Can Guinea Pigs Eat Popcorn?

Guinea Pigs May 5, 2022
Written by | Updated Sep 12, 2022
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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Popcorn?

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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Popcorn?

Drizzle it with caramel or chocolate and popcorn suddenly becomes a tempting treat. Add butter and salt and it’s a movie time classic!

Since popcorn is such a popular snack, lots of people wonder whether it’s okay to share with their pets.

While it’s true that certain animals can enjoy popcorn with no problem whatsoever, others shouldn’t eat it. So, can guinea pigs eat popcorn? If so, how much can they have and how often can they have it?

As it turns out, quite a few people have tried giving guinea pigs popcorn. Even though this snack isn’t toxic to guinea pigs it certainly isn’t a good for them, either.

We are siding with the experts when it comes to the topic of popcorn for guinea pigs: This is a treat that your guinea pig should not eat.

Keep on reading to find out why and to discover some healthy alternatives.

Popcorn Nutrition Stats

Before you add anything extra to popcorn, it’s a fairly healthy treat that can satisfy your appetite.

Just one cup of plain, air popped popcorn offers approximately:

  • 31 calories
  • 2 g carbohydrates
  • 2 g fiber
  • 1 g protein
  • 4 g fat

Popcorn Nutritional Facts

Even though popcorn isn’t the worst thing you can eat, it certainly doesn’t qualify as a superfood!

Still, it’s a great replacement for highly processed snacks – after all, it offers some nutrients while providing plenty of satisfaction.

That same 1 cup serving of popcorn gives you about:

  • 7 iu vitamin A
  • 5 mcg folate
  • 7 mg choline
  • 5 mg magnesium
  • 6 mg phosphorus
  • 3 mg potassium
  • 6 mg sodium
  • 2 mg zinc
  • 1 mg manganese

Can Guinea Pigs Have Popcorn?

The subject of popcorn for guinea pigs is a tricky one since it’s true that eating just one or two tiny pieces probably won’t lead to any major issues.

Here’s the thing: Popcorn can make a guinea pig choke. In addition, guinea pigs have a difficult time digesting too much starch and popcorn is full of the stuff.

It isn’t a good idea to give guinea pigs popcorn.

Is Popcorn Good For Guinea Pigs?

No! Even though some pet parents feel that plain, unsalted, un-buttered popcorn is okay for guinea pigs, the truth is you won’t be doing your guinea pig any favors by feeding them popcorn.

Guinea pigs need a specialized diet. Everything you give your guinea pig should offer some benefits. Empty calories like the ones in popcorn aren’t helpful.

There are far better treats to offer your pet.

Do Guinea Pigs Like Popcorn?

Yes – it’s safe to say that guinea pigs like popcorn. This doesn’t mean we should give it to them, though!

Given the opportunity, guinea pigs will nibble on almost anything – even if it might harm them. As our pets’ guardians, it’s up to us to keep them safe.

How Much Popcorn Can A Guinea Pig Eat?

We can’t recommend giving guinea pigs popcorn in any amount.

AgeAmount
Baby guinea pigNone
Adult guinea pigNone

In case you’re here after the fact and your guinea pig has eaten popcorn, be sure to keep a close eye on them in case they have any unwanted side effects.

If you notice that your guinea pig seems to be uncomfortable or bloated, or if they develop diarrhea, give your vet a call for next steps.

The Correct Diet Is Important

A guinea pig’s natural diet consists mostly of grasses and leafy plants that grow close to the ground. Even though plants that are native to South America – that’s where guinea pigs originated, by the way – might not be available where you are, it’s very important to make sure that your pet’s menu contains the right kind of foods.

Your guinea pig needs an unlimited supply of fresh hay – not just from nibbling, but for tunneling and the general enjoyment.

Besides fresh hay, here’s what to feed a guinea pig every day:

  • Offer a daily serving of a high-quality vitamin C-enriched guinea pig food. Take a peek at the package to see how much to feed your guinea pig.
  • Give your guinea pig an unlimited supply of fresh, clean water. As part of your daily routine, give your guinea pig’s water bottle a quick rinse and refill it.
  • Guinea pigs love fresh food and your pet will thrive when you offer them a daily salad made with one cup of leafy greens and a few chopped up veggies. You can also give your guinea pig a little tiny bit of fruit as a special treat.
  • Good nutrition is important – but there are a couple of other things your guinea pig needs from you.

First, make sure to keep your cavy’s habitat clean and stocked with fresh bedding – be sure to choose bedding that’s safe for guinea pigs.

Second, hope your guinea pig keep their teeth at the correct link by offering toys such as unbleached loofah, untreated softwood sticks, and guinea pig toys. Not only are these items essential for your guinea pig’s teeth, which never stop growing, they are also very important for your guinea pigs mental health. Your piggy should always have something to do.

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

Even though guinea pigs shouldn’t eat popcorn, there are lots of healthy treats that they can enjoy.

Here are a few to consider:

  • asparagus
  • cucumber
  • basil
  • parsley
  • carrots
  • carrot tops
  • arugula
  • green leaf lettuce
  • romaine lettuce
  • Swiss chard
  • spinach
  • dandelions
  • Marigold
  • blueberry
  • bell pepper
  • Green beans
  • zucchini
  • summer squash
  • pumpkin
  • Winter squash

As you can see, there are lots of different options. You might be surprised to find out that these are only a handful of treats guinea pigs can safely enjoy.

Now that you know the truth about popcorn for guinea pigs, consider offering your pet something else like a slice of cucumber or a little piece of apple without seeds. They are certain to appreciate it!

FAQ

Is popcorn safe for guinea pigs?

No – popcorn isn't safe for guinea pigs. Guinea pigs can choke on popcorn.

Can popcorn make my guinea pig sick?

Yes – popcorn can make your guinea pig sick whether they choke or not. Your guinea pig's digestive tract isn't designed to handle starchy foods like popcorn.
If your guinea pig ate popcorn and doesn't seem to be feeling well, contact your vet to find out what to do next.

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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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