Can Guinea Pigs Eat Dog Food
Guinea pigs can survive on dog food for a few days without ill effects is what some pet owner thinks, however it is worth noting that those few days is just about when nutritional deficiency diseases start to kick in. Dog food is made of a variety of things, including meat, grains, and vegetables. The specific ingredients vary depending on the brand and type of food. Some dog foods are made specifically for puppies, while others are designed for adult dogs.
Most dog food does not contain Vitamin C or many vitamins as dogs produce these internally (guinea pigs do not), Lack of vitamin C leads to scurvy, which causes death within a short month, death by general organ failure is painful enough that the few years is not considered a blessing. In the meantime, let's find out what dog food can cause to your guinea pigs or if your guinea pigs can even eat dog food.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Dog Food
No, Guinea pigs can not eat dog food. Dog Food is made up mostly of preservatives and dry meat, and Guinea Pigs are complete Herbivores who should or will not touch meats if given to them because of their digestive system. Guinea pigs can not even survive off of Rabbit food, despite guinea pigs and rabbits being so taxonomically similar. Guinea Pigs require their own special guinea pig food full of Vitamin C and other nutrients like dietary fiber, antioxidants, and little amount of sugar and calcium content. Guinea pigs also require greens and grain to flourish, you can feed them the cuttings and peel from the veggies you feed your family, or better still, provide fresh and raw leafy vegetables to your pet rather than feeding them dog food.
Why Dog Food is Not an Ideal Food For Guinea Pigs
There is a reason behind studies showing and indicating that dog food should not be fed to your pets. There is a reason behind pet food manufacturing companies sticking a label to their pet food and categorizing their diet based on the type of animals they are. There is also a reason behind veterinarians telling pet owners not to give their pets just any food, but their recommended food alone. The reasons for all these beliefs will be explained below
Dog Food Lack Vitamin C
Unlike dogs and some other small pets, guinea pigs and humans are the only types of animals that can not produce vitamin C by themselves. Vitamin C is a major and essential nutrient required by your guinea pigs to remain healthy, you should know that the average vitamin C a guinea pig needs daily to survive is between 10mg and 40mg. Since dogs' body system can provide their vitamin C, their food does not contain them. However, if your guinea pigs lack vitamin C in their body system, it will lead to a health condition known as Scurvy, and its effect may range from mild to detrimental depending on how much they lack.
Dog food is made for carnivores
Guinea pigs are plant eaters meaning they depend on the plant-based door to survive, therefore, making them herbivores which contradicts a dog being a carnivore. This is because their digestive system is only structured for plant-based food and this happens with the help of a decent amount of fiber in the food. If you choose to provide dog food to your pets, then they will develop health risks related to the digestive system.
Dog food contains the wrong nutrients
Dog and guinea pigs seek different nutrients in their food, and this made them aware of their food content. Dog food is high in protein and fats, but low in fiber, and they do not have vitamin C present in them. However, these nutrients are the wrong combination of what guinea pigs need to survive. Guinea pigs require a high amount of vitamin C, a high amount of fiber to help them aid digestion, and low protein and fats.
Possible Health Risk Of Feeding Dog Food To Guinea Pigs
This article has enunciated and explained in multiple ways that dog food may be dangerous for your pets therefore, they should not eat them. The question now is what happens to your pets if they feed on their food? The answer to that is listed below
Since dog food contains little to no vitamin C in most of their foods because of their body system, feeding this kind of food to your guinea pigs will make your guinea pigs develop scurvy as a health condition.
Dog food comprises meats, fruits, and some vegetables. However, meat always takes up a high portion of their daily intake, hence, it is found in almost all their food. However, meat is naturally endowed with fats and cholesterol. Feeding them to guinea pigs will lead them to gain weight because of too much fat. This fatness will now lead to major organs in their body system being faulty
Guinea pigs are herbivores, and dogs are carnivores therefore, they feed on different food. If a guinea pig feeds on dog food, it may likely develop digestive problems like diabetes, diarrhea, stomach upset, gastrointestinal problem, bloating, gas, stooling, etc.
High blood pressure and heart problem
Dog food is also enriched with a decent amount of sugar, Salts, and fats, feeding them to your guinea pigs may lead to a high amount of cholesterol being present in their body. This cholesterol may result in high blood pressure for them, and eventually, it may cause heart problems if it is not properly monitored.
No, guinea pigs can not eat dog food. Dog food is made with a variety of meats, grains, and sometimes vegetables. However, guinea pigs can not eat meat, nor can they eat cooked meat because of the nutrients present in them, and also because of the seasoning present in them. Failure to heed the advice of a veterinarian thereby, making your cavies feed on dog food may lead to various health risks which have been explained in this article. All other things you are meant to know about dog food have also been explained, all you need to do is to read through this article to be aware of them.