Can Guinea Pigs Eat Pickles? (Explained Here)

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Guinea pigs love eating vegetables. And while there are plenty of vegetables that are safe for them to eat, there are some things that guinea pigs simply cannot tolerate – like pickles.

As a general rule, guinea pig shouldn’t eat pickles – their high acid and sugar content makes them dangerous for guinea pigs. Guinea pigs don’t do well with foods with a high sodium content – they’ll end up with serious health issues. That means that if you give them pickles, they’ll likely end up with diarrhea, high blood pressure, dehydration, and stomach pain. 

Some people may claim that their guinea pig enjoy pickles, but the fact is that pickles aren’t good for cavies. If you want your guinea pig to have a healthy diet, then avoid giving them pickled, marinated, or other salty foods.

a picture of a brown and white guinea pig wondering if he can eat pickles

Keep reading to learn more about why pickles are so dangerous for guinea pigs to eat, what other dangerous foods should be avoided, and what veggies and fruits you should feed to your little friends instead.

Why Are Pickles Bad For Guinea Pigs?

a decision tree used to help people figure out if they should feed their guinea pig pickles
Bottom line? Avoid feeding your guinea pigs pickles – like they’re the plague.

Guinea pigs shouldn’t eat pickles, because they’re high in sodium and acid.

Pickles are made by making a salty or acidic liquid and then by sliding fresh fruits or vegetables into it. They’re left there until they’re not raw and can’t spoil. People usually make cucumber pickles using vinegar and salt.

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The high salt and acid content of pickles have negative effects on cavies.

For one, the high salt can cause high blood pressure and bloating in cavies. The acid can also give them acid reflux, stomach aches, mouth sores, and other problems.

Are Pickles Poisonous For Guinea Pigs?

Pickles aren’t poisonous to guinea pigs. But, they’re still not good for cavies to eat. When it comes down to it, the high salt and acid content can cause some serious health problems, like dehydration, high blood pressure, and stomach pain.

Guinea pigs have sensitive digestive systems already. It’s a bad idea to give them foods that can upset their stomachs and make them sick.

Can Guinea Pigs Drink Pickle Juice?

a tip reminding people that guinea pigs shouldn't drink pickle juice
Just stick to water.

No, guinea pigs shouldn’t drink pickle juice. It’s basically pure, unfiltered acid and salt, so it can cause some serious health problems.

Stick to giving your little friends fresh water instead of juice – pickle juice or otherwise. If you don’t, you’re putting your little friends at risk for mouth sores, high blood pressure, and other issues.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Dill Pickles?

Since dill pickles are marinated in vinegar, they can upset guinea pig’s stomachs. They can cause bloating and acid reflux, so you should avoid giving them to your pet cavies.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Bread And Butter Pickles?

Bread and butter pickles are made from cucumbers that have been sliced thin and then put in a mixture of vinegar, sugar, and spices.

Because of the added vinegar and sugar, guinea pigs can have the same problems with bread and butter pickles as they can with dill pickles.

So, don’t feed your cavies dill pickles.

Can I Give My Guinea Pig Pickled Beets?

Pickled beets are usually made by cooking beets in vinegar and water.

Since they’re cooked in vinegar, beets can cause stomach problems for guinea pigs. They can can cause bloating, high blood pressure and acid reflux.

You can give your guinea pig raw beets – they’re perfectly safe to eat in moderation. Just make sure you clean them thoroughly before feeding them to your pets.

Can I Give My Guinea Pig Pickled Onions?

Eating pickled onions can also cause stomach problems for guinea pigs, so they definitely shouldn’t eat them. The high acid and salt content can cause bloating, diarrhea, mouth sores and other health problems.

Can I Give My Guinea Pig Gherkins?

Gherkins are cucumbers that have been cut into small pieces and then pickled in vinegar.

Just like with the other pickled veggies, the high acid and salt content can cause health problems for guinea pigs.

Avoid giving your cavies gherkins, or any other type of pickled cucumber.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Sweet Pickles?

Don’t let the name fool you. Sweet pickles aren’t much different than regular pickles. The high vinegar content with all the extra sugar (sweet pickles?) isn’t good for guinea pigs.

Avoid giving your cavies sweet pickles, because they can cause the same problems as regular pickles – mouth sores, stomach pain, high blood pressure, and more.

The bottom line is that you should avoid giving your little friends any type of pickled vegetable. The high salt and acid content can cause a variety of health problems for them.

Stick to fresh fruits and vegetables, which are healthy for both you and your pet cavies.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Relish?

Relish is made from pickled cucumbers and vegetables, so it can cause the same health problems for guinea pigs as other pickled veggies can.

Avoid giving your cavies relish. You can give them raw or cooked vegetables instead – they’re safe to eat in moderation.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Pickle Chips?

Guinea pigs shouldn’t eat any sort of human junk food – and that includes pickle chips. Their digestive systems are sensitive and aren’t designed to handle processed foods.

Just like with other pickled vegetables, the high salt and acid content can cause health problems for your fur babies.

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Can Baby Guinea Pigs Eat Pickles?

Due to the high salt and acid content, baby guinea pigs shouldn’t eat pickles.  It’s not a good food for them.  Stick to fresh vegetables instead.

Can Pregnant Guinea Pigs Eat Pickles? 

Pregnant guinea pigs shouldn’t eat pickles.  It’s certain to upset her stomach, cause acid reflux and a bunch of other health issues.

What Other Dangerous Foods Should Guinea Pigs Avoid?

Along with pickles, there are other foods that piggies should avoid. Many of these can cause even more serious health problems, like kidney failure, bloat, bladder stones, obesity, and…

Even death depending on how much of the dangerous food your little friends eat.

Let’s take a look at what vegetables should be avoided first.

Dangerous Fruits

There’s an element of risk in any sort of fruit that you give your cavies. Typically, if you just make sure that you don’t overfeed the fruit and make sure it’s free of pesticides and chemicals, you can avoid any problems.

But, you sometimes have to look out for specific things or specific fruits that can be dangerous for your guinea pigs.

Some of the most dangerous fruits for guinea pigs include:

  • Tomatoes: Not the fruit, but the stems and leaves. Typically, cavies can eat the “scraps” and stems of many fruits. But, in this case, tomato leaves are actually poisonous to piggies.
  • Fruit seeds: Most fruits seeds are a choking hazard to your little friends, and can also cause intestinal blockages.
  • Lemon: There’s a crazy high amount of citric acid in lemons. This can cause stomach problems and other health issues for cavies. Some pet parents give a little bit of lemon to their cavies, but I definitely recommend that you don’t make a habit out of it.
  • Prunes: There’s so much sugar in prunes that there’s really no point in giving them to your cavies. They’re likely to make them overweight and give them stomach issues (like diarrhea) from the extra sugar.
  • Avocado: This fruit has a high fat content and can cause obesity in guinea pigs – especially if you overfeed it. Plus, the pit is a serious chocking hazard.

These are just a few of the most dangerous fruits for piggies – make sure you avoid giving them any of these.

Dangerous Vegetables

Along with fruits, there are also some vegetables that can be dangerous for cavies- especially if they eat a lot of them.

Some of the most dangerous vegetables include:

  • Raw potatoes and potato leaves: These are actually poisonous to your fuzz spuds and can kill your little friends. Plus, they’re high in starch and other things that aren’t heathy for cavies.
  • Rhubarb and rhubarb leaves: This is another poisonous vegetable that your little friends should stay away from.
  • Onions, leeks, and shallots: Onions can cause all sorts of problems for cavies like diarrhea, and even death in some cases. Actually, most produce that comes from a bulb should be avoided.
  • Iceberg lettuce: This isn’t a poisonous vegetable, but it’s so low in nutritional value that if you made it a daily staple in your piggie’s diet, they’d end up malnourished.
  • Garlic: Garlic can cause stomach upset and other health problems for your furry friends.

Like I said before, there are many more harmful vegetables for guinea pigs. Make sure you stay away from these, and keep in mind that some can be deadly to your little friends if they eat enough (heck, even any) of them.

Whoa! Is There Anything Else I Should Avoid Feeding My Guinea Pigs?

It’s funny that you should ask, but there’s a few other things that you should avoid giving your guinea pigs, as well.

  • Alcohol: This one’s pretty self explanatory – alcohol can kill your furry friends.
  • Products with caffeine: This includes coffee, tea, and other caffeine-rich items. (I’m looking at you Coca-Cola). The caffeine will make your little friends jittery and can even cause heart problems if they eat (or drink) it.
  • Nuts: Nuts aren’t poisonous to cavies but their high fat content makes them an unhealthy option for them. Plus, they’re a choking hazard.
  • Seasonings: Seasonings like salt and pepper are unnecessary for guinea pigs and can actually cause health problems.
  • Dairy products: Your fur babies can’t digest dairy products. Their digestive systems are designed to process lactose. So giving them milk or cheese can cause some serious stomach issues.
  • Meat: Cavies are herbivores. That means that all meats are a big no-no. Their bodies literally can’t process nutrients from any meats that you give them. And you’d also be putting them at risk for serious digestive illnesses.
  • Human junk food: Cakes, cookies, sweets, and other human junk food might taste good to us, but they’re terrible for your piggies. They can cause obesity and a bunch of other health problems. You can actually end up making your piggies malnourished by getting them used to eating these kinds of foods.

What’s A Good Alternative To Pickles?

If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to pickles, there are plenty of options out there. Some good produce choices for guinea pigs include:

  • Carrots: These are high in Vitamin A and other important nutrients. Vitamin A is good for their eyesight. But, make sure that you don’t feed your little friends too much of this crunchy treat. The sugar content is pretty high for a veggies.
  • Cucumbers: The water content is a bit high, but cucumbers are a good source of Vitamin C, fiber, Vitamin K and other essential nutrients for guinea pigs.
  • Zucchini: Like cucumbers, zucchinis are a good source of Vitamin C and other nutrients.

There you have it – a list of safe vegetables for your furry friends to enjoy – that can replace pickles. Just make sure that you avoid the vegetables I mentioned earlier that can be harmful or even deadly to your guinea pigs.

What’s An Ideal Diet For A Guinea Pig?

Before we dive into the ideal, healthy diet for a guinea pig, there’s a few things you need to know about their nutritional needs. Guinea pigs:

  • Are herbivores. Cavies eat plants, not meat. They are herbivores, which means they only eat plants.
  • Can be picky eaters. Some animals are very selective about what they eat. It is your job as a pet parent to figure out what they do or don’t like.
  • Require a balanced diet. A balanced diet for your fur babies is 80% hay, 15% fresh vegetables (a few fruits), and 5% pellets.
  • Need vitamin C. Cavies don’t make their own Vitamin C-just like us. So we have to make sure they get a good does of Vitamin C in their diet.
  • Have different dietary needs. You might need to adjust the number of items in your guinea pig’s cage depending on their age, environment, health, etc. If you’re not sure what to do, always contact your guinea pig’s vet.

Now, that we have the covered. Let’s look at the four main elements that every piggie needs to have in their diet.

1. Water

Your guinea pig needs access to clean, fresh water at all times. A good way to do this is by installing a water bottle in their cage.

When it comes to what kind of water you should give them, just avoid giving your furry friends distilled or softened water. These waters can actually be harmful to them because they’re missing essential minerals.

If you can’t find a drinkable water source for your guinea pig, your next best option is to start giving them bottled spring or purified water instead. Just make sure it has all of the essential minerals and vitamins they need to stay healthy.

2. Hay

Hay is the foundation of every guinea pig’s diet. They can eat unlimited amounts of hay, so it’s important to make sure you have a steady supply available at all times.

As we discussed earlier, there are several different types of hay that your can give your little fur ball: Timothy Hay, Orchard Grass Hay or Oat Hay.

Whichever hay you choose, make sure it’s fresh and high quality. You can tell if the hay is fresh by checking for moisture content and color. The hay should be green and have a sweet smell to it.

If it’s brown or dry, then it’s not fresh and you should avoid giving it to your little friends.

There’s no such thing as too much hay, so go ahead and feed your piggies as much as they can eat.

3. Fresh Produce

Fresh produce is the third part of a balanced diet for guinea pigs. They can eat different types of fresh fruits and vegetables such as celery, radicchio, apples, banana peels and many more.

Here’s some key things to remember:

  • Only feed a cup of produce at a day.
  • Make sure that the cup is mostly made up of leafy veggies – high in Vitamin C.
  • Buy organic produce when you can.
  • Washes all produce before giving it to your piggy.
  • Make sure the veggies are cut into small pieces so they can easily munch on them.

4. Guinea Pig Pellets

Last, but not least, cavies need a small amount of pellets in their diet. Pellets are an important source of protein, vitamins and minerals for your furry friends.

Just like with fresh produce, make sure you only give them a limited number of pellets each day-about a tablespoon is sufficient.

Also, make sure to choose a high-quality pellet that meets your guinea pig’s nutritional needs.

And there you have it! The four main food groups that every guinea pig needs in their diet. As long as you provide them with a balanced diet of hay, fresh produce, water and pellets, they’ll be healthy and happy.

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 -

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FREE

Things To Remember About Guinea Pigs And Pickles

When it comes down to it, pickles aren’t the best choice for a guinea pig’s diet.

The high salt and acid content can cause bloating, stomach ache and other health problems.

All marinated or pickled veggies should be avoided, including cucumbers, peppers and carrots.

But, there’s also a number of other foods that you should steer clear of when it comes to your cavies like: dairy products, processed foods, sugary snacks and caffeine.

Don’t worry, you can still give your fur babies a healthy and well-rounded diet. Just make sure to stick to the basics: water, hay, fresh produce and pellets.

And always talk with a vet (correction: a cavy savvy vet) if you have any questions or concerns about their diet.

Guinea pig feeding. (n.d.). The Humane Society of the United States. Retrieved February 13, 2022, from https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/guinea-pig-feeding

National Research Council (US) Subcommittee on Laboratory Animal Nutrition. (1995). Nutrient requirements of the guinea pig. National Academies Press.

Pickles, Kosher, Dill: FoodData central. (n.d.). Usda.Gov. Retrieved February 13, 2022, from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/324653/nutrients

Riggs, N. (2019, October 11). Do guinea pigs need salt licks? No. No they don’t. Small Pet Select Blogs. https://smallpetselect.com/do-guinea-pigs-need-salt-licks/

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