Guinea pigs are herbivores by nature, the majority of things they consume are grown on land. The best thing you can do for your guinea pig is to have a good diet plan for them. Feed them foods that are extremely nutritious with vitamins, fiber, and calcium. Guinea pigs need these essential nutrients to grow. Make sure everything that you buy for them, whether veggies or fruits are grown organically. It is better if they are free from pesticides and chemicals that are detrimental to the health of your guinea pigs. Give your piglets the required treatments and you will have an animal company that will longer than you can imagine. Now, the topic of discussion are cherries.
Can guinea pigs eat cherries? Yes, they can and they really love them. Still, you need to give them cherries in moderate amounts. Many guinea pig owners reported that guinea pigs are crazy about cherries and they will immediately devour the cherries if you give it to them. Be careful not to overfeed them. They can have side effects from the cherries. Guinea pigs are virtually allergic to anything fed to them in large quantities.
Now, let’s us see how beneficial cherry can be to your guinea pig.
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Cherries
In recent times, in the United States, the cherry has become very popular for consumption. This is due to the fact that a lot of research has been conducted on the cherries. The research confirmed nutritional benefits that can be derived from this beautiful red fruit. The cherries are very good for your guinea pig, they contain enough antioxidants that can help boost and improve guinea pigs internal body activity. Cherry also has anti-inflammatory benefits, with an extremely high ORAC value. ORAC is a way of measuring the level of antioxidants in foods.
Do you want to know the main reason why cherries are good for your guinea pig? Well, it is a good source of vitamin C (which it has in a sufficient quantity) that they find difficult to produce on their own. Vitamin C is essential in keeping the body free from diseases (e.g scurvy) and maintaining the health of your piglet. Good to know, right?
Interestingly, cherry also has cardiovascular benefits. They can help keep the heart in good condition. It helps regulate the cholesterol and glucose levels in them. It also keeps their metabolic system active. So, your piggy doesn’t become susceptible to obesity. The consumption of cherry in moderation also sustains and improves their blood level, keeping them mentally and physically active all the time.
Another important benefit of cherry is that it can help your guinea pig sleep well. It also lowers the risk of cancer, arthritis and chronic heart diseases in your cavy. Cherries can also be a good source of carbohydrates and fiber. Guinea pigs need these nutrients for strength and normal growth of the body. Fiber helps in also maintaining the length of the teeth. They are also necessary for the stimulation of digestion and maintenance of a balanced bacterial flora in the gut.
Nutrition Facts of Cherries
A red cherry, either the sour or sweet kind, contains the following nutrients; Carbohydrate, Sugar, Dietary fiber, Fat, and Protein. It also contains the following essential vitamins:
- Lutein zeaxanthin
- Thiamine (B1)
- Riboflavin (B2)
- Niacin (B3)
- Pantothenic acid (B5)
- Vitamin B6
- Folate (B9)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
The following minerals are also present in modest quantities:
It also contains a significant amount of water.
Raw sweet cherries contain 97 calories, 16.5 grams of carbohydrates 12.8 grams of sugar (a very high amount of sugar; a downside of the fruit) and 2.1 grams of fibers (13% of recommended daily intake). They have about 1% of protein content and they are significantly lower in fat. Fiber is helpful in weight loss. It aids digestion and prevents digestion problems, like constipation and bloating in your guinea pig.
The nutrient level of raw sour cherries is slightly different.
The cherry contains about 10.8 milligrams of vitamin C, which strengthens the bones and muscles of your guinea pig. It helps the body in absorbing iron, and also helps to maintain and improve their blood cells.
It also contains 10% of potassium which helps to improve the functions of your guinea pig’s heart, kidney and also the bowel and muscular system. Cherry contains a high level of phytosterols. This helps in maintaining the cholesterol level of your guinea pig and also protects them against heart diseases. Interestingly, cherry can also have healing effects. Cherries can help heal wounds of guinea pigs, either external or internal and skin problem.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Cherries to Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs absolutely love cherries and luckily they are also extremely high in nutrients. But cherry can also have negative effects on your guinea pig if you feed them cherries regularly and in large quantities. Cherries should be given to them not more than three to five times in a week and in different rations. One cherry per day is enough for an adult guinea pig. Half of the cherry is enough for a baby piggy.
When you give them too much, the acidic contents in the cherry can burn their mouth, and make it difficult for them to eat afterward, even if they are hungry. When you notice this, it is best that you reduce the number of cherries you give to them. The best cherries to feed them are the organic ones that have not been sprayed with pesticides and chemicals.
Cherry stems, pits, and leaves should be avoided. They all contain cyanide that is very toxic and poisonous. Make sure you separate the stem from the cherry and also depict them before giving it to your guinea pig. Please ensure that you feed your piggy with the flesh only.
Cherries contain fiber (approximately 2.5 per cup), which if consumed heavily can certainly lead to constipation. Before you feed them to your piggy, make sure you wash them thoroughly, remove the stems and leaves and also the seeds.
If you are feeding your guinea pig for the first time with cherries you need to observe for side effects. When you notice any unusual behavior, it is advisable to stop feeding them with cherries.
Quick Facts on Cherries and Guinea Pigs
- Cherry is a stone fruit (drupe) with two varieties, namely the sweet cherry (which is also called, wild cherry) and the sour cherry.
- An unbelievable fact is that they also belong to the family of roses.
- There’s is also another variant of cherry that is specifically grown in Africa. It is referred to as the African Cherry and they are usually common during the rainy season in Africa.
- Cherries are said to have been with us since 300BC because they are mentioned in the book “History of Plants” which was written by Theophrastus, a popular Greek author. During that period, it was said that another Greek physician also wrote about how cherries can be used as diuretics.
- Cherry the word, is said to have originated from the Latin word “cerasum”, which refers to a place in ancient Greece called “Kerasous”, which is now Giresun in Turkey. It is believed that from this place that cherries were first transferred to Europe.
- The word “cherry” is also used to describe the cherry tree that is usually used by carpenters to make furniture; tables, cutting boards, chairs, office desks and so on. It is especially valued for its rich golden-brown color.
- Turkey is the highest producer of sweet cherries, with a production of 445,556 tonnes annually. And Russia is the highest producer of Sour Cherries, with a production of about 198,000 tonnes annually.
- Other producers of both sour and sweet cherry are the United States, Iran, Spain, Italy, Chile, Romania, Uzbekistan, Russia, Greece, Serbia, Hungary, Poland, and Azerbaijan.
- Washington grows the highest percentage (about 62%) of the sweet cherries produced by the U.S.
- The Eau Claire town in Michigan is commonly referred to as the Cherry Pit Spitting Capital of the World, because of a farm located in the area that hosts the annual and popular International Cherry Pit Spit contest.
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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