5 Things You Need To Know Before Giving Your Guinea Pigs Ice

Guinea pigs are a popular pet for many people. They make great company for those who live alone. It’s normal to see guinea pig owners give their guinea pigs fresh vegetables or fruits as snacks. But, a question that may have crossed your mind is “Can guinea pigs eat ice?”

Guinea pig owners shouldn’t feed their guinea pigs ice cubes, because it’s bad for their teeth, ice can be bad for their digestion, their tongue and lips can get stuck to the ice. Plus, ice isn’t as nutritious as veggies and there’s plenty of better ways to cool your little friends down in warmer weather.  

a picture of a guinea pig wondering if it's okay to eat ice

Read the following blog post to learn about five things you should know before feeding your guinea pig ice and why feeding your piggies ice isn’t a good idea.

1. Bad for Their Teeth

a tip about how guinea pigs shouldn't eat ice

Guinea pig teeth are designed to grind down their food. So, they’re meant to chew and not crunch on things like ice that can damage their teeth.

You might be thinking: “Wait, aren’t vegetables crunchy, too?”

And you’re correct.

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But, the dangerous combination of cold and hardness of the ice makes it a recipe for guinea pig tooth disaster.

When guinea pigs eat ice, it can cause their teeth to crack, chip and even break off.

This is why guinea pig owners should feed their guinea pigs fresh vegetables (like leafy greens and fresh fruit) instead of ice cubes or frozen treats.

Anything that causes teeth issues for your piggies is a big “no-no”.

2. Can Be Bad For Digestion

Too much ice can be bad for your little friend’s digestion. Guinea pigs have sensitive digestive systems.

Any major change (or shock) to the system can lead to stomach pains or even bloat.

Bloat is when your furry friends the stomach becomes filled with gas.

The extreme gas leads to loss of appetite, loss of appetite leads to your piggie not eating, and your piggie not eating will lead to death eventually – if the situation isn’t rectified.  

(We’re talking serious health issues here)

Since your little friends are at risk of bloat if they eat too much ice because it shocks their digestive systems, it’s smart to avoid giving guinea pigs large amounts of ice cubes or frozen treats.

Again, anything that causes problems with your piggie’s digestive system can lead to stomach aches, pain, bloat and death (#alloftheabove) if it isn’t remedied quickly enough.

(And believe you me, you don’t want your guinea pig to experience either of those things.)

3. Tongue/Lips Can Get Stuck To The Ice

Remember that scene in the movie A Christmas Story? You know that one where the kid gets dared to lick the frozen metal pole? And then he does it.

Yeah, well that’s what can happen to your guinea pig if you give them ice cubes to eat. Their tongue and lips can get stuck to the ice.

And, just like in A Christmas Story, it’s not a pretty sight.

If your guinea pig’s tongue or lips get stuck to ice, it can lead to serious injury for them.

(I’m talking ripped lips and tongues, folks.)

Not cool.

You can avoid guinea pig tongue injuries by not giving them ice cubes or frozen treats. And, you should never give any guinea pigs large amounts of ice for this reason either.

4. Less Nutritious Than Hay and Fresh Vegetables

When it comes to nutritional value, fresh vegetables trump ice cubes any day of the week.

Guinea pigs have to almost constantly be eating. Their digestive system needs to always be moving for them to stay healthy.

Since that’s a fact, it’s important that what we give our little friends is nourishing to their little bodies.

Stick to fresh vegetables, Vitamin C-enriched guinea pig pellets, and hay for guinea pigs, rather than ice cubes.

At the end of the day, it’s best to feed guinea pigs what they need – not just what we think they might like.

5. Better Ways To Cool Down Your Piggies

Maybe it’s summertime and you’re thinking about ways to cool down your little burritos.

I get it.

Your guinea pigs are probably feeling the heat. The best temperature of range for guinea pigs is from 65°F (18°C) to 75°F (24°C). 

But, that doesn’t mean that you should give them ice cubes to eat in an attempt to cool them down.

There are plenty of other ways for guinea pig owners to help their piggies stay cool in hot weather.

Here’s a few examples:

  • Freeze a water bottle, wrap it in a clean towel, rag or newsletter, and put it in their cage to snuggle with.
  • Cover part of their cage with a cool, damp towel. The coldness of the towel will cool the air around your fuzz spuds.
  • Keep their cages out of direct sunlight.
  • If you have a guinea pig with long Hair, consider giving your little friend a trim. The less hair your fur babies have to lug around, the cooler they’ll be.

I wrote an article with lots more ways to keep your guinea pigs cool in hot weather. Check out 13 Proven Ways To Keep Your Guinea Pigs Cool When It’s Hot.

Can I Put Ice In My Guinea Pig’s Water?

Avoid putting ice in your guinea pig’s water. It’s best to simply cool your guinea pig’s water in the refrigerator and serve it to them that way. Plus, small, slivers of ice can be a choking hazard for guinea pigs.

Do Guinea Pigs Like Cold Water?

All guinea pigs should have fresh water at all time.  But, avoid giving your guinea pigs very cold water for some of the same reasons you should avoid serving them ice cubes.

In general, guinea pigs should avoid very cold or very hot liquids. They’re very sensitive to extreme temperatures. You don’t want to give your guinea pig stomach upset or bloat.

Tap water from the faucet or cool water from the refrigerator is best for guinea pigs.

If My Guinea Pig Gets Too Hot, Can I Put My Guinea Pig In Cold Water?

Please don’t dunk your guinea pig in ice cold water if you think that he’s overheating. This is a no-no. Guinea pigs can easily get shocked from the extreme difference in temperature.

If you think that your guinea pig is overheating or might have heat stroke, make sure that you get your little friend to the vet right away. Meanwhile, to cool them down, you can place your fur baby into cool (not ice-cold) water or wrap him in a damp, cool rag.

Final Thoughts

I hope that you learned some useful information about why guinea pigs shouldn’t eat ice.

There are several reasons why guinea pig owners should not give their guinea pigs ice cubes to eat. For one, ice cubes are not as nutritious as hay, Vitamin C-enriched guinea pig pellets, and fresh fruit and veggies (in moderation). Additionally, large amounts of ice can be bad for guinea pigs’ digestion.

Furthermore, guinea pigs’ tongues and lips can get stuck to ice cubes. There are many other ways to cool down guinea pigs in hot weather, so there’s no need to resort to giving them ice cubes to eat.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.  I’d love to hear from you. 

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Do Guinea pigs fart? All about bloating – Kavee blog. (2021, May 5). Kavee USA. https://kaveecage.net/blogs/kavee-c-and-c-cage-fleece-liner-guinea-pig/do-guinea-pigs-fart-all-about-bloating

DVM, S. L. (2015). The Guinea pig handbook. Barron’s Educational Series.

Gastrointestinal disease in Guinea pigs and rabbits. (2013, February). PubMed Central (PMC). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7128126/

Petco. (2021, July 27). Guinea pig food list: What can Guinea pigs eat. Pet Supplies, Pet Food, and Pet Products | Petco. https://www.petco.com/content/petco/PetcoStore/en_US/pet-services/resource-center/food-nutrition/guinea-pig-care-diet-and-feeding-tips.html

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