As guinea pigs keep on increasing in popularity with each passing month, we keep on seeing more and more people out there asking for advice on various topics based around questions like “What do guinea pigs eat?“. We already have some more general topics covering the broader diets of guinea pigs so we have decided to take a look at a more specific question that we have seen increasing in frequency over the last few months, “Can guinea pigs eat mushrooms?“.
Now, there is actually good reason for so many people to be asking this as there is definitely a divide when it comes to giving your pet guinea pig mushrooms to eat with many guinea pig owners tending to totally avoid them whereas others may feed them small amounts of mushroom occasionally. That said though, due to there being so many different types of mushrooms, you have to ensure that you are getting something such as a button mushroom or a portobello mushroom if you do opt to add small amounts of mushroom to your guinea pigs diet.
In addition to this, you also have to make sure that you never feed your guinea pig wild mushrooms as many of them are not safe for human consumption never mind as a food source for your guinea pig. There are also some people who straight up say that guinea pigs cannot eat mushrooms due to them potentially being dangerous even if they have been well cooked. Due to this, we usually recommend that our readers avoid mushrooms for their guinea pigs as there are so many alternative foods that guinea pigs can eat with commercial guinea pig treats usually being our primary recommendation for our readers.
Not only are those treats delicious but most guinea pigs tend to love the flavor and they are totally safe for your guinea pig to eat while also being jam-packed with essential vitamins and minerals too. On top of this, they also have a ton of excellent independent reviews from the community that you can read too. On the flip side of this though, fruits such as grapes, apples, and pears and vegetables such as green beans, sweet potatoes, and broccoli tend to make solid alternatives to mushrooms for your guinea pig’s diet.
Vitamin And Mineral Content Of Mushrooms
Now, as we mentioned, we don’t recommend that you feed your guinea pig mushrooms but we have seen other guinea pig owners report that they do offer their pets very small amounts of mushroom so we will be going over the nutritional value of them. As we touched on earlier, there are a large number of different types of mushrooms so the exact vitamin and mineral contained in the mushrooms you source may be slightly different to what we have listed.
So, if you do choose to let your guinea pigs eat mushrooms, the following vitamins are found in each serving but the other vegetables and fruits that we covered above are usually better options while packing the same health benefits when added to your pet’s diet.
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B6
- Pantothenic Acid
Each of them come with a solid value content in a small serving of mushrooms while they also contain the following minerals too:-
As we mentioned though, there are plenty of alternatives available when it comes to treat options for your pet guinea pigs that offer the same vitamin and mineral content or better than mushrooms. We would always recommend that our readers try to go with one of those over adding mushrooms to their guinea pigs diet if possible and we will not b taking a more in-depth look at these potential alternatives.
Alternatives To Mushrooms For Your Guinea Pig
In our opinion, grapes are definitely one of the best alternatives to mushrooms for your guinea pig. They are packed with a ton of vitamins and minerals and offer other health benefits such as being a good source of fiber as well as containing a ton of water too. The vast majority of guinea pigs tend to really enjoy the taste of grapes too and the vast majority of stores will sell them making it easy to keep them available but you should only use them as a treat once or maybe twice per week.
Apples are probably the most popular treat for guinea pigs as they are tasty and offer a ton of nutritional value and they are so easy to source. Apples tend to make up the bulk of the majority of treat options for guinea pigs due to so many guinea pigs loving the taste. You can usually add apples into your guinea pigs diet a little bit more often than grapes making the an easier treat option to stock up on but make sure you keep the serving size small.
When it comes to pears, your guinea pig’s personal preference is definitely going to come into play. Some guinea pigs love them whereas some guinea pigs won’t even touch them. Pears offer similar nutritional benefits as grapes and apples but they tend to make better treat food options for your guinea pig as more guinea pigs will actually eat apples or grapes as a part of their diet.
Moving onto the vegetable alternative options to mushrooms for your guinea pig, green beans and broccoli are in a similar boat to pears where many guinea pigs will simply leave them and never eat them. They both have a better nutritional profile than the three fruits covered above but the fact that they will often go uneaten and left at in their food bowl makes them a waste but they are worth trying with your pets at least once.
Out of the vegetables, sweet potatoes usually make a solid alternative to mushrooms for your guinea pigs diet as they are usually a tasty food for guinea pigs that most pets will eat and enjoy. They also have some solid nutritional value and it is guinea pigs can eat them two or three times a week without issue. We see many people switch between sweet potatoes, grapes, apples, and other treat options throughout the week to ensure that their guinea pig gets all of the important nutrients when feeding from its treat foods.
That brings our article going over the question “Can guinea pigs eat mushrooms?” to a close and we hope that you have found it helpful. As we said though, make sure that you always avoid wild mushrooms for your guinea pigs and in all honesty, we would usually just avoid mushrooms altogether and go with a different treat option from our list of alternative guinea pig treats to mushrooms that we have covered in the section above.