As history says, meat was the very first food that was experienced by human beings. Humans have always been omnivores, which means they can digest both animals as well as plant products. But what about guinea pigs? Can guinea pigs eat meat? What happens if they mistakenly had some?
Guinea pigs cannot digest meat at all. They are herbivorous animals and anatomically adapted to eat plant products only. Guinea pigs cannot vomit, and thus, the meat is likely to pass through their digestive system and make them sick. Reach out to a vet if they look sick.
Their digestive tract is not designed to digest any meat at all, it can make them ill or they may suffer from life-threatening diseases.
Even though guinea pigs cannot eat meat, it would still be necessary to look at the possible risks if they ever tried eating meat.
What happens if you give guinea pig meat?
Meat is hazardous for our guinea pigs. There are many risks associated with meat consumption, and few of them are mentioned below:
Risk Of Heart Disease: Meat is a good source of saturated fat. These saturated fats can cause a sudden rise in cholesterol levels, leading to diseases like high blood pressure and heart attack.
Excess Weight: One of the main reasons for obesity is the high consumption of fat and cholesterol. The more fat you eat, the more weight you gain, and you don’t want your guinea pigs to gain excess weight.
Obesity can increase the risk of heart diseases.
Excess Iron: Meat contains a lot of iron in it, and as we all know, excess of anything is wrong. Too much iron can lead to deadly health conditions such as liver disease and heart problems.
Decrease life expectancy: Consumption of meat makes it difficult to live long since most vital body organs are affected. And you don’t want your small friend to leave you so early.
Make sure you only feed them a healthy diet to avoid any health issues.
What do guinea pigs eat
We know that Guinea pigs are herbivores, which means that they eat green vegetables and fruits, not any meat.
Their diet should be one based on good quality hay, and a sufficient amount of fresh vegetables and fresh fruit.
Making it more simple, their diet is divided into three parts:
Feeding hay to guinea pigs
The staple part of your guinea pig’s diet is hay. Timothy hay is the most easily digestible of all hays and is one of the most lovable hay by the guinea pigs.
Hay is rich in vitamins that can fulfill its body requirements. Your guinea pig can have unlimited fresh hay. Hay will not cause any health-related issues.
The hay has low protein content. You can feed it daily to the guinea pigs because of its high-fiber content, which helps maintain the guinea pig digestive system and it also helps them to limit the growth of their teeth.
Feeding vegetables and fruits to guinea pigs
Green vegetables are an essential part of their diet. Some of the best greens and ones they like are fresh watercress, lettuce, bell peppers, carrots, and coriander.
Fruits are generally rich in sugar, which can cause several diseases if given regularly, so your guinea pig’s diet should consist mainly of vegetables with small pieces of fruit once or twice a week.
Fruits may be provided to them as a treat in a small amount but not regularly.
Feeding pellets to guinea pigs
Pellets contain essential vitamins and minerals. Guinea pigs can’t produce Vitamin C on its own, and they need food rich in Vitamin C.
Vitamin C helps in repairing tissues, growth, and development of the body. It also protects them from a wide range of diseases.
If you want to feed pellets to your guinea pigs, give them in a bit. Excess of pellets can develop bladder stones in guinea pigs.
Is a guinea pig a carnivore?
Guinea pigs are herbivorous animals. These animals are anatomically adapted to eat plant products. Their digestive systems are set up to digest plant material.
Green leaves are essential in a guinea pig’s diet. Guinea pigs require plenty of Vitamin C and fiber in their diet for proper growth and development.
Meat contains an excess amount of protein. Also, many meat sources are high in fat. Guinea pigs digestive tracts can’t process this. It will lead to obesity, and we don’t want our little friend to suffer.
Even a small amount of meat will cause several health-related problems for a guinea pig. Their system can’t break down the meat, and the unprocessed meat sits heavy in their stomach. That will cause a digestive blockage and can become life-threatening.
Also Read: Why can’t guinea pigs vomit?
Why does my guinea pig want to eat meat?
Guinea pigs can’t every time be trusted to know what is right for their health.
Sometimes guinea pigs make very questionable decisions about their diet.
For example, they may ask for meat. It is not because of guinea pigs like the taste.
Sometimes they become curious after smelling the food. It may become hard for cavies to resist it, but you should.
Meat is very harmful to them and can cause life-threatening diseases.
My guinea pig ate meat? What now?
Like toddlers, guinea pigs are opportunistic eaters. They start to eat anything they see.
If your guinea pig ate meat mistakenly, observe them for a day or two. Look out for any symptoms of ill health.
A small bite of meat should not be a major threat. They may suffer from mild stomach ache and indigestion. They will feel better after some time.
However, if they had a decent quantity then it might be troublesome.
If your guinea pigs show any odd behavior after eating the meat, you should rush to visit a veterinarian for help.
Are guinea pigs cannibals
Guinea pigs require a large amount of food to meet their nutritional requirement. They need to eat much more food than many people realize.
If a pregnant guinea pig is fed with a sufficient and healthy diet during pregnancy, she is less likely to eat her babies.
But if a mother guinea pig has a back to back pregnancy, she may be more likely to eat her babies due to malnutrition.
But if you feed them well, they certainly won’t like to eat their kind.
Do guinea pigs eat their babies if you touch them
No, this is a myth that if you touch their babies, then they will eat them. The mother guinea pig will not reject her babies even if you touch them.
As discussed above, some mother guinea pigs eat their young ones, but this has nothing to do with them being touched by someone.
Sources: Diet Composition of Guinea Pigs, Dietary Vitamin C, and Vitamin E needs of Guinea Pig, Vitamin C need of our guinea-pig
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