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Guinea pigs require a really particular eating regimen, one it’s best to know all about earlier than proudly owning one. These herbivores will largely eat hay but additionally want veggies to complement and the occasional pellets. There are many meals objects a guinea pig ought to keep away from, although, a few of which could shock you.

One well-liked meals pet mother and father usually think about as a deal with for his or her guinea pigs is Cheerios. However can guinea pigs eat Cheerios? The reply is no, guinea pigs shouldn’t eat cheerios! Even when you’re solely feeding plain Cheerios to your pet, fairly than Honey Nut, Multi-Grain, or different flavors, this cereal continues to be extremely unhealthy in your pet. That’s to not say this meals is poisonous or that in case your guinea pig has one or two Cheerios, it is going to be in bother. However incorporating Cheerios into your pet’s eating regimen as a deal with long-term can result in well being points.

The Bother With Cheerios

What makes Cheerios unhealthy for our guinea pigs?

Before everything, Cheerios is constructed from grains, it doesn’t matter what taste you go together with. And a guinea pig’s digestive system isn’t constructed to deal with grains and starches in addition to ours. Meaning consuming an overabundance of Cheerios might result in digestive points in your pet, similar to abdomen ache, diarrhea, constipation, and gasoline.

Cheerios additionally include 130 mg of calcium in a single cup, which could possibly be an excessive amount of in your guinea pig. Whereas calcium is a vital a part of a guinea pig’s eating regimen, these animals are liable to bladder stones, that are fashioned from calcium oxalate. So, the extra calcium in your pet’s eating regimen, the extra seemingly they’re to develop bladder stones (which frequently require surgical procedure to take away).

This cereal can be processed, which means it has preservatives, components, sugar, and extra, which could possibly be unhealthy in your guinea pig. These items might result in weight problems and irritation within the physique, which in flip can result in well being points similar to heart problems.

And, although Cheerios are small, they may nonetheless pose a choking danger in your guinea pig.

Most significantly, you shouldn’t feed your guinea pig any cereals. Cereals, bread, and crackers might contribute to an overgrowth of dangerous micro organism within the intestines, and these dangerous micro organism can result in enterotoxemia. Enterotoxemia can lead to diarrhea, anorexia, and lethargy, all of which you need to keep away from in your pet.

Picture Credit score: Pam Walker, Shutterstock

What Can My Guinea Pig Eat for a Deal with As a substitute?

As you possibly can see, Cheerios positively isn’t the healthiest meals in your guinea pig! Treats, usually, aren’t that nice in your pet as a result of they solely supply them empty energy and no diet. However we perceive desirous to let your pet have a little bit of one thing tasty every so often. So, what are you able to give your guinea pig as a deal with as an alternative of Cheerios?

Fruit is one deal with you may give your pet. Some fruits which might be guinea pig-safe and that these animals usually take pleasure in embody:

  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Cantaloupe
  • Pineapple

You may additionally need to strive giving your pet some alfalfa cubes, as some guinea pigs are followers of these.

Nevertheless, the vast majority of what your guinea pig might want to eat can be hay (which they need to have entry to in any respect hours of the day, as these animals must continuously eat). You’ll additionally need to add greens to complement your pet’s hay eating regimen. Your pet ought to have half to a full cup of veggies a day.

Some guinea pig-safe veggies embody:

  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Dandelion greens
  • Parsley

Lastly, you’ll need to add in some guinea pig-specific pellets each on occasion.

What Different Meals Ought to Guinea Pigs Not Eat?

There are lots extra meals it’s best to keep away from giving your guinea pig, as nicely.

Just some of those embody:

  • Excessive-starch meals apart from cereal, like beans, peas, and corn
  • Pellets not particularly made for guinea pigs
  • Any meat product
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Multivitamins

Then, there are meals your guinea pig can have however solely as soon as in a blue moon.

These embody:

  • Greens which might be excessive oxalate, similar to spinach, collards, and chard (as they, too, could cause bladder stones to kind)
  • Cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage, and many others.)
  • Industrial guinea pig treats
Picture Credit score: TJ Photographs, Shutterstock

Last Ideas

Relating to guinea pigs and Cheerios, it’s greatest to keep away from giving your pet this cereal (or any cereal). Cheerios could cause abdomen upset and probably even bladder stones or enterotoxemia. As a substitute, feed your guinea pig secure treats (however solely sparingly!) similar to fruit or alfalfa cubes. Nevertheless, understand that, for essentially the most half, your guinea pig can be more healthy (and happier!) with its pure eating regimen of hay.

Featured Picture Credit score: images72, Shutterstock

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