Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cheerios? (The Total Truth)

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Delicious taste, nutrition overload, super crunchy, who doesn’t love some Cheerios breakfast. But can you feed them to guinea pigs? 

Technically, guinea pigs can eat plain Cheerios, but it’s not the best thing for them. Processed foods aren’t good for guinea pigs. There are healthier, more nutritious options out there that you can give your guinea pigs. But, if you do choose to give your guinea pigs Cheerios, only give it as an occasional treat. Overfeeding them Cheerios can cause more harm than good.

a guinea pig wondering if he can eat cheerios

But, is there any variety of Cheerios that are safe for guinea pigs to nibble on? Are plain Cheerios really that bad? What other cereals can guinea pigs eat, if any? What about oatmeal?

I know you can’t stand the suspense (I mean, who can?), so let’s take a deeper dive into the world of piggies and Cheerios and answer all of these questions.

An easy-to-read food chart for safe piggie foods – Buy, download, and print.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cheerios? 

a tip that explains that guinea pigs can eat cheerios as a treat but it is better to give them something else
Honestly, there’s better things you can feed your piggies. Whip out a few veggies or some herbs and use them as treats instead of Cheerios.

Yes, guinea pigs can eat plain Cheerios, but it’s not the best idea to give them processed foods. Just plain cheerios. No milk (or other dairy products), no sugar, nothing. Just cheerios.

And, I’m not saying that you should give your guinea pig a bowl of cheerios every day. In fact, you should only give them cheerios as an infrequent treat. Too much processed food isn’t good for anyone- even our furry friends.

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The amounts of certain nutrients (like calcium, salt, magnesium) in Cheerios are pretty high for piggies. Those nutrients wouldn’t harm you (or any other human). But, if your guinea pig eats too much of them, it could lead to health problems.So, take it easy on the Cheerios.

Should Guinea Pigs Eat Cheerios?

a decision tree to help people figure out if they should feed their guinea pig cheerios
Steer clear of processed foods – yes, including Cheerios – as much as possible.

Guinea pigs actually shouldn’t eat Cheerios at all. While plain Cheerios may not be toxic or poisonous to guinea pigs, that doesn’t mean they should eat them. Just because something isn’t technically bad for your guinea pigs doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good for them either.

Eating too many Cheerios can lead to obesity and other health problems (more on this later). And we all know what happens when guinea pigs get fat… their little bodies can’t handle the extra weight and they start to mouth-breathe – and end up with health problems like bumblefoot and heart disease.

Your fur babies are better off without the processed carbs, so stick to giving your guinea pigs healthier options like hay (go crazy with the hay), raw veggies, and a small amount of pellets.

Your little friends will have all the nutrients they need from those things and they’ll stay healthy – no Cheerios required.

Risks To Consider When Feeding Cheerios To Cavies

As any pet owner knows, it’s important to be careful about what you feed your furry friend. While plain Cheerios might seem harmless enough, there’s actually a few risks to consider before giving them to your little friends:

1. Additives and Preservatives

Cheerios are a processed and artificial food. This means that it has some added sugars, additives, and preservatives. These preservatives help keep cheerios fresh for a longer period of time. But…

These additives could be dangerous to your piggies. Remember, that a guinea pig’s digestive system is designed to process fresh fruits, vegetables, hays, and grasses – not processed foods with added chemicals.

So even though these preservatives are harmless to humans, they can be harmful to your cavies system.

When you give your piggies some Cheerios, remember that they are taking in some chemical contents. Preservatives and additives can cause stomach aches and other complications for your guinea pigs.

2. Digestion Problems

But did you know that this harmless-looking cereal can actually cause digestive problems in guinea pigs?

That’s right – cheerios contain high levels of sugar and sodium (at least as far as cavies are concerned), which can upset your little friends’ delicate stomach.

Eating too many Cheerios can cause your piggies to become constipated and have other digestion problems. The high fiber content in Cheerios is good for digestion. But, too much can actually have the opposite effect and be bad for your cavies’. Yep, we’re talking diarrhea, stomach pains, and gas.

And any kind of stomach upset is never a good thing for guinea pigs.

3. Overfeeding

It’s easy to overfeed Cheerios to your guinea pig.

First, they’re small and easy for them to eat. Second, your fur babies are so darn cute when they beg for more. But resist the temptation!

It’s dangerous to overfeed MOST foods to your piggies. Guinea pigs have small stomachs, and if they eat too much, they might get bloated or constipated.

Now, let’s go back to the tiny stomach thing for a second. When guinea pigs eat too much processed food, they fill up on the sugar and carbs and don’t eat enough of the important nutrients they need like hay, veggies, and pellets.

This can lead to health problems down the line – like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

So even though Cheerios might seem like a harmless treat, they can actually cause some serious health problems for your guinea pigs if your little friends eat too much of them.

So the next time your guinea pig gives you the big eyes, just remember: one or two Cheerios are all they need.

4. Cardiovascular Issues

Another problem with processed food is that it can cause inflammation. (Yes, even in guinea pigs.)

Processed foods like Cheerios come with added sugar, salt, oil, and calories (yep even the plain ones). All of these nutrients increase the chances of inflammation. When you’re inflamed, it’s easier for heart infections to take hold.

Sodium, calories, and the fat from its oil content can be harmful to your fur babies’ blood pressure, the heart, and the blood vessels.

Does eating one tiny Cheerio mean that your guinea pig is going to get heart disease? No.

But if cheerios are a regular part of their diet, then they are at an increased risk for developing heart issues problems as they get older.

5. Obesity

I’ve heard the saying, “There’s no such thing as an overweight piggie” a few times. And I think there’s some truth to that. But, ONLY if your piggie is eating a balanced, healthy diet.

Pet parents with piggies that are unnaturally heavy and chunky from eating tons of processed foods (like Cheerios) are more likely to have to deal with health problems down the line.

Just like people, guinea pigs that are obese are more likely to have heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes.

Plus, extra weight puts stress on their little legs and backs, which can lead to bumblefoot (which is a type of infection that affects the feet) or sore joints from carrying a bunch of extra weight.

While a few Cheerios won’t kill your guinea pig, it’s important to remember that these little guys can easily become overweight if you feed them too much of the wrong thing.

Just like us, guinea pigs need to eat a balanced diet in order to stay healthy. So, before you reach for the cereal box, take a moment to consider whether your guinea pig really needs the extra calories.

6. Bladder and Kidney Stones 

Too many cheerios can lead to bladder and kidney stones! While the little O’s may be low in fat and a good source of dietary fiber, they’re also high in calcium – VERY high.

And that extra calcium can put your piggies at risk for developing stones in their urinary tract.

How?

Well, when guinea pigs eat too much calcium, it can start to accumulate in their kidneys and bladder. This can cause the formation of stones (and yes, it’s as bad as it sounds).

These stone residues get stuck in the bladder and urinary tracts of your cavies. It gives your little friends urination problems and chronic pains. Intense cases of bladder stones may end up killing your guinea pigs. 

Again, this doesn’t mean that your guinea pig will definitely get kidney stones if they eat cheerios. But it does increase their chances of developing them.

7. Choking Risks

Another thing that all guinea pig owners need to be aware of: cheerios can be a choking risk for these furry little creatures.

The small, round shape of cheerios makes them tempting for guinea pigs to try to swallow whole, but their small throats make it difficult for them to eat them without choking.

If you’re worried about your guinea pig choking on cheerios, it’s best to avoid giving them Cheerios altogether.

After all, it’s not worth risking the health of your pet just for a few bites of breakfast.

Health Benefits Of Feeding Plain Cheerios To Guinea Pigs

a sarcastic quote from a guinea pig about guinea pigs eating cheerios

Plain cheerios are loaded with health benefits, but there’s also a little bit too much of a good thing.

They’re rich in calcium, vitamins, protein, dietary fiber, and other types of minerals. Here is the nutritional value of plain cheerios per 100 grams of cheerios.

  • Energy – 372 kcal (WAAAY too much for piggies, which is why large amounts of them shouldn’t be sold)
  • Calcium – 357 mg (also WAAAY too much for piggies; can you say “bladder stone city”?)
  • Protein – 12.4 g (a little bit helps , but too much isn’t great)
  • Carbohydrates – 79.8 g (way too high; they need complex carbs, not simple sugars)
  • Sugars – 4.5 g (all things considered, this amount is pretty low, so….not too bad)
  • Dietary fiber – 10.01 g (fiber is really good for them, so yay!)
  • Total lipid (fat) – 6.6 g (again, not too bad)
  • Carbs – 73.2 g (way too high; they need complex carbs, not simple sugars)
  • Iron – 28.9 mg (iron is really good for your piggie’s blood health)
  • Magnesium – 114 mg (helps with so many things, including energy production)
  • Phosphorus – 357 mg (too much can be bad for calcium absorption…and this is a lot)
  • Potassium – 633 mg (potassium helps regulate blood pressure and fluid balance)
  • Sodium – 497 mg (just like calcium and calories…WAAAY too much to be good for your guinea pigs on a regular basis)
  • Zinc – 13.4 mg (good for their immune system)
  • Vitamin C – 21.4 mg (will help keep their immune system functioning well)
  • Vitamin A – 990 mg (fantastic for your piggies’ eye health)
  • Thiamin – 1.3 mg (vitamin B1; helps with their energy production and metabolism)

Fiber: As a fiber-rich food, cheerios can help your cavies in food digestion and easier bowel movement. 

Vitamin C: Cheerios have good vitamin C content. Therefore, they are good fruit alternatives in this regard. Amongst other things, vitamin C helps strengthen your cavies immune system

Iron: Cheerios are also high in iron content. Iron helps your cavies have good blood content

Zero Gluten: Cavies may develop stomach aches, bloating, gasses and diarrhea from eating food with gluten content. Almost every manufactured cereal has gluten in them. Fortunately, cheerios are an exception. 

Planning Your Piggie's

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Our Wheekly Meal planner is designed to make it simple and fun for you

to create balanced and healthy

meals for your furry friends -

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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Honey Nut Cheerios?

The answer to this question is a resounding no. Honey Nut Cheerios are not safe for guinea pigs to eat. They’ll do a lot more harm than good.

Why?

Because they’re REALLY high in sugar and calories – much, much higher than plain Cheerios. However, this doesn’t mean that they should be eating honey nut cheerios.

All the extra sugar and salt in Honey Nut Cheerios can do a lot of damage (like increased blood pressure and blood sugar levels) and isn’t good for their overall health.

Plus, if the Cheerios are processed (which they definitely are) then it isn’t really healthy for them to be eating it.

So, if you want to give your guinea pig a treat, stick to plain Cheerios.

(P.S. I don’t really recommend feeding plain Cheerios to your piggies, because they’re a processed food. But, plain Cheerios are the lesser of the two evils. #justsayin’)

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Multigrain Cheerios?

If it isn’t a plain Cheerio, then DON’T give it to your piggies. Even “multigrain” Cheerios have way too much sugar for guinea pigs to eat on the regular.

It’s important to remember that not all varieties of Cheerios are created equal. While plain Cheerios are a perfectly healthy snack for guinea pigs, the same cannot be said for Multigrain Cheerios.

Guinea pigs definitely shouldn’t eat Multigrain Cheerios. Don’t let the name “multigrain” fool you into thinking that they’re good for your piggies – they’re not.

Multigrain Cheerios have an excess sugar content, an excess fiber content, and tons of calories. They also contain a lot of unhealthy additives and preservatives.

They’re basically just candy disguised as breakfast cereal, and your guinea pigs should definitely stay away from them.

The sugar and salt content can also do a lot of damage to your guinea pigs’ health, and the calories are also through the roof, which isn’t good for your little friends.

Plus, like Honey Nut Cheerios, Multigrain Cheerios are processed – and processed foods are never as healthy as whole foods.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Plain Cheerios As A Treat?

Yes, guinea pigs can technically eat plain Cheerios as a treat. But, I have to mention again that all processed foods should be avoided as much as possible. (Yep, even Cheerios)

Still, plain cheerios are the best substitute for honey nut and multigrain cereals. Honey nut and multigrain cereals have more sugar and calories than plain cheerios. As a result, the plain variety a safer choice for your guinea pigs. Just don’t go crazy with the portion sizes.

Overfeeding any type of processed food (including plain Cheerios) can be harmful to your guinea pigs. So, only feed them this type of food every once in a while.

(And honestly? It’s probably better to avoid the Cheerios completely and give your guinea pigs some fresh fruits or vegetables instead.)

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cheerios Every Day?

No, it’s not safe for guinea pigs to eat Cheerios every day. Just like any other type of processed, high calorie food, overfeeding cheerios can be harmful to your guinea pig’s health.

It’s a good idea to mix up their diet and give them fresh fruits and vegetables as well as occasional treats like cheerios (or no Cheerios at all and instead give them a small fruit treat; #justsayin’). That way, they’ll get the nutrients they need without overloading on sugar and calories.

If you shove junk food down their throats every day, they’re going to become obese and develop all sorts of health problems, like:

  • Bladder stones and sludges
  • Chronic bloating
  • Gas, stooling, and diarrhea
  • Obesity and weight gain
  • Stomach pain
  • Diabetes
  • Death. 

You wouldn’t want your cavies to die from eating too many cheerios, would you?

Of course not.

So, please watch out how much processed food you’re giving them and divide it out accordingly.

How Often Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cheerios?

One or two Cheerios can be fed to guinea pigs once in a week or, at most, two times. Anything more than two times a week is dangerous to your cavies. So, please be careful!

How Many Cheerios Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

As a rule of thumb, less is more when it comes to guinea pigs eating Cheerios. One or two cheerios per serving is more than enough for a healthy, adult guinea pig. You don’t have to fill their feeding bowl with Cheerios. Otherwise, you’re asking for trouble – health

Can Baby Guinea Pigs Eat Cheerios?

No, baby guinea pigs shouldn’t eat Cheerios. They’re still young and their digestive are still developing the good bacteria that it needs to stay balanced and healthy.

Introducing processed, sugary foods with tons of calories at this early stay of development might mess up their developing gut microbiome and could cause long-term problems like obesity, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions.

So, keep your baby guinea pigs away from Cheerios – and all processed foods for that matter – until they’re a bit older.

At this point, all they need is a diet of hay, water, and fresh veggies. Once they’re older – around 6 months old – you can start giving them Cheerios as a occasional treat.

Can Pregnant Guinea Pigs Eat Cheerios?

No, it’s not safe for pregnant guinea pigs to eat Cheerios – not even the plain variety.

If you have a fur baby that’s pregnant, it’s important to stick to a diet of:

  • Timothy hays
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Pellets

Processed foods – even plain Cheerios – can be harmful to both the mommy guinea pig and her unborn babies.

And I know you love your guinea pigs and only want what’s best for them. So, please avoid giving them Cheerios – or any other processed food – while they’re pregnant.

Do Guinea Pigs Like Cheerios?

Typically, guinea pigs like Cheerios. As a general rule, crunchy foods are popular with cavies. But, just because they like something, doesn’t mean it’s good for them. So, please be mindful of how often you’re giving them Cheerios as a treat.

While guinea pigs might like the taste of Cheerios, that doesn’t mean they should have them every day. Remember, too much of anything – even something healthy – can be bad for them. So, please be careful and only give them Cheerios as a occasional treat.

Do Guinea Pigs Need Cheerios?

No, guinea pigs don’t need Cheerios. They can live quite happily without them. In fact, they’d probably be better off without them.

What Happens If My Guinea Pig Eats Cheerios By Accident?

Cheerios aren’t poisonous. If your guinea pigs eat a few Cheerios by accident , they should be fine. Just keep an eye on them. If you notice any changes in their behavior or appetite, please contact your veterinarian right away.

Remember, if your piggies eat a lot of Cheerios – more than a few – it could cause problems like:

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Indigestion

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Grains?

No, guinea pigs shouldn’t eat grains. As a general rule, wheat, barley, oats, and other grains are hard for cavies to digest. They can cause problems like bloating, gas, and diarrhea. So, it’s best to avoid them altogether. It’s better if you stick to hay, fresh veggies, and pellets when it comes to feeding your guinea pigs.  

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Whole Wheat Bread?

As a general rule of thumb, guinea pigs shouldn’t eat whole wheat bread. It’s not toxic or poisonous, but it’s not the best food for them either.

Whole wheat bread is high in carbs and calories. It can also be hard for them to digest, because it’s a processed food. Plus, whole wheat bread can clump and stick to your guinea pig’s mouth – which makes it a choking hazard. (Yikes!) So, it’s best if you avoid giving it to your guinea pigs altogether.

Planning Your Piggie's

Meals Just Got A LOT Easier!

Our Wheekly Meal planner is designed to make it simple and fun for you

to create balanced and healthy

meals for your furry friends -

and they'll love you for it!

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Final Thoughts

Now you know the answer to the question: can guinea pigs eat Cheerios?The short answer is yes – but only as an occasional treat. (And I don’t really recommend Cheerios at all, but there are some pet parents out there who like to give them to their piggies on occasion.)

If you do decide to give your guinea pigs Cheerios, please be careful. Since Cheerios are a processed food, they’re more likely to cause indigestion, gas, and other digestive problems.

So, it’s important to keep an eye on your guinea pigs after they eat them. If you notice any changes in their behavior or appetite, please contact your veterinarian right away.

https://academic.oup.com/jn/article-abstract/105/2/240/4768685?redirectedFrom=fulltext&login=false

Cheerios (Plain): FoodData central. (n.d.). FoodData Central. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1101702/nutrients

HoneyNut Cheerios: FoodData central. (n.d.). FoodData Central. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/610652/nutrients

Nutrient requirements of the Guinea pig – Nutrient requirements of laboratory animals – NCBI bookshelf. (n.d.). National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK231932/

Small Pet Select U.S. (2017, September 12). 15 things Guinea pigs shouldn’t eathttps://shop.smallpetselect.com/pages/15-things-guinea-pigs-shouldnt-eat

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