Last Updated on December 3, 2020 by Woody Pet
Can guinea pigs eat cantaloupes?
People love guinea pigs. More and more of them adopt them as pets. But can you blame them? They are so small and cute. They usually live up to eight or nine years and make a great pet for those who are prepared to invest a little more time in them. Guinea pigs are herbivorous which means they like to eat plants and one of their favorite meals is the cantaloupe.
Cantaloupes are a very healthy snack. They contain a lot of vitamins and minerals. So while you are eating a cantaloupe and ingesting your daily dose of vitamins you might also want to share it with your pet guinea pig. But can guinea pigs eat cantaloupe? The good news is that they can, but only in a limited amount. So if you want to learn more about the reasons behind this we suggest you keep on reading!
1. Which parts of a cantaloupe can guinea pigs eat?
Yes you can give your guinea pig some cantaloupe but be careful – only from time to time and only a small portion. It cannot become part of their daily menu because even though it might be healthy for us humans, it’s very sugary for them. They love eating them but as we know for example – you can’t eat fast food every day. Like too much fast food can result in obesity in humans – cantaloupes can result in obesity in guinea pigs. So even if we do decide to treat them, which parts of a cantaloupe can guinea pigs eat?
The seeds are not recommended because even though they don’t contain anything harmful – they can easily get stuck in their little throats and result in asphyxiation. The skin of the cantaloupe has a lot of fiber and that makes it an excellent food for your guinea pig. But you should be careful, if you plan on giving them the skin then be sure that there are no pesticides on it. Also the skin can sometimes be very tough and make it hard for them to digest it.
And last but certainly not least – the flesh of the cantaloupe. This is the part that guinea pigs like to eat the most. They should eat it no more than once a week because it contains a lot of phosphorus which can result in kidney stones. So all in all can guinea pigs eat cantaloupes? Yes they can and the very much like to. But should we over feed them with cantaloupe? Absolutely not. Keep it to once or maximum twice a week.
2. Benefits of giving cantaloupe to guinea pigs
Cantaloupes are rich with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Folate, Calcium, Potassium and Phosphorus. This makes them very healthy for guinea pigs as well as humans. Vitamin C is the most important vitamin for guinea pigs because it helps in strengthening their immune system. However, they cannot produce this vitamin on their own which means that they have to eat a lot of Vitamin C rich foods. One of them is the cantaloupe.
Vitamin A helps with growth and development. It can also help in improving their eyesight. Folate is very crucial while recovering from wounds. Calcium helps in strengthening their bones, potassium prevents the formation of kidney stones and phosphorus is crucial for absorbing sugars and fats.
The fibers in the cantaloupe also improve the digestion system of guinea pigs. The cantaloupe also contains a lot of water which keeps them hydrated. This is important because they usually don’t drink much water on their own. So can guinea pigs eat cantaloupes? Yes and they can even stay healthy because of them. But even though there seem to be a lot of benefits of giving cantaloupe to guinea pigs there are also a lot cons.
Negative effects of giving cantaloupe to guinea pigs
If you stick to the recommended dosage, or one small slice once or twice a week – there will be no negative effects of giving cantaloupe to guinea pigs. However, if you treat your pet guinea pig more than you should it can first of all result in diabetes and obesity. In the beginning we mentioned that guinea pigs are very small and that’s what makes them so cute. However exactly because they are small they can easily gain a lot weight.
Cantaloupes as rich with sugar as they are can cause quite a lot of problems for them. It was also mentioned before that the large concentration of phosphorus in cantaloupes may lead to kidney stones. Other negative effects of giving cantaloupe to guinea pigs include diarrhea and bloating. The best foods for guinea pigs are the ones that contain little to no sugar. Anything else can cause them stomach pain and other problems.
That’s why you should feed them cantaloupes but only with caution. After this you might wonder why we answered can guinea pigs ear cantaloupes positively. Well, even in humans everything in excess can be dangerous. Even drinking too much water or taking too many vitamins can be harmful sometimes. So if you want to treat your pet give it one slice a week and all will be good.
So in conclusion, can guinea pigs eat cantaloupe? Yes they can. Too much of it can cause the problems but a small amount from time to time can be quite the treat. It can also help in boosting their immune system due to the large amount of vitamins it contains. If you are still scared that you might harm your pet, but still want the nutrients you can feed it only vegetables or stick to good old fashioned grass. However, even though you might be scared you should remember that guinea pigs are also living breathing creatures that should be treated from time to time. Imagine never being able to eat some cake or chocolate because it’s bad for you. Just keep to the recommended dosage and everything will be all right.