Can Guinea Pigs Eat Ice Cream? (Diet and Feeding for a Guinea Pig)

Guinea pigs are such cute, furry little animals that they make great pets! But just because guinea pigs are small doesn’t mean that you can feed them whatever you want.

In this article, I will go over what guinea pig foods are healthy and which ones to avoid giving your pet.

So, can guinea pigs eat ice cream?

No, guinea pigs can’t eat ice cream. They are lactose-intolerant and cannot digest dairy products which means they can’t consume any dairy products, including ice cream.

Consequently, the guinea pig will get a stomach ache, and it should be in pain.

Can guinea pigs eat ice cream? featured image

Thus, I recommend avoiding any type of milk product altogether, such as cow’s milk, yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk, etc.

In addition, guinea pigs cannot overeat sugar, which is contained in ice cream. This can be a danger to their health and lead them down the path of diabetes if they do not have enough exercise or water intake.

Can ice cream kill my guinea pig?

Yes, ice cream can kill your guinea pig because it contains lactose and milk products that are not good for guinea pigs.

In fact, it can have an adverse effect on your pet’s health because it contains lactose (a type of sugar) and milk products that can be harmful to them.

When you give your guinea pig food containing both sugars and proteins, the nitrogen in the food will turn into ammonium in its guts. This can cause gas buildup, bloat, and stomach issues.

A guinea pig’s stomach is so sensitive that they can die if you incorrectly feed them, and it’s more likely to happen with ice cream.

Can guinea pigs eat chocolate ice cream?

As you already know, ice cream is not suitable for your pet. And if you will add one more product with improper nutrition to your pet’s ration, it wouldn’t help.

Chocolate is not proper food for guinea pigs.

  • Milk chocolate is a dairy product. Guinea pigs cannot digest lactose and milk from other animals, so they are better off without chocolate.
  • The amount of sugar present in ice cream will make your pet’s insulin levels rise faster, which may lead to diabetes or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). If guineas overeat high-fat food, they will be more likely to get obese. Obesity can lead to things like heart disease and diabetes later in life.
  • If you give chocolate to your guinea pig, then he/she will become hyperactive for a little while. But after this period, his/her adrenals will get overworked. It might lead to diabetes and high blood pressure.

What is the best alternative to ice cream for guinea pigs?

Cute photo of guinea pig with leaves on its head

If you want to treat a guinea pig with something sweet, try a safe snack for them to eat. You could offer guinea pigs fruits, vegetables, or sugar-free treats like raisins and apple slices.

Dairy foods can be very harmful to guinea pig health, so you must find alternative snacks. If your pet seems bored with the flavorless food pellets on occasion, give him something refreshingly delicious instead.

  • Fruits: Fruits such as apples, oranges, bananas can be an excellent snack for your pet without giving them anything too sweet or dairy-based.
  • Frozen bananas: Frozen bananas work better for guinea pigs with dental problems and are very easy to prepare.
  • Veggies: Frozen veggies like peas work well because they’re not always available fresh in some areas. Just make sure you buy appropriately sized vegetables based on the size of your guinea pig’s mouth.
  • Popcorn: Popcorn is an excellent treat for guinea pigs to nibble on without having any milk or sugar in it.

Most people who love their guinea pigs know that they cannot give them chocolate. It’s full of calories, fat, sugar, and dairy additives that are very harmful to a guinea pig’s stomach and digestive system. 

Not only is chocolate ice cream an unhealthy addiction to the diet for your pet, but it is also unnecessary in terms of what they eat daily. They should stick with hay and vegetables—and no one can argue those are healthier.

A detailed guide on why you should avoid giving ice cream to guinea pigs

Guinea pigs need a special diet to stay healthy, and for this reason, ice cream is not nutritious enough to feed them. Why? Let’s find out.

Sugar is a common contributor to obesity, tooth decay, and diabetes.

One risk of consuming ice cream is sugar content. Sugar can cause many problems in your stomach and digestive system.

High sugar is a problem for guinea pigs because they are sensitive to sugar and do not have the enzymes needed to digest it without help.

Dairy foods are not nutritious, and in some cases, can cause lactose intolerance or other food-related illnesses in guinea pigs.

Ice cream is not a nutritious option for guinea pigs to consume, as they cannot digest dairy products.

As such, they should’ve never been given ice cream in the first place.

Ice cream lacks vitamins and nutrients.

Guinea pigs need many vitamins, and while ice cream does have some, that amount is minimal. There are small amounts of vitamin A, E, K essential to a guinea pig’s diet but not enough for good nutrition.

One particularly crucial part of the diet is Vitamin C since it is essential to their health.

Without vitamin C, guinea pigs can get a disease called scurvy. Symptoms include rough coats, swollen joints, weight loss, and more.

Ice cream can cause obesity in guinea pigs.

Despite not having any nutrients, ice cream is a food with many negative qualities.

It has a lot of calories and carbohydrates, which can be good for getting energy. But it also has fats and sugars in large amounts, which could lead to weight gain. If you have too many of these things, you may develop diabetes.

I do not recommend giving ice cream to guinea pigs. Guinea pigs can develop health problems if they eat ice cream. They could lose their willpower and others too many to mention.

Stomach aches are not fun.

Guinea pigs don’t eat ice cream because it is too cold. When they eat food that is too cold, stomach aches will happen.

If your guinea pig accidentally had ice cream and shows signs of stomach pain or similar symptoms, immediately take it to the vet for examination. Additionally, ice cream can be bad for guinea pigs’ teeth.

Urinary Problems

One more reason why ice cream is bad for guinea pigs. Ice cream has a lot of calcium and sodium, which can be dangerous to them in excess.

Giving your guinea pigs ice cream may have harmful effects on their urinary tract system. They could get bladder stones or kidney stones.

It is important to provide them low-calcium diets to ensure they’re not at too much risk when consuming this harmful food item.

Chocolate ice cream with berries and syrup topping on a white plate

What you need to know about ice cream [Facts List]

  • Many people believe that vanilla ice cream was invented before chocolate, but this is not the case.
  • It takes the average person about 50 licks to finish a scoop of ice cream.
  • Headaches from the loss of heat, or “brain freeze,” are common side effects of eating ice cream.
  • One of the tallest ice cream cones, over 9 feet tall, was made in Italy.
  • The 1665 recipe book outlines the first recorded ice cream recipes.
  • Vanilla was typically a rare and exotic flavor in the late 1700s.
  • Many people love vanilla ice cream the best, and they like it even more than chocolate.
  • The history of ice cream is generally believed to have begun in the US with the popularization of industrialization.
  • The most common ice cream topping is chocolate syrup.
  • Ice cream in America became increasingly popular during the 1700s and was celebrated as an “elite delicacy” enjoyed only by very few people. If you were lucky enough to be a part of elite society, then you were eating it at your leisure.
  • The US, Australia, and Norway are the top three ice cream-consuming countries.
  • Nearly all American homes have ice cream in their freezers.
  • A gallon of ice cream requires 12 pounds of milk.
  • Americans, on average, consume 45.8 cups of ice cream annually.
  • Many odd flavors have made it on the ice cream market, including avocado, garlic, chili pepper, licorice, and Stilton cheese.

Conclusion

Guinea pigs are herbivores. It means they eat plants and vegetables, not dairy food or meat-based products like ice cream.

Guinea pig owners should stick to a diet of hay, fresh fruit, and vegetables for the best health of their pets. 

What do you feed your guinea pigs? Do you have any advice that has helped them get healthier? Please share it with us in the comments below.

Last updated on June 9, 2021 by Bruce Paxton

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