Guinea pigs love to eat; they can eat anything and everything. Whenever you see a guinea pig, you’ll most often find it chewing. Can guinea pigs eat everything, including raisins?
Guinea pigs can eat raisins but they shouldn’t. Raisins are dried grapes, and dried fruits are very high in sugar, which harms your guinea pig’s health. However, you can give your guinea pigs raisins once in a while because they are rich in many nutrients that are responsible for making red blood cells and carrying oxygen throughout the body.
A raisin once in a while shouldn’t create a problem, and your guinea pigs love it!
Raisins contain iron, copper, magnesium, calcium, and potassium.
In this article, you will learn more about the nutritional value of raisins, the serving size appropriate for guinea piggies, and possible hazards if you give them more raisins than advised.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Raisins?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat raisins, but very seldom and in very limited quantities.
However, it’s not the best idea to feed your guinea pigs raisins. Just like it’s not a good idea to let your guinea pigs eat nuts because they can block the digestive system of these small animals.
The best choice of food for piggies is hay, guinea pig pellets, raw and fresh fruits, and vegetables.
Thus, fresh grapes are a good choice for a piggy. However, raisins are dried white grapes with high sugar content, concentrated up to 72%.
What is the Nutritional Value of Raisins?
According to USDA, 14g (1/2 ounce) of dark, seedless raisins contain:
Golden raisins contain similar amounts of carbs, calories, and fiber to those found in dark raisins.
Depending on their variety, fresh grapes have fewer calories compared to raisins, but they also contain less fiber. Raisins with seeds contain more fiber, but the amount of carbs and calories are similar to seedless raisins.
Why Are Raisins Not Good for Guinea Pigs?
Apart from unlimited amounts of timothy hay, fresh and raw fruits and vegetables are the best guinea pig food.
The balance of nutrients in raisins is not good for piggies.
Raisins are dried grapes, which means that they are processed food, higher in sugar compared to fresh grapes.
Processed food such as raisins can cause many health problems for these small animals, including:
- Weight gain
- Digestive issues
- Urinary problems
- Risk of diabetes
- Mood swings
- Teeth problems
While weight gain itself is not hazardous, the sugar content in dried fruits is dangerous for piggies because the sensitive digestive tract of these small animals cannot process sugar.
Besides, sugar leads to diabetes and other comorbidities.
Additionally, raisins pose a potential choking hazard if your piggies don’t chew them properly.
In some instances, raisins can kill your guinea pigs by getting stuck in their throats.
What Should My Guinea Pig Eat?
Guinea pigs are herbivores.
Nutritional imbalance in guinea pigs can cause problems in vital organs such as the heart, the liver, the kidneys, and the gastrointestinal tract.
When adding new foods to your pet’s diet, do it gradually because abrupt diet changes may upset your piggie’s sensitive stomach.
To achieve a healthy diet for your piggy, you’ll need a complex balance of magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, and hydrogen ions.
Here are the foods that your pet will love.
- High-quality guinea pig hay
- Guinea pig pellets
- Controlled amounts of fresh foods and vegetables
You’ll also need to supplement your piggy’s diet with adequate amounts of vitamin C, A, D, and E. Piggies need between 30 and 50 mg of vitamin C every day to stay healthy.
Likewise, provide your guinea pigs with fresh water and change it often, especially during warm weather.
The daily water requirement for your guinea pig is at least five ounces.
Clean your piggy’s water bottle daily. Use a bottle brush and hot water, and rinse it with clean hot water.
Hay is a vital source of fiber that helps in proper digestion, and chewing on it helps in wearing down your guinea pig’s teeth.
High-quality hay is fresh, clean, dry, and smells nice. Likewise, it mustn’t contain mold.
Pellets are commercial feeds that are formulated to enrich your guinea pigs with balanced nutritional ingredients, complete with recommended dosages of essential nutrients like vitamin C.
The best pellets are those that have been tested and approved by vets.
- Give your pet up to one cup of fresh vegetables every day.
- Introduce one vegetable at a time to your piggies.
- The best vegetables are those that are organically grown.
- Fruits have high sugar content.
- Because of this, give fewer fruits than vegetables to your guinea pig.
- Your piggies will be delighted with a daily serving of small portions of fruits.
- Fruits will also provide your guinea pigs with the much-needed vitamin C.
- Wash all fruits thoroughly before serving them to guinea pigs to eliminate all pesticide residues and dirt from them.
Treats and Chews
The teeth of a guinea pig continuously grow. This is why you need to provide a variety of chews to your little pet.
These chews are fun and relieve boredom.
Chews can be things like toys, sticks, blocks, and balls.
A treat option can be an animal salt lick enriched with minerals.
The recommended dose for chews and treats – including fruits – for your guinea pig is 10% of the total amount of food you provide.
For healthy options, make sure to check the labels because some treats contain additional sugar, salt, or artificial sweeteners.
These are small, nutritious soft pellets that are obtained from plants during digestion.
They pass through the colon, then come out through the anus, and your pet will immediately consume them.
Although for humans coprophagy is a bizarre process, it is perfectly natural for guinea pigs.
Cecotropes recycle fiber, Vitamin B, and bacteria that aid in proper digestion.
What Foods Are Harmful To My Guinea Pig?
Although guinea pigs can eat many nutritious fruits and vegetables, you should avoid giving your pet certain foods.
Foods to avoid include those that:
- Are poisonous to piggies
- Contain fat
- Are high in sugar
- Present a potential choking hazard
- Cause gas and bloating
- Have no nutritional benefits
Foods that you should avoid feeding to your guinea pig are listed below.
- All Forms of Meat
- Iceberg lettuce
- Gassy Vegetables
Onions are rich in disulfide, a compound that damages the red blood cells.
A decrease in the red blood cells causes an insufficient supply of oxygen to vital body organs.
This leads to anemia, which can kill the guinea pig in severe cases.
Garlic helps in the formation of kidney and bladder stones.
These can cause kidney failure, leading to the untimely death of your guinea pig.
Avocados have health benefits for humans, but not for guinea pigs because of too much fat and carbohydrates.
- Dairy products
Guinea pigs in the wild wouldn’t normally feed on cheese, butter, pasteurized milk, or other milky products.
They are harmful to guinea pigs because they cannot digest them well.
Beans are bad for your guinea pigs because they cause excess gas in the stomach.
Guinea pigs cannot get rid of excess gas from their digestive tract.
- Plants Rich in Oxalic Acid
Plants rich in oxalic acid can lead to kidney stones, kidney failure, and death in extreme cases.
Nuts are nutritious, crunchy, and delicious.
However, to guinea pigs, nuts are a burden to their digestive system because of the concentration of fats and carbohydrates.
Some guinea pig owners have observed peanuts to be an enjoyable meal for their guinea pigs.
The opinions are now mixed, but generally, nuts are not great a choice for piggies.
Do not treat your guinea pigs to chocolates.
Apart from the fact that they are rich in milk products, they also contain cocoa, which is rich in calcium and phosphorus.
- Tomato Leaves and Stalks
Tomato leaves and stalks contain complex substances such as tomatine, solanine, cellulose, and other alkaloids.
They pose as one of the most enjoyable treats to guinea pigs, but unfortunately, these complex substances are not friendly to their digestive systems.
Seeds are rich in fats and other complex nutrients that are indigestible or even poisonous to guinea pigs.
Apple seeds contain arsenic, a compound that causes complications in the digestive system, excretory system, and bloodstream of guinea pigs.
Feeding apples to your guinea pig pet should be done with a lot of care.
Seeds are also too tiny; they could choke guinea pigs.
This is a great meal for your guinea pigs, but just like bananas, you should restrict it to small quantities, once in three days.
One hint about celery is that the leaves are more nutritious than the stalks.
Other foods that you should keep away from your little pet include:
- Corn kernels
- Peanut butter
- Bok choy
- Dried grapes (raisins)
- House plants, pesticide infested plants, and flowers
Guinea pigs need grasses, hays, herbs, and raw fresh fruits and vegetables.
Although guinea pigs eat raisins, fresh grapes are a much better choice if you want to treat your pet with something sweet.
Still, if you insist on making your pet happy by giving them something extra sweet with very high sugar content, feed your guinea pig only two or three raisins once a month.
This amount of raisin shouldn’t cause any serious health issues.
Also, keep in mind that the best food for guinea pigs, apart from timothy hay, is fresh and raw fruits and vegetables that should always come as a healthy treat for your pet.