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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Mushrooms? (Serving Size, Risks & More)

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Tim Rhodes

Can guinea pigs eat mushrooms?

Are mushrooms safe for guinea pigs?

If yes, then how frequently can they eat mushrooms?

Let’s answer those questions and much more.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Mushrooms?

Guinea pigs eat mushrooms (such as portobello, white, or button), but never give your guinea pig wild mushrooms, as they may be harmful to your guinea pig.

Besides, mushrooms don’t provide much nutritional value, so it’s best to avoid them.

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What Should I Know About Guinea Pigs?

If you are a new guinea pig owner, you might have stumbled across this article looking for more information about a healthy guinea pig diet.

Also, you might be looking for information to decide whether a guinea pig is a right pet for you.

We are trying to answer all the questions you might have, and it’s impossible to do in one single article.

So, here are a few key facts for new guinea pig owners or those thinking of becoming one.

You might be interested in learning more about guinea pig habits, such as when they sleep, or whether you should keep them outside.

In this article, we will focus on whether guinea pigs eat mushrooms and if mushrooms are good for them.

Are Mushrooms Nutritious for Guinea Pigs?

No, mushrooms don’t have nutritional value for guinea pigs.

Guinea pigs eat grass, vegetables, and fruits, and mushrooms differ in many ways.

As a guinea pig cannot obtain the necessary nutrients by eating mushrooms, not even in large quantities, it’s best to avoid feeding mushrooms to your small animal.

What Are the Nutrients in Mushrooms?

Some of the main nutrients in mushrooms are:

  1. 92% water
  2. 4% carbohydrates
  3. 2% protein
  4. less than 1% fat

Your guinea pig needs fiber and vitamin C in larger quantities, while other vitamins and minerals are also important for a healthy and balanced guinea pig diet.

As mushrooms lack the nutrients a guinea pig needs, it might be a good idea to avoid feeding them to your guinea pigs.

What Nutrients Guinea Pigs Need?

Guinea pigs are easy to care for and one of the reasons is the simplicity of their diet.

What they need the most is an unlimited amount of timothy hay and vitamin C that’s present in many fruits and vegetables that are on the safe list for guinea pigs.

A guinea pig cannot produce vitamin C, which is important for preventing scurvy.

A guinea pig will also supplement its daily diet by eating its own feces, which provides vitamin B, fiber, and bacteria required for proper digestion.

Will guinea pigs eat mushrooms if offered?

Undoubtedly, but mushrooms don’t contain any of the needed nutrients,  so they cannot be a regular diet for guinea pigs.

Are Mushrooms Dangerous for Guinea Pigs?

Not all mushrooms are dangerous for guinea pigs.

Similarly, not all of them are good for them.

But you should take proper care before giving them mushrooms of a certain kind.

Be 100% sure they are safe for your pet before giving them to eat.

Mushrooms can harm guinea pigs in several ways.

These can be avoided if proper research is done before giving them mushrooms to eat.

Some of them are listed below.

Poisoning

Some mushrooms are poisonous to guinea pigs.

It is extremely important that we clearly identify which mushrooms are safe for them and then include them in their diet.

If you are not sure which mushrooms are poisonous and which of them are not, then it is better to consult someone who knows about it.

Never feed your pets with mushrooms if you are not sure about it.

Completely avoid it if you have even the slightest doubt as it will be very hazardous to their health.

Allergic reaction

Several mushrooms may be allergic to your pet.

All guinea pigs vary in their immune system just like humans.

Some may develop allergic reactions, some may not.

If after feeding them with mushrooms you find any unusual behaviors or symptoms, feed them with lots of water for the reaction to subside.

If the problem is too serious or if it persists for a long time then take them to a vet.

Never include mushrooms for your pet if it is allergic to them.

Lack of vitamins

Mushrooms are low in vitamins and vitamins are required by guinea pigs(especially vitamin c, which it can’t produce).

Including mushrooms in the main diet of guinea pigs can lead to the deficiency of several vitamins, as mushrooms contain very low amounts of them.

The deficiency of vitamins can lower the immune system of guinea pigs, make them weaker and more prone to several diseases.

So mushrooms can’t be included in their main diet.

Are Mushrooms Good for Guinea Pigs?

To answer your question, yes they are sometimes beneficial for guinea pigs.

Though they don’t contain the main nutrient requirement of guinea pigs, they contain some other nutrients that may be good for them.

Except for wild mushrooms, the other edible mushrooms don’t possess any threat to them or their daily routine.

Some of them are listed here.

Mushrooms are low in calcium

Adult guinea pigs require a low amount of minerals.

So, calcium is a bit of a concern for them.

Calcium is also known to cause bladder stones in guinea pigs which are very harmful to them.

As mushrooms contain very low amounts of calcium so it doesn’t contribute to this problem of guinea pigs.

Mushrooms are high in potassium

Potassium just like calcium is of some concern if given to guinea pigs.

The only difference is that guinea pigs require potassium in adequate quantities.

It helps in improving the heart and bone and even muscles.

The deficiency of potassium can cause constipation.

Feeding adequate amounts of potassium even help in the growth of guinea pigs.

Since mushrooms contain about 95 grams of potassium so it is extremely useful for guinea pigs.

Mushroom Contain Fiber

Fiber regulates proper digestion in guinea pigs and even in humans.

It can reduce constipation and provide a healthy bowel movement.

Mushroom does not contain a lot of fiber but it is more compared to other nutrients present in mushrooms.

So, mushrooms can improve digestion in guinea pigs.

Which Kind of Mushrooms Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

Guinea pigs can’t eat wild mushrooms as they can be extremely fatal for them.

They can only have white, button, Portobello mushrooms.

Also, the mushrooms should be raw and not cooked.

Several mushrooms should be treated with caution.

These include Chestnut mushrooms, Chanterelle Mushrooms, and Straw mushrooms.

These should be avoided if you have even the slightest doubt.

There is a large variety of wild mushrooms and so you may face the dilemma of whether to give them the mushrooms or not.

So, if in doubt avoid such foods.

How Many Mushrooms Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

Well, there isn’t any specific amount but it should be avoided for baby pigs and adults can be given 2-3 times a week in small quantities.

Mushrooms are like junk food to guinea pigs and junk food should be taken occasionally.

Similarly, mushrooms should be given occasionally as they are not nutritionally rich.

Do Guinea Pigs Like Mushrooms?

Whether guinea pigs like mushrooms or not depends on them.

Some may love it while others may hate it.

The best way to find whether your pig likes mushrooms or not is to give him/her a tiny bit of it and see if they want it.

Don’t force-feed guinea pigs mushrooms.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Morel Mushrooms?

Morel mushrooms are wild mushrooms and are only found in the wild.

They contain potassium, vitamins, and copper all of which contribute to a healthy heart.

They have a white stem, conical cap and they grow only in sandy and dry areas.

Since these are wild mushrooms so it’s advisable not to feed your pet with these mushrooms.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Oyster Mushrooms?

Oyster mushrooms are whitish with a creamy texture.

They are rich in several things like protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other antioxidants like selenium which protect body cells from damage.

They are also low in calories, fat, cholesterol, gluten, and very low in sodium.

Since they are cultivated they are readily available in the market, but they are quite expensive.

They can be fed to guinea pigs but done so with caution.

If you are in doubt, then it’s advisable to avoid it.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Chinese Mushrooms?

The term Chinese mushroom is used for a variety of mushrooms.

Some of them are shiitake, reishi mushroom, sweet osmanthus ear, cloud ear fungus, matsutake, silver ear fungus, matsutake, and many more.

They are mainly used in Chinese delicacies.

They contain very low vitamin C so they are not of much nutritional value to guinea pigs.

Moreover, they contain Zinc and magnesium, so it’s advisable to steer clear of them.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Mushroom Soups?

The only liquid that should be given to guinea pigs is water.

It can only digest and enjoy the water.

First of all, the mushroom soup may contain several other spices and seasoning which may not be good for them.

Secondly, mushroom soups are cooked food and cooked food should be avoided at any cost.

So, avoid giving them any kind of mushroom soup.

What Will Happen if My Guinea Pig Doesn’t Get Enough Nutrients?

If our little friend doesn’t get enough nutrients it may lead to several diseases and can even be fatal to them.

Some disorders and health conditions related to the deficiency of such nutrients are listed below.

Scurvy

Scurvy is caused by a deficiency of vitamin C.

Guinea pigs cannot produce their vitamin C.

If a diet with enough vitamin C is not provided they them, it can cause several diseases in them.

The deficiency of vitamin C can lead to problems with blood clotting and the production of collagen.

Collagen is a protein necessary for strong joints, bones, and muscles.

Deficiency of collagen may result in problems in walking, weak joints, bleeding under the skin, in the brain, and intestines.

Several symptoms of low vitamin C in guinea pigs are fatigue, tiredness, lack of energy, weakness, etc.

If you see any such symptoms in your pet you must take him immediately to a vet.

To avoid facing such problems, provide him with proper food that is rich in vitamin C.

You can give him green peppers, strawberries, kale, etc.

Some guinea pigs may have vitamin C deficiency even if they are provided a vitamin C-rich diet.

This may happen if they have some other illness.

In case this happens they must be provided with vitamin C by injection or through the mouth, as directed by the vet.

Appetite Loss

Ketosis is a condition by which a guinea pig’s body produces too much of one of the by-products

This can lead to a loss of appetite.

Other conditions that may lead to appetite loss may include, surgery, not getting enough fresh water for drinking, or other diseases.

If these symptoms are left untreated, they may be too fatal for them and can eventually result in death.

The solution to this is to take them to a vet immediately and they may prescribe some different food, other than the regular diet which must be fed regularly.

You may even need to feed them forcefully.

At this stage, they need to be taken extra care of by you.

Other problems

Guinea pigs are prey to many animals like cats, owls, hawks, etc.

For survival, they mask their pain and illness.

Sometimes the signs are not visible until they have reached a very critical stage.

This makes treatment more difficult and sometimes leads to death.

Malocclusion also occurs in guinea pigs.

This is a condition where their teeth grow abnormally large.

Guinea pigs can also develop mites which are external parasites that can cause them to lose patches of hair

If this happens they should be taken to a vet

What Happens If a Guinea Pig Eats Wild Mushrooms?

Wild mushrooms are very dangerous to guinea pigs.

Even the wild mushrooms which are less fatal to us, human beings, can be extremely fatal to them.

So we must keep them away from such mushrooms.

What are the symptoms of reaction if guinea pigs eat wild mushrooms?

In case the guinea pigs eat anything that they shouldn’t it will show several symptoms.

  1. Diarrhea
  2. Reduced appetite
  3. Skin rash
  4. Not drinking water
  5. Abnormally quiet and not happy

There are many more such symptoms that show that guinea pigs ate wild mushrooms or something weird which they shouldn’t have.

What to do if my guinea pig shows the symptoms?

If guinea pigs show some or all symptoms mentioned above then you should immediately take them to a vet.

If it’s possible, then you should take the sample of the mushroom they have consumed so that it may be easier for the vet to understand the problem and treat them properly.

Guinea pigs are very good at masking their symptoms so sometimes it may be difficult even for the vet to identify the problem.

So it is a good idea to carry the mushroom if it caused a problem.

How to make sure my guinea pig doesn’t fall sick by eating mushrooms?

We can surely rush to a doctor if our little friend eats something weird.

But we should focus on preventing it from eating such things rather than taking it to some vet if it eats something.

First of all, make sure there isn’t any wild mushroom near your house or any place where they can reach it.

Secondly, always give raw mushrooms to them as they will fall sick if they eat cooked ones.

Lastly, give them an adequate amount of nutrients they require and not just the mushrooms as a high amount may make them sick.

What Can Guinea Pigs Eat Instead of Mushrooms?

The main diet of guinea pigs is fruits and vegetables.

If you’re hesitant to feed them with mushrooms then you may try some of these.

  1. Oranges
  2. Apples
  3. Peas
  4. Spinach
  5. Tomato
  6. Kiwi
  7. Strawberries
  8. Other dark green veggies.

These provide complete nutrients required by the guinea pigs.

Which Type of Food Should I Avoid Feeding to Guinea Pigs?

Several types of food should be avoided when feeding your guinea pigs.

Some foods may be hazardous, some may be allergic, some may not have any nutritional value, and some may be too high in fat and sugar.

The foods that should be avoided are:

  1. Potatoes
  2. Nuts
  3. Cabbage
  4. Bread
  5. Meat
  6. Garlic
  7. Onions and many more.
  8. Chocolates
  9. Caffeine

There are many more such items that should be avoided because they are not safe for little furry guinea pigs.

How to Care For Guinea Pigs?

Guinea pigs can adjust well to household temperature.

They should not be kept under direct sunlight.

Make sure the temperature does not exceed 80°F as the extreme temperature can cause adverse effects on them.

You must clean its habitat at least once a week.

They should not be kept in wet places.

So let the place dry completely before putting them in.

They should be provided with warm and comfortable beddings.

Make sure there is no dust or other things that can be broken into strands because guinea pigs can chew on them or may get entangled.

They should be taken regularly to the vet to check their front teeth and nails as these grow quickly and if overgrown can cause them several kinds of problems.

How to Maintain the Hygiene of Guinea Pigs?

Guinea pigs are clean animals and need not be bathed daily.

They can be cleaned once in a while with soft clean towels.

Their nails should be trimmed once a month.

Their teeth are naturally yellowish and need not be cleaned.

How Do I Know if My Guinea Pig Is Healthy?

The signs of a healthy guinea pig are:

  1. They will be happy and cheerful all the time
  2. They will be active
  3. Healthy fur
  4. Eats and drinks regularly
  5. Communicates, including “wheeking”
  6. Clear eyes
  7. Dry nose
  8. Popcorning(when a guinea pig leaps into the air with happiness)

What Are the Signs of an Unhealthy Guinea Pig?

The signs of unhealthy guinea pigs are:

  1. Weakness
  2. Loss of appetite
  3. Abnormal behavior
  4. Overgrown teeth
  5. Weight loss
  6. Drooling
  7. Drinking more water than usual
  8. Drinking less water than usual
  9. Seizures
  10. Sunken eyes

If you see any of these signs then your guinea pig is unhealthy and sick and requires immediate medical care.

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Last update on 2021-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Final Thoughts

Mushrooms (other than the wild ones) are not fatal for guinea pigs but, at the same time, they are not very healthy for these small animals.

Guinea pigs can eat mushrooms but in moderate quantities, and mushrooms cannot be a part of a guinea pig’s regular healthy daily diet.

Mushrooms won’t cause health problems by themselves, but the lack of important vitamins and minerals in your guinea pig’s healthy diet is an issue.

Feed your guinea pig with foods that have nutritional value, that’s beneficial and healthy for these small animals. 

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