Guinea pigs are popular pets because of their easy feeding and fast adaptation to human family life. Like dogs, guineapigs are great human-to-pet communicators, who are also famous for their gluttony.
While it may be tempting to feed them human treats like peanut butter, peanut butter is extremely harmful to guinea pigs and should not be given, even as a treat.
Peanut butter does not have any health benefits for the health of guinea pigs. Giving them a small amount, even as a reward, will do more harm than good to your furry friend.
This is because peanut butter is not just a nut, it is a processed food that has a different consistency and additives such as salt and sugar emulsifiers. Therefore, it is generally harmful not only to guinea pigs but also to human health if eaten in large enough quantities.
Can My Guinea Pig Eat Peanuts?
No, your pet guinea pig can’t even eat peanuts. Their digestive systems are not as developed as ours, so they struggle to convert the high calories which very quickly turn into fat.
It’s hard enough to see our little friends’ weight gain, let alone the various functional disorders that can develop as a result of guinea pig obesity.
Peanuts are also a choking hazard for guinea pigs and other small rodents. Their teeth and jawlines are designed for roughage, not hard solid legumes. So, it is best to avoid giving them peanuts or other food items that can easily get lodged in their throat and cause respiratory distress.
If you wish to reward them, offer them a more natural selection of raw vegetables and fruits instead. Guinea pigs love fruit and it’s great for their diet.
What Happens If Guinea Pigs Eat Peanuts?
Guinea pigs are notorious for their hypersensitive digestive systems and love of food. This can cause them a problem in the long run because they will gnaw anything they find are unaware of the problems they may encounter.
If your guinea pig has eaten peanut a peanut or peanut butter, the first thing you should do is check its breathing.
Both hard peanuts and soft peanut butter is a choking hazard for guinea pigs as it can become lodged in their throat. If you notice any irregular breathing, consult a vet at once.
If your guinea pig’s respiratory tract is clear then you have had a lucky near miss. A small amount of peanut butter or 1 peanut is not going to kill your guinea pig, but it will have a hard time digesting it.
Keep an eye on its diet, stools, and eating patterns for the next feed days, and speak to a vet if you notice anything irregular.
Harmful Ingredients in Peanut Butter
Peanut butter contains a high percentage of oil (50g of fat per 100g peanut butter) and since peanuts are difficult for your guinea pig to process anyway, all the fat content adds up fast.
These oils contain some chemicals added for taste, color, and texture. These chemicals are completely unnatural and pose a threat to the health of living beings.
Carbohydrates and Sugars
100g of peanut butter contains 20g of carbohydrates 9g of which derives from sugar. While this is easy for us humans to digest, it is a very difficult amount for guinea pigs to handle.
Peanuts contain 18g of salt, way too much for your little furry pal.
Feeding your pet guinea pig a diet that is heavy in salt, it will cause ailments such as bladder and kidney stones.
Therefore salty diets should be avoided for guinea pigs.
Risks of Feeding Guinea Pig Peanut Butter
Obesity is a problem for all living things because of the many functional diseases that come with it. In rodents such as guinea pigs, such health problems are very likely if we take into account their life span.
Peanut butter poses a lot of problems to your guinea pigs’ digestion, because of the type of fiber in it.
Guinea pigs need a fiber-heavy diet, but this should consist of hay and vegetables and other roughage.
while peanut butter does provide some fiber, it is undigestible for guinea pigs and can cause bowel and stomach problems that, in the worse cases, can put your guinea pig at risk of death.
The fat ratio in the peanut paste is too high for guinea pigs. Your guinea pig does not have a metabolism strong enough to burn this fat ratio into useable energy.
Combine this with the high sugar content, peanuts and peanut butter are a dangerous cocktail of ingredients that disrupts your little friend’s system and can cause illness and disease.
Regular feeding of peanuts or peanut butter will disrupt your guinea pigs’ system, and cause a nutritional imbalance that can lead to loose stools, gas, and stomach pain, and in the worst cases, death.
While fiber should be high in a guinea pigs diet, it should come from sources that are natural to your guinea pigs’ natural environments, such as hay and other vegetables.
Feed your guinea pig a healthy diet to keep them fitter, happier, and living longer.