Oats, also known as common oats are a type of cereal grain that comes from the family Poaceae (grass). The seed of the grain is the edible part of this oat grass, and this is what is turned into various types of oats for both human and pet consumption. Moreover, they are whole-grain cereal that is a popular healthy breakfast choice for people globally. These are naturally fed to livestock but are rolled, crushed, ground, or steel-cut for human consumption.
Oatmeal helps in regulating weight by making you feel fuller. It does this by decreasing the speed of emptying the stomach and spiking up the production of the satiety hormone PYY in humans. It also contains other various beneficial nutrients like fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and so on. However, can guinea pigs eat oats? Do guinea pigs have any beneficial nutrients it offers to guinea pigs? Continue reading this article to find out about the answers.
Can guinea pigs eat oats?
No, guinea pigs can not eat oats because oats are not safe for them. Oats are a special type of grain that is enriched in nutrients that can be beneficial for your little cavies. However, part of those nutrients contain high amounts of phosphorus, and too much of this in your little cavies' body system may result in urinary complications which may be quite hurtful for your little caves. Also, there is a high tendency for weight gain if this grain is being served as food to them because it contains a high proportion of carbohydrates and fiber. However, young guinea pigs with some specific health problem can eat this food in small amounts because of the nutrients enriched in them
What is the correct proportion of feeding oats to young guinea pigs?
What amount will you feed to them if a veterinarian recommends this grain to your little cavies? Oats are not a regular food for guinea pigs, even though their doctors recommend it for them hence, you should not sprinkle more than 2-3 grains of oats for your little cavies once or twice a month. Also, they should be served over guinea pigs pellets. Do not over-serve these grains to them since they can lead to severe health risks for your pets in no time.
What are the nutritional benefits of feeding oats to young guinea pigs
Oats are one of the healthiest grains, and yes, young guinea pigs that are underweight may require the help of oats. Since, they are a good source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. They are also a good source of carbohydrates and fiber, including powerful fiber beta-glucan, and they are high in protein compared to other grains.
- This is why the bullet points below will highlight some of the nutritional benefits of feeding oats to guinea pigs
- They are high in antioxidants like avenanthramides which may help in reducing blood pressure and has anti-inflammatory and anti-itching effects.
- It is high in the soluble fiber beta-glucan which helps reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels, promotes healthy gut bacteria, and increases feelings of fullness.
- It helps in losing weight by providing satiety and a feeling of fullness. Due to its high fiber content, it helps in preventing constipation. Fibre also aids digestion by increasing the bowel movements
- It helps to build strong bones and teeth since they are enriched in calcium and Phosphorus
What are the possible health risks of feeding oats to guinea pigs
Oats may offer a lot of beneficial nutrients for your little cavies, however, the health risk attached to oats will make them not suitable food for your little cavies. Some of the health risks involve being listed below
Oats is enriched with a high amount of calcium and phosphorus which is responsible for strong bones and teeth, However, feeding this high proportion to your adult or pregnant guinea pigs can lead to urinary complication. Once your cavies age, they only require these nutrients in small proportion if not, it will lead to the formation of stones in the kidney or bladder. This will then eventually result in urinary infections, painful urination, blood coming out during urination, etc
Although, there may not be a high amount of fats in oats, however, you will find a high proportion of carbohydrates and a decent amount of calories in oats. Too much of these nutrients will result in weight gain for your little cavies and eventually if the weight is not monitored it then resulted in heart complications for your pets and cardiac arrest may be set for your pets.
Other important nutrients that can be found in your guinea pig are dietary fiber. This may help to aid your little cavies' digestion, but it can also cause constipation among other digestion problems because of too much dietary fiber.
What other food can you feed to guinea pigs?
Guinea pigs' digestive systems may be super sensitive, however, this does not stop your little cavies from eating too much food. Yes, guinea pigs love to eat a lot, studies have even shown that eating is one of their favorite exercises. This is why they require food with low cholesterol so they will not be fat and have high fiber and vitamins. An example of such food is Hay. Some common hay that can be given to them are timothy hay, alfalfa hay, clover, Bermuda, etc
Vegetables and fruits are also regular meals for guinea pigs. Fresh vegetables like broccoli, zucchini, carrots, cucumbers, kale, artichokes, tomatoes, parsley, etc are enriched with nutritional benefits that can help you keep your cavies healthy. You can also feed them fruits like apples, carrots, berries, bananas, apricots, etc.
Yes, guinea pigs can eat oats. Oats are the healthiest grain you can think of for your guinea pigs, however, there are a lot of health risks attached to eating this food because of the high proportion of nutrients found in them. Also to enjoy the various beneficial nutrients in these grains, they must be given to only young guinea pigs suffering from health problems in moderation. Go through the article above to find out other important information regarding guinea pigs eating oats.