Everyone loves juice, and this beverage comes in any possible fruit flavor we can imagine. Of course, not every juice is natural, and most of them have artificial colors or aromas. Now, considering that our guinea pigs are vegetarians, and juices are derived from veggies or fruits too – should they be able to consume juice? Well, let’s find out.
Can guinea pigs drink juice? Yes, guinea pigs can drink juice but they cannot have just any type of juice. As a rule, they can have only the organic/natural unsweetened juices diluted with water, and from certain fruits only.
For example, your guinea pig can try drinking unsweetened juice from the following fruits: cranberry, apple, orange and some other fruits that are high in vitamin C. The juice has to be diluted with water using a 50:50 ratio of juice and water. When natural juices are diluted with water they become less sweet and more hydrating as well. Also, unlike us humans, the guinea pigs can taste juice only rarely.
Well, this is better than you expected, right? Guinea pigs can enjoy some natural juice but only when mixed with water of course. Who would’ve thought? Next time you are having a glass of cranberry, orange, or apple juice that is organic, remember to prepare it nicely for the guinea pigs too. They will be extremely happy. In the sections below, you can see what nutrients are usually found in juices, how to prepare it for the guinea pig, and other useful facts.
Main Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Drinking Juice
- Antioxidants – juices have a lot of vitamins because they are organic and made of fruits of course. The best antioxidant found in some juices is vitamin A because it protects the whole body from diseases. It boosts the immune system, so the organism is safe against health problems. Antioxidants remove the free radicals that can damage the immune system and age the body. Vitamin A keeps the lungs, vision, heart, kidneys, skin, and brain in great health.
- Scurvy prevention – vitamin C in juices is the best thing for the guinea pig! This vitamin prevents a disease called scurvy (symptoms are: no appetite, weight loss, rough coat, bleeding, discharge, diarrhea). Guinea pigs are prone to this disease when they lack vitamin C. Sadly, they often lack this vitamin, because they don’t produce it naturally. If your guinea pig is having problems with vitamin C deficiency try giving it some foods rich in vitamin C from our food list.
- Healthy blood – the iron and copper in juices will contribute to healthier blood. Healthy blood means a good immune system, better health, and less risk of anemia. Iron is found in the red blood cells, and it’s the most important mineral for the body.
Nutrition Facts on Juice
Here are the nutrition facts for 100 g (3 oz) of unsweetened cranberry juice:
- Low in calories – 46
- Moderate in carbs – 12.2g
- Low in protein – 0.4g
- Fiber – 0.1g
- Sugars – 12.1g
- Fat – 0.1g
- Vitamin A – 1%
- Vitamin C – 15%
- Thiamin – 1%
- Vitamin E – 6%
- Vitamin K – 6%
- Riboflavin – 1%
- Vitamin B6 – 3%
- Calcium – 1%
- Iron – 1%
- Phosphorus – 1%
- Magnesium – 1%
- Copper – 3%
- Zinc – 1%
Related: Health Benefits of Cranberry Juice – Pennington Biomedical Research Center
Risks to Consider When Giving Juice to Guinea Pigs
The following risks are caused by if juices are given in excess:
- Urinary problems – most juices contain calcium and phosphorus. These minerals can be very harmful to guinea pigs. Why? Well, they are needed for strong bones only when the guinea pig is still growing up (when it’s young). After that, they can cause serious problems in the urinary system. When the calcium and phosphorus pile up as excess minerals in the body, they can make kidney and bladder stones, painful urinating, bloody urine, or frequent urinary infections. If this is not treated on time, it can progress to the fatal renal failure (when kidneys don’t function anymore). Some studies have found that this is maybe not the case if you use cranberry juice.
- Digestion problems – the juices have sugar too, even if they are natural juices. Of course, guinea pigs don’t digest sugars well. This is why you need to dilute every juice with water. It will be more pleasant for the cavy, more hydrating, and less sweet. Too much sugar at once can make the cavy’s stomach bloated, or with cramps, and even diarrhea. But, watered-down juice tastes like a fruity-water, don’t you agree? Even watered down, it’s still healthy, tasty, and refreshing.
- Weight gain – the juices have moderate amounts of carbs and sugars. Quite often, they are even too sugary, but if the juice is natural and diluted with water, and consumed in moderate amount, it is ok. However, if the juice is not diluted with water, the guinea pig would ingest a high amount of sugars and carbs, and this will affect the weight (if you give juice too often!).
Serving Size, Preparation and Frequency Of Juice
The best serving size would be less than the water container the guinea pigs has in their cage. Let’s say, half of that container can be filled with diluted natural juice. Think of this serving enough for a taste, and a bit more!
Once a week is an optimal frequency because after all, this is kinda like unprocessed fruit – natural, but still sweet, so pay attention to this!
The preparation is quite easy. Get the freshly squeezed juice, and mix it with clean drinking water, the ratio is 50:50. You can add more water to the juice, but don’t add less water (again, we must emphasize that the juice must be less sweet, not sweeter!)
What Will Happen If My Cavy Has Undiluted, Natural Juice?
Your guinea pig will survive, don’t panic about that. But, expect a serious digestive problem on the way! The high amount of sugar in the juice without water will most likely make the guinea pig suffer from tummy pains and indigestion. Dilute it with water, always!
Fun Facts on Juice
- Rarely, some packages that say ‘100% juice’ are indeed real, unsweetened juice. The sweetness you taste comes only from the natural fruit sugars.
- It is better to store juice in a carton or a dark bottle, rather than plastic or see-through glass.
- How to recognize natural juices vs. artificial ones? Simple, just look at the price, not just a label that says ‘100% natural’.
- Drinking juices removes toxins that otherwise cannot be too easily removed from the body.
- If you consume 6 large carrots, it is the same as drinking 8 oz. carrot juice.
- The green juices are filled with chlorophyll. This helps the body cleanse itself from toxins, and the oxygen flow is much better too.
- On average, natural juices have 80 calories per normal size cup.
- To get the same nutrients from 16 oz of juice, you will need to consume 2 lbs carrots, and a dozen apples, or 8 lbs spinach.
- Drinking natural juices can reduce almost any type of inflammation in the body.
Before I let you go, one final thought on food. With food, you can’t ever be too careful which is why I get all guinea pig food from a reliable source such as Amazon. If you are not sure what to order but believe your little piggies deserve some great treats please check our Helpful Guide to the Best Guinea Pig Treats to get some ideas. We have also made a full list of foods that guinea pigs can and can’t eat (150+ Types of Foods). Be sure to also check our recommended products page for everything you will ever need to assure a happy life for your Guinea Pigs. Hope this information was helpful and you have found the answer you were looking for.
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