The world and living things are always evolving, but the extent of their evolution is yet to be determined. And one of the results of their evolution is pet owners eating insects, especially environmentally-minded pet owners. This is because the scientist has proven that insects are natural with protein, high fats, oils, minerals, and some vitamin levels and these nutrients are some of the essential nutrients that are required by the body system. However, pet owners are now adding insects to the meal of their pets, and sometimes pets can also mistakenly or intentionally eat them.
However, not all pets can eat insects and still be considered healthy, and this lead to a question that says can guinea pigs eat insects? What type of insects can guinea pigs eat? What are the benefits and risks of eating insects by your guinea pigs? All answers to these and all other questions will be answered in this article
Can guinea pigs eat insects?
No, guinea pigs can not eat insects, but if found among their food unintentionally, they may eat them. This is because the little cavies are herbivores and all that their digestive system is processed to eat are plant and plant-based food which consists mostly of dietary fiber. Guinea pigs are considered lazy in some aspects and this is why hunting and searching for their meals is not ideal for your little cavies. However, they might choose to cultivate the habit of eating insects and thereby develop a taste for them, and before this can happen they will have to deliberately learn the skills of catching insects from other predators. This may be close to not happening because they do not have the strength and capacity of running helter-skelter. You should know that eating insects may not necessarily cause any type of health risks except if they feed on disease-causing insects also known as vectors.
What type of insects can guinea pigs eat?
The facts have been established above that guinea pigs can eat insects even if it is not intentional. However, the various types of insects that guinea pigs can eat have not been indicated. The following bullet point below will analyze the type of insects your little cavies can eat and all other benefits and risks associated with such insects.
Cricket is known to be one of the most popular and edible insects that can give to your guinea pigs. This is because it is enriched with a high proportion of protein and is more sustainable than other sources of protein food. Studies also show that the body digests protein found in cricket to easily digest compared to the one in rice or corn. Also, some species of crickets contain all nine essential amino acids in an ideal proportion. Other nutrients that can be found in crickets are vitamins, insoluble fiber, calcium, potassium, fats, minerals, etc, while the only health risk you should watch out for is allergy reaction from your pets
Ants are another widely eaten insect, and they are useful in supporting heart health and combating oxidative stress. However, not all types of ants can be eaten, and some of the ants that can be eaten are leaf-cutting, weaver, honey, and black ants. Also, the nutrients that your little cavities can benefit from eaten ants vary widely depending on the species but some of the general nutrients found in all the species are fibers, proteins, vitamins, minerals, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, etc. It also offers antioxidants and nutrients, and they are majorly known for relieving stress. The health risk you should watch out for are food allergens, and high production of uric acid
Fleas and ticks
These are other types of insects that can be eaten by your pets. However, pet owners should be worried when these two insects are eaten by their pets this is because they are known for transmitting diseases (if they have previously sucked the blood of a diseased animal), irritating the skin because of their sharp mouthparts. However, studies do not show the importance or health benefits of your Guinea pigs eating this insect except, they are small and can be easily digested. This indicated your pets are eating it at their own risk.
Other types of insects that guinea pigs can eat are moths, aphids, flies, caterpillars, smaller bugs, etc. All these insects have a decent amount of protein they offer to guinea pigs among every other benefit.
Insects that guinea pigs can not eat
Yes, guinea pigs can eat insects, and some of the insects have been explained above. However, other types of insects that your guinea pigs should stay away from are yet to be known. The following bullet point below highlighted some of the insects that your little cavies should stay away from
Cockroaches are one of the edible insect's pet owners can eat because of the number of essential nutrients it contains (similar to crickets). However, because of their size and texture, it is known as a bad idea for your guinea pigs. Also, your guinea pigs need to be wary of biting and chewing the wrong place because they are disease-causing insects.
Larger bugs like beetle can also be detrimental to the health of your cavies. This is because their exterior texture is hard, and they can not be easily digested by your cavies, thereby, causing a choking hazard to your little cavies If it is forcefully eaten. Also, all other larger bugs like the one listed above should be avoided because of your guinea pigs' small oral passage.
Guinea pigs can eat insects, but it is not the ideal food for them. However, the type of insects that guinea pigs may eat may vary depending on a particular species. Also, the amount of vitamins that are enriched in insects is small compared to their daily intake, and this may result in a lot of health risks for your pets. Examples of some of the insects that are beneficial and risky for your little cavies have been explained above