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Guinea pigs are adorable, especially when they are munching their food. Sometimes when you are eating snacks around them, and they look at you with their cute little eyes, you will be tempted to give your snacks, in this case, crackers. But are crackers safe for guinea pigs to eat?
- Can Guinea Pigs Eat Crackers?
- Risks Associated With Feeding Crackers to Guinea Pigs
- What to Feed Your Guinea Pig?
- Related Questions
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Crackers?
Crackers are typically not safe for guinea pigs to eat, whether in moderation or large amounts. Crackers are baked from flour and flavoring such as herbs, cheese, or salt. Even if you combine them with dips, peanut butter, or cheese, don’t feed them to your guinea pig.
When we talk about crackers not being suitable for your guinea pig, we mean all sorts of crackers. That is saltine crackers, goldfish crackers, ritz crackers, Graham crackers, peanut butter crackers, rice crackers, and prawn crackers.
Risks Associated With Feeding Crackers to Guinea Pigs
The following are risks that come with giving your guinea pig crackers.
One thing about crackers is that they have high levels of fat. The digestive system of a guinea pig is quite delicate, and it will most likely have an upset stomach. You will most likely notice it hunched or exhibit pain when you touch its abdomen or stomach.
Salt and flour from the crackers will make the guinea pig:
- Excessively thirsty
This can bring deadly consequences for your guinea pig. You may have to make sure it drinks a lot of water or have your vet see it.
Issues with weight cause problems for humans, and it is not any different for guinea pigs. Processed human foods, including crackers, make your guinea pig add weight. They may look adorable when curvy and chubby; however, that does not mean they are healthy.
Crackers contain fats, proteins, and carbs, making them gain weight very fast. This is unacceptable for them healthwise, and it is likely to reduce their lifespan.
If you have been feeding your guinea pig crackers and it has gained weight, you can reverse the situation. Cut back on the amount of food it eats, such as fruits and pellets, and remove the crackers entirely from their diet. You can play more with it, so it becomes more active.
The salt in the crackers has sodium which is dangerous for guinea pigs. This is because it increases blood pressure in guinea pigs. They also have too many calories that thin the blood vessels and cause more problems with blood pressure.
If you have been feeding your guinea pig crackers, you may have to schedule a visit to the vet for a checkup. The vet will let you know if you have developed any conditions and how you can help it get better.
Lack of Essential Nutrients
Do you eat something that does not give your body any nutrients? I bet you do not. So, why should you provide snacks like crackers to your guinea pig? They do not have essential nutrients that are helpful to the growth and functioning of your guinea pig.
Look at it this way; most food should have either Vitamin A or Vitamin C. Lack of Vitamin C leads to scurvy in guinea pigs. Vitamin A, a vital oxidant, and together prevent inflammation and improve the eyesight of your pet.
What to Feed Your Guinea Pig?
Instead of feeding crackers to your guinea pig, there is a wide range of foods that you can feed it. These foods are essential to its growth and development and will prevent them from getting certain illnesses.
- Hay to chew, it discourages your guinea pig from gnawing at the bars of their cage.
- Fruits such as strawberries and orange slices, and vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and cauliflower for Vitamin C.
- Provide clean, fresh water and change it every day. Do not put it in a bowl that spills and gets dirty quickly. Use an inverted water bottle.
- Commercial pellets that are nutritionally complete.
The following are some other questions that you may have.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Bread?
There are no negative consequences associated with feeding bread to your guinea pig. However, you should give it to them in small amounts and ensure it is whole-wheat bread. Start with a tiny piece of a crust; give it like you would provide treats.
Should Guinea Pigs Eat Popcorns?
Popcorns are high in starch and are cooked in oil. All this is a bad combination for your guinea pig. It may end up causing phosphate stones, and your guinea pig may choke from eating popcorns.
Is Rice Good for Guinea Pigs?
Grains such as rice are not suitable for your guinea pig. Cooking the rice before feeding it is not a good choice as guinea pigs should not eat cooked foods. Rice also has a lot of water content that may be difficult for the animal to handle.
Finding the right food to feed your guinea pig may seem like a tiresome task, and you cannot provide it with the same things that you eat. Do your research thoroughly; you do not want to endanger the life of your pet by feeding it something that is not good.