can guinea pigs eat ice

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Ice?

Written by: Annemarie Dutton

Ice can become very handy, especially on hot days. We’ve seen a lot of questions from people asking if their guinea pigs can eat ice. Therefore, we have decided to write about it in this article. Kindly read to the end so you don’t miss out on anything. 

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Ice? 

The simple answer to this question is NO, guinea pigs can’t eat ice because they can’t tolerate the freezing sensation it brings to their teeth. These species of animals have delicate teeth that are sensitive to ice.

However, guinea pigs drink a lot of water to keep themselves hydrated. Hence, there is the need to provide adequate water for your guinea pigs all through the day.

It is even more advisable to serve your guinea pigs cold water during the hot summer but not ice of course. This can keep them cool from the inside because too much heat can make them slow and sick.

That said, you can incorporate a few ice cubes into your pet’s drink, but you need to know when and how. Keep reading to find out.

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Safe Ways To Use Ice For Guinea Pigs

Nobody likes the scourging heat and some animals including guinea pigs aren’t left out either. According to research, the ideal temperature for guinea pigs is between 18 to 24-degree celsius.

At any temperature above that, guinea pigs stand at a risk of getting overheated and suffering heat stroke. Hence, it is essential to ensure that the temperature of your guinea pigs’ hutch is monitored.

One of the ways you can ensure that your guinea pigs are kept at an ideal temperature, especially during summer is by serving them cold water. You can achieve this by adding some ice to their water which can help them to cool off.

However, the water cannot be too cold. Hence, the quantity of ice added should not exceed one-third of the water content. Additionally, ensure that the ice is completely dissolved before you serve it to your guinea pigs. 

Another way your guinea pigs can benefit from the cooling effect of ice during the summer is by placing an ice bottle in their hutch. This will help to keep their hutch cool before the ice melts completely.

Your guinea pigs can lie next to the bottle whenever they need to cool off. However, you might need to change the bottle of ice routinely throughout the day.

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Why Guinea Pigs Should Not Eat Ice?

Ice is water in its solid state and although water is essentially safe for guinea pigs, ice is not. Let us talk about some of the risks that your guinea pigs are exposed to when they eat ice.

Poor Digestion

When guinea pigs consume ice, they can get bloated due to their sensitive digestive system. Bloating will make your pet restless, lose appetite, and weak. 

Tooth Pain

Ice is solid and too hard on your guinea pigs’ teeth. Crunching on ice can make your guinea pig’s teeth crack or cause toothache.

Choking Hazard

When guinea pigs crunch on ice, some of its particles can find their way to your pet’s throat and choke them.

Conclusion

Ice is beneficial for giving us the cool sensation we crave especially on hot days. However, it is not as good for our fluffy pets – guinea pigs – as it is for us. Guinea pigs have a sensitive digestive system that makes them intolerant to ice. Also, ice can be damaging to their teeth or even cause them to choke. Notwithstanding, you can incorporate ice in the temperature management of your guinea pigs. To do this, you might find the information in the “Safe Ways To Use Ice For Guinea Pigs” section quite helpful.

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