Can guinea pigs eat bread? Yes, they can, but it’s ironic that it’s not recommended to feed them with bread. Why? Let’s admit it; we can eat bread with anything. If we don’t feel like eating a heavy meal, we can eat any bread with either a cup of tea or coffee.
That might also be the reason why a lot of us think our pets can eat bread too. We tend to feed our pets with the food we eat even though it cannot be considered pet food.
Sometimes, we feed these to our pets without knowing the consequences of giving these to them. Some of these foods can be eaten safely by our pets, but other foods can cause discomfort or even serious health issues.
If you’re one of the few guinea pig owners out there, you must be thinking about giving your guinea pigs a piece of bread.
Why Guinea Pigs Cannot Eat Bread?
So let’s answer the question you have in mind: Can guinea pigs eat bread? I’m afraid to say NO. They can eat some of it, but we don’t recommend you feed them because they can die eating it.
To give you a specific reason why guinea pigs cannot eat bread, here are some:
It has no nutrients
Any bread doesn’t have many nutrients, especially for the guinea pigs, and it can be hard for their stomach to digest it.
Additionally, the thicker the bread, the safer it is for guinea pigs to eat. In contrast, soft and chewy bread is harmful to your pet as it sticks on their mouth causing them to choke.
Bread contains cellulose
Bread contains cellulose, hemicellulose, and free sugars, which is not good for guinea pigs. Simply because they can’t digest cellulose.
They have a symbiotic relationship with bacteria and microbes that digest the cellulose for them.
Furthermore, bread(Do Guinea pigs like bread) is very unhealthy food for guinea pigs, so feed them in moderation.
You can only feed bread as a snack, but not too much. Its high amount of carbohydrates, sugar, and calcium can cause illness to a guinea pig.
How Bread Can Affect Your Guinea Pig?
Now, we’re here to talk about the dangers of eating bread. There might be some health benefits, but it’s nothing compared to how bread can affect guinea pigs’ health. Hopefully, this will give you some enlightenment to some consequences bread can have.
Let’s have a look at some of these dangers. And see why you should feed them moderately.
Lowers life expectancy of guinea pigs
It’s alarming, as none of us want to lose our lovely pets. It’s a fact that it might happen someday. But that day will come earlier if you fed your guinea pig too much bread. Take note:
High amounts of phosphorus, which is found in bread, can lead to danger for your guinea pig’s health. It lowers the life expectancy of your pet as it restricts its healthy growth. (please read here how old do Guinea pig live)
In guinea pigs, yes, chubby guinea pigs might be cute and adorable, but it can sometimes lead to health issues. Gaining extra weight for guinea pigs or humans can be harmful as well.
It leads to obesity, a serious health issue you don’t want your guinea pigs to face as it comes with many complications, such as heart problems. Bread contains many carbohydrates and calories, which should make you alarmed.
A piece of white bread already has 77 calories in it, which all came from carbohydrates by 50%. It’s a lot; and it is very harmful to your pet as it will lead to obesity.
And again, you don’t want to hear your veterinarian say that your guinea pig is obese as it comes with many health issues. To name some, these are high blood pressure, risk of heart attacks, and so much more.
Keep this in mind if you want your little one to stay healthy and be able to play around!
Creates bladder stones
Bread contains lots of calcium, and when high amounts of calcium come with oxalates, it will form small crystals inside your guinea pig’s bladder.
Since plants are the main course of their diet, which mostly has oxalates, you’d want to lessen your pet’s calcium intake to avoid bladder stones to form.
As oxalates serve as a magnet, attracting calcium creates bladder stones that are painful for guinea pigs and humans.
Vitamin C deficiency
Bread mainly consists of wheat and has no vitamin C. Again, it contains no vitamin C at all. Guinea pigs need to eat food rich in vitamin C as they can’t produce on their own.
You must provide them the right amount of vitamins to prevent them from having Scurvy. Undoubtedly, vitamin C deficiency that is very harmful to your pet’s health.
Guinea pigs are lactose intolerant
Be aware that slices of bread contain dairy, and your guinea pigs will not love it.
Their lactose intolerant, meaning they don’t have the enzyme needed to absorb or break down dairy. So, expect your pigs to have upset stomach or diarrhea if you’d feed them lots of bread.
Any dairy products like milk or cheese will be their worst enemy, so you might as well keep these types of foods away from them.
Benefits Of Bread As A Snack
Despite its drastic effects, having bread for a snack comes with benefits as well. However, knowing all the dangers that go along with the bread, you’d have to feed your pigs in moderation.
Nevertheless, here is a list of benefits of bread to your guinea pigs:
Has fiber in it
This nutrient is essential for guinea pigs, especially for their digestion and blood control.
The presence of fiber in the bloodstreams will slow down the sugar to breakdown, as having surgery to break down at a faster rate will lead to more stored energy, resulting in fat.
Moreover, fiber is good for digestion as it reduces constipation and allowing your pet to have a healthy stool.
Potassium helps the heart as it reduces the blood pressure or regulates it for your guinea pigs. It will help in preventing heart diseases or stroke caused by high blood pressure.
However, bread is high in sodium, which increases blood pressure, so you might want to lessen your pig’s intake of it.
Bread is not good for guinea pigs. Yes, it has some benefits, but too much amount fed to them can cause many illnesses.
Please give them appropriate chew toys or fruits and vegetables. That would prolong their life. I know that you want to spend more time with these lovely guinea pigs. I hope you learned something! Have a great day, and don’t forget to be awesome!
Delbert Curtis is a senior writer at Petcosset, a leading online resource for pet care information. With over 10 years of experience in the pet industry, Delbert is passionate about helping pet owners provide the best care possible. He has written extensively on pet health, nutrition, training, and behavior. Delbert is dedicated to staying up-to-date on the latest research and trends in the pet industry to provide the most accurate and helpful information to Petcosset’s readers. Delbert enjoys spending time with his pets and exploring the great outdoors when he’s not writing.