If you are deciding whether or not you should feed your guinea pig popcorn, then you have come to the right place. Guinea pigs are known for having sensitive digestive tracts, so it can be difficult to know what they can and cannot eat. The truth is, guinea pigs should not eat any human food unless it is fruits or vegetables.
Guinea pigs should not eat popcorn due to it being processed. Guinea pigs have sensitive digestive tracts and cannot digest the amount of starch in the popcorn. Guinea pigs are not able to handle the number of nutrients contained in popcorn, which can lead them to develop obesity or diabetes.
As you can see, guinea pigs should not eat popcorn because they would not be able to digest it properly and it could cause larger health problems. If you want to learn more about guinea pigs eating popcorn, then you will want to keep reading below.
Is Popcorn Unhealthy for Guinea Pigs?
Many pet owners hope that their guinea pigs can eat popcorn. This is because guinea pigs enjoy it and seem happy while they are eating it. Every owner wants to give their pet treats that will increase their happiness.
Unfortunately, popcorn is not one of the snacks that you can give your guinea pig in good conscience. If you feed your guinea pig popcorn, you may notice their health start to decline. You will not want to regularly feed your guinea pig popcorn because of the health risks associated with it.
While some say that a few kernels here and there will not harm your guinea pig, you will want to stay away from doing this. Experts have said that popcorn is not a suitable snack for a guinea pig, and their professional opinion should be respected.
There is a reason why professionals do not believe guinea pigs should eat popcorn, and that is because they cannot digest it. Guinea pigs have sensitive digestive systems, and they cannot fully digest popcorn. Guinea pigs in general have difficult times digesting human food, and popcorn is no exception.
In addition, popcorn can lead to obesity in guinea pigs. The large amounts of nutrients lead guinea pigs to develop diseases such as obesity or diabetes. The medical issues that arise when feeding your guinea pig popcorn are not worth it, and popcorn should be avoided at all costs.
At What Age Can Guinea Pigs Eat Popcorn?
There is no age that it is healthy for guinea pigs to eat popcorn. No matter the age of your guinea pig, you should not feed it popcorn. However, there are ages when it will cause less harm to the guinea pig. Under no circumstances should a guinea pig eat popcorn unless it is an adult.
An adult guinea pig will likely be able to handle the physical toll that popcorn causes in their body, but younger or older guinea pigs may not be able to handle it.
All guinea pigs have sensitive digestive tracts, but it is even more sensitive when they are younger. Because of how sensitive the digestive tracts of guinea pigs are, they should not eat any human food until they have reached a certain age. Young guinea pigs are still maturing and therefore have a stricter diet.
Healthiest Way to Make Popcorn for Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs should not eat popcorn. However, there are ways that popcorn can be more healthy for a guinea pig depending on the way it is prepared.
Use Plain Kernels
The first step to making popcorn for your guinea pig is to use plain kernels. You will not want to feed your guinea pig any kind of popcorn that has extra ingredients. For instance, using pre-packaged buttery or caramelized popcorn is harmful to guinea pigs.
Air Pop the Popcorn
The second step is the air pop the popcorn. Air popping the popcorn is the healthiest way to cook popcorn as there is no additional oil or butter added to it. By air popping the popcorn, the nutrients will not be overpowered by the excess oil or butter. Air popping popcorn is the healthiest method of cooking popcorn, whether it be for you or your guinea pig.
Below are the nutrition facts for air-popped popcorn, as provided by Healthline. The nutrition facts are coming from a 100 gram, or 3.5 ounces, serving of air-popped popcorn:
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 7% of the RDI.
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 12% of the RDI.
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): 8% of the RDI.
- Iron: 18% of the RDI.
- Magnesium: 36% of the RDI.
- Phosphorus: 36% of the RDI.
- Potassium: 9% of the RDI.
- Zinc: 21% of the RDI.
- Copper: 13% of the RDI.
- Manganese: 56% of the RDI.
This is coming with a total of 387 calories, 13 grams of protein, 78 grams of carbs, and 5 grams of fat. (Remember that this is one serving for a human, not for a furry friend.)
Below are the nutrition facts for movie theater popcorn, as stated by NutritionIX. The nutrition facts are coming from a 100 gram serving of movie theater popcorn:
- Total fat: 43% of the RDI
- Saturated fat: 25% of the RDI
- Sodium: 37% of the RDI
- Potassium: 7% of the RDI
- Vitamin A: 0.2% of the RDI
- Vitamin C: 0.5% of the RDI
- Calcium: 0.7% of the RDI
- Iron: 15.5% of the RDI
This is coming with a total of 500 calories, nine grams of protein, and over 28 grams of fat.
As you can see, the nutritional value of air-popped popcorn is much higher. All of the nutrients are lost once a high amount of salt and butter are added to movie theater popcorn. This proves that air popping popcorn is a much better option, as it maintains the original nutritional value.
Your guinea pig will appreciate you respecting its dietary needs, but if you want to occasionally give it an extra special treat, always make sure your popcorn is prepared in the most healthy way possible before feeding it to your pet.
What Are Some Popcorn Substitutes for Guinea Pigs?
Guinea pigs do not do well with human food. They are herbivores and therefore survive on fruits and vegetables. There are not many snacks that you can share with your guinea pig, save it be fruits or veggies.
Below is a list of the foods that guinea pigs can enjoy with their owners:
- Green peppers
While guinea pigs cannot eat popcorn, they can enjoy several other foods. They love a variety of fruits and vegetables, and they will likely try to snag a bite if you are eating in front of them. So, if you really want to share a snack with your guinea pig, we suggest something from the list above instead of popcorn.
Additional Information On Animals Eating Popcorn
Are you curious about what animals can eat popcorn? Click here for an animal overview or click on an animal below to find out specific details: