Vitamin C in it. Supplements are not necessary when you give them a proper and balanced diet.
16. Coffee – Guinea pigs are already hyperactive animals. Coffee contains caffeine which can disturb their sleeping cycle making them exhaustive and tired eventually. Also, caffeine leads to addiction which is also not good news for your pet.
17. Salt -The salt licks can lead to mineral excess which can lead to bladder stones.
18. Sweets – Again, any kind of sweetness apart from your love for your pet is harmful. Its consequences are blindness, diabetes, weight gain, and indigestion. Human beings also tend to experience reduced eyesight when suffering from diabetes.
19. Cereals – Cereal grains should not be given to guinea pigs due to its high content of sugar and carbohydrates. They can also cause a choking hazard. Though cereal based things like corn flakes can be fed, it should be done once in a month.
20. Pickles – Pickles contain vinegar as preservatives which can cause irritation and other skin related problems. Pickles can also cause digestive problems. Any pickled or brined vegetables, including canned olives and similar foodstuff, should be avoided.
21. Seedless raisins
22. Beet green leaves – These have a high content of calcium and oxalates which can cause bladder stones and indigestion.
23. Kale – Though it is very rich in vitamin A, it should be used sparingly.
24. Coconut – It is high in fat content and can lead to atherosclerosis and liver damage.
25. Alfalfa hay – These are very high in calcium content and protein, therefore are not ideal for guinea pigs.
26. Cooked food
27. Mushrooms – Guinea pigs should not be eating any type of wild mushrooms. Though white, buttons and Portobello can be fed even tho they do not have any nutritional value. So, it is best to avoid feeding mushrooms and feed with something else with better nutritional values.
28. Hostas – Hostas
29. Rice or rice flakes – Rice can be fed to guinea pigs, but it should not be fed regularly due to high carbohydrate and starch content.
30. Junk food – Most of the junk food is rich in fats and carbohydrates. It is better to avoid them. Feed junk food can cause them to gain excessive weight and have health problems as a result.
31. Juice – It is better to feed only water to your guinea pigs as juice does not have much fiber content, they only contain high sugars which is not good for the health of your guinea pigs.
33. Nuts – These have a high level of fats and thus can lead to weight gain leading to many other obesity-related problems.
34. Plants treated with pesticides – Any food that you feed your guinea pig must be washed thoroughly as unwashed fruits, vegetables and plants contain pesticides on their surface which can be detrimental for the health of your pet.
35. Rhubarb – The plant is poisonous, and the stalks are very sour.
36. Food meant for other animals
37. Popcorn – Guinea pigs can choke on popcorns easily and also causes the formation of gas in the stomach.
38. Spicy food – Guinea pigs should not be fed with spicy food like chilies or hot pepper; mild bell peppers can be given in less amount. It can cause pain in the stomach.
40. Salt wheels – These are made by bleaching process which introduces harmful chemicals into your pig’s gut. Salt wheels also contain glues and adhesives which can also be toxic for your guinea pig.
41. Stale food – 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 make them ill.
42. Hamster food – Since both hamster and guinea pigs fall under the category of rodents, people tend to feed the same food to them which is wrong. Hamsters are omnivores while guinea pigs are herbivores, which makes them different in their requirement of nutrition.
43. Too fresh food – If giving stale food is not appropriate, giving too fresh food to your guinea pigs can also cause your animal to have soft and smelly feces.