Your guinea pig is a strictly herbivorous animal. Deviating from his food path can endanger his life through a further deterioration of his health. Indeed, food can be considered dangerous, even toxic for him. Is peanut butter one of them? Can guinea pig eat peanut butter?
The answer is no. guinea pig should not have peanut butter. They should be avoided. The guinea pig is an herbivore, so it should only feed on plants; only hay, vegetables, and fruits are edible.
So, what can he eat? And what is considered dangerous? The key is to know them. So, we are going to tell you why your pet shouldn’t have peanut butter. Also, to help you further we have a list of foods to avoid below!
The Digestive System of Guinea Pigs
The first thing to know when adopting a guinea pig is that it is an herbivorous rodent. Besides, it eliminates what is known as Cecotrope. It is feces composed of undigested food that they are going to ingest. And they must do so because with this they manage to cover their needs for B vitamins and vitamin C.
On the other hand, guinea pigs have a sensitive digestive system. So it is relatively common for them to suffer from diseases related to it. Stress, sudden changes in diet, the ingestion of foreign bodies or hair will hinder his intestinal transit. It will cause an accumulation of gas that ends up distending the abdomen.
Other times, the origin of gastrointestinal problems is in the teeth. In guinea pigs, both the incisors and molars grow continuously throughout their lives. Hence the need to wear them down with proper nutrition.
They can also suffer from diarrhea from eating the wrong food, living in stressful situations, or having intestinal parasites. Given the importance of diet, we answer below if guinea pigs can eat peanut butter.
Nutritional Facts about Peanut Butter
It is important to describe the nutritional facts of peanut butter in the diet. Consisting mainly of peanuts or nuts, this cream is known to be rich in fatty acids. It is a great source of plant-based protein. This may seem great but certainly not for our little friend.
Quantitatively, the nutritional value of 100 grams of peanut butter consumed is equivalent to approximately 588 calories. It is obtained from a high content of protein and glycosidic lipids. This much calorie is forbidden for guinea pigs.
The nutritional composition of peanut butter has 50 grams of total fat in every 100 g of this product. This high percentage of lipid content is what gives this butter the characteristic of creaminess and unctuousness.
Finally, peanut butter also has a high percentage of carbohydrates that are classified as simple sugar complex sugars and dietary fiber. Although sugar represents great importance from the energy point of view, the amount is dangerously high for a guinea pig of small size.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Peanut Butter: Guinea Pig Nutrition Facts?
Like we said before, no; guinea pigs cannot eat peanut butter.
- It can cause obesity:
The main contraindication of peanut butter is that it is a high-calorie food. In large quantities or any case, eating it daily can lead to overweight. It is recommended that your little pet must be under 1 kg or 1.5 kgs. Feeding peanut butter can cause obesity and that doesn’t result in good.
- High amount of sugar is hard to handle:
Another problem is given by the industrial preparation. To make the cream even more spreadable, oily components are added to the preparation, especially palm oil. To make it even tastier, large quantities of sugar and salt are added. Not to mention the natural level of sugar is not low either. This much sugar is difficult to handle even for a human, let alone little guinea pigs.
- High sugar can decay his gum:
It is the sugar that can decay his gum. And these are some symptoms that occur in the animal: infections in the gums, loss of appetite, and weight.
Given these symptoms, you should quickly take the guinea pig to the specialist to solve the problem.
- Excess Calcium can cause urinary problems:
These animals can develop urinary stones in the bladder or kidney. These stones or stones can lodge in the ureter or urethra, forming an obstruction. It can endanger the life of the animal.
The main reason can be excessive calcium in peanut butter. The amount may seem little for humans but way too much for them. The most noticeable signs when your guinea pig has this problem are-
- Blood in the urine,
- Hunched posture, and
- Straining to urinate.
This type of problem is diagnosed with a complete analysis in the clinic. Depending on the case, many will have to be treated with antibiotics and some even should be operated on surgically.
- It can produce toxins:
Furthermore, there is also a problem connected with conservation. Peanuts can be stored poorly, producing toxins and molds. It can have negative effects on the kidneys and liver.
- They can have digestive issues:
Very often it is associated with a diet deficit. Inadequate fiber nutrition is a very significant predisposing factor. Guinea pig needs all kinds of fiber direct from vegetables and hays. Peanut butter doesn’t have all kinds of fiber. It can result in digestive issues in guinea pigs.
Peanut butter digestion is quite difficult for guinea pigs too. Diarrhea can be caused by this poor diet. And the most obvious symptom is runny stools.
Specificities of the Guinea Pig
Unlike other rodents like the hamster or the rat, the guinea pig is a strict herbivore. So its digestive system is not suited to any type of omnivorous food.
The guinea pig needs to nibble plant fibers and cellulose throughout the day to be healthy. And its digestive system needs to function properly. Indeed, the gastrointestinal musculature of the guinea pig is poorly developed and its intestine is very long. If he doesn’t chew continuously and his stomach is empty, these movements may stop. It will block the functioning of the digestive system. The animal then stops feeding.
The guinea pig quickly takes eating habits. If you are lucky enough to still have a baby, introduce a new food every day. Otherwise, it could become ‘difficult’ concerning unfamiliar foods.
Basic Foods: What Are Guinea Pigs Allowed To Eat?
There are extruded granules specific to guinea pigs which are very suitable in addition to a varied diet. When you buy this small animal, find out about its type of feeding beforehand. And then only introduce new safe food for guinea pigs very gradually.
As the main food for guinea pigs, hay is essential and should have it available on an unlimited basis. It is a great source of fiber, it helps improve digestion and wear down your front teeth. Alfalfa is only recommended for pregnant, nursing, young, or sick females, as it has high calcium content. But the amount is too much for healthy adult guinea pigs.
In the daily diet for guinea pigs, you should keep vegetables rich in vitamin C such as pepper, tomato, carrot, etc. You should also incorporate spinach, watercress, endive, chard, and parsley in small amounts. Avoid potatoes, onions, and any bulb vegetables because they are toxic. It is also not recommended that they consume cauliflower, cabbage, or any type of cruciferous. Because these vegetables may cause gas.
Incorporate small amounts of low-sugar fruits such as kiwi, orange, pear, tangerine, and apple. Always well washed and cut into small pieces to facilitate their intake and digestion.
Pre-prepared food from a store
In pet stores, you can find food prepared for guinea pigs. You should never opt for one made for other animals such as rabbits since each animal has different needs. The feed for guinea pigs should not contain nuts or ingredients of animal origin. Avoid those that contain chemicals and sugars, prioritize those that include vitamin C.
Attention, fruits, and vegetables must be given washed and dried, always at room temperature. The cold is bad for his digestive system; avoid foods straight out of the refrigerator.
Mistakes Not To Make
- Never let your guinea pig eat cereal, bread, or cheese, let alone chocolate or other sweets. They will not be able to digest them and these foods will be harmful to them.
- Vegetables should be presented raw, never cooked, or boiled. Some of them should be avoided: potato, white cabbage, garlic, onion, avocado, leek, rhubarb, iceberg salad, and shallot.
- On the fruit side, avoid hazelnuts and walnuts and never give cereals.
- Regarding seed mixtures never give your pet any and do not offer food intended for other rodents either.
Guinea pigs have become a regular household companion. But not all caregivers have enough information to meet their basic needs. This can lead to both physical and psychological problems. That is why it is important to know this species well before taking it home. Just like that, if you have wondered, “can guinea pigs eat peanut butter”- we answered your question.