Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cheese? [Things You Must Know]

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cheese

To put it short, guinea pigs shouldn’t eat cheese. They are lactose intolerant and do not have the enzyme to digest lactose, resulting in; diarrhea, gas, bloating, etc.

Another issue with cheese is that they are rich in calcium and fat, which is harmful to small pets; it can lead to obesity, urinary issues, and other health problems.

Read more to learn why guinea pigs shouldn’t eat cheese, the risk of feeding cheese to your guinea pig, and healthy alternatives.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cheese?

Unfortunately, guinea pigs shouldn’t eat Cheese. Guinea pigs are lactose intolerant; thus, they shouldn’t eat cheese or anything related to dairy.

They do not have the enzyme to break down the lactose of the cheese, which will cause them several digestive issues.

Moreover, cheeses have a significant amount of calcium which is essential for your pets, but excessive calcium consumption can cause urinary tract issues.

Lastly, cheese is rich in fat, which can harm your guinea pig in many ways. For example, excess fat in a guinea pig’s diet can lead to weight gain, diarrhea, and so on.

Is Cheese Safe For Guinea Pigs?

Cheese is a dietary product, and guinea pigs are lactose intolerant; hence, they are not safe for your pet.

Cheese can harm your guinea pig in many ways.

First of all, cheese contains lactose which can be problematic for your pet, and they cannot break down lactose, resulting in; gas, diarrhea, bloating, and so on.

Moreover, cheese can lead to other heal issues like obesity, urinary tract infection, kidney stones, cardiovascular problems, etc.

And this will eventually reduce the overall lifespan of your guinea pig.

Why Guinea Pigs Shouldn’t Eat cheese?

Guinea pigs are herbivores, and cheese is not something they should eat. Cheese is a dairy product that isn’t appropriate for your guinea pig.

Why Guinea Pigs Shouldn't Eat cheese

They are rich in milk protein, calcium, and fat which can be harmful to your guinea pig even in a modest amount.

Guinea pigs have a pretty sensitive digestive system; while a small bite of cheese won’t probably kill your guinea pig, it can cause several health issues.

Here are some of the reasons:

Lactose Intolerance:

Guinea pigs are lactose intolerant.

What does it mean?

It means it upsets their digestive system whenever guinea pig eats, drink, or have anything related to dairy.

They do not have the enzyme “lactase,” which is required to break down the milk protein and lactose.

As a result, they experience gas, diarrhea, and bloating after eating cheese. This condition is also known as malabsorption which is usually self-treated but can be really uncomfortable sometimes.

However, this is not the case with baby cavies; they can produce the enzyme, so they have no issue digesting their mother’s milk.

Therefore, cheese isn’t something that your guinea pig should eat. They all are lactose intolerant, which means it can mess up their digestive system.

Cheese Contains Fat:

The second reason “why guinea pigs shouldn’t eat cheese” is fat. Cheese contains a considerable amount of fat, almost 30%, which is way higher.

Guinea pigs usually need a small amount of fat in their diet, like 4% -5%, and more than that can be harmful to them.

They usually eat low-fat food like hay, fruits, and vegetables, so their digestive system cannot metabolize a high amount of fat, resulting in an upset stomach, diarrhea, and so on.

Fat can also cause weight gain, increase cholesterol, and develop heart problems, which will eventually reduce their lifespan.

High in Calcium:

Cheese is rich in calcium which is essential, but too much calcium can be harmful to small animals like guinea pigs

While calcium is required for the growth of bones and teeth, excessive calcium consumption can cause urinary tract problems leading to kidney stones.

Guinea pigs need a modest amount of calcium, and most of it should come from herbs, fruits, and vegetables.

So, be careful with the amount whenever they consume something with high calcium.


Cheese is a rich source of protein which is essential for repairing damaged cells and healing injured muscles.

However, this can be problematic for guinea pigs; they need protein, but it should be modest.

Typically, a slice of cheese has around 7 grams of protein which is way high for guinea pigs.

They are herbivores, and their digestive system cannot handle too much protein, and excessive amounts can lead to upset stomach, diarrhea, bloating, and so on.

May Contain Sodium:

Cheese contains a decent amount of salt, but it can be really high for small pets like guinea pigs.

Unlike humans, guinea pigs cannot get rid of the extra sodium by sweating, so the only way is through urine or stool.

But excessive sodium isn’t good for guinea pigs; it can cause the development of crystals in the kidney and bladder.

Do Guinea Pigs Like Cheese?

Well, it depends!

Some may eat cheese due to the fat content. But mostly, they prefer eating hay, pellets, fruits, and vegetables.

Do Guinea Pigs Like Cheese

They, just like most animals, cannot digest milk properly. However, some guinea pigs may be curious and want to try some of it.

But I do not recommend feeding cheese to your guinea pigs even if they enjoy eating it.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cream Cheese?

Unfortunately, cheese cream is not safe for guinea pigs. Cheese cream is a dairy product, and it’s harmful to your cavy.

Guinea pigs cannot handle any dairy product since they are lactose intolerant; it will simply hurt their tummy.

And the fat content of cheese cream is pretty high, which is not good either.

Therefore, you should not feed cheese cream to your guinea pigs.

What Happens If A Guinea Pig Eats Cheese?

Guinea pigs are herbivores and rely on hay, pellets, vegetables, and an occasional treat of fruits.

Guinea pigs are lactose intolerant means they cannot digest dairy or related products efficiently.

So, consuming cheese or other dairy products can seriously harm your guinea pigs.

Let’s look at some of the effects of consuming cheese:

Guinea pigs are lactose intolerant, and if they consume cheese or other dairy products, it will cause immense gastric distress leading to diarrhea, tummy ache, and gas.

In addition, cheese is high in fat which is not suitable for guinea pigs. They do not need high-fat food in their diet, and they usually eat low-fat food such as hay, grass, fruits, and vegetables.

Therefore, the digestive system is not adapted to digest high-fat food, which can cause digestive distress.

And fat obviously increases the chance of weight gain.

Lastly, cheese contains a good amount of calcium which can cause urinary tract problems and leads to a kidney stone.

These are the main reasons to avoid feeding cheese to guinea pigs.

What Foods Are Toxic To Guinea Pigs?

Apart from cheese, there are other food items that guinea pigs should never eat for various reasons.

For example, some of them can upset the digestive system, while others may be high in sugar and fat or can be toxic or choking hazards for your guinea pig.

Here are some of the food items that can be harmful or poisoning for your guinea pigs in short or longer terms:

Dairy Products:

Guinea pigs are lactose intolerant, and anything related to dairy, such as milk, cheese, yogurt, etc., is not suitable for them.

They do not have the enzyme to break down the lactose, which can lead to gastrointestinal problems, and your pet may experience abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, and so on.


Guinea pigs are herbivores; in other words, they rely on plant-based food. Eating meats of any kind can cause serious health problems for your guinea pigs.

The guinea pig’s digestive system cannot digest anything, but plant-based food and eating meat can cause digestive problems. Also, meats have a high amount of iron and cholesterol, which can damage the organs.


Garlic is a member of the Allium family, and they are highly toxic for small animals, including guinea pigs.

They contain disulfide and thiosulphate, and these two compounds are highly harmful to guinea pigs.

It damages the red blood cells as a result; your guinea pig will experience weakness, fatigue, low bp, respiratory problems, anemia, and even death.

Certain Vegetables:

Guinea pigs eat a variety of vegetables, but not all veggies are safe.

For example, beets, spinach, turnip green, and sweet potatoes are not safe for guinea pigs in high quantities.

They are all rich in calcium and oxalic acid, both of which can cause urinary problems.

As a result, your guinea pig may experience painful urination and blood in the urine, which can lead to bladder and kidney stones.

Therefore, it’s important to consult with your vet before feeding anything new to your pet.


Guinea pigs should not have chocolates; they are toxic for small pets, including guinea pigs. They contain theobromine, caffeine, and high sugar levels, which is not good for your pets.

Even a tiny bite of chocolates can be highly dangerous for guinea pigs, and sometimes it can be life-threatening.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, guinea pigs shouldn’t eat cheese for various reasons.

Cheese contains lactose, milk protein, sugar, high fat, and calcium which are unhealthy and can cause serious health problems.

Eating cheese can cause immense distress to the gastric tract, leading to gasdiarrhea, bloating, etc.

Cheese would be a worse choice for your pet. 

Many other cheap, healthy, and convenient options like hay, fruits, and vegetables will make your guinea pig healthy and increase their lifespan.

Thus, focus on safe and healthy treats for your guinea pigs.

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