We don’t know about you, but we have one hell of a sweet tooth, and it is a no-brainer, that chocolate is our favorite.
From chocolate wafers to chocolate eggs, we love them all. You probably have wondered giving your pet some chocolate so they can enjoy it too, but is that really the best thing to do?
Sure, we have read about a lot of foods that are good and bad for many other animals, but is it the same with chocolate and Guinea Pigs? This article aims to help you out finding out the answer to the question “Can Guinea Pigs eat chocolate?”. Well, let’s find out.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Chocolate?
Can Guinea Pigs eat chocolate? Well, to put it plain and simple, no. Guinea pigs don’t have a complex digestive system to deal with many foods, and one of them happens to be chocolate.
The main reason being, that they can’t digest sugar, which means consumption of chocolate gives them stomach pain and cramps, and that affects their stool as well.
Another reason they can’t eat chocolate is because of theobromine, which is just like caffeine. Since Guinea pigs can’t digest that either, it can lead to a rise in blood pressure and heart rate, which can kill your guinea pig.
The thing with animals is, in general, they will eat anything you give to them. Even dogs are at harm and risk of eating chocolate, but they would never say no to it.
That is why it is the pet owner’s responsibility to look after their pet, and their well-being. They can’t speak, but even if they could, they wouldn’t say no. That’s where a pet owner’s responsibility begins.
Is chocolate good for guinea pigs?
Guinea pigs have a very simple digestive system, which doesn’t allow them to enjoy delicacies such as chocolate. This makes them sensitive and vulnerable to it, apart from chocolate, they can’t eat anything that has synthesized sugar in it, because they simply can’t stomach it.
Apart from chocolate, they are vulnerable to caffeine just the same, and only a very little amount would be needed for their cardiovascular system to collapse, which means it is very lethal even in small quantities.
Do Guinea Pigs Like Chocolate?
Sure, if you do give your piggy a bite to eat, they will definitely go for it. That might not necessarily mean it’s a good idea to keep giving them more.
Like the aforementioned toxic compounds found in chocolate, and the negative effects can kick in immediately or even a couple of hours after consumption.
So, that means if the guinea pig happens to eat a large quantity of chocolate, the chances are they might not be able to survive that, so it’s best to keep them away from it.
Who can say no to chocolate, we sure know we can’t. Your guinea pig will definitely eat it, not like they will say no to it. So, you have to be smart about this, and not give them the chance to even have a little nibble, because even that can be fatal to someone so small and fragile as them.
Here are some fun facts on Chocolate
- The world famous and fan-favorite M&Ms were made primarily for soldiers, so they can carry chocolate in extreme conditions, and the chocolate would not get ruined or go bad
- Have you ever noticed, chocolate never melts in your hands, it only melts in your mouth! How cool is that?
- Have you ever wondered why the bookstore around the corner always smells like chocolates? And it has always made you want to stay a bit longer? Well, bookstores use that to keep customers around longer, so they can go through more books, that will make them buy more books. Talk about effective sale strategies!
- Have you ever wondered where on earth you could find the biggest chocolate bar? Well, the Guinness World record is held by the UK for a bar which weighs 12.77 pounds!
- We love all sorts of chocolate, even if it is not technically considered chocolate. White chocolate for instance, is not chocolate, because it doesn’t have cocoa bean.
- If you’re wondering how much cocoa you would need to make a pound of chocolate, it would take about 400 cocoa beans.
- If you’re waiting on a tree to produce cocoa beans, it would take some time. Roughly about 5 years!
- Sure, red wine is all cool and stuff, and has 200 flavors, but chocolate is cooler, with over 600 compound flavors!
- Did you know, chocolate was once used as currency? No wonder Willy Wonka had a chocolate factory!
- The tree that makes chocolate is called Theobroma, which translates to “food of the Gods”
- Cadbury made the world’s first chocolate bar, this was way back in 1842!
- Nutella, was actually made by an accident, when an Italian chef, mixed hazelnut in chocolate to increase the yield. This was probably the only good thing invented in World War II.
Here are some Nutritional Facts on chocolate
You’re probably snacking on some chocolate, with all this chocolate talk, and wondering how many calories or sugar you’re consuming. So, we decided to break it down for you, in 100 grams of dark chocolate,
Are there any health benefits attached to giving Guinea Pigs chocolate? If yes, then what are they?
There are only a few benefits of feeding them chocolate. As we already read that they can’t digest chocolate, or any sugar, and it is harmful and lethal for them. The benefits of feeding them chocolate include antioxidants, healthy blood, and an improvement in their general immunity.
Despite these little health advantages, the negative and bad effects outweigh the good benefits. That goes to say, that you should not risk your guinea pig’s life over these few benefits, because it will still kill them.
Are there any risks attached to feeding my Guinea pig chocolates? If yes, what are they?
Very fast weight gain
As we already know these treats are loaded with a lot of sugars, carbs and a lot of calories. Not to mention a lot of fat too.
That means much like humans, these treats make us and the piglet gain a lot of weight. Which is very unhealthy because it will lead to cardiovascular problems and liver failure. Ultimately death too.
Digestive tract ruckus
Like we mentioned above, there is theobromine and sugar, which is the lethal combo. Not only will it upset the digestive process, but it will cause pain to your piglet too.
The theobromine exhibits similar characteristics such as coffee, which is a known toxic substance for guinea pigs.
Consumption of chocolate means a boosted metabolic rate, and the heart pumping faster. For humans, this would be a nice kick in the morning, to start their day, but not so much for the piglet. It can kill them!
Excretory system problems
If you go through the ingredients, you would see phosphorous, and calcium.
This causes the formation of stones in the kidney, which will lead to a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), urination with blood in it, and the process of urinating will be painful too. Over time, this will lead to kidney failure.
Would a vet recommend feeding Guinea Pigs chocolate?
The short and simple answer is no.
Like we mentioned, they might enjoy the treat, but it would almost immediately backfire, because they will start experiencing pain in the stomach, which would lead to nausea and even changes in stool. But that’s all on the surface, the real problem would begin internally.
Where issues such as heart failure, kidney failure, pre-mature death and even kidney stones are the probable and very likely to happen conditions. The vet would also recommend keeping the treat strictly for yourself, and so would we.
How much consumption of chocolate is recommended to feed Guinea pigs?
Not even an ounce of chocolate, because even that is lethal enough to kill them. If you go below that limit, that will cause illness to your pet, which will become worse over time, and death will still be the eventual end.
So, if you want your pet to live a long and healthy life, keep them away from junk food and snacks you snack on, while it may not be healthy for you, but it won’t kill you. Well, not immediately it won’t.
As far as the duration between feeding your piglet the chocolate goes, keep that to not even once in a blue moon, and we mean it.
Like we mentioned above, what you might think is little and won’t do any harm, will actually do more harm than you can imagine. So, it’s best to never feed them, ever.
What happens if a Guinea Pig eats too much chocolate?
The main substance that is toxic for guinea pigs is theobromine, and secondly caffeine. While you might enjoy the occasional cup of coffee, that could actually harm your piglet, because they don’t have a complex digestive system like we do.
And the immediate reaction after feeding them chocolate would be them feeling nauseous, they might even begin to pass unusual stool, and that would be coupled with an upset stomach, and an upset belly.
What happens next, is all internal. Since these toxic substances aren’t broken down, they start building toxicity inside. That means they can get heart failure, liver failure, kidney stones, and all that will lead up to one thing, that is death.
So, the process can be very slow, or painful, but the eventual end is the same, that ends in death for your beloved guinea pig.
What do you do if your Guinea Pig eats too much chocolate?
It will probably best to not leave your chocolate in a place where the guinea pig can attack on it. It depends on how much chocolate they have eaten.
It’s very rare for them to be okay after eating just a little, but we wouldn’t want to bank on those odds. There will still be stomach pain, and cramps that come with it too.
On the other hand, if the consumption of chocolate is large, then nausea, diarrhea and the guinea pig will have difficulty digesting anything else as well.
The best course of action would be to give them water and keep them hydrated, whilst you give them some veggies to keep the digestion process regulated. Check their stool and their general appearance and activeness, if you feel it’s not good, or not normal, then rush to your vet immediately.
Your Guinea Pig will start to show symptoms, and you would have to keep an eye out for the severity of them, and judge accordingly.
Are there any healthy alternatives I can feed my Guinea Pig?
There is a sea of treats on the market you can give to your guinea pig.
Let’s mention the healthy ones.
There are a lot of veggies you can give to your guinea pig, approximately one cup every day. The following are a few veggies you can safely give your piglet. Broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, celery, peppers, zucchini, parsnip.
The only thing you should be vary of, is the moderation of feeding them these veggies. Keep it in the middle, not too much.
The veggies to avoid would be chili peppers, potatoes and rhubarb leaves.
There are so many, that you can actually pick out the one you like, and they are as follows. Arugula, mixed greens, frisee, kale, radicchio, romaine, dandelion, spinach, cabbage and Swiss chard.
Just one thing you have to avoid, and that is iceberg.
Apart from greens and veggies, you can safely give the following to your guinea pig. Apples, kiwis, melons, oranges, pears, watermelons, grapes, berries. Just remember to only feed them fruits thrice or maximum four times a week.
You can feed them plants too, such as chickweed, dandelion, coltsfoot, white clover, mallow, marigolds, plantain, yarrow, and nasturtiums.
There are a few dangerous plants out there, and they are buttercups, lily of the valley, deadly nightshade, tulips, scarlet pimpernel, rhododendrons.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Chocolate Safe For Guinea Pigs?
Not at all, chocolate is right up there on the no-go list with a few other substances. But, if you mix two substances that are already on the no-go list, such as chocolate and caffeine in this instance, then it is a definite no brainer, that it should not be given to them. So, the short answer is no, it is not safe for them, at all.
Will Chocolate Make My Guinea Pig Sick, Is This True?
Yeah, it will definitely make your Guinea pig safe, that is to say, if it doesn’t kill them in the first place. Yes, it is THAT bad. The digestive system of a guinea pig is too basic and simple to handle something so complex like chocolate.
If your guinea pig happens to have eaten it by mistake, get in touch with your vet as soon as possible.
If Chocolate Is Bad For My Guinea Pig, Can I Feed Him White Chocolate? Is That Safe?
It has the word chocolate in it, which means no, you should not feed it to them. Just because you enjoy and love it, doesn’t mean your guinea pig has to too.
So, the answer is no, it is not safe, nor is it recommended to feed your guinea pig white chocolate.
What About Milk Chocolate, Is That Safe To Give To My Guinea Pig?
Let’s put it this way, anything that is made out of, or comes from dairy, is a no-go. That goes for vegan chocolates as well.
Chocolate has toxic substances that will kill your guinea pig, so it’s best to keep them away from it. Just like the saying goes “a stitch in time is better than nine”.
Conclusion – Can Guinea Pigs Eat Chocolate?
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Chocolate? We hope this article answered all your questions, and that you would refrain from feeding them chocolate. There are so many guinea pigs based treats and other food items that are healthy and safe, you should opt for those.
You can go for vegetables, fruits, pellets because they will offer your guinea pig a different taste, and it would keep them excited.
The thing to remember even while feeding them vegetables and fruits is, the quantity and how much you feed them.
Too much, or abuse of anything is dangerous in itself. You can feed them hay as well, and mix it up with veggies and fruits to toss up an exquisite salad. Just remember fruits are also high in sugar levels and should only be fed in moderation.