Are you petting a guinea pig? Then, you must be aware of their special dietary requirements. Many pig owners find it hard to choose fodder for their pet, which often lead to misconceptions.
Some myths can even prove health-harming for your animal friend if you don’t clear them. You might also come across a common question: Can guinea pigs eat nuts?
Reading this article will clear all your questions about this particular query. So, without delaying further, let’s get started.
Are Nuts Anyway Beneficial to Guinea Pigs?
Nuts are not entirely toxic for pigs. There are some beneficial aspects to them as well. For example, these contain fiber which is helpful for your guinea pig’s excretory system.
Moreover, nuts can also fulfill their dietary requirements for micronutrients like magnesium, potassium, copper, selenium, and phosphorus.
Though roasting nuts can lower fat content by a few percent, these are still unhealthy for your pet. You should not include nuts, whether plain or roasted, in your guinea pig’s diet. Their minor health benefits couldn’t outcome the significant clinical risks.
Why Shouldn’t You Feed Nuts to Guinea Pigs?
Nuts are not poisonous to guinea pigs until they eat them in moderation. Since guinea pigs are grazers, they will need something to snack on after every one or two hours. In that case, feeding them nuts frequently can lead to severe consequences.
Hence, if you keep providing them with lots of nuts or similar food, your pet might face several health issues. Their body won’t be able to digest and absorb the extra fat and salts in the nuts. Thus, a disturbed digestive system can make your lively pet feel down.
Moreover, you may find him irritated more than ever before. Not only GI problems but there are chances that they may face some other painful conditions as well.
Let’s discuss them below so you know why guinea pigs shouldn’t eat nuts in large amounts.
Since the digestive system of pigs can’t tackle extra fat, it will get deposited throughout their body. It leads to obesity, which opens a long road to other life-threatening diseases.
If you have ever pet a guinea pig, you will know that vets recommend feeding lighter foods to them. Since they tend to overeat, they will go extra on nuts, a calorie-dense choice, harming their health.
Although fat accumulation itself is dangerous, it can lead to some severe conditions if it happens in your pet’s bloodstream. They can develop heart problems and even feel exhausted. You would definitely feel bad seeing them in such a situation.
Stones in Bladder
While looking for the answer to your question, “Can guinea pigs eat nuts” you’ll discover many astonishing things about nuts. Nuts are rich in calcium. Although rare, if you keep feeding them with nuts, your guinea pig can get stones in their bladder.
Too much calcium can make a home in your pig’s kidney or bladder as small-sized stones. It can lead to harrowing consequences for the cute little creatures afterward. Besides causing problems in their regular urinary schedule, bladder stones can also make them feel lethargic.
There are many things that guinea pigs could be allergic to. Similarly, nuts can flare up infections in them if they are hypersensitive. Although it is rare, it can lead to several troubles. Your pig might face breathing issues, which can be life-threatening if the allergic reaction is severe.
Moreover, they would face other bothersome symptoms like watery eyes, itchy, red, sore skin, and runny nose. Most pigs are strong enough to fight minor allergies. Yet, you must visit a vet if the symptoms persist for more than a week.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Peanut Butter?
Peanut Butter, as the name indicates, is majorly made from nuts. However, it varies according to the brand you use, as some might mix other edibles. Either way, feeding peanut butter to your guinea pig is pointless.
Peanut butter is extremely high in fats, and too much of it in the pig’s body will do nothing good. In fact, it will quickly open doors to some significant health concerns.
Moreover, guinea pigs might be unable to swallow peanut butter with a thick consistency, leading to a choking hazard. Hence, there’s no need to include peanut butter in their diet. Instead, you can explore multiple nutritious options.
A Short Guide On How to Feed Your Guinea Pigs
According to a study, almost 1.3% of UK households own guinea pigs as pets in their households. If you belong to such a home or planning to adopt a pig, it’s crucial to know their dietary needs.
However, there are no complicated requirements, you should only follow a few guidelines, and everything will be good to go. Hence, nuts are out of the question to feed your guinea pigs.
Therefore, it’s essential to know about foods that’d be perfect for including in their diet. Pigs are herbivores and will get excited if you feed them with grass, or hay-like barley, timothy, etc.
You can give your pet many other things to ensure they stay happy, healthy, and playful. Our guide below will help you in making your petting journey a success.
Ensure a Constant Supply Of Food
Pigs are grazers, and they will crave food after every few hours. Thus, if you don’t feed them timely, you might find them irritated. To keep them in a good mood, they must have their food ready throughout the day.
You should be careful when buying hay for guinea pigs. It should be high-quality, sweet, fungi-free, and dry. Your pig will love chewing it for longer durations. It is highly valuable for their overall health, including dental and gastrointestinal.
Serve Food In a Container
Guinea pigs are smaller creatures, so their immune system is weaker than other animals. Hence, they can easily catch bacterial or viral infections if you don’t care about hygiene while feeding them.
It’s a common practice among pet owners to serve food to their pets on the floor. However, you should never adopt it as your pig’s waste can quickly dirty the food. Even molds can grow on it, increasing your pet’s chances of catching health problems.
Offer a Variety of Herbs
Just as eating the same food can bore you, even animals feel agitated when there’s no variety in their meals. Thus, you should offer them a variety of leafy vegetables daily. However, they should be fresh. We have listed some nutritious options to feed your pigs.
- Silver Beet
Moreover, you can feed them healthy fruits like apples, mangoes, papayas, etc. However, don’t forget to remove seeds, as they can be a choking hazard.
Don’t Introduce New Food Abruptly
If your pig has been eating a specific diet for months, you should not change it suddenly. Their body may require some time to tackle any dietary change.
Yet, you can mix a small portion of the new food into their current diet. You can gradually increase it over a few weeks afterward.
Take Them Outdoors for Some Self-Grazing
Guinea pigs love grazing on fresh grass. Hence, you should take them out more often in grassy areas. It would not only make them happy but also effects their health positively. However, it must be a safe enclosure if you leave them in the garden for the house.
With no supervision, any bigger animal could attack them, or they could even get lost outside. Moreover, we also have an alternate solution if you can’t arrange regular grazing sessions for your pet.
You can offer them to cut grass from a nearby garden or a personal lawn. However, ensuring that the grass is entirely organic and chemical-free is crucial.
What Else Should You not Feed a Guinea Pig?
While our verdict does not favor the question, “Can guinea pigs eat nuts?” there are many other edibles you must avoid at all costs. The below list will help you keep your pet safe from undesirable health issues due to minor dietary mistakes.
- Cereals and grains
- Onions, potatoes, mushrooms, and onion grass
- Dairy products
- Foxglove and rhubarb leaves
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Nuts: Final Verdict
The answer to a frequently asked question by pig owners, “Can guinea pigs eat nuts?” is a clear no. Though fewer nuts are not toxic to their body, feeding them in large quantities can lead to severe consequences.
Nuts also have a few health benefits, but the potential drawbacks are more potent among guinea pigs. Hence, you should not take the risk. Instead, feed your pigs some organic herbs and fresh fruits, and see them become their healthiest and happiest selves.
Moreover, grasses and hays keep pigs fuller for longer times. So, there would be no room for unnecessary snacks like nuts or items containing them like peanut butter. Visit ownyourpet to learn more.