Can guinea pigs eat cucumber? Ultimate feeding guide
Cucumbers are versatile and can be used in various ways, like making salads and can be combined with almost anything. But can guinea pigs eat cucumbers? Yes, guinea pigs can eat cucumbers even though they do not have much nutritional value. The high water content of around 95% makes them very refreshing, especially when the weather is hot.
In this article, we will look at the health benefits, risks, nutrition facts, serving portions and frequency, how to prepare cucumber for guinea pigs, and more.
Health benefits of cucumbers for guinea pigs
Cucumbers are filled with vitamins and minerals, making them a great treat for your guinea pig. Here are some of the health benefits it offers.
- Maintain optimum weight
Cucumbers have high water content and very low in sugar, calories, and fats. This means that your guinea pig will not become chubby for eating the vegetable. So, it would be best if you considered adding it to your pet’s diet.
- Keeps your pet hydrated
The high water content in cucumbers makes them refreshing, especially in hot summer days. Adding them to your guinea pig’s diet will help it to stay hydrated even if they don’t drink water. Therefore, don’t be concerned if you notice a reduction in water consumption after feeding cucumbers.
- Improves the cardiovascular system and blood vessels
Cucumbers have zero cholesterol and low fats, ideal for the blood vessels, and the cardiovascular system. This will help your guinea pig maintain optimum blood pressure and healthy functioning of the heart.
- Elimination of free radicals
The metabolic processes in the body result in the production of free radicals. Accumulation of these radicals can be very dangerous to your guinea pig. Cucumbers are rich in antioxidants, which helps in the elimination of these radicals.
- Prevent scurvy
Like most vegetables, cucumbers contain vitamin C that will help your guinea pig safe from scurvy. This is a very dangerous disease with symptoms such as bad oral health, internal bleeding, diarrhea, swollen joints, loss of appetite, and more.
Nutrition facts of cucumber for guinea pigs
Cucumbers are rich in various nutrients that are ideal for your guinea pig’s growth. Here is the nutritional information of 100g of cucumber.
- Sugar- 1.7g. This is an excellent amount because guinea pigs are unable to digest a high amount of both natural and artificial sugar.
- Vitamin A – 2%. It is one of the main antioxidants that prevent the accumulation of free radicals. In addition, vitamin A plays a crucial role in fighting inflammation, lungs, heart, kidney, and improving vision.
- Magnesium- 3%. This is a very important mineral that helps to strengthen muscles, prevent diabetes, alleviate aches, and make the bones healthy.
- Vitamin C – 5%. Guinea pigs cannot produce or store vitamin C and need to outsource often. Cucumbers are a great source of vitamin C for your pet.
- Vitamin B6 – 2%. This vitamin offers many benefits to guinea pigs, such as cleansing the liver, relaxing the body, better sleep, and improving the eyesight.
- Vitamin K- 21%. Lack of this vitamin will cause your guinea pig to undergo long periods of bleeding in case of an injury or disease. Vitamin K helps in blood clotting to prevent overflow.
- Carbs and proteins- 3.6g/0.7g. These nutrients are a good source of energy that will enable your guinea pig to be active.
- Water – 95.23%. The high water content is great for your pet’s hydration.
Risks associated with feeding cucumbers to guinea pigs
- Urinary tract infections
There is about 2% of the calcium in cucumbers. While this is not much, it can accumulate and cause kidney and bladder stones. If not treated, it can lead to painful urination or even blood in the urine.
- Stomach problems
Cucumber is a healthy vegetable and offer your guinea pig a lot of benefits. However, the high water content can upset their stomach. Therefore, try to combine it with more caloric food like hay. Also, it is good to limit its consumption.
How to prepare cucumbers for guinea pigs
Preparing the cucumber in the right way helps your guinea pig to get the best out of it. Here are the steps you should follow to prepare cucumber for your pet.
- Step 1 – Choose the right cucumber.
The right cucumber for your guinea pig should be fresh and not bitter. The bitter taste indicates the presence of cucurbitacins, which are not good for your pet.
- Step 2: Wash it properly.
After selecting the right cucumber, wash it thoroughly to remove sprayed chemicals and dirt. If you do not wash it properly, it can cause problems for your guinea pig’s health. In fact, it is recommended to use warm water to remove the wax coating on the cucumber’s skin.
- Step 3: Peel the skin.
This is an optional step if you are not sure about the wax on the surface, or your guinea pig does not like the skin. Just use a simple peeler to remove the skin.
- Step 4: Slice into pieces
Cut the cucumber into small pieces to enable your guinea pig to eat comfortably. Also, it helps to reduce the chances of chocking and control the amount per serving.
More about guinea pigs and cucumbers
- Are cucumber leaves safe for guinea pigs?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat cucumbers. However, it would help if you only serve it in small proportions because they contain compounds that induce vomiting. Also, it can disrupt the digestive system of your guinea pig.
- Are cucumber seeds safe for guinea pigs?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat cucumber seeds. They are moist and soft and cannot damage the teeth or cause chocking. It is advisable to serve the seeds in small quantities because they contain diuretic fatty acids and cucurbitacins.
Can guinea pigs eat cucumber conclusion
Cucumber is an excellent vegetable to treat your guinea pig once in a while. It is packed with a lot of nutrients and minerals that will boost your pet’s health. However, you should accompany it with other foods and stick to the recommended quantity per serving and frequency.