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Thread: Do my pigs need Salt Wheels or Mineral Licks?

  1. #41
    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Ly&Pigs's Avatar
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    Re: Do my pigs need Salt Wheels or Mineral Licks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chin Lover
    I have however, heard that if you have a piggy that doesn't drink water, giving the piggy a salt lick would help the situation. That's probably the only reason to get your piggy one, and even so, it shouldn't be in the cage for long.
    You should never give a salt lick for any reason at all. If the pig isn't drinking much water from the water bottle it's either because they are getting enough water from the veggies or there may be a health issue.

  2. #42
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Do my pigs need Salt Wheels or Mineral Licks?

    People will have differing opinions on this, just like on everything else. In the end you will have to do what you feel is right for your animals.

    Like I said before, I agree that small herbivores don't need salt licks or mineral wheels, and using it on new piggies that don't drink water is the only semi-good reason I read from my research. I'm not here to argue, just passing on what I read.

  3. #43
    Cavy Slave AnimalHouse36's Avatar
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    Re: Do my pigs need Salt Wheels or Mineral Licks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chin Lover View Post
    People will have differing opinions on this, just like on everything else.

    But, sometimes there are facts to back up an opinion is this case there are many facts to back up that you shouldn't give them these. They are just a gimick(sp?) created by pet stores to get you to buy things.
    Last edited by AnimalHouse36; 05-29-08 at 01:23 pm. Reason: Spellling

  4. #44
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Do my pigs need Salt Wheels or Mineral Licks?

    I've read the "facts" that have been posted on this forum, including the ones listed on the other thread. I agree that salt licks and mineral wheels are unnecessary in a small animal's diet, but it's the matter of my opinion, of the majority opinion.

    I have yet to find concrete evidence to say that salt licks and mineral wheels are dangerous. I also didn't find any cases of deaths from salt licks and mineral wheels. I'm not saying that the risk isn't there, I'm just saying there isn't proof that it's there.

    I quote from the other thread
    Quote Originally Posted by VoodooJoint View Post
    I found nothing that says they are dangerous except in one of the pages listed above that made mention of salt poisoning, but I found may references that say they are not necessary and many that said you can use them but that a good diet makes them unneccesary.
    I've even search a very knowledgeable chin site, in which people debated heavily (and heated topics can turn into arguments), and no one was able to prove that salt licks and mineral wheels are bad/dangerous for chins.

    I am very much against salt licks and mineral wheels, and I would love to find "facts" out there that'll prove these items are harmful for small animals. And I've PMed some of the mods on this following forum to take the two items off the safe chinchilla chew list
    Chinchilla Chew Toys - Chins & Quills

    I do need something solid and concrete that'll seal the debate for that to happen though. Do you guys know of any sources of research that has been done which proves these items are harmful and dangerous?

  5. #45
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Do my pigs need Salt Wheels or Mineral Licks?

    They can overdose on salt and multivitamins, which harms their livers and kidneys. You can research the effects of overdosing on salt and vitamins/ minerals.

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    Re: Do my pigs need Salt Wheels or Mineral Licks?

    Has there been reports on incidences where that has happened after given salt licks or mineral wheels?

  7. #47
    Cavy Slave Jennicat's Avatar
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    Re: Do my pigs need Salt Wheels or Mineral Licks?

    I would suspect not, since most of the guinea pig owners using salt licks and mineral wheels are the same people who have them on cedar, have them in tiny cages, and only expect them to live 2 years.

    Again, WHY would you give a product which serves no purpose except to cover up a potentially deadly medical symptom?

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    Re: Do my pigs need Salt Wheels or Mineral Licks?

    no! your ginny pig does not NEED salt licks....ect. so don't worry the will be fine without them!

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    Cavy Slave theresaj's Avatar
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    Re: Do my pigs need Salt Wheels or Mineral Licks?

    Hmm glad I came upon this thread. I know not to give Frankie salt licks now.

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    Re: Do my pigs need Salt Wheels or Mineral Licks?

    WHY do salt licks cause kidney/bladder stones? All I hear is to throw the salt lick in the garbage, THROW IT OUT! but I'm presented with no proof. I don't trust people who give their advice in such an absolute and hostile way.

    Why can't I provide my guinea pig with things it likes as a treat such as the occasional salt lick or yogurt drop?

    And why are salt licks good for horses and bad for guinea pigs? I would appreciate, trust, and follow advice with more explanation.

  11. #51
    Cavy Slave theresaj's Avatar
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    Re: Do my pigs need Salt Wheels or Mineral Licks?

    Quote Originally Posted by BabySnow View Post
    And why are salt licks good for horses and bad for guinea pigs? I would appreciate, trust, and follow advice with more explanation.
    Different animals with different bodies. Certain minerals that the guinea pig gets too much of can cause the stones. Something like certain amount of calcium can cause bladder stones or gall stones in humans.

  12. #52
    Cavy Slave AnimalHouse36's Avatar
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    Re: Do my pigs need Salt Wheels or Mineral Licks?

    Quote Originally Posted by BabySnow View Post
    WHY do salt licks cause kidney/bladder stones? All I hear is to throw the salt lick in the garbage, THROW IT OUT! but I'm presented with no proof. I don't trust people who give their advice in such an absolute and hostile way.

    Why can't I provide my guinea pig with things it likes as a treat such as the occasional salt lick or yogurt drop?

    And why are salt licks good for horses and bad for guinea pigs? I would appreciate, trust, and follow advice with more explanation.

    Want proof? DO a search on the forum. I'm sure you'll find some proof that they cause damage.

    Salt lick is unnessacary hazardess to their health and an all around waste of money.

    GP's are STRICt herbavours (sp?). They are lactose (SP?) intolerant.

    Guinea pigs and horses are two COMPLETLY different animals therefore they have different dietary needs.

  13. #53
    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Ly&Pigs's Avatar
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    Re: Do my pigs need Salt Wheels or Mineral Licks?

    They do not need salt licks because there is salt in the pellets they eat. Too much salt can cause extreme thirst. Too much salt can increase blood pressure and cardiovascular problems and in some cases too much salt can lead to death.

    Cavies are lactose intolerant meaning they cannot digest dairy products very well. Yogurt drops contain dairy products.

    It's not salt licks that cause stones, it's mineral licks. The main mineral in mineral licks is calcium which in turn can and does cause sludge/stones.

  14. "Thank you, Ly&Pigs, for this useful post," say these 2 members:


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    Re: Do my pigs need Salt Wheels or Mineral Licks?

    Thank you very much for the friendly explanation Theresaj and Ly&Pigs!
    Sorry I didn't know I could do a search AnimalHouse36. I did one and came up with more posts saying the reasons that Theresaj and Ly&pigs gave. So thanks!

    It does list salt fairly early in the ingredient list for my pellets. I also checked the ingredients of my yogurt drops (Yogies) and it does list Cultured Skim Milk as an ingredient. I know at least for humans, cultured milk is tolerated by many lactose intolerant people. (The bacteria in cultured milk takes care of some of the lactose) However, lactose intolerant people are supposed to avoid whey, which the Yogies also have.

    I sent an email to 8in1, the established company that makes Yogies and one of the makers of salt and mineral wheels. I'll let you know if they reply! It's certainly frustrating when a 100 year old company tells you things are essential for your guinea pig - Quote the Yogies container: "healthy yogurt-drop snack made with easy to digest yogurt" and then a forum of experienced (but relatively anonymous) owners tells you the trusted company is full of poo.

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    Cavy Slave Deenanicole08's Avatar
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    Re: Do my pigs need Salt Wheels or Mineral Licks?

    Yes, my pig used to love the orange flavored yogurt drops, and never got sick, and her poops were just fine, but I read they cant have them, so I stop that right away. But how come she liked them so much if they were so bad? I always wondered because I know a couple lactose intolerant people and they feel sick after eating something dairy.

    But I too wanted to e-mail these companies and tell them to do their research, but I figured it would do absolutely nothing. I got my pig a large runing ball too, that she hated and wouldnt move in, but it could have killed her and I had no idea since they marketed them for guinea pigs.

  17. #56
    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Ly&Pigs's Avatar
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    Re: Do my pigs need Salt Wheels or Mineral Licks?

    They like them because of all the junk and sugars in them. The same way that a toddler would like chocolate over broccoli. Just because it says it's for pigs doesn't mean it's healthy. Store treats are bad news because of all the processed junk in them and the added sugars.

    8-in-1 makes some of the worst small animal treats out there. Treat sticks full of nuts and seeds, stuff with lots of added sugars and low quality ingredients. It's best to avoid ALL petstore treats and stick with fresh veggies with the occasional piece of fresh fruit.

  18. #57
    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator! VoodooJoint's Avatar
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    Re: Do my pigs need Salt Wheels or Mineral Licks?

    Another issue with items like yogurt drops is the amount of sugar they contain. Too much sugar can cause diabetes in guinea pigs the same way it does in humans.

    Think about the size of a yogurt drop in comparison to your GP's size. It's about the equivalent of you eating an entire cake by yourself.

    Stick with occational, natural sweets like fruit. Your GPs will love them just as much, if not more, ad they get the benefit of the natural vitamins and enzymes.

    ETA - Ly, get out of my head.
    Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You can't let the world judge you too much.

    Maude from Harold and Maude

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    Cavy Slave theresaj's Avatar
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    Re: Do my pigs need Salt Wheels or Mineral Licks?

    I would like to respond more to BabySnow's post. Just things to think about.

    Point #1: Well, your guinea pig may enjoy it, that doesn't make it something they need or good for them. Think of all the foods WE enjoy but are of no value otherwise and are just fat and calories, would you have your children live on McDonalds just because they enjoy it? A lot of those pet shop piggie treat things are like that. Think of all the junk cereals that are like fortified with essential vitamins blahblah. Well the cereal being full of sugar kind of undoes that. Like, cake, ice cream, doughnuts,and the like. Yes, we enjoy these but are they good for us? No way!

    Point #2: As Ly mentioned Guinea Pigs are herbivores. Their bodies are not made to digest meat, grains, dairy, and the like. For them to be healthy you should only feed what their bodies were designed to digest.

    Point #3: Horses and Guinea pigs are different in many ways, different in size, different anatomically and so on. I know many people say an animal is an animal is an animal but this just isn't the case. Just like no 2 of us are JUST a like. For example, one may have special diet needs because they are diabetic or so on, and another person may be normal. No 2 creatures are exactly alike.

    Point #4: These things are a waste of your money that you work to get as well. And are mainly useless gimmicks for pet shops to just try to sell you extra stuff you don't really need.
    Last edited by theresaj; 10-27-08 at 10:30 pm.

  20. #59
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    Re: Do my pigs need Salt Wheels or Mineral Licks?

    They aren't exactly going to print "Bad for your guinea pig" on the package.

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    Re: Do my pigs need Salt Wheels or Mineral Licks?

    Quote Originally Posted by theresaj View Post
    would you have your children live on McDonalds just because they enjoy it?
    ...
    Their bodies are not made to digest meat, grains, dairy, and the like.
    ...
    Horses and Guinea pigs are different in many ways
    Well of course she is nowhere NEAR living off it. Sometimes I think of animals too much like friends and like to think they can afford an occaisional unhealthy treat like I can. But I will certainly stop giving her Yogies because of the dairy in them. I didn't know guinea pigs are lactose intolerant.
    It would be like me trying to eat her hay every once and a while... that would be silly.

    I know that horse comment made no sense. Imagine me looking sheepish here! My aunt has horses and Snowflake reminds me of them. Mainly because they both eat massive amounts of hay! Different hay, I know...


    Quote Originally Posted by rabbitsncavyluv View Post
    They aren't exactly going to print "Bad for your guinea pig" on the package.
    I don't wish for them to tell the truth about their bad products, I just wish they'd make better products! A healthy treat like a fruit or veggie that didn't need to be refrigerated would be nice. But like I read in another post, that wouldn't be economical for many companies as animal food is sometimes just waste from other food manufacture.

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