Meat is the flesh of animals that are eaten as food. Meat is mainly composed of water and protein and is usually eaten together with other foods as a source of nutrients. It is usually known to be the soft part between the bones and skin of an organism, and It may be edible when raw for some certain animals, but it is usually eaten after cooking or after being processed in most ways for human consumption.
Every meat is different. The simple reason is that the possibility of bacteria is also different in each animal as also the possibility of worms and other parasites. Beef and lamb a special type of meat tends to be only dangerous when wet, especially the surface layer, while other meats are much more likely to have bacteria throughout the meat part. Meat is also enriched with beneficial nutrients for humans, however, can the same be said about guinea pigs? Can guinea pigs even eat meat? This article will enlighten you on all you need to know about them.
Can guinea pigs eat meat?
No, guinea pigs can not eat meat. At the most basic level, guinea pigs are naturally herbivorous animals. This means that they possess a sensitive digestive system that does not contain an enzyme that can help your little cavies break down this food. Hence, they just eat fruits and vegetables with no dairy products, eggs, meat, or insects. However, Fresh hay and fresh leafy vegetables should make up the bulk of your guinea pig’s diet. Like most herbivores, guinea pigs are essentially grazers. They look for food to munch on all day, and this means that it is important to keep fresh food available constantly. This lead to the other question, what kind of food can guinea pigs eat? But before that, we need to discuss the possible health risk attached to feeding meat to guinea pigs
What are the possible health risks attached to feeding meat to Guinea pigs?
Guinea pigs are herbivores, and this indicated that they can not feed on meat and all its various varieties because their digestive system is only structured for veggies, hays, herbs, fruits, etc. However, what will happen if you find your cavies immersed in eating meat, what is the likely damage your guinea pigs be likely prone to? Some of the possible health risks associated with serving meat to guinea pigs are listed below
Lack of adequate Vitamin C
Meat does not have enough vitamins, to begin with, however, the amount of vitamin C found in guinea pigs is little or better still, close to none. Pet owners should be aware that guinea pigs need vitamin C to survive because their body system does not formulate vitamin C, and this makes it an essential nutrient for your cavies. Lack of vitamin C will lead to a poor immune system, no scurvy prevention, and poor health of their skin, hair, and other organs.
No dietary fiber is present
Dietary fiber is also one of the essential nutrients guinea pigs need for their daily survival. This is because they help with bowel movements and digestion thereby, preventing health risks like gases, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, etc. Since guinea pigs are herbivores and they can not secrete enzymes that can help to digest meat, then you are setting your cavies to be prone to this digestion problem if they do not find solace in other food
High in cholesterol
High cholesterol is not recommended for your guinea pigs because it causes health risks such as heart problems. This is because too much cholesterol builds up in the blood vessels by absorbing them, and this causes heart problems which can eventually lead to death if not properly monitored. Other possible health risks that may arise from too much cholesterol are obesity, diabetes, and cancer
What kind of food can you give to your guinea pigs
Meat may not be a food that should be considered by pet owners for their Guinea pigs, however, for their survival, it is expedient for them to should feed them with other possible foods that contain all the required nutrients needed for their healthy growth. Some of the recommended food for your cavies are listed below
Guinea pigs' digestive systems may be super sensitive because they usually require a lot of fiber that will constantly help them digest the food they consume. Yes, guinea pigs love to eat a lot, studies expatiate on eating is one of their favorite exercises this is why they require food with low cholesterol in other to reduce weight gain and also food with high fiber and vitamins. An example of such food is Hay. Hay is said to be a staple in guinea pigs' diets, and hay can be of various varieties. There are timothy hay, alfalfa hay, clover, Bermuda, etc
Vegetables are also one of the regular meals that should be considered for guinea pigs. Fresh vegetables like broccoli, zucchini, carrots, cucumbers, kale, artichokes, tomatoes, parsley, etc are enriched with nutritional benefits that will help you keep your cavies healthy.
Most fruits have a high proportion of sugar and acidic content, but as long as they are fed in the correct proportion they can be entrusted as one of your cavies diet. Example of fruits that can be eaten by your guinea pigs is bananas, apples, apricots, berries, papaya, pumpkin, watermelon, kiwi, pears, and many more.
What are the foods that should be avoided by guinea pigs
Apart from meat, There are a lot of food that should also be avoided by your little cavies and some of that food will be listed below
- Diary products: Diary products also have a similar effect on your guinea pigs as meat. This is because their digestive system can not cope with them. Egg, cheese, milk, and even yogurt should be avoided by your guinea pigs
- Fruits seed: Some fruit seeds have a hard texture, and giving them to your guinea pigs will make them prone to choking hazards. Examples are avocado, Apple, etc.
Guinea pigs can not eat meat and this is due to the nature of their digestive system. Meat, however, does not contain the important beneficial nutrients your guinea pigs need daily like fiber and vitamin C. This is why they need to explore vegetables, fruit, hay, and herbs as food.