It’s feeding time! If you have a cavy you know what this means; happy sounds, cute adorable wheeks and hungry mouths in the cage! Yes, cavies are very happy when they know foods is coming, especially some tasty food or something they like. In general, cavies like everything that grows from the ground. They are herbivores and vegetarians, so you can imagine their joy from munching sweet and tasty fruits! Today the main topic is the dried apricot fruit. Yum and yes, please! But, is it also a great thing for cavies? We will find out now.
Can guinea pigs eat dried apricots? The answer is no. Guinea pigs can technically eat dried apricots, but they should be avoided. This dried fruit is safe for the guinea pigs, but this one has a high content of sugars, and sugars are not healthy for cavies (or most animals in fact). The dried apricots are incredibly tasty and almost all cavies like them, but you as the owner must control what your pet eats. In general, cavies should eat more veggies and fewer fruits (due to sugars). So, when you do feed them dried fruits, do it rarely and only in minimal serving.
It is always important to know what can be fed to cavies. Just because something is a fruit, it doesn’t mean it’s the perfect food for cavies. And when the fruit is dried, it is much different than fresh fruit. All dried fruits are sometimes tastier, but also much sweeter. This is one sure fact, so let’s see the other interesting things about dried apricots.
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Dried Apricots
The good thing about dried apricots is that they have no fat and no cholesterol. This means they are not too fattening. But, more importantly, no cholesterol means healthy blood vessels and a healthy cardiovascular system.
The dried apricots are also a good source of energy. They have carbs in them, and carbs give instant energy. Also, they have proteins, a bit less than carbs, and proteins are the slow release of energy for the whole day ahead. So far dried apricots sound nutritious, don’t they?
The good thing about dried apricots is that they contain fibers. The fibers are essential for good bowel movements and emptying of the bowels. In other words, for good and healthy digestion of consumed foods.
In this fruit, there is also vitamin A. This vitamin is among the strongest antioxidants out there, it protects from diseases and free radical damage. But, this is not all; with vitamin A everything is healthy, from skin, brain, heart, lungs, to even kidneys and eyesight. And, immunity is incredibly better too!
The best benefit of dried apricots is that they have vitamin C. Maybe dried apricots are ‘forbidden’ sweet treats for cavies, but at least they offer the vital vitamin for them! With vitamin C, the cavies are in literally perfect health. Without this vitamin, they get the dangerous scurvy (rough fur, swollen limbs, and joints, internal bleedings, no appetite…).
With this fruit, the blood gets better too. If an organism suffers from anemia, this fruit could help a bit. There is iron in dried apricots which improves the quality of blood.
Lastly, there is potassium. This means less risk of hypertension or stroke. Also, healthier kidneys and healthy heart, plus a good balance of electrolytes.
Nutrition Facts of Dried Apricots
For a serving of 5 dried apricots, there is:
- 120 calories (it is highly caloric and gives lots of energy)
- 0 g fat (this is good for a healthy cardiovascular system and healthy weight too)
- 0 mg cholesterol (no cholesterol is very healthy for the blood vessels and cardiovascular system too)
- 10 mg sodium (the amount of salt could be a bit high, but this is not very risky now)
- 29 g carbs (high amount of carbs, but also they are fast source of energy for the day)
- 8 g protein (a low amount of protein, but enough for slow release of energy)
- 4 g fiber (for healthy and good digestion)
- 15 g sugars (too high amount of sugar, this is too much even for humans)
- 2% vitamin A (a strong antioxidant; removes inflammation, keeps skin, heart, lungs, brain, eyesight healthy. Immunity is improved as well.)
- 2% vitamin C (the best thing for cavies, the essential vitamin for health)
- 40 mg calcium (high amount of calcium; this is beneficial for strong bones, but for cavies, it will make urinary problems)
- 6% iron (for healthy blood)
- 2 mg potassium (prevention from stroke, keeping kidneys and heart healthy, and for good balance of electrolytes)
As a rule of thumb, it’s ok to show some love to the cavy and give it tasty treats like this once in a while. So, a normal serving would be 1-2 small slices. And, normal frequency would be 2 times per week, not more than that.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Dried Apricots to Guinea Pigs
Fibers are good for bowels and digestion. But, too much of it is a bad thing. Excess fibers would upset the stomach of the cavy, and it will have tummy aches and/or loose stool.
This fruit also has a high amount of sugar; every dried fruit has lots of sugars. This happens because the fruit gets dehydrated and left with only dense nutrients and sugars, with less or almost no water. How does sugar harm the cavy? It damages the gut flora and causes tummy pains or gas, even diarrhea.
Lastly, the most serious risk – calcium. This mineral, in excess, causes serious urinary problems for rodents. The cavy might get bladder or kidney stones. The worst case scenario is the failure of urinary organs – it can be fatal.
Quick Facts on Dried Apricots
- Cavies can eat dried apricots, but they should be avoided
- This fruit is very sweet and has lots of sugars, and this is bad for the stomach of cavies
- There are carbs, proteins, fibers, vitamins, minerals…
- The best benefit of dried apricots is that they have vitamin C
- The biggest risk of dried apricots is the calcium (causes urinary problems in cavies)
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.
If you found this post useful, would you mind helping out by sharing it? Just click one of the handy social media sharing buttons below so others can also learn about guinea pig food and diet!