Nuts are a superfood that is rich in Vitamins, & Minerals including Potassium & Magnesium. They are also high in protein and fats along with some trace amount of fiber in it.
Some of the popular nuts include Peanuts, Almonds, Brazil nuts, Cashew, Hazelnuts, Pinenuts & more. But are all these nuts safe for our guinea pigs? Can guinea pigs eat nuts? Let’s find out!
Nuts are high in fats and carbohydrates, while guinea pigs need a high fiber and low carbs diet. Although nuts contain a lot of good vitamins and minerals in them, it is best to avoid serving nuts to our guinea pigs. A small feeding may not harm our guinea pigs much, but it is best to keep it away altogether.
Guinea pigs have a sensitive digestive system that cannot digest complex carbohydrates and fats adequately.
Since nuts are rich in high carbs and fats, guinea pigs might have a tough time digesting the same.
Some guinea pigs also suffer from digestive issues when fed foods like this.
Some of the common complications that can be found in such guinea pigs are diarrhea, bloating, GI Statis, and more.
So, now that you know guinea pigs cannot eat nuts, you might be wondering what you should do if you already fed some to your guinea pigs, or you might be interested in learning more about its hazards.
So, I would recommend you to keep reading our article till the end to know more about it.
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Can guinea pigs eat any kind of nuts?
No, guinea pigs cannot eat any kind of nut. Although all the nuts are a vegetarian source of Vitamins and Minerals, they are not suitable for our guinea pigs.
Your guinea pigs might suffer from a lot of health issues if we feed them nuts to them, thus make sure you avoid it altogether.
Learn more about guinea pigs diet:
- List of 70+ vegetable for your guinea pigs
- List of 70+ fruits that guinea pigs can eat
- 11 best leafy greens for your guinea pigs
- High Vitamin C food for your guinea pigs
- Hay for your guinea pigs(What type, How much and more)
- Guinea pig diet: A complete A-Z of what guinea pigs can eat!
- Can guinea pigs eat dry cereals?
Nutrition in nuts?
In order to understand why nuts are not healthy for our guinea pigs, we must first understand it’s basic nutritional values. The following table breaks down the nutrients in different types of nuts:
|Nutrient||Almonds(28 grams)||Cashew(28 grams)||Pistachio(28 grams)||Hazelnut(28 grams)||Brazil Nut(28 grams)||Pecan(28 grams)|
|Calories||160 Kcal||163 Kcal||159 Kcal||178 Kcal||157 Kcal||196 Kcal|
|Protein||6 g||4.72 g||5.89 g||4.24 g||5.16 g||2.6 g|
|Fiber||3 g||0.924 g||2.88 g||2.75 g||0.936 g||2.72 g|
|Calcium||59.9 mg||12 mg||30 mg||32.3 mg||10.5 mg||19.8 mg|
|Iron||1.08 mg||1.69 mg||1.13 mg||1.33 mg||1.89 mg||0.717 mg|
|Magnesium||80.1 mg||76.4 mg||30.5 mg||46.2 mg||82.8 mg||34.3 mg|
|Phosphorus||150 mg||149 mg||131 mg||82.2 mg||168 mg||78.5 mg|
|Potassium||200 mg||177 mg||282 mg||193 mg||187 mg||116 mg|
|Sugar||1 g||1.4 g||2.17 g||1.23 g||1.68 g||1.12 g|
Guinea pig’s diet should be rich in fiber and vitamin C.
While most of their dietary needs are fulfilled by feeding hay to them, the rest is provided by serving vegetables and fruits to our guinea pigs.
Nuts contain a large number of fats and carbohydrates in it; however, it lacks fiber and other essential nutrients.
Thus, feeding nuts to our guinea pigs can lead to obesity and other health issues in our guinea pigs.
Some studies also suggest a high-fat diet can lead to some serious health problems like fatty liver, dysfunction of large arteries, etc. Thus, make sure you avoid feeding nuts to your guinea pigs.
Why are nuts bad for our guinea pigs?
Nuts are bad for our guinea pigs as they can lead to some serious health issues in them. Some of the most common health issues are:
- Obesity: Nuts are high in calories and serving nuts regularly can lead to obesity in our guinea pigs. It also contains a lot of fat in it that can get deposited in the organs and arteries of our guinea pigs. Eating a high-fat diet can lead to various health issues in our guinea pigs.
- Poor digestion: Nuts are rich in dense nutrients, including Unsaturated fats, Proteins, and Carbohydrates that can wreck our guinea pigs digestive system altogether. These complex nutrients can also lead to inconsistent bowel movement leading to other health issues like diarrhea, bloating, GI stasis & more.
- Bladder stones: Nuts contain a lot of calcium in it that can get deposited in their kidneys & urinary bladder and, in the long run, results in the formation of stones. Kidney and Bladder stones are extremely painful for our guinea pigs, and it is best to serve our guinea pigs with a low calcium diet rather than a high calcium one.
- Allergies: Some guinea pigs can have an allergic reaction to certain nuts. Some of the common signs of allergies include sneezing, difficulty breathing, itching, etc. If your guinea pigs show any similar symptoms, you must visit a vet immediately.
- Allergies in guinea pigs? (Food, Hay, Pellets, Treats, Etc)
- How to reduce calcium in your guinea pig’s diet?
- How to treat pain in guinea pigs?
What if my guinea pigs overeat nuts?
If your guinea pig is a healthy one and is on a healthy and balanced diet, then the worst could happen is diarrhea, stomachache, or similar health issues in the short term.
It is recommended to visit a vet immediately if you see any signs of discomfort in your guinea pigs.
However, there are some longterm health problems of feeding nuts to your guinea pigs.
Some of the common health issues include:
- Too much calcium in nuts can lead to white or milky pee. That indicates that there is a calcium deposit being formed in the urinary tract of your guinea pigs.
- The complex carbohydrates and nutrients in the nuts are hard to get digested and it can lead to urinary tract issues.
- Excess of Vitamin A and Folic acid can impair your guinea pig’s joints and harm their nervous system.
- Most nuts are also rich in oxalate which is an antinutrient. Oxalates are anti-nutrients that can harm the digestive system and urinary tract of our guinea pigs.
How do nuts affect a guinea pig’s gut?
Nuts are rich in complex carbohydrates and fats, while guinea pig’s usual diet is rich in fiber and low in carbohydrates.
Feeding nuts to our guinea pigs can easily disturb the delicate balance of their good bacteria and completely offset their digestive system.
As a result, the good bacteria in their gut will suffer and present an opportunity for the harmful bacteria to proliferate.
These bad bacteria feed on oxalates and sugar, which in turn produces harmful enzymes in the body.
These enzymes are deadly for our guinea pigs, and they can also be life-threatening in some cases.
On the other hand, healthy cecal formation is critical for your guinea pig’s digestive system balance.
Guinea pigs usually produce a soft poop, also known as night feces or cecotropes that are reingested by our guinea pigs.
These cecal plays a vital role in balancing the digestive system of our guinea pigs and allows the food to digest more effectively in the stomach.
Feeding nuts can imbalance the entire system of cecal formation that can lead to a lot of digestive issues in our guinea pigs.
You can learn more about guinea pig’s cecal formation from our in-depth article on it.
What if I already fed nuts to my guinea pigs?
If you have already fed nuts in the past, then it might be possible that your guinea pigs have digested them somehow, but it definitely was not a pleasant experience for their digestive system.
Until and unless you have fed one or two small pieces, it could not have affected them much.
However, if you have been feeding them nuts regularly, then remember that it might harm your guinea pig’s health in the longterm as well.
Obesity, Stone formation, and Urinary tract infection are some common threats of feeding nuts regularly.
If you have fed nuts to your guinea pigs recently, then look for the signs of digestive disorder, loose or watery stool, not passing stool for several hours, etc.
If you see any signs of discomfort or symptoms of some health issues, then take the guinea pig to a vet immediately.
Also, remember that guinea pigs with digestive problems should not be given anything more than lots of hay, some veggies, and water.
Hay and a cup of vegetables are all that a guinea pig needs to keep their digestive system well-balanced and healthy.
Although a nut or two won’t kill your guinea pigs immediately, it surely has a negative impact on their health. It is best to stick to a regular diet of your guinea pig and only feed fruits and commercial treats once in a while.
No, guinea pigs cannot eat corn nuts.
No, guinea pigs cannot eat almonds.
No, guinea pigs cannot eat dried fruits and nuts.
No, guinea pigs cannot eat brazil nuts.
No, guinea pigs cannot eat boiled peanuts.
No, guinea pigs cannot eat cashew.
No, guinea pigs cannot eat monkey nuts.
No, guinea pigs cannot eat pistachio nuts.
No, guinea pigs cannot eat pine nuts.
No, guinea pigs cannot eat macadamia nuts.
No, guinea pigs cannot eat pecan nuts.
No, guinea pigs cannot eat nutgrass.
No, guinea pigs cannot eat hazelnuts.
No, guinea pigs cannot eat honey nut cheerios.
Sources: Diet Composition and Mineral Balance in Guinea Pigs, Dietary Vitamin C, and Vitamin E on Guinea Pig Immune Responses to Mitogens, Vitamin C requirements of the guinea-pig, Is Your Guinea Pig’s Diet Providing the Right Nutrients? Care of Guinea Pigs.