Guinea pigs are one of the most adorable plant-eating pets you can have. These rodents absolutely love almost all types of veggies and fruits. Especially small fruits and berry-like tasty treats. And guinea pigs have lots of benefits from eating fruits too, for example, they get all the vitamins and minerals for optimal health through fruits.
Without vitamins from the fruits, the guinea pigs can suffer from various illnesses from the body and mouth to the bad digestion, cancer and much more. They absolutely love all types of berries, and blueberries are among them too. Still, the owner is responsible to know if he can feed the guinea pig blueberries, or how much blueberries can guinea pigs eat and how often. Let’s take a closer look.
Can guinea pigs eat blueberries? Yes, guinea pigs can eat blueberries but they need to be served in moderation and with proper frequency. Blueberries are healthy for the guinea pigs because they are rich in vitamin C and they are also very tasty to guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs need vitamin C for their overall optimal health. Since they do not synthesize or store this vitamin by themselves, they need to receive it through the blueberries and other vitamin C rich foods. The one big disadvantage of blueberries is the amount of sugar in them because guinea pigs cannot eat sugars (at least not artificial sugar or in large amounts) because sugar interferes with their digestion.
Guinea pigs are not just confined to eating veggies and special snacks or foods intended for them. They also love fruits, especially those small, petite and mouth-watering fruits like most berries. You probably think since guinea pigs are vegetarians, they can eat most fruits, if not all, right? It is not like this at all, some fruits cannot be consumed by guinea pigs even though they are healthy and nutritious for humans. For guinea pigs, any fruit with a high amount of sugar is not recommended for their diet.
The trick with blueberries is that they have a lot of vitamin C that cavies need, but on the other hand they also have a lot of sugar and this makes things a little bit complicated… Let’s see all there is to know about guinea pigs and blueberries in the following sections below.
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Blueberries
There are numerous benefits that blueberries can give to guinea pigs.
Many lab animal studies proved that cavies which consume blueberries twice per week are safer from eye issues, cognitive damage, heart failure and most cancers (colon, breast, esophageal, intestine).
They need blueberries mainly for vitamin C as a primary benefit. Guinea pigs need vitamin C because it keeps them in perfect health from head to toe. In other words, with vitamin C, guinea pigs can have healthy mouth and teeth, good digestion and optimal bodily functions too. The problem is that guinea pigs don’t make or synthesize this vitamin themselves, nor can they store it properly.
Vitamin C is responsible for making collagen. In the body, collagen keeps blood vessels healthy, also bones and wounds heal much faster.
When cavies receive enough vitamin C from supplementation or foods, their blood vessels are healthier. This means their circulation and the cardiovascular system are kept in great shape.
For pregnant cavies or their pups, bone formation is a crucial factor. With this vitamin, the bones of guinea pigs will develop strong and healthy and will be less prone to any damages.
Cavies, in general, suffer from oral health complications. The teeth of the guinea pigs constantly grow and this is why their mouth is prone to dental problems. If your guinea pig receives enough vitamin C, all the tissues in the mouth would be soothed and not itchy or sore. The gums would no longer suffer from hemorrhages. The cavy would eat and chew normally and well, instead of having crooked, aching, overgrown teeth and sore mouth.
It goes the same for all internal organs, tissues, surfaces of the body too – no bleedings or less bleeding than usual, also fewer issues than usual. Overall, guinea pigs will also be safe from cancers and their eyes and sight will be in perfect health.
So, if your cavy lacks vitamin C, treat it with blueberries in moderation and only on some occasions.
Nutrition Facts of Blueberries
The blueberries are rich with vitamins but also with sugar. They may be healthy and tasty, but the guinea pig is not supposed to have more than 2-3 blueberries in one meal. First of all, the fruit acid itself may cause soreness in the mouth of a guinea pig, so 2-3 small blueberries are enough at once.
Twice per week, or 3 times tops should be even more than enough. After all, there is vitamin C is in other guinea pig foods as well!
Some people say guinea pigs should eat frozen blueberries because, in this state, the fruit has more antioxidants. On the other hand, others claim fresh blueberries are better because frozen foods are not good for the digestive system of guinea pigs. Bear in mind, frozen blueberries might cause your furry pet to have diarrhea.
What about dried blueberries? This is not a bad option but this still needs restrictions. Dried blueberries have even more sugar than raw blueberries, and this might present an even bigger health risk, sugar-wise.
For one cup of blueberries, these are the nutrition facts
- 84 calories
- 4 g of fiber (good for digestion)
- 15 g of sugar (instant energy and calories)
- 1 g of protein (enough protein for a fruit)
- 21 g of carbs (for a quick burst of energy)
- 14 g of vitamin C (more than enough for optimal vitamin dose)
- 28 mcg of vitamin K (good for bone health and fast healing of wounds)
Apart from these, blueberries also have vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, and vitamin E. There are also minerals for the optimal health as well, like calcium, sodium, zinc, iron, and phosphorus.
If you are giving blueberries to the guinea pig for the first time do it slowly and gradually.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Blueberries to Guinea Pigs
You need to remember that even though blueberries are healthy for you, they might be too much for the guinea pig. Yes, they have vitamin C, but the amount of sugar in this fruit is too much for the guinea pig. You can avoid most health issues from blueberries if you serve it sparingly.
- The side effect of too many blueberries can be diarrhea and digestive issues. Guinea pigs are very adorable and they can convince you to give them almost a handful of blueberries! This is a big no-no, so just imagine how bad the tummy would be after too many blueberries. There is lots of fiber in them too, and this will upset the intestines. Not just intestines, but overall digestion will be more sensitive, the guinea pig would have gasses and bloating, or even belly pains and discomfort.
- If the guinea pig is pregnant, too many blueberries is a tricky thing. They have lots of nutrients and nutrients in these quantities might be excessive for the mother and the unborn guinea pig – always consult the vet for the nutrition of the mother.
- If the guinea pig consumes too many blueberries or too often, they will ingest too much sugar as well. The risks of excess sugar for guinea pigs is that they too prone to obesity, digestion complications, and problems, and also there is a risk of diabetes.
- Too many blueberries and too often might irritate the delicate tissues in the mouth of a guinea pig. The oral health of guinea pigs is already fragile as it is, so why provoke it with fruit acids so often? Their mouth might get sore from a high amount of fruit acids, so such foods should be used sparingly.
Quick Facts on Blueberries:
- Guinea pigs can eat blueberries but in moderation.
- Blueberries are full of vitamin C, but they also contain sugar which is bad for a guinea pig.
- This fruit keeps the guinea pigs healthy, mostly their teeth and body tissues.
- Blueberries protect them from cognitive damages, slow healing of wounds, from scurvy, and from most cancers.
- Excess blueberries can cause sores around or in the mouth, gasses, diarrhea and upset belly.
- Blueberries should be given to guinea pigs 2-3 times weekly.
- The normal serving per a guinea pig is 2-3 blueberries.
- Frozen blueberries might retain more antioxidants, but raw fresh ones are better digested by guinea pigs.
- Guinea pigs can develop diabetes too, and excess sugary fruits might increase that risk.
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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