Feeding guinea pigs species-appropriate is not as easy as it seems: there is a wide range of treats in pet shops. But some additives do more harm than good to your guinea pigs. Read here what you should not feed your guinea pigs.
A species-appropriate diet for guinea pigs includes hay, fresh food, vegetables, herbs, branches and twigs, and some fruit. As a supplement, dry food can be fed in small amounts. However, there are also many feeds and foods that are unhealthy or even toxic for guinea pigs.
Commercial snacks for guinea pigs?
Unfortunately, most of the snacks that you can buy in pet shops are not part of the animal-friendly diet for guinea pigs. Because sticks, crackers, rings, and similar treats usually contain sugar/molasses, honey, grain, and corn. These ingredients containing starch and sugar are harmful to digestion and lead to sometimes serious diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
Frequent feeding of such treats makes the animals fat and lethargic. By the way, nibbling sticks and similar snacks are not intended to wear down the teeth, even if this is claimed on many packaging.
It, therefore, makes no sense to feed them these treats. You will only harm your guinea pigs! This is especially true for yogurt drops and other products that contain milk.
Foods guinea pigs should not eat
Treats from the human table are taboo for guinea pigs. This includes, for example, the following foods:
- cereal grains
- Pretzel Sticks
Hard bread for guinea pigs?
Sometimes old, hard bread is recommended as a suitable feed. However, stale bread is difficult for guinea pigs to digest and often contains harmful mold spores. Even if the bread seems hard to us, it does not serve to wear down the molars.
It is better to give your rodents fresh or dried branches of various trees and shrubs (with leaves and flowers). They contain many minerals and are used for meaningful employment. (Unsprayed) branches of apple, hazelnut, and pear trees, as well as willow, currant, and blueberry bushes, are very popular and well-tolerated. Fresh vegetables, herbs, and small amounts of fruit can also be given as treats.
A popular accessory for guinea pigs
Aside from the right food, your guinea pig needs many other things. So that you feel completely at home, you will find the most popular guinea pig items here:
Incompatible fruits and vegetables for guinea pigs
Fruit and vegetables are a central aspect of guinea pig nutrition. However, not all types of fruit and vegetables have a place in the guinea pig enclosure. Because some varieties are intolerable for guinea pigs:
- Bulbous plants (e.g. leeks, onions, and chives)
- Legumes (lentils, peas, beans)
- Radishes (except for the leaves)
- Stone fruit (cherries, peaches, plums, nectarines, mirabelle plums, etc.)
- exotic fruits (e.g. papaya, pomegranate, physalis, kumquat, lychee, mango, etc.)