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Can guinea pigs eat raisins?
Guinea pigs love to eat; they can eat anything and everything.
In fact, whenever you see a guinea pig, you’ll most often find it chewing.
For this reason, guinea pig owners should pay attention to their guinea pig’s diet.
In t his article, you will learn more about the nutritional value of raisins, serving size appropriate for guinea pigs, 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 with 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 guinea pigs is hay, guinea pig pellets, raw and fresh fruits, and vegetables.
Thus, fresh grapes are a good choice for guinea pigs.
However, raisins are dried white grapes with high sugar content, concentrated up to 72%.
To find out why you should avoid feeding your guinea pigs with raisins, continue reading our article.
What is the Nutritional Value of Raisins?
The following are the number of nutrients present in every 100 grams (3 oz) of seedless raisins.
Calories – 299
These are very high calories that could lead to noticeable weight changes on your guinea pig within a short period of time.
Carbohydrates – 79.2 g
Raisins have too many carbohydrates.
Proteins – 3.1 g
Such high amounts of protein will also pose a potential risk for the rapid increase in weight.
Fiber – 3.7 g
This amount of fiber is within the normal range and could regulate bowel movement leading to healthy stools.
An insufficient supply of fiber to your guinea pigs could lead to constipation, while too much of it causes diarrhea.
Sugar – 59.2 g
The high sugar content in raisins makes them too sweet even to humans.
The stomachs of guinea pigs quickly get upset by sugars and sweet foods.
Fat 0.5 g
Raisins are low in fat content, and therefore friendly to the blood vessels.
When all other factors are kept constant, high amounts of fat impair cardiovascular health by clogging the blood vessels.
Vitamin C – 4%
Vitamin C is a crucial vitamin that protects your guinea pigs from scurvy and that is why it is one of the crucial components of your guinea pig’s diet.
Vitamin E -1%
This form of vitamin helps in maintaining healthy skin, reducing inflammation, and preventing certain cancers.
Vitamin E is also crucial in preventing heart disease and early skin aging.
Vitamin K – 4%
Vitamin K increases the rate of blood clotting during injury.
It does this by helping in the production of prothrombin, a blood-clotting protein.
Thiamin – 7%
Also known as vitamin B1, thiamine improves essential organs such as the heart, the brain, the stomach, and the intestines.
Thiamine also ensures the muscles’ proper functioning by promoting a good flow of electrolytes in the muscles and nerves.
Riboflavin – 7%
Riboflavin or vitamin B12 helps in breaking down digested food into body energy and in maintaining a healthy flow of oxygen through the body.
Niacin – 4%
Niacin is vitamin B3.
It lowers the amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream, therefore, preventing heart disease and diabetes.
Vitamin B6 – 9%
This form of vitamin helps in stress reduction by boosting the production of serotonin, the happiness hormone.
Calcium – 5%
Calcium is the mineral responsible for the development of strong bones.
However, if your guinea pig is already an adult, calcium will not be of much help.
It may be hazardous as it damages the urinary system, even fatally.
Pantothenic acid – 1%
Pantothenic acid is vitamin B5.
It is vital in the manufacturing of blood cells and converting digested food into energy.
Iron – 10%
Iron is the main mineral in the production of red blood cells.
It’ll keep your guinea pigs safe from anemia.
Magnesium – 8%
This mineral is essential in the proper functioning of muscles and the heart.
It also relieves all forms of body pains and prevents diabetes.
Zinc – 1%
Zinc is an essential mineral for boosting immunity and hastens the process of wound healing.
Copper – 16%
Copper and iron work together to form red blood cells and keep your guinea pigs safe from anemia.
Copper also prevents osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.
Manganese – 15%
Manganese is a potent antioxidant that gets rid of free radicals from the bloodstream.
Therefore, it reduces the risk of diseases.
Manganese also regulates blood sugar levels and reduces inflammation, but the cons outweigh the health benefits of raisins.
As you can see, rains have many health benefits but for humans.
The high concentration of certain nutrients is detrimental to your guinea pig’s health.
Why Are Raisins Not Good for Guinea Pigs?
The balance of nutrients in raisins is not good for guinea pigs.
They can cause many health problems for these small animals, including:
- Weight gain
- Digestive issues
- Urinary problems
- Risk of diabetes
- Mood swings
- Teeth problems
Raisins pose a potential risk of choking your guinea pigs if they are not properly chewed.
In some instances, raisins can kill your guinea pigs by getting stuck in their throats.
What Should My Guinea Pig Eat?
Guinea pigs are herbivorous animals.
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 guinea pig’s diet, do it gradually because abrupt diet changes may cause digestive tract problems.
To achieve a healthy diet for your guinea pig, you’ll need a complex balance of magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, and hydrogen ions.
Here are the foods that your guinea pig will love.
- High-quality guinea pig hay
- Guinea pig pellets
- Controlled amounts of fresh foods and vegetables
You’ll also need to supplement your guinea pig’s diet with adequate amounts of vitamin C, A, D, and E.
Of these, vitamin C is the crucial ingredient in your pet’s healthy diet.
Guinea pigs need between 30 and 50 mg of vitamin C every day.
Also, discard all foods left uneaten before adding new food.
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 guinea pig’s water bottle with a bottle brush and hot water weekly, and rinse it with clean hot water daily.
Hay is a vital source of fiber that helps in proper digestion, and chewing on it helps in wearing down guinea pig’s teeth.
High-quality hay is fresh, clean, dry, smells nice, and is free of 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 veterinarians.
The feeding instructions on the packaging will come in handy as a guide on how to feed your guinea pigs on guinea pig pellets.
Give your guinea pigs up to one cup of fresh vegetables every day.
Introduce one vegetable at a time to your guinea pigs.
The best vegetables are those that are organically grown.
Fruits are high in sugar content.
Because of this, give fewer fruits than vegetables to your guinea pig.
Your guinea pigs will be delighted with a daily serve of small portions of fruits.
Fruits will also provide your guinea pigs with the much-needed vitamin C.
Wash the fruits thoroughly before serving your guinea pigs to avoid diseases.
Treats and Chews
Guinea pig’s teeth 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 guinea pig 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?
There are many foods to avoid giving to your guinea pigs for different reasons such as
- Some foods are poisonous to your guinea pig
- They contain much fat
- Have a high concentration of sugars
- Choking hazards
- Those foods that cause gas and bloating
- Foods that 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
Would guinea pigs existing naturally in the wild would not normally come across things like cheese, butter, pasteurized milk, or any other dairy products.
For this reason, a guinea pig owner should not imagine that their guinea pig enjoys having these products.
Beans are bad for your guinea pigs because they cause excess gas in the stomach.
Guinea pigs are not able to 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 choices for guinea pigs.
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 pigs 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
Feeding your guinea pig foods that are bad for them is – bad.
Guinea pigs are herbivores that feed on grasses, hays, herbs, and raw fresh fruits and vegetables.
Yet, guinea pigs can eat raisins but fresh grapes are a much better choice if you want to treat your pet with something sweet.
You can serve your guinea pig little portions of fresh grapes four times a week.
However, when it comes to raisins, two or three raisins once a month are enough not to cause any serious health issues.
They are high in sugar and don’t contain much vitamin C, so it is not a good idea to give them to your guinea pig.