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

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Tim Rhodes

In this article, we will answer the question: can guinea pigs eat pickles?

Let’s tell you the answer to this question immediately!

No, your guinea pig isn’t allowed to eat pickles.

Marinated vegetables can be harmful to your pet.

Guinea pigs are very adorable little creatures, and they are perfect pets for keeping them at home.

They live between five and seven years, which means that you should provide them great care.

Needless to say, the quality and type of food they eat affect their health and overall life span.

Why My Guinea Pig Must Not Eat Pickles?

Pickles are salty and sour, usually fermented, and, as a rule, high in sodium.

You should not give pickles to your Guinea pigs, because that will increase the sodium content in their bodies, which is not good for them.

The main reason is that there is high salt in the pickles, which causes high blood pressure, bloating, acid reflux, stomach ache, and many other problems.

Guinea pigs only process fresh grass and veggies.

If you try to feed your Guinea pig with pickles, it can lead to digestive problems, which can be fatal for the pet.

The worst part if you give pickles to your bet it could cause vomiting, sodium excess, and bloating.

Remember that you always must give proper food to your Guinea pig and do not feed it, not even with the smallest piece of a pickle, if you do not want to have problems with your cute pet.

Foods Dangerous For Guinea Pigs

It’s very important to know that hay is a crucial part of Guinea pigs’ diet.

Actually, hay makes up 80% of their diet.

The other 20% of the main food source are carrots, broccoli, herbs, cucumber, tomato, etc.

Thus, if you want to have a healthy and happy pet, make sure it eats fresh fruits and veggies.

Some types of food you should avoid giving to your guinea pigs because of different reasons.

While some food can be poisonous, others can contain too much fat or sugar.

Also, some do not have nutritional value but can cause gas and bloating.

If you don’t know what your Guinea pig should eat, please, consult an animal veterinarian who is specialized in small animals.

Nonetheless, in this article, we will cover only some types of food that are beneficial for your Guinea pigs, as well as the type of food you should avoid giving them.

The list of food that you should avoid includes:

  • Chocolate
  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Avocados
  • Potatoes
  • Seeds
  • Cabbage
  • Bread
  • Meat

Toxic Vegetables

Garlic, onion, and shallot belong to foods your pet must not eat!

These vegetables will cause anemia in your guinea pig and drastically reduce its red blood cells, thus your pet can die quite quickly.

Chive is also banned from Guinea pigs’ diet, just like beet tops, which are too rich in oxalic acid.

Turnip tops are rich in calcium and are toxic to guinea pigs, lettuce is also very bad for your pet because it has concentrated nitrate, also, forget about leek and rhubarb.

Other vegetables to be avoided, are not necessarily toxic but can have negative consequences on your rodent.

Chard can create problems in the urinary tract of your pet.

Likewise, there are concerns with beetroot (root) which, too sweet, can cause obesity.

Obesity in Guinea pigs can also occur from eating too many carrots.

Spinach, although not toxic, can produce diarrhea or loose stools in your guinea pig.

Although a starchy food, both raw and cooked potato should be avoided, as should avocado.

Finally, parsley is food that guinea pigs love but it must be banished from feeding lactating females because it cuts the flow of milk.

Toxic Fruits

The fig is considered poisonous because it’s far too rich in oxalic acid and can be fatal to your guinea pig.

Dates and green melons are too sweet, and when overripe, they can cause diarrhea.

Watermelons are too rich in calcium and, therefore, bad for the health of your guinea pig.

Plums and prunes also cause diarrhea and badly affect your pet’s health.

Overripe fruits should be prohibited as their high ethylene content is dangerous for your animal.

Other Prohibited Foods

Do not feed your pet with meat!

Guinea pigs are herbivores, hence their digestive system won’t take it, and they’ll get diarrhea at best – more serious problems, at worst.

Besides, your guinea pig does not need meat food to be healthy.

Its system only integrates vegetable proteins (from cereals contained in mixtures of granules, pellets, kibbles, etc.).

Also, you will avoid coffee, tea, alcohol cocktail.

These 3 drinks can irreparably damage your pet’s nervous system, and lead to death.

The lactose, found in milk, is not well digested by your guinea pig.

So avoid giving him milk-based foods (yogurts, cheeses, etc.).

Of course, sodas and other sparkling drinks should not be used as a substitute for plain water.

More broadly, all pome fruits and vegetables should be given without them.

The seeds can be fatal to your rodent if they swallow them.

Poisonous plants

Some plants are dangerous for your guinea pig, especially if it accidentally swallows them.

Therefore, any plant you have at your home should be positioned out of your pet’s reach.

Acacia, aconite, the black cohosh in spikes, white garlic, alocasia, amaryllis, anemone, anthurium, Karalis, wig tree, azalea, boxwood, honeysuckle, hemlock, croton, cyclamen, eucalyptus, holly, yew, hyacinth, ivy, flax, sorrel, savory, sage, alfalfa, and chervil.

and many others are very dangerous to your pet.

Most are poisonous to your pet and can cause death.

Consequently, it’s better to be safe than sorry – keep plants away from your pet!

Foods Guinea Pigs Can Eat

Guinea pigs are herbivores, and their diet is based on high-quality pig hay, pelleted food, and limited amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables.

When Guinea pigs eat fresh grass hay, they have stable and proper digestion.

Another food good for these pets is pellets, often based on timothy hay, which provide a balance, as they contain nutrients beneficial for guinea pigs.

Most adult guinea pigs will eat large amounts of alfalfa when offered it.

While big guinea pigs may do without it, babies need this herb!

However, be careful with alfalfa as many pet owners and veterinary organizations believe that alfalfa, when consumed in large amounts, leads to obesity and creates bladder stones because of the excess calcium.

Nonetheless, scientists claim that alfalfa replenishes protein, amino acids, and fiber.

Thus, be careful with alfalfa; feed your guinea pig with it in minimal doses so your pet can still obtain the nutrients contained in this herb.

Fresh, raw fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, apple, cabbage, carrot, celery, and spinach are excellent sources of vitamin C, which is a vital nutrient for guinea pigs.

Thus, they must be a part of guineas pigs’ food, otherwise, they can suffer from potentially fatal scurvy.

Vegetables

  • Carrots and carrot tops
  • Broccoli spears
  • Spinach
  • Artichokes
  • Kale
  • Tomatoes
  • Peas

Fruits

  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Pears
  • Strawberries
  • Kiwi
  • Peaches
  • Cucumbers

Guinea pigs should have a steady feeding schedule, and they should be fed twice a day.

So if you want to protect them, you will need to remove the uneaten food one hour after feeding them.

Never add food before cleaning out the old food!

Also, throw away the uneaten vegetables and fruits within 24 hours.

What is the Best Hay for Your Guinea Pig?

Why do guinea pigs need hay in their diet?

Guinea pigs have unique digestive systems that require a constant supply of fiber to help them digest food and prevent stroke.

Their stomachs go through a process of double digestion.

They eat once, digest food, create soft fecal matter in their pocket, eat it and digest it again.

I know it sounds rude, but this is an important part of your pet’s health!

Hay is a major trait in a guinea pig’s diet.

When guinea pigs are babies, they may have some alfalfa hay.

Alfalfa has a different balance of nutrients compared to thyme hay adult guinea pigs eat.

Nonetheless, by the time they grow up and reach adulthood, their diet should be mostly timothy hay, fresh fruits, and vegetables.

Yet, timothy hay should be the base food!

You can find western timothy hay in most pet stores but look for a fresh, green bag of hay.

In addition to timothy hay, there are other varieties with different nutritional properties, textures, and flavors.

Guinea Pig Pellets

It’s entirely possible to keep your guinea pigs exclusively on fruits, vegetables, and hay, but you want to make sure you feed them enough vitamins and minerals.

Unlike hay, too many pellets will make your guinea pig overweight.

Some pets will pick up food and others will clean their plate!

If you notice that your guinea pig is gaining weight, there are several things you can do to make sure it doesn’t get out of your hands while still keeping it happy.

Guinea Pigs Need Vitamin C

Guinea pigs love fresh fruits and vegetables.

This is wonderful because guinea pigs, like humans, cannot produce their own vitamin C.

If guinea pigs do not get enough food, they can get a condition known as scurvy, which is potentially fatal for them.

Therefore, you must be sure that your pet has consumed at least 10mg of vitamin C every day.

If your guinea pig is expecting, make sure that she daily consumes about 20 mg of vitamin C.

Guinea pigs can get their vitamin C needs through fresh vegetables.

You may be wondering if crushing a small amount of vitamin C in their water would be good for them, but that is not recommended.

Vitamin C is incredibly sensitive to light, which means that it will quickly lose its strength when exposed to light.

The best ways to deliver this vitamin are:

Red Pepper

This vegetable contains a huge amount of vitamin C

Since some guinea pigs would not like to eat oranges, they are almost always hungry for peppers.

Pellets

Some claim to have “long-lasting vitamin C,” but you need to be aware that bags sit on store shelves for a long time before someone purchases them.

Besides, vitamin C may have been exposed to light and sat long enough to be mostly, if not completely, exhausted.

Thus, ensuring that your pet has fresh vegetables and fruits every day is the best thing you can do for your cute rodent!

Caring for your Guinea Pig

Guinea pigs are calm, non-aggressive animals.

They usually don’t bite or scratch during handling.

However, if they want to complain, they do so by emitting a loud beeping-singing sound.

Be very careful not to injure your guinea pig during handling.

You should hold your guinea pig with both hands.

While putting one hand under the chest-abdomen of the pet, use the other hand to support the hind legs.

Hold the pet firmly but gently, making sure you are not squeezing this bundle of cuteness!

Housing

The appearance and furnishing of the cage are limited only by the owner’s ingenuity and budget.

There are several ways to keep guinea pigs.

Yet, the important thing is to keep the guinea pig’s best interests in mind.

Guinea pigs can be kept in cages made of stainless steel, plastic, or glass.

Wood should not be used as it’s difficult to clean and sensitive to destructive chewing.

However, plastic can also be easily destroyed by chewing, so make sure your pet’s home is made of durable, quality plastic.

Ideally, the cage should have an open side to allow adequate ventilation.

Therefore, be careful when using bowls difficult to ventilate.

The cage must also be escape-proof, free from sharp corners, and other possible dangers.

Size of the Cage and the Environment

Your pets should have sufficient space for their activities.

Experts recommend approximately 50 x 60 cm of floor space per adult guinea pig.

Breeding animals should have twice as much space.

The cage can have an open roof if the sides are at least 25 cm high, as long as other pets such as dogs or cats do not pose a threat to the little rodent.

The environment around the guinea pig’s cage is also important.

Because guinea pigs are sensitive, they thrive best if they are allowed to live in a quiet place protected from direct sunlight and cold humid areas.

Also, these cute animals are social and love to have friends living with them, sharing the same space.

Males and females can live together provided the male is neutered.

Otherwise, the best path to take is to combine males with males and females with females.

The problem here is that all guinea pigs have their personalities and finding a suitable roommate for your pet is hard if you don’t know anything about another guinea pig you want to place into your pet’s habitat.

New males sometimes fight if they are put together as adults and/or with a female, while older dominant animals can chew on the ears or hair of more submissive animals.

Hygiene

Remember to change or clean daily your guinea pig’s cage!

It’s very common for guinea pigs to develop various problems because of poor hygiene in the cage.

Common problems are runny eyes and nose due to irritants from urine-soaked bottom material as well as sores on their pads due to contact with damp irritating bottom litter and too flat, hard surfaces.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we have covered several important aspects of caring for your guinea pig pet.

The main question that prompted us to write this article was: Can guinea pigs eat pickles?

We are strictly against pickles, and your guinea pig mustn’t eat pickles!

Consequently, we focused on the type of foods your pets should and must not eat.

We centered on the essential ingredients of guinea pigs’ diet – hay and pellets, as well as on the importance of vitamin C.

Nonetheless, we warn you that most household plants, as well as those used for cooking, are not good for your pet.

For your pets to be healthy and happy, you should provide them with sufficient and comfortable space, good hygiene, and a diet that suits their needs!

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