You might think that a guinea pig’s diet is relatively straightforward, but there is quite a lot to learn about it. There are a number of foods in our pantries that are simply not allowed to be given to guinea pigs. One of the most common questions is: can guinea pigs have bread?
The simple answer to this is no. However, you can learn much more about why guinea pigs can’t have bread, and other processed foods, below.
Taking the time to learn about what your guinea pig can and cannot eat is going to save your pet from potential health issues, and you from unneeded stress.
The article below will give you a clear outline of what you should stay away from and what to replace it with.
Tip: For more information about what guinea pigs eat, click here.
Why Can’t Guinea Pigs Eat Bread?
Bread is essentially to guinea pigs what junk food is to humans; it provides no nutritional value for them. This is why we can’t feed our pigs bread due to the importance of feeding our pigs quality food that contains the nutrition they need.
Additionally, guinea pigs have a hard time digesting any type of processed foods, and that includes bread. This can potentially lead to an impaction if given in large quantities, as well as conditions related to too much sugar, protein, and carbohydrates.
Another reason guinea pigs cannot have bread is that they may choke on pieces of bread. They are used to foods like hay and vegetables, so chewing up something like a piece of bread isn’t their “bread and butter.”
Other Processed Foods and Guinea Pigs
Besides bread, there are numerous other foods that you should know are unsafe for your pigs. This list below will help guide you in learning what foods are safe or unsafe for your pet.
Can guinea pigs eat chocolate?
Your guinea pig cannot eat chocolate for a number of reasons, including the sugar and dairy within.
You have to consider that your guinea pig cannot process the amount of sugar or dairy that we can. This means that chocolate and many other foods containing sugar and dairy products are toxic to your pig. Giving your guinea pig chocolate or anything containing high levels of sugar can cause tummy cramps and changes in their stool, such as diarrhea.
Can guinea pigs eat raw pasta?
Guinea pigs have very sensitive digestive systems, which means that they cannot eat raw pasta due to the flour within.
The carbs and calories don’t benefit your pig either, resulting in pasta taking away from their nutrition. They require foods that support their nutritional needs.
Can guinea pigs eat dried fruit?
Due to the amount of sugar that is in the dried fruit, it is not encouraged to give your pig dried fruit.
A very small portion won’t hurt your pig. However, the sugar is not easily processed, which could harm your pig long term. Dried fruit has a higher concentration of sugar than fresh fruit, which makes fresh fruit a better option when you want to provide something sweet.
Can guinea pigs eat frozen fruit and vegetables?
Guinea pigs react poorly to frozen or even chilled foods, which means that frozen fruit and vegetables are not recommended for your pig.
Frozen foods also lose some of their nutritional value, so fresh vegetables and fruits are always better.
Can guinea pigs eat cereal?
It is OK to give your guinea pigs a very small amount of sugar-free (no sweeteners either) cereal as an occasional snack.
If you are wanting to look into the possibility of feeding your guinea pig cereal as a treat, then you must steer towards the unsweetened brands. The problem with cereal is the sugar as well as useless carbs that they do not need to be ingesting.
Can guinea pigs eat cooked vegetables?
Guinea pigs cannot eat cooked vegetables as their digestive systems can’t handle them.
Cooking vegetables also takes away a portion of the nutritional value as well as the number of vitamins within. There are many raw vegetables that are safe for your guinea pig, such as carrots and celery.
Can guinea pigs eat cheese and dairy?
Cheese and dairy are not allowed within a guinea pig’s diet due to their digestion systems.
Their digestive systems were not created to process dairy, which means that they can have many adverse reactions such as diarrhea and vomiting.
Can guinea pigs eat meat?
Guinea pigs are considered herbivores and always have been, so meat is toxic to them.
Meat is something to always keep away from your guinea pig as their digestive system just can’t handle it.
Healthy Treats for Guinea Pigs
This article has explained the foods that are not recommended to feed your guinea pig, and now let’s discuss some healthy and trusted treats.
This list below will give you a great start to the foods that will nourish your small pet. These treats include fruits and veggies that are healthy and loved by most guinea pigs.
- Bell peppers
- Green beans
Things to Keep in Mind When Feeding Guinea Pigs
There are a few tips when feeding a guinea pig that will benefit your small pet, such as what foods could be a choking hazard. You also want to be aware of any foods that might be toxic to your small pet. Below you will find a few potential hazards to keep your pet away from.
Foods that are choking hazards for guinea pigs
There are quite a few foods that are a potential choking hazard for guinea pigs, such as rabbit or hamster food.
These animals are close in size but are very different animals and process food differently. Nuts and seeds are a very large choking hazard for your guinea pig and can even cause stomach pain.
Fruits and vegetables that are toxic for guinea pigs
There are numerous grocery items that are toxic or simply not beneficial for your guinea pig that might even surprise you. Use this list below to steer clear of the grocery aisles that may harm your furry friend. Guinea pigs’ digestive systems simply aren’t made to process these certain foods.
- Unripe eggplant
- Lemons and limes
- Iceberg lettuce
- Cooked vegetables
Feeding guinea pigs hamster, gerbil, mouse, or rat food
But when it incomes to their dietary specifications, they are all very different in terms of digestive systems and diets. There are numerous foods that are included in hamster food, such as seeds and nuts, that are choking hazards to guinea pigs.
One of the most important facts about guinea pigs to remember is that they can’t process their own vitamin C. This means they must get this vitamin from their diet, and foods meant for other animals may not cater to that specific need.
Consider what wild guinea pigs would eat
Wild and domesticated guinea pigs look for the same foods, which includes nearly anything that grows on the ground.
Guinea pigs are herbivores and prefer to eat grass and leaves during the spring to fall seasons. During the winter, wild pigs will search for vegetables that grow on the ground.
If you are searching to give your new pet the best nutrition it can find, then going natural is the best decision. Organic fruits and veggies are best for your small pet as well as ensuring no pesticides were used.
Guinea Pigs Like It Simple
This article has shown that guinea pigs actually have fairly simple diet requirements, and they like it that way. If you study what these animals eat in the wild, then you will see that they eat grass and veggies.
They have very sensitive digestive systems and are quite content to eat a simple and clean diet. This is how they get what their bodies need and how they can thrive for many years.