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Can Salt Licks Kill Guinea Pigs?

In essence, every animal including humans needs salt because salt is an essential mineral to the body, but as for our question of the day, Is salt licks harmful to guinea pigs? That you will find out as you read on.

Feed your Guinea pigs with a high-quality balance diet and this automatically supplies them with enough minerals and salt, which is the exact amount of salt needed in their body. Constant consumption of grass hay, a variety of vegetables/greens, plus a well-mixed pellet will be all they need to have a balanced menu. And this tells you that salt licks mean excess salt to their body system and that is harmful to them.

Salt licks should only be considered if recommended by the vets because they will have their reasons for doing that. So, keep reading because right here in this article you will find out everything you need to know about guinea pigs and salt licks.

What Are Salt Licks?

A salt lick is a block of salt enriched with sodium chloride and iodine prepared and given to domestic or farm animals to lick. It could also be referred to as a mineral salts deposits used to supplement the nutrition of animals thereby providing enough minerals in their diets.

Salt licks notwithstanding the bad effect it has on guinea pigs also have benefits on animals in general, as it helps to prevent dehydration and balance digestion. Chlorine from salt is what helps balance the acid levels in the body and also smoothens digestion.

The most animal would always get the mineral resources they need like calcium, iron, sodium, phosphorus, zinc, etc by consuming things that are salt resources in nature, so it would be safe to say that salt licks are good for some animals yet harmful to some when consumed excessively.

What Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

Guinea pigs are usually not one of those animals that eat too much, so you must feed them with balanced diets. Vitamin C is essential to their growth and well-being, and that’s why daily consumption of Hay, properly balanced pellets, and fresh greens would be necessary.

Hay is unarguably the most essential part of your Cavy’s diet, feed them daily with high-quality grass hay such as Timothy hay, orchard grass hay, meadow, brome, or oat hay. Another benefit of Hay is that it helps prevent your guinea pigs from every common dental disorder.

Guinea pigs’ specific pellets are good but should be offered in a very limited quantity. Learn to avoid adding seeds, nuts, or dried fruits to their pellets mixture. Pellets should be given to them alongside a large quantity of Hay.

Vegetables are also very nice for them but one type at a time, make sure you feed them the ones they are already familiar with because introducing new vegetables might cause diarrhea. Some common vegetables for their consumption include; Carrots, tomatoes, cilantro, etc.

Can Salt Licks Kill Guinea Pigs?

Excessive consumption of sodium leads to dehydration, and an imbalance of calcium may lead to serious bladder problems. Salt licks plus the sodium they get from their foods already amounts to excess salt in their body, and as we all know guinea pigs don’t sweat like humans, which means there’s only one way to remove excess sodium from their body which is through their kidneys.

Salt licks on the other hand makes them acquire more sodium than their kidney can carry, this now forces their kidney to overwork, and that way kidney stones and failure might occur.

They get the desired percentage of sodium from their foods as long as they feed well. Excess salts lead to high blood pressure because it gives them the amount of stress that their little body can’t handle, so with all these write-ups you have already learned that salt licks can kill guinea pigs.

Potential Benefits

Is Salt Lick Beneficial To Guinea Pigs?

Salt provides us with sodium, which is an essential nutrient that our body needs (although in a small quantity) to keep muscles and nerves functioning smoothly. So guinea pigs on the other hand might enjoy licking salt but I guess you know that doesn’t mean they need it.

Low level of sodium in the body leads to numerous health issues, So it’s no doubt that salt is beneficial to the body but the excess intake of it kills not only guinea pigs but every living animal including human.

Alternatives To Salt Licks For Guinea Pigs

Salt licks no doubt produce sodium (although in excess) so, this automatically means that any food that can supply sodium and vitamin C to the Cavy’s body becomes an alternative to salt lick for them and also a safe one at that.

Guinea pigs cannot produce any of these required nutrients by themselves so it is left for us to give them exactly what will help them produce it, so we need to make sure they feed on high Vitamin C production foods.

All they need is a little quantity of Vitamin C which I believe that hay, a well-combined pellet, or some nutritious vegetables can easily supply them with that, so there’s no point providing them with salts.

What Can Guinea Pigs Not Eat?

Guinea pigs’ diets are essential to their healthy growth, their diets should be as natural as possible. No doubt they love to eat but beware of certain foods that can cause harm or death to them when being consumed.

On this list below, I have carefully combined those foods they need to avoid by all means because their consequences when taken can cause not just illness but death.

1. Garlic:

This can cause discomfort, bad stomach pains, damage to the red blood cells, breathing difficulty, etc all because of the components they are made of which are not compatible with that of the guinea pig’s body system.

2. Meat:

Guinea pigs are strict vegetarians, this simply means that they eat majorly plant foods and rejects all animal products. This is to say that meat can make them fall sick, whether cooked or raw, so don’t add this to their menu.

3. Chocolate:

Chocolates can be very toxic and unhealthy for guinea pigs. Don’t give them anything sweet, it’s not good for their body.

4. Onions:

Just like garlic, their toxicity can damage the guinea pig’s red blood cells. They have plentiful chemical compounds that could harm your guinea pigs, so you must keep them out of their reach.

5. Rotten Or Stale Foods:

Avoid feeding your guinea pigs rotten or Stale Foods because it’s unhealthy and equally harmful. Check the vegetables before giving them to them, remove anything that can lead to rotten or moldy food in their cage, and check your hays too before buying them.

Why Does Your Guinea Pig Lick You?

If you notice that your guinea pig is licking you always, then it could be a result of so many things. They might be trying to let you know that they are hungry, sometimes it’s just because they perceive the scent of sweat on your skin, of course, you know it tastes salty and that would attract them. They might be licking your skin as a sign of affection, sometimes it might be an act of closeness or as a result of the bond you share with them.

So now you have seen that it means so many things and it’s left for you to observe and find out exactly what might be their reason at that particular point in time.


Guinea pigs like every other animal need sodium which can easily be gotten from salts, but don’t forget that healthy feeding supplies them with the exact amount of sodium and other ingredients they need for healthy growth, this simply implies that they do not need salt lick because of the numerous disadvantages.

Too much salt leads to excess sodium in their body and this could expose them to different health challenges as we mentioned above, healthy feeding is all you need to see your little guinea pigs grow attractively.



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