Can Guinea Pigs Eat Bread? Acceptable Foods For Your Little Pet

Ayan Banerjee
Jan 22, 2023 By Ayan Banerjee
Originally Published on Nov 01, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
learn about eating habit of guinea pig

Guinea pigs are a small rodents species belonging to the family Caviidae and the genus Cavia.

They are also called by the term cavy. Guinea pigs are social animals and are found residing in small groups on grassy plains.

Male guinea pigs are called boars, female guinea pigs are called sows, and pups is the term assigned to baby guinea pigs. Nowadays, people tend to feed the most available food products to their pets like bread.

Guinea pigs mostly eat grass as they are herbivores. Guinea pig species weigh between 1.5-2.6 lb (700-1200 g) and measure 8-10 in (20-25 cm) in length.

Guinea pigs were first domesticated in 5000 BC as a source of food for the tribal people in the Andean region of South America. Guinea pigs are involved in the folklore tradition from earlier times like they were gifted, used in religious ceremonies, and customary social.

There is no such a big difference seen between the male and female guinea pigs apart from their general size. Guinea pigs have an average life span of eight years.

If you enjoyed this article, why not also know or visit to know about can guinea pigs eat apples or can guinea pigs eat grapes here at Kidadl?

Is bread safe for guinea pigs?

Bread is considered to have zero or no nutritional benefits and is more like junk food. Domesticated pets must be provided with a healthy diet with a large number of nutrients. Unlike humans, bread is not a staple food for pets like guinea pigs.

Since time began, bread has gained immense importance as being one of the earliest human-made delicacies that dates back to the dawn of agriculture, featuring prominently in both sacred and secular celebrations. Because of its low nutritional value and high fat, sugar, and carb content, white bread is also not good for people.

Guinea pigs will not derive any nutrition from food like bread.

There are many types of bread like whole-wheat bread, brown bread, and no type is considered safe for guinea pigs. It is difficult for a pet owner to understand the acceptable food for guinea pigs because of the variety of choices available at the pet store.

When it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables, guinea pigs are fickle eaters.

They have learned what is and is not acceptable to ingest early in life, and their eating habits can be difficult to modify once they reach adulthood. They do not adapt well to unexpected changes going on in their diet, and instead of accepting a new type of food, they may stop eating and starve.

Is bread healthy for guinea pigs?

Most grazing mammals are large with long digestive systems. Compared to most animals, guinea pigs have much longer colons but they must also eat their feces to boost their diet, a practice known as coprophagy.

However, they prefer to eat the feces in small quantities of soft pellets rather than consuming it in its entirety at one time.

This is called cecotropes, which in turn helps to recycle fiber, B vitamins, and bacteria required for proper digestion. Guinea pigs can eat up to 1/4 in (0.635 cm) of a bread slice.

A daily dose of vitamin C for a guinea pig, if not pregnant, is about 0.0003 oz (10 mg) and 0.0007 (20 mg) if pregnant, which can be obtained through fresh, raw fruits and veggies like broccoli, apple, cabbage, carrot, celery, and spinach or by eating fresh pellets.

A complex balance of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, hydrogen ions, and potassium along with adequate amounts of vitamins must be incorporated into the diet of guinea pigs to make it healthy.

Crackers, cookies, and raw cheeses are also not good for guinea pigs as they are high in calories, sugar, fat, carb, which cannot be digested on their part. These also lead to a lot of health problems like cardiovascular diseases, bloating, weight gain.

Crackers are not toxic but unhealthy.

People should not feed their guinea pig bread, however a small amount would not kill it. Larger quantities would have a negative impact.

Bread has some benefits like it has some essential nutrients, like fiber which helps in digestion. White bread is the most common of all.

Like humans, vitamin C, being an essential nutrient, is also not synthesized by the guinea pig's body. So it is important that guinea pigs eat foods rich in vitamin C such as green, red bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, kiwi, and brussels sprouts.

Guinea pigs may not like the taste but it should be fed with water so that the taste is confusing.

People should make a habit that guinea pigs eat at least some fruit and some vegetables every day. Guinea pigs can eat bread as a rare snack.

Banana bread and bread crust can be given occasionally in small amounts and they will cause no harm. Other bread-related products like bread crust, bread toast, and sticks can be given to guinea pigs as a rare treat.

The products should be chopped into tiny pieces before feeding. Bread is made up of whole wheat flour via baking.

The food pyramid provides the position of grains to bread.

This is appropriate from the fact that it is a good source of nutrients like iron, selenium, magnesium, dietary fiber and B vitamins. There are many other healthy alternatives available to feed guinea pigs like dark leafed lettuce varieties such as rocket, snow peas, and herbs such as borage, rosemary, coriander, and basil.

Twice a month, guinea pigs need to be fed with broils. You should give your guinea blueberries, cucumber, and pears as they are loaded with antioxidants and will make up an important part of their diet.

Guinea pigs benefitfrom a diet of fresh grass and hay such as orchard grass. Hay also encourages gnawing, which is an alternative to chewing the bars of its cage.

However, alfalfa hay shouldn't be given as it has higher amounts of calcium and can lead to health issues. Pellets have a complete nutritional profile, which contain plants, seeds, and dried vegetables that will fulfill the nutrition content of the diet.

Guinea pigs can eat pellets as it will prevent them from being obese. Every two hours, clean and fresh water should be provided to guinea pigs.

Water dispensers along with enclosures should be available in multiple numbers. Certain foods to avoid giving to guinea pigs include meat, dairy products like yogurt, avocados, potato, onion, nuts, seeds, candies, and chocolates.

Few drops of yogurt will kill guinea pigs. Herbivorous animals like guinea pigs have digestive systems that are set up only for digesting plants and nothing else, so meats are not digested by them.

Should you feed bread to a guinea pig?

Bread is the most extensively used product in the food industry, yet it is not recommended to feed guinea pigs bread. Feeding bread occasionally would be fine and the type of bread that guinea pigs eat is important because whole-wheat bread and white bread are strictly off-limits.

Carbs make up the major part of wheat bread and is also deficient in vitamins and nutrients.

A standard slice of bread has 322168 J (77 kcal). This leads to obesity or extreme weight gain and also brings a lot of lifestyle disorders with it like high blood pressure, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases.

Too much bread will lead to the formation of bladder stones as bread is rich in calcium. For example, 0.22 lb (100 g) of bread slices will give 0.005 oz (144 mg) of calcium.

This calcium, when it binds, with oxalis produces small crystals or stones inside the guinea pig's body. Because of the bladder stone, urine could get blocked and guinea pigs would be unable to urinate leading to a vital health complication.

Bread does have certain benefits like it contains potassium which reduces blood pressure, maintains the fluid balance nerve signals and muscle contraction. A diet containing adequate potassium will prevent water retention show and kidney stones in guinea pigs.

When fed too much bread, the life expectancy of guinea pigs will decrease. This is because of the phosphorus content of the bread is as high as 0.003 oz (98 mg). Phosphorus inhibits healthy growth and leads to shorter lives.

Guinea pigs eat bread, but multigrain bread would contaminate them. Multigrain bread is made up of oats, millets, barley, wheat, and most seeds like pumpkin and sunflower seeds which are banned for rodents. So guinea pigs cannot tolerate multigrain bread because they will suffer from choking and breathing difficulties.

People found brown bread to be a healthy alternative to white bread and now the question that arises is, can guinea pigs eat brown bread. The answer is they can eat bread but as a rare snack.

Guinea pigs eat bread, but bread made with garlic and onion should be avoided because they cannot digest them.

When guinea pigs eat newspapers, it suffers from diarrhea and other digestive problems. Ink is not considered safe for any animal including guinea pigs as they cannot absorb it.

When guinea pigs eat bread that has mold on its outside surface, they suffer from genuine health issues as this fungi have a bitter taste and can cause serious infection in them. Symptoms of a guinea pig having stomach issues are salivation on the skin labored breathing fast pulse and diarrhea.

It is difficult to understand that guinea pigs have an upset stomach as they don't vomit like humans.

It is better to give your guinea romaine lettuce, carrot, peas, and other fresh vegetables and to not give bread. Guinea pigs do like bread as it is sweet in taste.

Risks To Consider While Feeding

Giving any kind of processed foods to a guinea pig could cause them a lot health problems, starting from choking to urinary and issues related to the digestive system. Bread has no nutrients but empty calories when compared to fruits and vegetables which are loaded with vitamins and minerals.

First of all, bread contains free sugar, cellulose, and hemicellulose which are unhealthy simply because they cannot digest cellulose. Bacteria and microbes have a symbiotic relationship with guinea pigs and for that, they digest the cellulose for guinea pigs.

If guinea pigs eat bread, then they will have a symptom of bloating, meaning a guinea pig's belly will be sort of distended and round. This is because of gas formation which can become quite bad.

Nutrition must be improved for bloating to not happen again. Guinea pigs have a tendency to develop kidney stones or urinary bladder problems quickly.

This mainly happens because of calcium along with sodium in the guinea pig's diet. Since bread contains a lot amount of calcium as well as sodium so it is better to avoid feeding guinea pigs with bread or blood-related products in general.

Plants as a diet are rich in oxalates and when they bind with calcium, kidney stones are created. Kidney or bladder stones are very painful for guinea pigs and some of the symptoms could be weight loss, pain during urination, appetite loss, or blood in the urine.

Guinea pigs cannot produce vitamin C on their own, so external sources must be there to incorporate vitamin C to their diet otherwise they will suffer from scurvy, a vitamin C deficiency disease.

This is important as vitamin C deficiency will cause serious harm to guinea pigs' health. To treat scurvy, fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C should be provided to them.

Another problem is the choking hazard because bread is too soft. Breadsticks can cause issues to the mouth and teeth, causing the pets to choke badly.

Soft white bread contributes to the choking hazard for guinea pigs.

White bread for guinea pigs contributes to their extreme risk of weight gain and obesity. The amount of carbohydrates, fat, sugar is very high in white bread which would make guinea pigs fat.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for can guinea pigs eat bread, then why not take a look atcan guinea pigs eat avocado or rex guinea pig facts.

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Written by Ayan Banerjee

Bachelor of Science specializing in Nautical Science

Ayan Banerjee picture

Ayan BanerjeeBachelor of Science specializing in Nautical Science

Thanks to his degree in nautical science from T.S. Chanakya, IMU Navi Mumbai Campus, Ayan excels at producing high-quality content across a range of genres, with a strong foundation in technical writing. Ayan's contributions as an esteemed member of the editorial board of The Indian Cadet magazine and a valued member of the Chanakya Literary Committee showcase his writing skills. In his free time, Ayan stays active through sports such as badminton, table tennis, trekking, and running marathons. His passion for travel and music also inspire his writing, providing valuable insights.

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