Generally, guinea pigs love chewing on different food all the time. While hay and vegetables are their favorites, they won’t refuse other foods you give them.
But it is important to note that some diets can cause serious health problems in these small pets.
Here are 21 foods you should not give your guinea pigs and why:
Despite having a sweet taste, cereal is harmful to your guinea pigs. Most of the time, this diet contains high sugar and carbohydrates.
Over time, excess sugar can cause diarrhea and obesity in cavies.
Furthermore, cereals usually have a hard texture, which can be dangerous for guinea pigs to chew on. Therefore, avoid giving your tiny pets this diet.
2. Cooked Meals
No matter how delicious your meal tastes, avoid giving it to your guinea pigs. Bear in mind that guinea pigs are herbivores, which means they enjoy eating plants.
Often, cooked foods interfere with the natural function of these pets’ digestive systems. As a result, they may begin to pass out watery stools.
Besides, guinea pigs gain nutrients from diets when in raw form only.
3. Greasy Food
Hamburgers, pastries, pizza, and other snacks are not in any way healthy for cavies. These diets usually contain high levels of fat and carbohydrates, which can cause health problems.
Obesity, diarrhea, and heart problems are some of the problems associated with eating excess fatty foods.
Compared to other animals, guinea pigs cannot digest meat. Moreover, their teeth cannot chew meat properly, which makes digestion even harder.
When you feed your cavies meat, they may experience a choking hazard when swallowing. These animals may also suffer from digestive problems if they swallow the meat.
So it is best to avoid giving them meat to prevent problems.
Unlike hamsters, guinea pigs cannot eat fruits that have seeds, except watermelon. Therefore, always make sure you remove all of the seeds before serving these fruits to your pets.
Understand that most seeds are hard and can cause a choking hazard for cavies.
Tiny, soft seeds found in fruits like tomatoes are not harmful to your pets.
Avoid serving your guinea pigs onions as it exposes them to bloating. This can cause them to experience serious stomach discomfort.
Bloating can also result in loss of appetite, and starvation. In addition, onions can cause anemia, and allergies in these tiny pets if eaten in excess.
READ ALSO: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Green Onions?
7. Garlic and Ginger
Just like onions, ginger, and garlic are highly toxic for guinea pigs. Although ginger and garlic are beneficial, these plants are too spicy for small pets.
As a result, they can cause digestive problems, urinary problems, mouth irritation, and allergies. Ginger can also cause heart problems and bleeding in cavies.
Any form of garlic, whether baby or wild garlic, is not safe for guinea pigs. Ginger greens or leaves are also harmful to cavies and should be avoided.
8. Rabbit Food
All commercial rabbit food is not safe for guinea pigs’ consumption. Guinea pigs’ and bunnies’ nutritional requirements are different in some ways.
Rabbits’ food does not contain enough vitamin C, which is a very important nutrient for guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs do not produce vitamin C and so depend on diets to get it. So if they eat rabbits’ food for a long time, the guinea pigs will fall sick.
READ OUR FULL ARTICLE: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Rabbit Food Temporarily?
Although some herbs are sweet and healthy for guinea pigs, others are bad for their health.
Thyme, parsley, dill, fennel, and cilantro are examples of healthy herbs for guinea pigs.
Avoid giving your guinea pigs these herbs:
- Cherry trees
Not only do these herbs cause digestive problems in cavies, but they can also affect their general wellbeing.
In every way possible, ensure your guinea pigs do not eat chocolate. It is poisonous for them and may lead to death.
Caffeine and theobromine are two main stimulants found in chocolate. When eaten, the caffeine in chocolate can increase the heart rate of guinea pigs, resulting in their death.
Besides, chocolate is also rich in fat, and processed sugar, which can cause cramps, pain, and loose stools.
Therefore, avoid eating chocolate near your cavies’ cage because a chunk of it can harm them.
11. Dairy products
Ingesting cheese, milk, yogurt, and other dairy products can cause indigestion in guinea pigs. They do not have the enzyme lactase that allows easy digestion of lactose in dairy products.
Even a small drop of milk or cheese in your guinea pig’s diet can produce serious symptoms like stooling.
12. Wild Mushrooms
Serving your guinea pigs wild mushroom exposes them to danger. It is poisonous even when eaten in small amounts. Cooked mushrooms are also not healthy for these small pets.
White, Portobello, and button mushrooms are good for guinea pigs.
Symptoms of mushroom poisoning include:
- Loss of appetite
- Skin rash
- Breathing difficulties
There’s a high amount of fats in nuts, whether peanut, walnut, or hazelnut. Excessive fat in guinea pigs’ diet can make them gain weight thereby causing obesity.
Moreover, nuts are very hard and can cause a choking hazard for these small animals. It is best to avoid giving your cavies nuts, no matter how small.
All parts of the rhubarb plant are harmful to guinea pigs. It has a lot of oxalic acids, which can cause diarrhea, bloating, and other problems with your stomach.
Rhubarb also has a high amount of calcium, and phosphorus, which can lead to kidney stones in cavies.
Potatoes are poisonous to them, whether raw or cooked.
It contains high amounts of alkaloids and fructose, which can cause digestive problems in cavies.
In addition, this also contains a high amount of calcium, which can cause bladder and kidney stones in guinea pigs.
ALSO READ: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Sweet Potato?
Humans get many benefits from eating avocados, but it is very dangerous for guinea pigs. Avocados contain a substance called persin, which can cause unpleasant symptoms in cavies.
This poisonous substance can be found in all parts of the fruit, including the leaves, skin, and bark. So if your cavies eat a little part of the fruit, fluids will fill their lungs and hearts.
Some of the symptoms your guinea pig will experience if they eat avocado includes:
- Breathing difficulty
17. Unripe tomatoes
No matter the reason, avoid feeding your little furry friends unripe tomatoes. It usually contains a substance called alkaloids, which are toxic for guinea pigs.
Besides, there’s a moderate amount of vitamin C in the ripe ones compared to the green ones.
These small pets should also stay away from the leaves and stems of tomatoes because they contain tomatine, which can harm them.
Although these parts are perfectly safe for humans, it is poisonous for cavies.
Some symptoms of tomato poisoning in guinea pigs include:
- Breathing difficulties
- Weight loss
but what about ripe tomatoes? Find out here.
As with ginger and garlic, jalapenos are too spicy for a guinea pig’s sensitive stomach. Despite being a rich source of vitamin C, jalapenos can cause stomach upset in cavies.
They can also cause a burning sensation in the stomachs of your pets, thereby causing general body discomfort.
Since the disadvantage of this spicy diet outweighs its benefit, avoid giving your furry friends jalapenos.
Do not allow your guinea pigs to eat dates as it is toxic for them. Not only do they contain excess sugar, but dates are also sticky and can cause choking.
Too much sugar in guinea pigs’ diet can cause stomach upset. Besides, dates do not contain vitamin C, which is important for your tiny pets.
Considering this major factor, it is better not to feed them this fruit.
20. Grass Clippings
Fresh grass is healthy for guinea pigs, but grass clippings are not good for them. Sometimes, the clippings may contain bird feces, pesticides, weeds, and lawnmower exhausts.
When ingested by guinea pigs, the result is always unpleasant.
These clippings also ferment quickly and can cause bloating and stomach pain in guinea pigs. Make sure your guinea pigs only eat clean grass.
There’s a high level of sugar in candies, which makes them bad for guinea pigs. Too much sugar can cause bloating, cramps, and passing watery stools.
Even if you love candies, never offer them to your guinea pigs. There’s a limit to what their stomachs can handle.
Now, we’ve come to the final part of this article. We believe you already know the 21 foods you shouldn’t feed your guinea pigs and the reasons behind them.
To keep your guinea pigs healthy, don’t feed them any of the foods on this list.
Instead, feed them hay, healthy fruits, vegetables, and clean water – these are perfect for your guinea pigs’ overall health.
Always keep in mind that prevention is always cheaper and better than cure.
Have you been wondering if human foods are safe for cavies?
Find out the answer here – Do Guinea Pigs Eat Human Food?