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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Peanut Butter? (Serving Size, Hazards & More)

Tim Rhodes
Written by Tim Rhodes Last Updated: February 21, 2022

Guinea pigs love to eat everything and they might want to take a bite of your favorite food.  Can guinea pigs eat peanut butter?

Guinea pigs cannot eat peanut butter and you should never be tempted to share your favorite treat with your pet. Guinea pigs cannot digest processed food and it can make them very sick or even kill them. Besides, peanut butter is high in calories, carbohydrates, fat, and salt and the digestive systems of guinea pigs can’t handle them.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Peanut Butter?

New guinea pig owners have a lot to learn to take good care of their guinea pigs. One of the most important aspects of good care is learning about a healthy guinea pig diet.

These small animals require unlimited amounts of timothy hay, raw and fresh vegetables, fruits, and commercial guinea pig pellets fortified with vitamin C.

So let’s see why exactly piggies mustn’t have peanut butter.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Peanuts?

a pile of peanutsNo, guinea pigs shouldn’t eat peanuts.

Peanuts are not safe for your guinea pig’s sensitive digestive system.

As guinea pigs also cannot digest processed food, the answer to whether guinea pigs can eat peanut butter is even more obvious.

How Often Can a Guinea Pig Eat Peanut Butter?

Since this is a question that comes up often, we thought we’d better answer it.

We are pretty sure you know the answer as well as we do by now – never.

Guinea pigs shouldn’t eat peanut butter – not even once.

It will cause health-related issues in them.

Can Peanut Butter Make My Guinea Pig Sick?

a jar of peanut butterUnfortunately, peanuts can make your guinea pig very sick.

If your guinea pig eats peanut butter, it may have difficulty digesting the fats in the peanut butter.

Even if your guinea pig doesn’t end up with indigestion or diarrhea, eating peanut butter can lead to serious complications over time.

Feeding such food will directly cause obesity or gaining weight.

So never give peanut butter to your guinea pig.

Is Peanut Butter Safe for Guinea Pigs?

No – peanut butter can stick in your guinea pig’s throat and cause choking.

It is also too high in fat for your guinea pig to digest appropriately.

Peanut butter is just too sweet and rich for guinea pigs to eat, not to mention high in fat and acidic content.

Fiber is essential for your cavy.

Guinea pigs need fibers for the smooth running of their digestive tracks.

After processing fibers, they get energy from the produced volatile fatty acids.

This is not good for a guinea pig as food.

How Much Peanut Butter is Safe for Guinea Pigs?

Peanut butter is not a healthy treat for guinea pigs.

But maybe you want to know whether there is an amount that would be safe for them.

However, any amount of this sweer treat for humans that you could feed your piggy would be a major No.

So it’s best to skip peanut butter from your guinea pig diet, as peanut butter doesn’t have any benefits for guinea pigs.

Few beneficial vitamins which peanut butter has are easily obtained through other foods which are safe for your pet.

Feed fresh vegetables and fruits to your guinea pig as a treat.

First, you should know more about peanut butter nutrition facts.

Peanut butter is a food paste or spread made from dry roasted ground peanuts.

It often contains additional ingredients that modify the taste or texture, such as salt, sweeteners, etc.

Though peanut butter is suitable for humans, but not for guinea pigs even as a treat.

Peanut butter consists of ground peanuts, so it’s rich in vitamins and nutrition.

Calories

There are approximately 294 calories in 50 grams of peanut butter.

This may seem like a large serving.

If you regularly feed peanut butter to your dear pet you would be dramatically increasing the number of calories they consume, as a result of which, they will gain a lot of weight.

Extra weight is very problematic for your guinea pigs for many reasons.

Carbohydrates and sugar

In 50-gram peanut butter there is 9.78g of carbohydrates, 4.5g of which comes from sugar.

While this can provide humans with energy but it’s too much for a guinea pig to consume and handle.

This extremely high amount of sugar content can upset their stomach and cause health issues.

Protein

Protein is also high in peanut butter, it’s around 12.5 grams in 50 grams of peanut butter.

Again, it’s not good for a guinea pig.

Fats

There are 25.2 grams of fat in 50 grams of peanut butter.

So it is predominantly made up of fat.

Many peanut butter brands also add extra fat for taste, flavor, and texture.

Guinea pigs cannot handle so much fat in their diet and it’s not good for their digestive system because this can lead to dehydration and diarrhea.

Salt

Peanut butter has salt and we know that too much salt in the diet of a guinea pig is not good and it can lead to negative health outcomes including bladder and kidney stones.

So you would do your best to avoid feeding salt to your guinea pig.

The other nutrition in peanut butter are:

  • Fiber
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium
  • Cobalamin

Let us take a closer look at the topic including the health benefits and risks of your guinea pig consuming peanut butter.

Are there Health Benefits of Peanut Butter for Guinea Pigs?

Even though guinea pigs might be able to swallow peanut butter, their digestive system/tracts aren’t designed to accommodate all the fats peanut butter has.

It often contains added sugar and other ingredients that aren’t good for your pet.

The sticky texture of peanut butter can cause trouble for your guinea pig as well.

The nutritional content of peanut butter doesn’t provide any health-related benefits for your pet except the sheer taste of it or some vitamin.

Perhaps, guinea pigs like the taste of peanut butter.

But it is not beneficial for your pet’s health.

Risk to Consider When Feeding Peanut Butter to Guinea Pigs

There are so many risks of feeding peanut butter to guinea pigs.

Before feeding peanut butter keeps these risks in your mind.

Allergies

There is a risk of allergy if you feed peanut butter to your guinea pig.

Something everyone who has a guinea pig needs to keep in mind is that even if a food is labeled as “safe for guinea pigs”, your guinea pig might have some kind of a reaction to it.

That is why you need to observe your pet after you give him something new to eat.

High in Fat

Peanut butter is made from peanuts and peanuts are just not suited for them because of the high amounts of fats.

These fats can make guinea pigs develop certain diseases.

The high amount of salt and sugar is also not suited for them.

Obesity

Peanut butter is very caloric.

It is a spread, so it is even easier to consume.

For guinea pigs, this increases their chances of gaining weight – both in the short realm of time and also in the long period.

The high-fat content will also likely deposit around organs, block blood vessels, and generally make your guinea pig more lethargic and fatigued.

Obesity is bad for their life because they can’t handle too much fat.

Digestive Issues

Guinea pigs have a sensitive digestive system.

Peanut butter can cause a lot of digestive problems and this is all due to the three components it contains – fibers, fats, and sugars.

While fiber should always be high in a guinea pigs’ diet, it should come through hay and other vegetables.

This is because guinea pigs require both digestible and indigestible fiber yet peanut butter only provides one of these.

This imbalance can lead to loose stools, gas, and fatal stomach pain.

Secondly, the fat in peanut butter is of significant amount.

This is a lot for your guinea pig to process, especially because they are not used to it and their digestive system was not designed to process it, to begin with.

Finally, sugar is known to disrupt a guinea pig’s digestive system and peanut butter contains a lot more than you would think.

Urinary Issues

Peanut butter contains calcium.

Calcium intake should always be carefully managed and regulated as it can lead to a lot of serious health implications in elder guinea pigs.

While it’s put to use while your guinea pig is a pup, in their elder years it builds up within their urinary tract.

This can lead to painful and problematic bladder and kidney stones, urinary infections, pain during urination, and sometimes blood in the urine.

This requires treatment and if left diagnosed can result in renal failure.

What if Guinea Pigs Eat Peanut Butter?

If your guinea pig ate peanut butter recently, watch for signs of trouble such as difficulty in breathing, bloating, diarrhea, or anything else that seems out of the ordinary.

Call your veterinary doctor if your guinea pig is having a health crisis.

They’ll be able to provide you with advice and the next steps.

What is a Healthy Guinea Pig Diet?

vegetables and fruits healthy for guinea pigsNow that you know why guinea pigs should avoid peanuts, let’s talk about what they can eat instead!

Guinea pigs are herbivores.

It means they just eat fruits and veggies – dairy products, meat, eggs, etc., are not meant for a little cavy.

It is best to feed your guinea pig a diet that’s similar to what nature intended.

The guinea pigs’ natural diet consists of a variety of low-lying plants – mostly grasses.

Fresh veggies are always appreciated.

It is enjoyable for your guinea pig to experience different flavors and treats.

Their taste buds remain sharp, and they avoid any potential disease that can occur due to over intake of a particular nutrient.

This can happen when you feed a single snack too many times.

Different snacks let your pet benefit from different nutrient variations.

But you need to know whether the treatment you’re about to feed is safe for them, and how much to feed.

Here are some recommendations for feeding your guinea pig the right way:

Fresh Hay

Fresh hay is best for your guinea pig’s diet.

let them have an unlimited amount and be sure to choose a variety of hay that is safe for your pet.

Fresh Veggies

Fresh veggies will be the best treats for guinea pigs.

They love fresh veggies.

Your guinea pig can have about one cup of leafy greens and chopped-up veggies plus a tiny amount of fresh fruits.

Fresh veggies contain a good amount of vitamin C, which is good for guinea pigs.

Fresh Water

Clean fresh water should also be available at all times.

Rinse and refill your guinea pig’s drinking water utensil at least once per day

Vitamin C supplements

Guinea pigs can’t make their own vitamin C, because their bodies can’t synthesize or store it.

A daily serving of vitamin C is essential for their good health.

The average guinea pig needs between 30 mg per day for good health.

A guinea pig who is currently deficient in vitamin C can receive up to 50 mg/kg/day.

It is good to regularly provide extra vitamin C to an ill guinea pig.

But excess vitamin C will be excreted through the urine, and not absorbed by the body.

You should always take care of the correct serving size.

A pig suffering from vitamin C deficiency may appear lethargic and weak.

He may have difficulty moving, lose weight and stop eating, display a rough coat or have diarrhea.

Some guinea pigs might have internal bleeding.

You may also notice a small exterior wound bleeding excessively or not healing correctly

Fresh and leafy greens veggies are a good source of vitamin C which is important for your pigs.

Try to give your cavy a different mix of fresh veggies each day.

They can easily digest green leafy veggies and it’s beneficial for their health.

What Are Healthy Alternatives to Peanut Butter in a Guinea Pig’s Diet?

It is no wonder that guinea pigs like a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and herbs.

Guinea pigs can have up to one cup of vegetables and fruits each day.

Fresh, organically grown greens are the best option.

Fresh fruits or leafy greens rich with vitamin C are a good treat for your cavy.

Owners who are too caring and in love with their cavy are always searching for a better treatment for their guinea pigs.

There are lots of food products are available on market with different brands for your guinea pigs.

But you should always choose the best food for your guinea pig which is good in taste as well as has health benefits also.

Here’s a quick list with some ideas to consider next time you’re feeding your pet:

  • Carrots
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Spinach
  • Carrot tops
  • Cilantro
  • Swiss chard
  • Apple
  • Grapes
  • Pumpkin
  • Tomato
  • Broccoli spears
  • Peas
  • Kale
  • Green and red bell peppers
  • Green beans
  • Cucumber
  • Winter squash
  • Summer squash
  • Romaine
  • Arugula
  • Zucchini
  • Asparagus
  • Pears
  • Kiwi
  • Papaya
  • Peach
  • Blueberries
  • Orange
  • Strawberries

These veggies and fruits provide vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to your guinea pig’s overall health.

Generally speaking, aim to feed fewer fruits than vegetables, due to the higher sugar content in fruits.

Small bite-sized portions of fruits served daily will delight your guinea pig and provide much-needed vitamins.

Remember to thoroughly wash all the fruits and vegetables before serving them to your guinea pig to remove traces of harmful pesticides and avoid and avoid serving fruit and vegetables cold.

Many foods you enjoy are also great for your guinea pig, so spend a couple of time to search what is good for your guinea pig.

What Foods a Guinea Pig Shouldn’t Eat?

Some pet owners enjoy sharing foods with their pets.

But not all human foods are good for pets.

A shortlist of the foods to avoid feeding your guinea pig:

  • Chocolate or anything else containing caffeine
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Avocados
  • Nuts
  • Potatoes
  • Seeds
  • Corn kernels
  • Rhubarb
  • Cabbage
  • Bok choy
  • Dairy products
  • Bread
  • Meat
  • Peanut butter
  • Ice cream
  • Eggs

You should also never offer your guinea pig any plants, flowers, or grass from your yard or garden as they may contain pesticides or other hazards; many houseplants are also toxic.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Nuts?

So take a look at this topic also

Guinea pigs shouldn’t and cannot eat nuts.

Nuts for guinea pigs is a big NO!

No doubt it is healthy food for us, but the same cannot be said for guinea pigs.

As we discuss and described above that many vitamins, nutrients, minerals are not good for guinea pigs and they cannot handle the high calorie, high-fat content that nuts provide.

Guinea pigs have a very delicate digestive system and as such, nuts cannot be consumed.

The main risk is the choking that can happen with larger pieces of nuts.

And even the shells of nuts are also not recommended in the guinea pigs diet.

Guinea pigs cannot clear their throats during such times and they adequately grind the nuts down to a sufficiently small size to swallow.

Shelled peanuts are very dangerous for such small animals.

Guinea pigs are usually fast when it comes to eating, so they don’t pay a lot of attention at the time of chewing.

Shells can easily slide into the throat and stick there, leading to the choking of guinea pigs.

So avoid feeding nutshell also because it can represent a heavy choking hazard for guinea pigs.

Due to the heavy amount of fats present in peanuts they are not suited for guinea pigs.

These fats can make guinea pigs develop a certain type of disease.

Ask the vet for more in-depth information.

Guinea pigs cannot consume any types of nuts.

Because of the high calories, sugar, salt, fats, and the risk of choking, any type of nuts is not recommended for guinea pigs’ diet.

Before planning to bring guinea pigs to your home you should know everything about your pet, about their diet, their health issues, and also their hobbies.

A quick and in-depth search about your cavy is good for you to handle your guinea pig.

Good information is always handy in handling situations that may arise.

Final Thoughts

The health of your furry friend is always in your hands and a little bit of awareness about their diet chart can save their life and keep them healthy.

An excessive quantity of sugar, salt, fat, carbohydrates, proteins, and also calories is highly risky to guinea pigs.

So the answer to the question, can guinea pigs eat peanut butter, is a strict no.

Treat your pet with a well-balanced and healthy diet that is good for their health.

Author

Tim Rhodes
Tim Rhodes

Hi there! My name is Tim Rhodes and I'm a guinea pig enthusiast through thick and thin. My mission is to teach others useful tips and tricks about these cute creatures. When I'm not writing, I enjoy kickboxing and work as an animal trainer.

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Last update on 2022-11-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API