The dried fruit known as dates, which come from the date tree, is sweet and chewy. It is extremely nutrient-dense and abundant in vitamins and antioxidants, both of which are excellent for people. But with guinea pigs, it’s not the same.
Guinea pigs can’t eat dates. The dates are not toxic for guinea pigs, but they contain high sugar levels, which is bad for them. Also, dates are a bit sticky and can cause choking. So it is best to keep guinea pigs away from this fruit altogether.
Nutrition Facts of Dates
For a serving of 3 oz (100 g) of dates, there is:
- Energy – 282 kcal
- Protein – 2.45 g
- Total lipid (fat) – 0.39 g
- Carbs – 75.03 g
- Dietary fiber – 8 g
- Sugars – 63.35 g
- Calcium – 39 mg
- Iron – 1.02 mg
- Magnesium – 43 mg
- Phosphorus – 62 mg
- Potassium – 656 mg
- Sodium – 2 mg
- Zinc – 0.29 mg
- Copper – 0.206 mg
- Selenium – 3 µg
- Vitamin C – 0.4 mg
- Vitamin B-6 – 0.165 mg
- Vitamin E – 0.05 mg
- Vitamin K – 2.7 µg
- Thiamin – 0.052 mg
- Riboflavin – 0.066 mg
- Niacin – 1.274 mg
- Folates – 19 µg
- Carotene, beta – 6 µg
- Lutein + zeaxanthin – 75 µg
Risks to Consider When Feeding Dates to Guinea Pigs
There are risks associated to guinea pigs when they eat dates. Some of them are the following:
- The dates are delicious, super creamy, and chewy, but they are extremely caloric. The sugar content can create problems with blood sugar. Besides, sugars create an imbalance of the gut flora in guinea pigs.
- Excess fibers from dates will upset the tummy of the guinea pigs. Symptoms will be a loose stool, diarrhea, vomiting, pains, gas, and similar.
- There is no enough vitamin C in dates. If guinea pigs don’t get enough of this vitamin, they will get scurvy disease with symptoms such as bleedings, rough coats, skipping, loss of appetite, no energy, etc.
- The amount of other vitamins, such as vitamin E, vitamin K, and vitamin B6 are not significant.
- Dates are sticky and hard, so they may present a serious choking hazard for guinea pigs. They will most definitely get stuck in the guinea pig’s teeth, which will be dangerous for them.
- Dates have calcium and sodium. If the guinea pigs receive too much calcium and sodium, they will develop urinary problems. Guinea pigs will get the following symptoms such as painful urination, bladder stones, or kidney stones.
Quick Facts on Dates
- The word ‘date’ comes from the Greek word ‘daktylos,’ which means finger because dates look like the tip of a finger.
- Date fruits have been consumed as a local food for 7000 years in the Middle East and Northern Africa.
- There are as many as 200 varieties of dates in the world.
- Very small number of people are allergic to this fruit.
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.
List of Sources
An Investigation Into the Relationship Between Owner Knowledge, Diet, and Dental Disease in Guinea Pigs (Cavia Porcellus)
Nutrient Requirements of Laboratory Animals: Fourth Revised Edition
The Effects of Diet on Anatomy, Physiology and Health in the Guinea Pig