Eating popcorns is so much fun whether you are watching a movie at night or a basketball game with friends. Guinea pig parents would love to share some popcorn with their beloved guinea pigs, but is it safe or not? Can guinea pigs eat popcorns? Are popcorns good for guinea pigs? These are the questions every guinea pig parent has in their mind and we are here with all the answers for you.
Before we get into other details, it is very important to know about the different nutrients present in popcorns because only then you will be able to understand the impact of popcorns on the health of guinea pigs.
Nutrients present in popcorns
Generally, popcorns are one of the healthy snacks and contain a lot of energy-rich nutrients that are enough to fill your appetite. Here is a list of all the nutrients present in popcorns:
- Vitamin A
- Tracers like Choline, Folate, Potassium, Zinc, Phosphorus, Sodium, Manganese, and Magnesium.
All these ingredients are very healthy for the body such as carbohydrates, proteins, fibers, and Vitamin A.
Carbohydrates: Popcorns contain a huge quantity of carbohydrates and carbohydrates are a potential source of energy for your body.
Proteins: Proteins present in carbohydrates are also very important for your body. They stimulate growth and sharpen your brain.
Fibers: Popcorns also contain fibers that are equally essential for your body as any other nutrients. Fibers ensure smooth working of your digestive system and keep it healthy.
Vitamin A: Vitamin-A present in popcorns is very important for your body as they aid your vision and ensure its smooth working. Lack of vitamin A can lead to night blindness and weak vision.
Now you might be wondering that if popcorns contain all these healthy ingredients then you should be feeding them to guinea pigs as well. But the answer is no! Let’s find out why.
Can guinea pigs have popcorns
Well, if you are talking about feeding a piece or two of popcorns to guinea pigs then that’s whole another thing. But if you are planning to add popcorns to the regular diet plan of guinea pigs then the answer is a big no!
As popcorns are among the most common snacks, a lot of guinea pig parents think that it is normal to feed popcorns to guinea pigs. However, they do not know that popcorns can not only make the guinea pigs choke but also hurt their general health.
Are popcorns good for guinea pigs?
No! Popcorns are not good for the health of guinea pigs due to several different reasons:
1. Guinea pigs are herbivores
The biggest reason you should never offer popcorns to guinea pigs is that they are herbivores. Animals belonging to the herbivores group can only eat plants and plant-based products. Therefore, it should be clear to you that guinea pigs are not naturally built for eating and digesting popcorns. Think of it as you eating grass and leaves of trees, sounds weird and next to impossible, right? In the same way, it is difficult for guinea pigs to eat popcorns, so you should make sure that you are feeding them the right food.
2. Guinea pigs gannot digest popcorns
The second reason why you should not be giving popcorns to guinea pigs is that they won’t be able to digest them. As we have even mentioned above that guinea pigs are herbivores, thus their digestive is not built to digest stiff and crispy popcorns containing high amounts of calories and complex carbs. Just like a human’s stomach cannot digest hay, similarly, a guinea pig will not be able to digest popcorns. So you are recommended not to give popcorns to guinea pigs.
Is it safe to feed popcorns to guinea pigs
No! It is not safe to feed popcorns to guinea pigs because they are harmful to the health of guinea pigs and serve no good to them.
Hazards of feeding popcorns to guinea pigs
Now if you are wondering what will happen if you feed popcorns to guinea pigs, let us tell you that there are several risks and side effects associated with offering popcorns to guinea pigs, so we have explained them for you;
1. Guinea pigs may choke
The first hazard of feeding popcorns is that your guinea pigs may choke. As you know that popcorns are very stiff and rigid, so they are difficult to swallow for a guinea pig. If a guinea pig eats popcorns then it can cause some serious trouble like suffocation and even death in extreme cases.
2. Problems in digestive system
The digestive system of the guinea pig is very delicate and sensitive. It cannot tolerate the rigid crispy and salty popcorns because it is not built for that purpose. Therefore, if you will feed popcorns to guinea pigs then it can lead to severe consequences such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, and other gastrointestinal problems because the stomach of a guinea pig cannot tolerate the high amounts of salts and starches present in the popcorns.
Is there any limited quantity of popcorns you can feed to guinea pigs
No! We do not recommend feeding any quantity of popcorns to guinea pigs. When we have already mentioned so many disadvantages of offering popcorns to guinea pigs then why risk their life and health by feeding them popcorns.
What should you feed to guinea pigs
As we have already mentioned that guinea pig is an herbivore animal and its primary diet is plants and plant-based products. Therefore, you must plan the diet accordingly. Ideally, fresh hay with supplementary fresh fruits and vegetables are the best choice for guinea pigs. You can continue feeding them hay and supplement it with fresh fruits and vegetables every once or twice a week.
When it comes to supplementary fruits and vegetables, there are many more healthy options than popcorns such as carrots, spinach, blueberry, cucumber, pumpkin, pear, watermelon, melon, and much more.
Popcorns are not safe for guinea pigs as they can make them choke and even cause digestive problems, so avoid giving them any amount of popcorns. Instead, feed them their natural food along with some suitable fruits such as pears, pineapple, strawberries and vegetables.
Shannon work as nurse practitioner in Alliance Health Medical Group. She own pets and she love pets. With her knowledge in medicine, she know what can the pet eat and what can’t