Can guinea pigs eat mushrooms?
Are mushrooms safe for guinea pigs?
If so, how often can they eat mushrooms?
We will answer these questions and more.
Are mushrooms safe for guinea pigs?
Whether mushrooms are safe for your guinea pigs depends entirely on the type of mushroom. There are types of mushrooms that grow in nature that are poisonous to both you and your guinea pig. Obviously, poisonous mushrooms are not safe for your guinea pig to consume.
However, there are cultivated mushrooms that are super delicious, nutritious, and non-poisonous. In general, white mushrooms, button mushrooms, and portobello mushrooms are safe for guinea pigs. It is important that these mushrooms are fed raw, not cooked.
Although it may seem like a minor detail, guinea pigs cannot eat cooked mushrooms or any cooked food. They simply cannot digest it, as their bodies have not evolved to handle cooked vegetables. If you give them cooked vegetables or cooked food, they are likely to get very sick.
Just because your guinea pigs can eat mushrooms doesn’t mean you should always feed them. Mushrooms do not contain many nutrients that guinea pigs need. For example, mushrooms are not rich in vitamin C, which is a crucial vitamin for your guinea pigs.
For this reason, you don’t want to fill your guinea pigs’ bellies with foods that don’t necessarily feed them as well as others. Feeding their cavity with mushrooms from time to time as a reward will make them jump for joy without also destroying their diet.
One of the best times to feed your guinea pig a mushroom is when they scream at noon, but you don’t want to feed them a whole meal.
Are mushrooms bad for guinea pigs?
Interestingly, there seems to be some controversy over whether or not mushrooms are bad for guinea pigs. If you search other websites, some claim that mushrooms are not safe for guinea pigs. However, I have not been able to find any research to support this.
Not to mention that many mushroom items are tested on guinea pigs before they are sold to humans. If mushrooms were poisonous to guinea pigs, they would not be good testers, as they are known to be allergic to mushrooms. For this reason, it appears that mushrooms are safe for guinea pigs to eat, within reason.
Mushrooms that are bad for guinea pigs
As we have already learned, there are quite a few poisonous mushrooms. These mushrooms are very bad for guinea pigs. Because of how small guinea pigs are, even a little poisonous mushroom can kill them. Since it is difficult to know which wild mushrooms are poisonous, we recommend avoiding them altogether.
Also, mushrooms are bad for guinea pigs if you overfeed them. Again, mushrooms are not as nutritious for guinea pigs as other vegetables. In many ways, mushrooms are to guinea pigs what potatoes are to us. They are delicious, but they are not super nutritious, which means they will easily cause guinea pigs to gain weight if not fed in moderation.
Finally, cooked mushrooms are also bad for guinea pigs because guinea pigs cannot digest cooked vegetables. Instead, feed them raw mushrooms.
Other than these three stipulations, mushrooms are not bad for guinea pigs. However, mushrooms are not often on the list of vegetables to give to the guinea pig. It is enough to feed them raw, non-poisonous mushrooms from time to time as a surprising treat.
Mushroom nutrients needed by guinea pigs
The exact nutrient count in any mushroom will depend on the type of mushroom. However, all edible mushrooms are very similar in composition, which means they have comparable nutrients and health information.
Above all, all mushrooms are low in sodium and have no fat. They also have other essential nutrients such as copper, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and selenium. Mushrooms have a more pleasant texture and also protein, even though they have no meat, which makes them much more fibrous than other vegetables.
In general, most mushrooms are not rich in the key nutrients that guinea pigs need. Again, vitamin C is the most important nutrient to feed guinea pigs, and mushrooms are almost devoid of vitamin C.
Despite this fact, mushrooms do have some nutrients that are very useful for guinea pigs. For example, some proteins are needed for growth, as well as selenium, niacin, and riboflavin. Mushrooms are rich in all four of these things, especially compared to other vegetables.
The fact that mushrooms contain no fat and are low in sodium makes them much healthier for guinea pigs. Guinea pigs need very little fat and very little sodium. Too much of both can cause many health problems in the future.
Although guinea pigs should not be fed mushrooms as their only vegetable for essential nutrients, they are a nutritious treat. Nutrient-packed snacks are much healthier than commercial ones loaded with sugar and a host of other ingredients your cavy doesn’t need.
Some of the main nutrients in mushrooms are:
- 92% water
- 4% carbohydrates
- 2% protein
- less than 1% fat
Are mushrooms good for guinea pigs?
To answer your question, yes, they are sometimes beneficial for guinea pigs.
Although they do not contain the main nutrients that guinea pigs need, they do contain some other nutrients that can be good for them.
With the exception of wild mushrooms, other edible mushrooms do not pose a threat to them or their daily routine.
Some of them are listed here.
Mushrooms are low in calcium
Adult guinea pigs need little in the way of minerals.
Therefore, calcium is a bit of a concern for them.
Calcium is also known to cause bladder stones in guinea pigs, which are very harmful to them.
Since mushrooms contain very low amounts of calcium, they do not contribute to this problem in guinea pigs.
Mushrooms have a high potassium content.
Potassium, like calcium, is of concern if given to guinea pigs.
The only difference is that guinea pigs need potassium in adequate amounts.
It helps to improve the heart and bones and even muscles.
Potassium deficiency can cause constipation.
Feeding adequate amounts of potassium even help guinea pigs grow.
Since mushrooms contain about 95 grams of potassium, they are very useful for guinea pigs.
Mushrooms contain fiber
Fiber regulates proper digestion in guinea pigs and even in humans.
It can reduce constipation and provide a healthy bowel movement.
Mushroom does not contain much fiber, but it is more compared to other nutrients present in mushrooms.
Thus, mushrooms can improve the digestion of guinea pigs.
What kind of mushrooms can guinea pigs eat?
Guinea pigs cannot eat wild mushrooms, as they can be extremely deadly to them. They can only eat white, button, and Portobello mushrooms.
In addition, mushrooms must be raw and not cooked.
Several mushrooms should be treated with caution. Among them are chestnut mushrooms, chanterelles, and straw mushrooms.
These should be avoided if in the slightest doubt. There is a wide variety of wild mushrooms and, therefore, you may be faced with the dilemma of whether to give them mushrooms or not.
Therefore, when in doubt, avoid these foods.
If you have a couple of slices of mushrooms left over, feel free to feed them to your guinea pigs. Although you shouldn’t feed mushrooms to guinea pigs too often, they are a nice treat for their nutrients and unique texture.
Just be sure not to feed your guinea pigs wild mushrooms, as they can be poisonous. Also, don’t overfeed your guinea pigs with mushrooms, as this can fill them up before they can eat the nutrient-packed vegetables they need. Furthermore, don’t give them cooked mushrooms or they will get sick.
If you give them safe, raw mushrooms from time to time, your guinea pigs will love the treat, although it may worsen their insensitivity to treats.