As responsible pet owners, we want to ensure that our pets never go hungry, and that they eat nutritious and healthy food. Here are a few things to consider when asking the question: “Can Guinea Pigs Eat Yogurt?”
As Pets, Can Guinea Pigs Eat Yogurt?
This is a big NO. Yogurt may seem safe, as this is a healthy daily alternative that humans love. Unfortunately, this is not the case for Guinea Pigs. Being herbivores, your little furry one simply does not have the enzymes and gut bacteria to digest yogurt. Other dairy products such as cheese, kefir, sour cream, cottage cheese, and cream cheese, have the same effects on your furry pet and so should also not be given to them.
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Harmful Effects of Yogurt to Guinea Pigs
Because of the fact that Guinea Pigs are Lactose-intolerant, Yogurt (which is dairy-based) is definitely harmful to your little ones. However, this is not the only reason why Yogurt is bad for your Guinea Pigs. Below are a list of other risks to consider when feeding yogurt to your pet:
- DIFFICULT TO DIGEST – Because they do not have the right enzymes to process yogurt, this would lead to both short and long term difficulties for your pets. Not being able to digest properly would mean blockage and buildup, which would eventually be lethal to your little pet.
- URINARY COMPLICATIONS – Because Yogurt contains a lot of calcium (being dairy-based) this means that it could also eventually lead to buildup of calcium and bladder stones, which makes it hard for your pet to process waste through the urinary and kidney systems.
- BLOATING – In relation to the first two points, gut problems may further develop into bloating, where the guinea pig’s stomach is filled with gasses that make it difficult to pass waste, and move around.
- OBESITY/WEIGHT GAIN – Because of the sugar present in yogurt, this may lead the guinea pig to gain a significant amount of weight. This , in turn, would lead to complications with internal organs and joints.
- LACK OF NUTRIENTS – Although humans enjoy the health benefits of probiotics found in yogurt, it doesn’t hold same for Guinea Pigs. In effect, Yogurt is to Guinea Pigs as junk food is to humans.
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Alternatives to Yogurt which are Good for your Guinea Pigs
There are plenty of different food available which are more nutritious to your little furry one, and yet provide similar features and enjoyment as that of yogurt. Among them are:
- Strawberries (or Strawberry Tops) – sweet and tasty, strawberries are a healthy alternative to yogurt, providing just the right amount of nutrients and antioxidants
- Parsley – Though pungent and powerful, these greens are safe to eat for your little furry ones. Just make sure to feed them in small bites, a little at a time, since too much of its calcium would also be bad for your little one.
- Carrots (or Carrot Tops) – Whether the bite-sized whole carrot or just the right amount of carrot tops, your little furry one will surely be flushed with the Vitamin A provided by this orange treat.
- Wheatgrass – This nutritious green plant helps to improve your Guinea Pig’s eyesight and supports their immune system.
- Blueberries – Rich in antioxidants, blueberries also are very delicious for your little furry pet.
In Summary : Guinea Pigs Cannot and Should Not Yogurt
Again, yogurt is a big NO for your Guinea Pig mainly because they cannot digest dairy, as they are lactose-intolerant. The abundant calcium in the dairy also poses a risk because of potential buildup of bladder stones in their digestive system.