Can Guinea Pigs Eat Chocolate?

Guinea Pigs Jul 28, 2020
Anne
Written by Anne | Updated Jan 18, 2021
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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Chocolate?

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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Chocolate?

If you love chocolate, you’re in good company! It’s easily one of the most popular treats on the planet.

The question is, can guinea pigs have chocolate? If so, how much can they have and how often can they have it?

Just in case you’re searching for a quick answer, here it is: No! Guinea pigs can’t have chocolate – not even a tiny bit.

Stick with us, because we’re about to provide a complete explanation that includes the reasons why guinea pigs and chocolates don’t mix.

In addition, will tell you what to do if your guinea pig accidentally eats chocolate.

Chocolate Nutrition Stats

Your guinea pig isn’t supposed to have it – but that doesn’t mean all chocolate is terrible for you!

If you’re lucky enough to like dark, low-sugar chocolate varieties and you can enjoy them in moderation, you’ll find that this is a pretty decent dessert.

The average 1.4-ounce bar of dark chocolate contains:

  • 216 calories
  • 25 g carbohydrates
  • 6 g fiber
  • 8 g protein
  • 6 g g fat

Chocolate Nutritional Facts

Chocolate’s nutrient profile really depends on the percentage of antioxidant-rich cacao the treat in question contains, as well as which other ingredients are included.

Be sure to take a peek at your own chocolate’s packet for specific nutrition information. As a rule though, the darker the chocolate the more nutrient-dense it’s likely to be.

Here’s a list of some nutrients that are usually found in dark chocolate:

  • Vitamin B12
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorus

Can Guinea Pigs Have Chocolate?

Absolutely not! Chocolate is toxic to guinea pigs. In fact, chocolate can kill a guinea pig.

Chocolate contains two compounds that can kill guinea pigs:

The first one is caffeine. The second is theobromine. Both caffeine and theobromine are stimulants, which your guinea pig’s sensitive system simply can’t handle.

Besides these toxins, chocolate contains high levels of fat. Most varieties include processed sugar and dairy as well. Your guinea pig’s digestive system cannot handle any of these substances.

Is Chocolate Good For Guinea Pigs?

No. Even though chocolate – especially dark varieties that contain lots of antioxidants – offer us humans some pretty impressive health benefits, it isn’t appropriate for guinea pigs.

Do Guinea Pigs Like Chocolate?

We’ve heard plenty of stories about guinea pigs accidentally eating chocolate with very sad results. While it’s safe to say that guinea pigs like chocolate as they approve of sweet foods in general, this is no reason to risk your guinea pig’s health or life.

How Much Chocolate Can A Guinea Pig Eat?

None. Never, ever give chocolate to a guinea pig. Experts estimate that as little as one once of milk chocolate per pound of body weight is enough to kill a guinea pig. Even less than that can cause serious illness.

Age Amount
Baby guinea pig None
Adult guinea pig None

If you are here after the fact and your guinea pig has eaten chocolate, you should call your vet right away.

They can provide you with specific advice about what to do next.

How Often Can A Guinea Pig Eat Chocolate?

Never. It simply isn’t worth the risk.

The Correct Diet Is Important

Guinea pigs have simple needs. In the wild, guinea pigs eat a wide variety of low-lying plants including broadleaf varieties and grasses.

Your pet guinea pig’s diet should offer well-rounded nutrition. Junk – including chocolate – should never be given to guinea pigs.

With your pet’s good health in mind, here’s what to feed your guinea pig every day:

  • Offer a serving of guinea pig food fortified with vitamin C. Since different brands recommend different serving sizes, check the package to see how much you should be feeding your guinea pig.
  • Give your guinea pig an unlimited amount of hay such as Timothy. This replaces the grasses in a wild guinea pig’s diet and keeps their digestive system moving.
  • Make sure that your guinea pig always has a fresh supply of clean water. Take a minute to rinse and refill your guinea pig’s water bottle every day.
  • Treat your guinea pig to about 1 cup of fresh leafy greens every day, along with a few chopped veggies. You can also offer very small amounts of fruit.

Healthy food, fresh water, and clean bedding are always essential to your guinea pig’s good health. There’s one more thing you need to provide, and that’s something to chew.

If you’re brand-new to the wonderful world of any pig guardianship, you might not know that a guinea pig’s teeth are always growing.

This isn’t a problem in the wild, where guinea pigs must constantly chew their way through tough, fibrous plants.

Since your guinea pig lives in a cage though, it’s up to you to supplement with safe, chewable guinea pig toys. Things like hay cubes, unbleached loofah, and untreated softwood sticks help keep your guinea pig’s teeth from becoming overgrown, painful, and maybe even infected.

In addition, these essentials give your pet something to do and promote good mental health.

What Are Some Healthy Alternatives To Chocolate In A Guinea Pig’s Diet?

Even though guinea pigs can’t eat chocolate, there are plenty of other things they can enjoy without worry.

Here are some healthy guinea pig treats to consider:

  • asparagus
  • basil
  • cilantro
  • dill
  • endive
  • fennel
  • grape
  • green leaf lettuce
  • kale
  • mint
  • parsley
  • carrots
  • carrot tops
  • Swiss chard
  • Green beans
  • apples
  • blueberries
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • cabbage
  • pumpkin
  • zucchini
  • summer squash
  • Winter squash

There are lots of options here, but the truth is this is only the tip of the iceberg! The odds are pretty good that if you like a certain vegetable, fruit, or herb, your guinea pig can have it, as well.

But just as you learned when you looked into chocolate for guinea pigs, certain foods just aren’t safe. By researching each new item you consider for your pet, you’ll keep them safe from potential toxins and foods that simply are good for them.

For now, how about a sprig of parsley or maybe a piece of zucchini? These are treats guinea pigs naturally enjoy that also happen to be very good for them!

FAQ

Is chocolate safe for guinea pigs?

No! Absolutely not. Chocolate is toxic to guinea pigs.

Can chocolate make my guinea pig sick?

Yes – chocolate is almost guaranteed to make your guinea pig sick or perhaps even kill them. Your guinea pig cannot process the ingredients in chocolate candy, nor can they process toxins in chocolate itself.
If your guinea pig accidentally ate chocolate, call your vet right away for next steps.

Can guinea pigs have white chocolate?

No, white chocolate isn't safe for guinea pigs. Never feed white chocolate to a guinea pig.

Can guinea pigs eat milk chocolate?

No. Guinea pigs can't digest dairy products or high concentrations of fat, and milk chocolate contains toxins that are poisonous to guinea pigs. Never give a guinea pig milk chocolate.

Anne

Anne is a wellness writer with a lifelong love of animals large and small. As a former veterinary technician, she has a passion for your pet’s well-being. Anne rescues and rehabilitates animals in need. She shares her farm with lots of critters including horses, sheep, dogs, cats, rabbits, and chickens.
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