Guinea pigs are herbivorous animals, and they spend most of their time grazing out in the field in the wild. But if you have one as a pet, you’ll need to choose what they eat. More importantly, you need to know what guinea pigs can not eat.
Since it’s easy to find lists of the best fruits and veggies for cavies, let’s focus on that second part. Below are some of the worst and most unsafe things to feed your piggy.
1.Daisies and Buttercups
Celandine (a yellow flower), buttercups, and daisies are poisonous to guinea pigs. Buttercups and daisies are abundant during spring.This calls for extra caution when picking grass to ensure you don’t pick toxic leaves, stems, or flowers of toxic plants.
I know this is a grey area because many people are okay with letting their guinea pigs roam in the lawns and have a taste of the daisies. But it’s dangerous and risky.
There are different types of daisies, and some are harmful. And although one daisy might not be harmful to your guinea pig, too many of them can affect their well-being.
If you want to pick a treat from your own backyard, stick with dandelions. That will definitely make your guinea pig happy! Just make sure you wash them off before serving.
Just like humans, sometimes it’s not the food you feed your guinea pig that’s harmful, but what it may contain or how it’s prepared.
Overall, your guinea pigs can eat grass. In fact, it’s actually beneficial to their digestive system.
But grass mowed from your lawn may not good for your guinea pig for the following reasons:
- If you’re using a diesel or petrol lawnmower, the grass may be polluted by fumes that can make your guinea pig very sick.
- Grass clippings ferment very quickly, and since it’s chopped, your guinea pig will eat a lot of it at the same time. And then it will continue to ferment in their gut, causing them to bloat. This can be chaotic because bloating can be very dangerous to a guinea pig if not treated fast.
- Last, the grass clipping may contain other poisonous flowers that you didn’t know were growing on your lawn.
3.Rhubarb Leaves and Stalks
It doesn’t matter whether the rhubarb leaves and stalks are in the wilderness or your garden – they’re very poisonous.
If you have any rhubarb leaves and stalks in your homestead, ensure your guinea pigs stay far from them.
Is it safe for guinea pigs to eat dock leaves? Yes and No. It’s not safe for guinea pigs to eat dock leaves when they’re seeding or after seeding.
The leaves start appearing in spring, and they’re high in oxalic acid, so guinea pigs should eat dock leaves in low quantities.
I personally choose to avoid foods that are in the grey area when feeding my pets.
Better be safe than sorry. Right?
5.Potatoes and Potato Leaves
While potatoes may be on the top list of your favorite dishes, it’s not the same case with guinea pigs.
Both potatoes and potato leaves are poisonous and shouldn’t be fed to guinea pigs. Green potatoes are especially dangerous because they’re high on solanine, which is a glycoalkaloid poison.
Sweet potatoes, however, are safe once in a while. If you have some leftover cubes from your Thanksgiving casserole recipe, go ahead and toss some in with your piggy’s nightly salad.
Both guinea pigs and rabbits are small animals, yes, but they have very different dietary needs.
One major difference is that a rabbit can make their own Vitamin C, so it’s not included in their food. On the other hand, guinea pigs don’t make their Vitamin C, and lack of it may make them scurvy and lead to other health problems.
Avoid giving your guinea pig food made for rabbits, hamsters, cats, dog gerbil, sugar glider, or any other small animal.
7. Meat or Dairy Products
As mentioned earlier, guinea pigs are herbivorous animals. In simpler terms, they’re VEGAN.
This means you shouldn’t feed your guinea pig honey, ham, cheese, milk, fish, bacon, or anything else produced by an animal or comes from an animal.
I know you love your pet, and you want to share all your goodies with them. But while you may be doing it out of love, it may cause more harm than good.
Avoid feeding your guinea pig any of your food except fruits and vegetables. I’m talking about cooked and processed food such as crisps, toast, biscuits, weetabix, frozen vegetables and fruits, Doritos pizza, or any other food that’s meant for human beings.
While dried fruits aren’t poisonous, they contain high sugar quantities compared to fresh fruits. So, avoid feeding your guinea pig with dates, figs, sultanas, raisings, or other dried fruits.
That said, it’s important to control the number of fresh fruits they eat too because of the high sugar quantity.
Too many fruits can cause your guinea pig to diarrhea, so it’s best to focus more on veggies.
10.Nuts and Seeds
Nuts are very high in fats, and the digestive system of guinea pigs can’t handle it. This means you shouldn’t feed your guinea pig with pine nuts, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pistachios, brazil nuts, or any other kind of nuts.
Also, other seeds like pumpkin and sunflower seeds can stick on their teeth or chock them.
11.Food Mixes and Treats
When some foods out there are specifically designed for guinea pigs; they may not be entirely safe.
Be sure to check the ingredients of any food or treats before purchasing some for your guinea pig. Some food may contain dried fruits or artificial flavorings and colors that aren’t suitable for guinea pigs.
12. Plants from Bulbs
A majority of the plants that grow in bulbs are poisonous to guinea pigs. This includes garlic, onions, leeks, tulips, snowdrops, iris, bluebells, daffodil, spring onions, hyacinth, or any other bulb plant.
What Guinea Pigs Can Not Eat? (Final Words)
Just like humans, the health of a pet is determined by what you feed them. Sticking to the right diet prevents them from getting unnecessary colds or serious ailments and boosts their immune system.
Small animals like guinea pigs are even more sensitive and need extra caution when choosing their food.
I hope my blog post gave you an idea of what to avoid in your guinea pig’s diet.
Are you a new guinea pig parent? What is your experience so far? And what challenges are you facing? Please share with us.
Author: Nicole Etolen