Oats are widely used as a breakfast snack throughout the world. If you have oats and cereals for breakfast, you might wonder if your pet guinea pig can have it too.
Guinea pigs require a balanced diet; like us, guinea pigs also need a powerful snack in the morning. So, what about oats for guinea pigs? Can guinea pigs eat oats?
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Oats?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat oats. Oats contain a significantly high amount of carbohydrates, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and other nutrients.
Although it might seem good to you, the high concentration of these nutrients in your pet’s diet is very bad for them, specifically the phosphorus and carbohydrate content.
When served to normal guinea pigs, they will put on a lot of weight and become inactive and less playful. In addition, the phosphorus in oats will lead to urinary issues in guinea pigs. On the contrary, if served to ill and underweight piggies, it will be significantly beneficial for them.
Due to the high nutritional values of oats, even when feeding them as a support supplement for ill guinea pigs, you shouldn’t overdo it. Only a small amount is more than enough for them and there are other healthy alternatives that you can feed them instead.
Continue reading to find out more about oats and piggies, including the benefits and risks of feeding oats to guinea pigs.
Nutrition Facts Of Oats: Can guinea pigs eat oats?
Before we get into the details, let’s first go through the nutrition facts of oats. Here’s an insight into it.
Keep in mind, the nutritional values are based on a 100 gram serving of oats.
|Nutrients||Amount per 100g|
Are Oats Good For Guinea Pigs?
Guinea pigs are very sensitive animals and require special attention when it comes to their diet. Considering the nutrient content of oats, are they good for guinea pigs
Unfortunately, no. Oats are not good for healthy guinea pigs. As a general rule, you should avoid feeding them oats. This is because the high calorie and nutrient content will lead to excessive weight gain in your pet piggy.
In addition to this, it will also lead to urinary complications, and no pet owner would want that. You can only feed your pet oats when your vet says so (mostly in the cases of underweight guinea pigs). In that case, only small amounts are considered safe for your pet piggy.
Are Oats Bad For Guinea Pigs?
Oats are generally classified as grains. Grains are a form of food that does not go well with the sensitive nature of a guinea pig. They are very difficult to digest. Since they stress your pet’s digestive system, your pet will suffer from painful health complications like diarrhea.
Even when they get digested, a large number of calories and nutrients are introduced to your pet’s body. As a result, it will lead to obesity. Yes, you read that correctly. Obesity is a serious health concern for guinea pigs since it is a gateway to more severe health complications like diabetes.
Based on this, you should avoid feeding your pet oats and never make it a part of your pet’s main diet.
Don’t worry, if your pet eats small amounts of oats (just to taste) it will do no harm. So, you shouldn’t be concerned about the accidental consumption of oats.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Oat Flour?
Oat flour is rich in dietary fiber. Now, you may assume that oat flour is safe for guinea pigs, because it contains dietary fibers. But unfortunately, that is not the case.
Guinea pigs cannot eat oat flour. This is because guinea pigs already have enough fibers in their diet. Feeding them oat flour will simply introduce their sensitive bodies to an excess of fibers. As result of these excess fibers, it will lead to painful digestion of food and loose stool.
In addition, it will lead to flatulence and painful cramps.
This will put your pet in a lot of physical discomforts and make your pet uneasy. No pet deserves this, and you should avoid feeding your pet oat flour.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Honey Bunches Of Oats?
The short answer is no. Guinea pigs cannot eat honey bunches of oats and there are two reasons to this.
- Honey bunches of oats is a cereal brand. These are intended for humans and not for guinea pigs so you shouldn’t feed them to your pet guinea pigs. There are other guinea pig intended snacks and you should get them instead.
- The second reason why you should not feed your pet honey bunches of oats is that they contain way too many additives for a guinea pig’s body. Oats are not healthy for guinea pigs as it is, and the additional ingredients in honey bunches of oats make them even more harmful for your pet guinea pig.
This will further increase the risk of your pet getting sick so they’re certainly not worth the risk. You should only be serving plain oats to your pet piggy, which is on your vet’s recommendation.
Without your vet’s approval, you shouldn’t feed your pet any form of oats.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Oat Bran?
Unfortunately, oat bran is also not safe for your pet guinea pig. Oat bran is basically the outer shell or layer of oats. Despite being just the skin part, it still contains a higher number of proteins and fibers than the actual oats.
Due to this, it poses an even more severe threat to your pet’s health and should be avoided at all costs.
Surprisingly, oat bran is also a choking hazard for your pet. Yes, this is in fact correct! Guinea pigs can choke on them. So, this is another reason why you should steer away from oat bran!
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Oat Sprays?
Oat sprays are also made up of oats. While guinea pig owners usually serve oat sprays to their pets as an occasional treat, they still are not considered safe for them.
Considering what we know about oats and their effect on guinea pigs, it is wise to not feed them oat sprays even in small amounts.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Oat Flakes?
The short answer is, No. Oat flakes too, are bad for your furry little one. As mentioned earlier, guinea pigs are sensitive cavies. Oat flakes contain way too much phosphorus for your pet’s body to process it.
Your pet’s primary diet has enough phosphorous to meet its dietary needs. Feeding him or her oat flakes will result in an imbalance of nutrients in your pet’s body, including a higher dose of phosphorus.
As a result of this nutrient imbalance, your pet will most likely develop painful kidney conditions, thus leading to the formation of kidney and bladder stones.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Oat Grass?
Yes, absolutely! Guinea pigs can eat oat grass; after all it is a form of grass. Oat grass is also referred to as oat hay, and it is perfectly fine for your pet friend.
Feeding oat hay or oat grass to your pet guinea pig will allow you to bring a variation in your pet’s diet. It has a different taste than ordinary grass/hay and will allow your guinea pig’s taste buds to experience a new hay flavor.
Oat hay can be very beneficial for your guinea pigs, specifically if your pet is underweight and requires a boost to gain some weight. Furthermore, you should also be careful when it comes to the quality of the hay, you’re feeding your pet.
On a side note, here are some fun facts about oat hay:
- Some guinea pigs are allergic to their ordinary hay, also referred to as timothy hay. If your pet is one of those piggies, oat hay can be an alternative of timothy hay for your furry friend. Since hay is a crucial element of a guinea pig’s diet, oat hay will serve this purpose instead of timothy hay.
- Oat hay allows you to add extra roughage to your pet’s diet.
- Oat hay is also an excellent source of fibers so your pet’s digestive system will also get a boost from it.
- Oat hay is rich in nutrients including proteins, so it will help both adult and young guinea pigs in terms of their physical well-being.
Are Oats Healthy For Guinea Pigs?
Yes, oats are very healthy for guinea pigs. The key point here is that oats are only safe for ill, physically weak, and growing guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs that are already healthy and in the ideal physical shape should never be served oats as it will take a toll on their health. More on this is discussed in the next part of this article.
Weak and sick guinea pigs can enjoy oats but no more than just a few grains. It will be more than enough for them. Here’s an insight into what benefits your sick guinea pig can receive from eating oats.
Serves as a weight gain supplement:
If your pig is skinny, underweight, and not much fond of eating, feeding him or her oats will be an excellent treat. Sprinkling a few oats on your pet’s favorite meals will serve as a weight gain supplement for your little one and help it increase its weight to normal levels.
Similarly, if you have a sick guinea pig and suffering from major health complications like cancer, oats will be an excellent option in such cases as well.
Cancer, unfortunately, messes up the appetite of guinea pigs, and they simply refuse to eat, which drastically lowers their weight. In cases like this, you should make oats a part of your pet’s diet.
Keep in mind, that you will have to consult with your local vet for the best course of action. You should not give your pet piggy oats without getting your vet’s approval first, no matter how weak your guinea pig is.
Leads to a shiny and thicker coat:
There are certain diseases that directly affect the skin of your furry friend. It leads to patches and loss of fur, which looks really bad.
Now, fortunately, oats can be very beneficial in improving your pet’s skin condition in such cases.
When speaking to your vet regarding the patches, you should consult with them and consider oats as an option for improving skin conditions.
Even moderate servings of oats can yield positive results and allow your pet piggy to regrow its fur and hair. In fact, with just a few servings of oats, you will see visible results.
3 Prominent Dangers Of Oats To Guinea Pigs:
By now, it is clear that oats are bad for healthy guinea pigs and good for sick guinea pigs. But how bad are oats for healthy guinea pigs? Here is a detailed insight into this to help you understand why you should never feed oats to your pet piggy.
Increased risk of obesity:
As you already know, oats are very rich in nutrients, including high amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, and calories. It might not be much for us humans, but for guinea pigs, it is way more than their allowed daily limits.
A high amount of carbs and calories in a guinea pig’s diet is the main reason why guinea pigs become obese and put on more weight than normal limits.
When your guinea pig becomes obese, he or she will likely become less active and sleepy, which will lead to more severe health complications like heart issues and diabetes.
Furthermore, the overall metabolism of your guinea pig will also be affected as a result of oat intake. Based on this, it is best to avoid feeding oats to healthy guinea pigs who are of normal weight.
Oats contain a good amount of calcium and phosphorus. Generally, calcium is considered good for young guinea pigs, but that is not the case here. The amount of calcium and phosphorus is way higher than the allowed limits.
If you feed your guinea pig oats, the calcium and phosphorus content will build up inside the kidneys and bladder of your pet friend in the form of kidney and urinary stones.
This will lead to serious physical health issues like painful urination, blood in the urine, and other urinary tract complications.
In fact, if these complications are left untreated, it may even end up being fatal for your poor little piggy. So, if you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it is best to take your pet to the local vet immediately to begin the treatment process.
Oats are rich in fibers. Fibers are good for guinea pigs as long as they are in small amounts. Since oats contain a high number of fibers, it will lead to digestive complications like irregular bowel movements and tummy aches.
It will also make digestion of food painful for your pet piggy and lead to loss of stool. All of these are physically draining for guinea pigs and will make them very weak.
Frequently Asked Questions: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Oats?
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Oat Hay?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat oat hay. Oat hay is perfectly safe for your furry friend and can even be an alternative to timothy hay for your little one.
Oat hay is also recommended for those guinea pigs that do not have a liking for timothy hay and turn their heads around every time they are served timothy hay.
So, in those cases, oat hay can be your friend as it will help meet your pet piggy’s hay requirements.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Raw Oats?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat raw oats with ease. But due to the risks associated with the nutritional content of oats, it is certainly not recommended for guinea pigs to eat raw oats. Or else, your pet will be in miserable health and no pet owner would want that.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Quaker Oats?
Unfortunately, no. Guinea pigs cannot eat Quaker oats. Quaker oats are just branded oats and there is no difference between Quaker and other brands of oaks. As long as you have a healthy guinea pig, you shouldn’t be feeding him or her oats of any kind.
However, if you have a sick and underweight guinea pig, you can feed him/her small amounts of quaker oats after consulting with your local vet.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Porridge Oats?
Porridge oats are very fattening. When fed to a normal healthy guinea pig, it will likely put on excess weight and become chubby. It will lead to even more severe health complications so you shouldn’t feed porridge oats to your furry friend.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Dried Oatmeal?
Dried oatmeal has the same concentration of nutrients as regular oats. They have slightly lesser water content, and that’s all. Despite the lower water content, they still are unsafe for guinea pigs due to the amount of phosphorus and calcium in dried oatmeal.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Rolled Oats?
No, rolled oats are unsafe for guinea pigs and should never be fed to them. If fed, your pet will have to suffer from the consequences of the nutrient imbalance in their diets.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Beet Oats?
No, beet oats are also a big no go for guinea pigs, mainly due to the calorie content of beet oats.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Plain Oats?
Plain oats should not be fed to healthy guinea pigs. However, if you have a sick and weak guinea pig that needs a nutrient supplement, plain oats will be ideal for them.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Old Fashioned Oats?
Old-fashioned oats are mainly grainy and have a relatively higher number of grains. They aren’t safe for guinea pigs.
Even when you serve them to guinea pigs, they will most likely run in the opposite direction. Guinea pigs do not like old-fashioned oats so you shouldn’t be worried about accidental consumption.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Oatmeal?
Since oatmeal is also derived from oat and is basically a form of oats, they too, are unsafe for guinea pigs. So, no, guinea pigs cannot eat oatmeal.
Conclusion: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Oats?
Guinea pigs cannot eat oats. This is primarily because of oats’ high number of calories and nutrients, specifically the calcium and phosphorus content.
Phosphorus, when consumed by healthy guinea pigs, lead to a build-up of kidney and bladder stones. Furthermore, oats will also make your pet significantly obese if fed frequently.
The only scenario where you can feed your guinea pig oats is when your pet piggy is sick, weak, or suffering from a physically weakening disease like cancer. Only in such cases, will it be beneficial for your pet guinea pig. Other than that, you should avoid feeding your pet oats.