It’s quite natural to look at guinea pigs and assume they are capable of munching on anything you give them. In truth, they can eat a variety of vegetables and hay, and in some special cases, they can be fed fruits as treats. But while their basic feeds are dried and fresh fruits, can guinea pigs also eat seeds?
In this article, we’ll consider whether or not seeds are good for guinea pigs, and their health implications on guinea pigs. So, keep reading to find out whether you should feed your guinea pig seeds as a staple, treat, or not at all.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Seeds?
Simply put, it’s not advisable to feed guinea pigs seeds. Seeds pose a lot of health risks to these creatures, so pet owners are always tasked to avoid adding them to the cavy’s food list.
Although, there are some instances where guinea pigs eat seeds without health implications and such piggies can grow to like them due to their tasty nature. If you have been feeding your guinea pig seeds and there have been no known consequences, then you might have to pay a visit to your vet and get in-depth medical advice on the opinion.
But for the most part, pet experts at Pet Keen strongly advise against feeding seeds to guinea pigs due to the numerous risks involved.
You might also like: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Dandelions?
Why Can’t Guinea Pigs Eat Seeds?
Seeds can cause a lot of damage to your guinea pigs. While they might be rich in certain nutrients and minerals, they pose a much greater hazard in comparison.
Here are some of the health hazards that your guinea pig may encounter if fed seeds:
- Seed particles can get stuck in the guinea pig’s teeth and cause pain and lead to poor dental health.
- Small pieces of seed may get lodged in their throats and make them choke. E.g, sunflower seeds.
- They don’t have digestive systems designed for eating seeds.
Once your guinea pig has encountered a problem with seeds, perhaps in its teeth or throat, it will be difficult for them to bring the dislodged piece out by itself. So you must make sure you protect their health by avoiding seeds entirely.
On that note, hard seeds like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds, as well as seeds from fruits like watermelon and apples should be avoided at all costs.
You might also like: What Do Leopard Geckos Eat?
What Kind Of Seeds Can You Feed Guinea Pigs?
Generally, hard seeds are considered dangerous for guinea pigs to eat. The guinea pig may break the shell off quite fine but it still does not eliminate the possibility of it retaining a piece in its teeth or throat.
But if you still want to add seeds to your cavy’s diet, then you should probably consider soft seeds like the type in fruits and vegetables. So, the seeds in cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, and the like are wholly acceptable for your guinea pig’s consumption.
Additionally, you should note that there is no safe way of feeding seeds to guinea pigs. Whether you want to blend it into a semi-powdery form or supplement it with other meals, it will still be a health hazard to your pet.
Can Seeds Be Fed As A Treat?
Many pet owners make the mistake of assuming that seeds can be considered a treat instead of a staple.
However, the truth is, seeds should not be fed to guinea pigs for whatever reason because the risks outweigh the benefits. This cannot be emphasized enough. So, it’s best to stick to the soft seeds in fruits or the usual veggies and pellets you feed your pet.
Seeds are not a healthy feed for guinea pigs and as such, should not be fed as either a staple or treat. Strong seeds can cause excruciating pain to cavies if they get stuck in their teeth and this can happen quite frequently due to the way guinea pigs gnaw at their food.
Even if you want to monitor your pet as you serve it certain seeds, you cannot be entirely sure of the underlying consequences. Therefore, you need to forgo seeds in your cavy’s diet and settle for more healthy and fresh veggies and dry food.