Guinea pigs are admired for their ability to liven up the dullest of days. With a stomach as sensitive as a guinea’s, however, you must watch what you feed your pet. Some food items, such as meat or junk food, can actually poison your guinea pigs, causing them to suffer from health problems like diarrhea or worse, death.
Being herbivores, the best diet for your guinea pig is one that is rich in greens and fiber, so in this post, I will help you understand what foods can kill your guinea pig.
Most people prefer to keep guinea pigs as pets because they are energetic and fun to be around like puppies, and they purr and make adorable sounds like kittens too.
However, your guinea pig requires just as much attention because they can end up hurting themselves if left unattended for too long. There is a lot more to guinea pigs than purring and cuddles, so read on to learn more!
What Is the Ideal Diet for Your Guinea Pigs?
It is crucial to provide your guinea pig with a healthy and well-maintained diet so it can enjoy a hearty life. You must also pay close attention to your guinea pig if you change their diet even slightly because their sensitive tummies can cause serious reactions internally. Here are some items that should constitute a majority of your guinea pig’s diet:
- Make sure that your guinea pig has clean, freshwater, which you should check twice a day.
- Focus on adding fiber to your guinea pig’s diet, which is crucial to its health (This is my favorite on Amazon).
- Excellent quality hay, that is clean and fresh, is the main item that your guinea’s diet should consist of. They need access to clean grass and hay for a healthier digestive system.
- Vegetables also constitute a majority of your guinea’s diet. Your guinea pig’s teeth are constantly growing, so they need leafy greens to chew and maintain the length and the shape. This is my favorite chew toy that can 100% improve dental health on Amazon.
- Grass-based pallets should be fed regularly in order to ensure that your guinea is acquiring the correct amount of Vitamin C. Do not feed your guinea citrus fruits.
- Kale and spinach leaves are safe to consume since these are both rich in vitamin C. However, some plants can be poisonous to the health of your guinea.
- Always make sure that everything your guinea pig is consuming is fresh and clean.
In addition to making sure that you provide a diet that is rich in vitamin C and fiber, you should also monitor the amount of water that your guinea drinks and how much food it consumes.
Guineas are sensitive creatures so you must ensure that you are not feeding it too much or too less.
What Foods Can Kill Guinea Pigs?
The stomach of your guinea pig is very sensitive, so feeding it the wrong items can lead to your pet being poisoned. This can cut the life of your guinea in half, so wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry? Here are some of the most dangerous food items that can poison or kill your guinea pig:
- Do not feed your guinea pig any snack that was made for you. This includes cereals, chips, biscuits, and flavored items, among other things.
- Avoid giving your guinea pig chocolate, at all costs. This can end up killing your pet.
- Citrus fruits are highly acidic for their sensitive stomach.
- All dairy products can cause problems for your guinea pigs.
- Rhubarb is a plant that is entirely poisonous for them.
- Sugar should be excluded unless the source of it is through fruits.
- Tomatoes are safe to consume, but the stem and leaf should be avoided.
- Poppies and most houseplants are poisonous to them.
- Potatoes, potato leaves and the plant itself, as well as any potato chips, are all detrimental to the health of your guinea pig.
- Privet, ragwort, sorrel, and yew should be avoided at all costs.
- Any type of meat is poisonous to guinea pigs, as they are herbivores. Feeding meat will shorten the life of your guinea pig and can result in immediate death.
So, these are the most dangerous foods for your guinea, that I never give it to my guinea pigs and should be kept as far away from your little rodent, as possible.
You should also be extra vigilant about your guinea pig eating any material that is within their enclosure since chemicals and plastics can cause the death of your pet too.
Can You Overfeed a Guinea Pig?
Yes and no. It is possible to overfeed a guinea pig, which is never good for them, this why I use this automatic pet feeder food. It can cause your guinea pig to become bloated and result in obesity. Not only is that highly unhealthy for your guinea, but it can also lead to a series of health complications.
This is why it is always advisable that you take extra care of the diet of your guinea, and ensure that you feed them routinely, instead of topping up their food bowl (If you dont have a guinea pig, this is a cheap one here).
It is also crucial for you to observe closely that the grass and hay of your guinea are always fresh and cleaned regularly. Check out my favorite Timothy Hay Pet Food.
Can a Guinea Pig Eat Popcorn?
No. If you feed your guinea pig a snack, such as popcorn, it will cause harm to them. Their digestive systems need an adequate amount of hay, straw, and grass to function properly.
There is no need to give your guinea pig any amount of grain or wheat, or any other snack that you might consume yourself.
After eating popcorn, your guinea pig might suffer from diarrhea or some other disease, I remember when a day I did the same mistake because I didn’t have any idea what can these kinds of food do if my pet eats them.
Constantly feeding your pet the wrong item will cause it to fall ill and live a much shorter life. So, avoid feeding your guinea pig popcorn or experimenting with any other snack. Guinea pigs generally have a lifespan of 4-8 years and can exceed this if you take proper care of your rodent.
I hope this post helped you to learn what you should be feeding your guinea pig and what you should absolutely exclude from their diet. Loving these furry creatures is easy, but you must make sure you are careful as well because they are much more sensitive than dogs or cats.
Feel free to share any advice and your experiences with guinea pigs food to the comments below and you can subscribe to my newsletters to get weekly advice!
Lydia King is a huge animal lover and has always been fascinated with learning about the animal kingdom. She enjoys writing about anything animal related from scientific information about rare species to animal references in pop culture.