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 cavies 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 cavies can suffer from various illnesses of the body and mouth to 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 can cavies eat of this fruit and how often. Let’s have a closer look.
Can guinea pigs eat blueberries? Yes, guinea pigs can eat blueberries, however, served in moderation and with proper frequency. Blueberries are both healthy and tasty to guinea pigs, and they can eat this fruit all day long, but it must be served in small amounts.
The blueberries have lots of vitamin C, and cavies need this vitamin for their overall optimal health. Since cavies do not synthesize or store this vitamin by themselves, they will receive it through the blueberries and other vitamin C rich foods. The one big disadvantage with blueberries is the amount of sugar in them, and we know cavies cannot eat sugars (at least not artificial sugar or in large amounts) because it interferes with their digestion.
Guinea pigs are not just confined to eating veggies and special snacks or foods intended for cavies. They also love fruits, especially those small, petite and mouth-watering fruits like most berries. You probably think since cavies are vegetarians, they can eat most fruits, if not all, right? It is not like this at all, some fruits cannot be consumed by cavies even though they are healthy and nutritious for humans. For cavies, any fruit high amounts of sugar are not recommended for consumption.
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… Blueberries are healthy and cavies love them, but how should they consume this fruit is a small dilemma, due to the sugar in them. Let’s see all there is to know about guinea pigs and blueberries.
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Blueberries
There are numerous and plenty of benefits of blueberries for guinea pigs. Cavies need these fruits only 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, cavies have healthy mouth and teeth, good digestion and bodily functions too. The problem is that cavies don’t make or synthesize this vitamin themselves, nor can they store it properly. This is the moment when these fruits help and provide with vitamin C.
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 in great shape.
For pregnant cavies or their pups, bone formation is a crucial factor. With this vitamin, the bones of cavies will develop strong and healthy and will be less prone to any damages.
Cavies, in general, suffer from oral health complications. The teeth of cavies 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, cavies will also be safe from cancers and their eyes and sight will be in perfect health. It takes around 2 weeks to see results from a diet, whether it is a good or bad diet. So, if your cavy lacks vitamin C, treat it with blueberries in moderation and only on some occasions.
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).
Nutrition Facts of Blueberries
The blueberries are rich with vitamins but also with sugar too. They may be healthy and tasty, but the cavy is not supposed to have more than 2-3 blueberries in one go. First of all, the fruit acid itself may cause soreness in the mouth, so 2-3 small blueberries is enough at once.
Twice per week, or 3 times tops should be even more than enough. After all, vitamin C is in other cavy foods as well!
Some people say cavies 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 can be a greater hazard, sugar-wise.
In one cup of blueberries, there is:
- 84 calories
- 4 g fiber (for good digestion)
- 15 g sugar (for instant energy and calories)
- 1 g protein (enough protein for a fruit)
- 21 g carbs (for a quick burst of energy)
- 14 g vitamin C (more than enough for optimal vitamin dose)
- 28 mcg vitamin K (for bone health and fast healing of wounds, also normal clotting of blood)
Apart from these, blueberries also have vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, and vitamin E. there are minerals for optimal health as well, like: calcium, sodium, zinc, iron, and phosphorus.
If you give blueberries to the cavy for the first time do the introducing slowly and gradually. Observe the cavies for a few hours after the new food is introduced, to see their reactions. In case the stool becomes softer, simply don’t feed it blueberries again.
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 cavy. Yes, they have the 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 could be diarrhea and digestive issues. Guinea pigs can be very adorable and convince you to give them almost a handful of blueberries! This is a big no-no, so just imagine how bad the tummy of the cavy 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 cavy would have gasses and bloating, or even belly pains and discomfort.
If the cavy is pregnant, too many blueberries is a tricky thing. They have lots of nutrients and these quantities of nutrients might be excessive for the mother and the unborn cavy – 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 cavies is that they too get prone to obesity, digestion complications and problems, and also the risk of diabetes.
Too many blueberries and too often might irritate the delicate tissues of the mouth. The oral health of cavies is already fragile as it is, so why provoke it with fruit acids so often? Their mouth might get sore from too much fruit acids, so such foods should be used sparingly.
Quick Facts on Blueberries:
- Cavies can eat blueberries but in moderation
- Blueberries are full of vitamin C, but also with sugar which is bad for cavies
- This fruit keeps the cavies healthy, mostly their teeth and body tissues
- Blueberries protect cavies 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 2-3 times weekly
- The normal serving per a cavy is 2-3 blueberries
- Frozen blueberries might retain more antioxidants, but raw fresh ones are better digested by cavies
- 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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