Those who are not careful can accidentally poison their guinea pigs. Many foods are unsuitable for rodents. In addition, guinea pigs are pure herbivores and have a sensitive digestive tract. An incorrect diet can therefore quickly lead to health problems in the animals. Since even at first sight small feeding errors can have serious consequences for the piglets, it should be avoided as far as possible. But what makes a good guinea pig food, what is rather unhealthy and which foods are toxic to guinea pigs?
Unhealthy snacks: treats for guinea pigs
In the pet shop, the shelves are full of colorful packaging, the best ingredients promise. Also on the Internet are heaps of guinea pig snacks offered. However, so-called treats are rarely healthy. They are more akin to gummy bears or chocolate for us humans – sweets that harm the figure, contain too much sugar and should not be consumed on a daily basis in large quantities. This is no different with guinea pigs: yoghurt drops, guinea pig biscuits or rodent waffles are fattening agents and are not part of the daily diet. If you want to feed your animals especially healthy, replace the treats with extra vegetables or small portions of fruit. Although fruits are also sugary, but at least free of dyes or preservatives.
Old bread for guinea pigs: Not good for the teeth, but unhealthy
The teeth are worn down in rodents by rubbing on the teeth – a process that should happen automatically when eating. Above all, tooth misalignments or injuries in the jaw are responsible for teeth that are too long. Abscesses can also lead to changes in tooth growth. The food is not crucial for that.
It is true, however, that prolonged eating favors the tooth abrasion. It is not the hardness of the food, but above all the time it takes for the guinea pig to eat the food. With roughage and green fodder, such as hay and meadow herbs, the guinea pig is usually busy for a long time – at the same time the food is healthy and contains many important vitamins in good quality.
Bread, on the other hand, has several disadvantages: It is difficult to digest for guinea pigs and can contain preservatives and, in the worst case, mold spores. In addition, guinea pigs are adapted as herbivores to vegetable food, which should consist mainly of hay and grasses and only a small part of grains or grains and seeds.
Dangerous fresh food for guinea pigs: Beware of these vegetables
If you believe that vegetables are like vegetables, you may endanger your pigs. Onion plants, radishes and chili peppers have nothing to do in the guinea pig bowl. The rodents do not tolerate spicy and even legumes are unsuitable for guinea pigs. Beans, lentils and peas are sometimes even poisonous. This also applies to the green of tomatoes, which must be removed before feeding. For leafy lettuce and spinach: feed a little, as there is a fairly high level of oxalic acid. In addition, salads unlike other vegetables often contain large amounts of nitrate.
Guinea pigs should not eat these fruits
Although fruit plays a subordinate role in the guinea pig diet species-friendly, it is nevertheless an important and not to be underestimated ingredient due to its high vitamin content. However, guinea pigs can not tolerate all types of fruit without problems. Especially exotic fruits are to be treated with caution. Although guinea pigs can not produce vitamin C, they still do not tolerate sour fruits. Citrus and tropical fruits are therefore better off on our plate and should not be fed to guinea pigs. This means: no lemons, oranges, mandarins or kiwis for the pigs. Stone fruit is also to be treated with caution: the kernels must under no circumstances be given, as they contain poisonous hydrogen cyanide. The pulp of cherry, peach and nectarine is also problematic. Some guinea pigs have diarrhea. This fruit should therefore be given – if at all – only in the smallest quantities and of course pitted.
Controversial cabbage feeding: Is cabbage toxic to guinea pigs?
It is often said that cabbage has a strong gasifying action and is therefore unsuitable as food for guinea pigs and other small animals. However, cabbage can be a healthy extension of the diet if properly fed. In addition, there are some types of cabbage that are more compatible than others. This includes, for example, broccoli. In healthy animals that are nourished and fed appropriately, there should be no dramatic gas formation. Nevertheless, it should not be lighthearted to be fed.
Less compatible cabbages are all hardy cabbages, such as white cabbage, red cabbage or savoy cabbage. However, healthy guinea pigs also often have no problems with these types of cabbage when they are slowly getting used to feeding. First, it can be tested with fingernail-sized pieces, as the animals tolerate the cabbage. If no problems occur, gradually larger quantities can be given. But cabbage should not become a staple food or make up much of the food. If the pigs can tolerate him, he can make the fresh food but varied and occasionally fed.
Do not feed any leftovers on guinea pigs
While hamsters and rats in between may without hesitation a cooked noodle or a piece of boiled potato (without salt!) May be plugged guinea pigs can not enjoy such treats. Cooked food quickly causes them digestive problems. Of course, pets should never be fed with spicy or greasy foods. This not only applies to guinea pigs, but also to all other rodents and of course also to rabbits. If there is no salad (without dressing!) For dinner, the piglets have to go out empty-handed.
Conclusion: That’s what guinea pig feeding is all about
Fresh greens, herbs and hay are always allowed to land in the guinea pig bowl. In contrast, flattening or spicy vegetables, stone fruits and, of course, foods that are actually intended for humans are problematic. Since poisoning can quickly lead to death, guinea pig owners make better experiments in terms of nutrition and read carefully before feeding.