Guinea pigs do not eat bugs, they eat only plants. It’s possible for your guinea pig to accidentally eat an insect, but do not force or encourage it to eat bugs of any kind. It may be a sign of illness if your guinea pig seeks out insects.
What You'll Learn
Do Guinea Pigs Eat Bugs in the Wild?
Guinea pigs are naturally herbivores. This means they only eat plants and grains, never any other animal, including insects.
Because they are herbivores, protein is not a substantial part of their diet. Bugs are mainly a source of protein. Because guinea pigs do not require as much protein as a carnivore would, they would never have the inclination to hunt any kind of living species.
Is it Possible for a Pet Guinea Pig to Start Eating Bugs?
While it is possible for a guinea pig to eat bugs, it would be very unnatural and possibly a cause for concern.
Though the entire situation is very unlikely to happen, it is possible that if the guinea pig has close, regular contact with another carnivore such as a cat or a chicken, the guinea pig will pick up some of the other animal’s traits.
This unusual trait could also signify a far more serious vitamin or mineral deficiency or other illness.
A guinea pig would also likely eat a bug if encouraged to do so, though this is not something you should ever encourage.
Guinea pigs primarily rely on fiber and vitamin C in their diets, neither of which are found in sufficient amounts from insects. This means bugs add no nutritional value to the diet.
Despite being not inherently toxic, insects can still be a vector for another disease or have close contact with a pesticide that can make your guinea pig ill.
What Should I Do If My Guinea Pig Accidentally Eats a Bug
Guinea pigs probably eat bugs more often than you’d expect, but it never happens deliberately. Guinea pigs do not pay close attention to what they are munching on. It is possible that a rogue fruit fly or another small bug may get chomped up along with your pet’s other veggies.
A bug won’t cause any immediate health concerns for your guinea pig. It will simply provide unnecessary protein that will quickly pass through its digestive tract.
However, if you see it happen, keep a close eye on your guinea pig for the next 24 hours to make sure it continues acting normal. If you notice any changes, give your vet a call.
What if My Guinea Pig is Eating Bugs Regularly?
There is a serious problem if a guinea pig eats bugs regularly or seeks live protein. Unless your guinea pig has close contact with other meat-eating pets, as mentioned above, it is out of the norm for a guinea pig to seek living creatures, including bugs.
Anytime an animal has a drastic personality or trait change, speak to a veterinarian as it could be a sign of a disease or disorder.
If you notice your guinea pig accidentally ingesting bugs frequently, you may also consider examining the guinea pig’s enclosure for signs of an infestation.
Thoroughly clean out all food and water dishes, replace bedding, and scrub down your pet’s enclosure.
Many factors may attract bugs to your guinea pig’s enclosure, including spoiled food, animal waste left out and not disposed of quickly, or rot from sitting water.
All of these factors can cause additional harm to your guinea pig’s well-being in addition to attracting bugs which may also lay eggs. Keeping up the maintenance of your guinea pigs’ living area is key to ensuring the health and safety of your pet.
It is also possible that guinea pigs can pick up fleas from another pet in the house, especially if they have regular, close contact.
It is also possible for a guinea pig to attract fleas if they are given frequent time outside on a lawn or garden.
Fleas can cause a slew of ailments for your guinea pig and should be eliminated immediately. Because fleas on guinea pigs are less common than dogs or cats, medication for fleas on a guinea pig is not readily available.
Do not simply purchase flea medication for a dog or cat and assume you can use it on a guinea pig, as these animals are several times larger. Contact your vet and follow their course of action for the best and safest results, but avoid putting it off for too long or it can become a tremendous problem in your household.
Main Point – Avoid Bugs
Guinea pigs do not eat bugs or any other animal in the wild. A guinea pig can likely be coaxed into eating just about anything, but this is risky behavior and not something you should ever try to encourage.
Insects are not inherently toxic to a guinea pig, but it is likely that they consume them accidentally now and then. Because it is impossible to clean a live bug or know where it has been, avoid letting your guinea pig eat bugs whenever possible.
Guinea pigs are tiny creatures and even a slight amount of toxins could have a tremendous impact on their bodies.
If your guinea pig is regularly eating bugs, it is unusual. Consult your veterinarian. If enough bugs are getting into your guinea pig’s enclosure that it seems to be a problem, clean and replace as many aspects of the enclosure as possible to ensure an infestation is stopped and any laid eggs are eliminated.
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