The nutty taste and crunchy texture of peanut butter are to die for. Kids and adults all go nuts for peanut butter—it makes a healthy and nutritious treat for us humans. But what about our little furry friends? Can guinea pigs eat peanut butter?
Sorry to disappoint you if you were looking for a simple yes or no answer; the answer to “can guinea pigs have peanut butter” is not so straightforward.
But fret not; in this blog, we are going to discuss all about guinea pigs and peanut butter.
Guinea Pigs and Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is America’s favorite legume—it has become an integral part of most Americans’ diet—can be found in most kitchen cupboards across the United States. While snacking on peanut butter, guinea pig owners often wonder: can guinea pigs eat peanut butter? What about peanuts? Can guinea pigs eat peanuts? Other nuts? Can guinea pigs have nuts?
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Peanut Butter?
No guinea pigs cannot eat butter—it is not really toxic to guinea pigs, but does it confer any nutritional benefits to offer to our guinea pigs. More so, peanut butter may get stuck in guinea pigs’ throats; thus, it poses a severe choking hazard to our tiny buds. Peanut butter is also brimming with sugar, unhealthy fats, and acidic content, all of which can potentially harm our guinea pigs’ sensitive stomachs.
To know the whole story, keep on reading as we dig further into the details.
Nutrient Profile of Peanut Butter
According to the USDA Food Data Central, a 100-gram serving of peanut butter contains the following:
Is Peanut Butter Bad for Guinea Pigs?
While peanut butter is not really toxic to guinea pigs, it has little to no nutritional benefits to offer to our guinea pigs. More so, the nutritional composition of peanut butter makes it a really bad treat for our little pocket pets. Below we have discussed various reasons that make peanut butter bad for guinea pigs.
High in calories
There is around 595 kcal in 100 grams of peanut butter, which is a lot for our tiny piggies. This excessive caloric intake will make our guinea pigs overweight and eventually obese. With obesity, our guinea pigs will also develop related health issues. Therefore, it is advised that we keep peanut butter jars far away from the reach of our guinea pigs.
Carbohydrates and Sugars
Peanut butter is laden with carbohydrates and sugars—100 grams of peanut butter contain 21.9 grams of carbohydrates and 3.12 grams of sugars— which make it a go-to energy snack for us humans. But unfortunately, the high sugar and carbohydrate content upset our guinea pigs’ stomachs.
Peanut butter is laden with fats—100 grams of peanut butter contain 50 grams of fats. The sensitive digestive systems of our guinea pigs cannot handle this much amount of fats and lead to the development of diarrhea and dehydration.
Many peanut butter manufacturers add artificial flavors and ad preservatives to their peanut butter recipes to make it more enticing for us humans. While these artificial flavors make peanut butter more palatable for us, it ends up making peanut butter worse for guinea pigs. Most artificial flavors and chemicals are toxic to guinea pigs.
In addition to the above-discussed health hazards of peanut butter, the sticky texture of peanut butter also poses a choking hazard to guinea pigs. Sticky peanut butter may stick in the guinea pig’s throat, making them choke.
Many peanut butter brands contain xylitol as a substitute for sugars. Unfortunately, xylitol is highly toxic to pets, including dogs, cats, and guinea pigs. Therefore, let alone peanut butter, you should not feed anything that contains xylitol to your guinea pigs.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Peanuts?
Peanuts are not toxic to guinea pigs, but our guineas cannot eat peanuts for various reasons. To begin with, peanuts do not have to confer any nutritional benefits to our guinea pigs. Second, peanuts pose a potential choking hazard to guinea pigs. More so, peanuts are laden with proteins and fat, neither of which is healthy for guinea pigs. So, guinea pigs can eat peanuts, but it would throw their health in peril. And the same goes for peanuts in any other form, i.e., boiled, salted, roasted; none is suitable for guinea pigs.
Can Guinea Pigs Have Peanut Shells?
No, guinea pigs cannot have peanut shells either. While like peanuts, their shells are not toxic to guinea pigs, they do not confer any nutritional benefit to our guinea pigs. More so, they pose a choking hazard to our guinea pigs.
Can Guinea Pigs Have Nuts?
No, guinea pigs cannot have nuts either. Like peanuts, other nuts are also high in protein, carbohydrates, and fats, which can upset the sensitive stomachs of our guinea pigs. For these reasons, nuts are not suitable for our guinea pigs.
What to Do if Your Guinea Pig Accidentally Consumes Peanut Putter?
If you have been snacking on peanut butter while your guinea pig was around, chances are he may steal a lick or two of peanut butter. Well, if your guinea has done such a thing, you need not panic. Your guinea pig will experience some tummy aches and diarrhea, but he will be alright as peanut butter is not toxic to guinea pigs.
However, you will have to be vigilant of your guinea pig—check if its stool is too loose or if he is experiencing constipation. If the symptoms persist for more than a day, you should take your guinea friend to your vet.
Final Verdict: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Peanut Butter?
No guinea pigs cannot eat peanut butter. It does not have to confer any nutritional benefits to our guinea pigs. Instead, the higher calories, carbohydrates, proteins, and sugars pose various potential health hazards to our guinea pigs. More so, artificial flavors and xylitol added to peanut butter could be toxic to guinea pigs. Therefore, we shouldn’t offer any amount of peanut butter to our guinea pigs.
Check out other guides to what guinea pigs can or cannot eat: