Cheerios are among the most popular breakfast cereals in the world. Picture the scene – you’re tucking into a bowl, and your pocket pet is staring at you with, hungry pleading eyes. Can guinea pigs eat Cheerios? Realistically, the answer is no. Your cavy can eat Cheerios, but that doesn’t mean that it should. Let’s look further into why Cheerios are not an ideal food for keeping a pocket pet healthy.
Do Guinea Pigs Like to Eat Cheerios?
Most small animals like to eat Cheerios. This breakfast cereal contains a wide array of ingredients that appeal to the palate of a small animal.
What a cavy may like to eat is often a different question to what can guinea pigs eat, however. More importantly, it comes with a different answer.
If you’re planning to make breakfast for your pocket pet, consider a snack with more healthy ingredients, such as Vitamin C. Cheerios will cause more harm than good, especially if eaten regularly.
Are Cheerios Good for Guinea Pigs?
Cheerios are not good or healthy for guinea pigs. This is largely due to the list of ingredients. Cheerios are packed with different components, barely any of which are beneficial to small animals. There is also no Vitamin C to be found in this breakfast cereal.
What are Cheerios Made From?
The ingredients of Cheerios are as follows:
- Whole Grain Oats
- Corn Starch
- Tripotassium Phosphate
- Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols)
When you review that list of ingredients, it is clear that Cheerios are not ideal for guinea pigs. Small animals struggle to digest whole grains, and the starch will leave a guinea pig feeling bloated and gassy. The sugar and salt content is also cause for concern.
Cheerios are nobody’s idea of healthy food for small animals. When you look again at the ingredients, you have to wonder why anybody would want to offer them. Sure, Cheerios are tasty and a fun snack. Stick with one or two on a very occasional basis. though.
Benefits of Feeding Cheerios to a Guinea Pig
If your cavy was to tuck into Cheerios, would it get any benefits from the experience? There are a couple of factors that ensure that Cheerios, while not good, are not entirely disastrous for cavy health.
- Good Source of iron
- Low in fat
- Good source of folate for a pregnant cavy
- Protein and good carbohydrate content that offers slow, steady energy release
- Appealing taste – though that is not necessarily a good thing, given the issues caused by a cavy eating Cheerios!
That may look good on paper, but it’s still not much to go on. Cheerios will never be considered a healthy food for a pocket pet. There are more drawbacks than benefits, as we’ll elaborate upon now.
Hazards of Feeding Cheerios to a Guinea Pig
If your cavy somehow manages to get into a bag of Cheerios, make sure it does not eat too much. There many reasons why Cheerios are no good for a small animal. These include:
- High in calcium and phosphorous
- High in sugar
- Contain salt
- Absolutely no Vitamin C
- Presence of additives and preservatives – none of which are good for cavy digestion
- Fairly substantial amounts of fiber
We’ve been quite down on Cheerios as a cavy snack, but for good reason. This cereal will not keep your pet healthy, and no good will come eating them regularly. Stick with Vitamin C-rich fresh fruits and vegetables as treats. These will do far more good than cereal.
Offering Cheerios to Guinea Pigs
As discussed, you should avoid giving Cheerios to a small animal. If you absolutely must, do so in small amounts on a very occasional basis as a special treat.
That doesn’t mean that a solitary Cheerio is not a suitable reward for good behavior, or to encourage training. Many pocket pigs will do anything to get their paws on a Cheerio.
One tiny serving of Cheerios a month is more than enough for a pocket pet, though. Even then, do not fill a human-sized bowl. This will be far too much food, especially given the ingredients. You are offering a taste, not a meal.
Can Guinea Pigs Have Honey Nut Cheerios?
If you insist on offering Cheerios to a cavy, stick firmly with the original recipe. These are still not good or healthy food for your pet, but they are much safer than the Honey Nut version of the brand.
This cereal is even sweeter than the original. Sure, this means that a cavy will enjoy the taste even more. Even so, it’s even less healthy. Your pet will gain weight rapidly, and may start refusing to eat regular food as it waits for more of these alternatives. There are also no additional ingredients that could be considered good, such as Vitamin C.
We’re not trying to be mean here. One Honey Nut Cheerio, very occasionally, is OK. Just don’t fix a full bowl of this breakfast cereal for your cavy. That will end badly.
Can Guinea Pigs Have Cheerios with Milk?
Never make Cheerios with milk for a guinea pig. Like all small animals, cavies are lactose intolerant. No matter how much your pet may like the taste of milk, its body is unable to tolerate it.
Milk will make a guinea pig bloated and gassy. This will be painful for your pocket pet, and you’ll have a lot of cleaning up to do. To keep a small animal healthy, any kind of dairy product must be avoided.
What Breakfast Cereals Can a Guinea Pig Eat?
In all honesty, there is no breakfast cereal that would be considered good for a guinea pig. The digestion of small animals is not cut out for this kind of food. There’s a reason why guinea pigs muesli is sold in a pet store, not a supermarket with the human cereals.
If you must offer cereal as a treat, Cheerios are arguably the best of a bad bunch. Stick with small, dry cereals that are low in sugar and not too high in fiber. That means no break flakes, and certainly nothing coated in frosting. Allow us to reiterate one more time, though – no human cereal could be considered healthy for guinea pigs.
This article has provided a definitive answer to the question, “can guinea pigs eat Cheerios.” As you’ll see, you are better off keeping this cereal away from your pet. It is not healthy by any definition, meaning that it is not good for a cavy. Stick with fresh fruit and vegetables as a guinea pig treat. It will benefit much more from the Vitamin C and other nutrients found within.