Last Updated on March 7, 2023 by Woody Pet
Can guinea pigs eat fruit?
Caring for a guinea pig is not as easy a job as one might think. They have very restricted diets and finding out what they can or can’t eat is your job. Giving them something that they are not allowed to eat or changing their diet overnight can have very bad consequences.
A guinea pig’s diet consists mostly of hay and grass. However, guinea pigs can’t synthesize their own vitamins so that means that we should also give them vitamin-rich foods. The first thing that pops into your head when you hear about vitamins is probably fruits and vegetables.
While you are making yourself a fruit salad you probably wonder if you should share it with your tiny pet. They need vitamins as well right? Well, they do but it’s not that simple. Besides vitamins, fruits have other nutrients that may or may not be good for your guinea pig. So can guinea pigs eat fruit? The answer is both yes and no.
1. Is fruit good for guinea pigs?
So can guinea pigs eat fruit? Yes, they can, but is fruit good for guinea pigs? It depends on how often you give it to them. Most fruits contain a lot of vitamins and minerals that your guinea pig desperately needs. Vitamin C is the most important vitamin for them and it can be found in most fruits.
However, fruits also contain a lot of sugar. Large quantities of sugar can be lethal for your guinea pig. Its stomach is not equipped to digest that much sugar and it can lead to stomach problems like diarrhea. Another thing is that guinea pigs gain weight practically overnight. As tiny as they are, feeding them sugary foods more often can make them gain a lot of weight and even become obese.
Obesity is a very common problem for guinea pigs because most owners like to treat them whenever they can. Guinea pigs also love sugary and juicy fruit and owners might think that if they love it so much it must be good for them. However, they are wrong. Guinea pigs do love fruits but they often don’t know what’s good for them and their body. They will stick their teeth and chew on pretty much anything you give them. So before you decide to treat your guinea pig to some fruit, research which fruits are allowed and which are not and how often you can actually treat them.
2. What fruits can guinea pigs eat?
After answering can guinea pigs eat fruit positively, you probably want to know what fruits can guinea pigs eat.
Let’s start with one of the most commonly eaten fruits – apples. Apples are rich in vitamins, including vitamin C. They also contain a lot of fiber which can be an excellent addition to your guinea pig’s diet. However, the amount of sugar in it prevents it from being something we can give them on an everyday basis. It’s good for them if you treat them only once or twice a week. But before you do that make sure to properly wash the apple and cut it into smaller pieces. Guinea pigs love the skin of the apple and even the leaves.
However, remove the seeds because not only are they a choking hazard, but they also contain some chemicals that are toxic for guinea pigs. Moving on, plums and apricots are also great treats for guinea pigs. Plums contain vitamins A, K, C, and E, as well as potassium.
However, make sure not to let your guinea gnaw on the plum pit, as this is not safe for any animal. Plums contain vitamins A, C, and K and are also rich in antioxidants that can boost your guinea pig’s immune system. However, just like other fruits, plums are high in sugar and that’s why you can only serve them to your guinea pig up to two times a week.
Wash them thoroughly, cut them into smaller pieces, and don’t forget to remove the pit. Melons are also allowed, but only in moderation because they are still high in sugar.
If you want to treat them with some melon, we suggest you do it with a cantaloupe. Cantaloupes are rich in vitamin C. Bananas, pears, oranges, berries, cherries – all of them are allowed. But make sure you read how much and how often you can serve them to your guinea pig. Remember, never go overboard with any kind of fruit!
3. Things guinea pigs can’t eat
Can guinea pigs eat fruit? Yes, they can, but now that you know this you probably wonder what things guinea pigs can’t eat. If you decided to take care of a guinea pig, there is probably no need to mention that they are herbivores. That means that meat and dairy products are strictly forbidden. It’s not in the nature of guinea pigs to eat these kinds of products so whatever you do, keep them away from guinea pigs.
Other foods can be equally toxic for them or they can be something that is not toxic but that can easily choke them. That’s why avoid feeding your guinea pig: bread, chocolate, mushrooms, avocados, onions, garlic, potatoes, nuts and seeds, iceberg lettuce, peanut butter, cabbage, etc.
Guinea pigs make lovely pets. They are always full of energy, ready to run around and play with their owners. But they are also very small. Even though this makes them a lot cuter in our eyes, their size can cause them quite a lot of problems.
First of all, that means they also have a small throat and a small stomach. Consequently, they can easily choke or get an upset stomach. That’s why we should be very careful what we feed them. If you gave them some fruit and now you are asking yourself can guinea pigs eat fruit? – Don’t worry they can. The portion size and how often you give it to them is the key to a healthy diet. A lot like us humans, right?