Most people love having pets, but along with getting a pet, you will get more responsibilities. Diet is very important for pets, especially for the more sensitive ones, like guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs should never eat cooked food. They are allowed to eat just raw food, along with hay and pellets, which are rich sources of vitamins. Vegetables are, of course, allowed in their diet, but what about fruit?
Can guinea pigs eat fruit? Yes, they can and they should. The reason this question is frequently asked is because guinea pigs should not consume sugar. However, a little portion of fruit a couple of times a week will not hurt them. Moreover, fruits have a lot of vitamins necessary for a healthy guinea pig.
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Fruit
Wild guinea pigs have a diverse diet containing vegetables, fruit, and flowers. This ensures that their diet is very rich in nutrients.
The thing that everybody knows about fruit, in general, is that fruits usually contain a lot of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a vitamin that guinea pigs need in their diets, just like humans do. Also, just like humans, guinea pigs cannot produce vitamin C, they lack a special enzyme that produces vitamin C, so they need a good intake of vitamin C in order to function properly.
Also, fruits are sweet and guinea pigs love their taste. However, they are not supposed to eat sugary foods all the time, but a little slice of apple or a little cherry once in a while cannot hurt them. Fruit are considered treats and they are a good addition to guinea pigs diet.
Regulating the digestive system
There are some fruits that can help with the digestive system of guinea pigs. Among them, the most popular are kiwi, apples and pineapples. Kiwis are good for constipation, apples regulate the intestinal flora, while pineapples eliminate the excess of gas.
A lot of fruit has a very high content of water, consuming them can be very refreshing in warm weather, and very hydrating for the body of the guinea pig. Melons and watermelons are very well known for their huge content of water. Water is keeping the whole organism in check. However, don’t feed them too much because they still contain lots of sugar.
Nutrition Facts of Fruits
Vitamin C plays a very important role in the body of a guinea pig. It assures a well-functioning organism, it helps with healing of the wounds and it is essential for bones and teeth.
Lack of vitamin C in their diets can be very dangerous. There are several diseases that can be caused by vitamin C deficiency scurvy, bone deformities, and immune system problems. Low levels of vitamin C can cause teeth to fall out and it can also increase the risk of them breaking a bone.
Some fruits that are very rich in vitamin C are cranberries, oranges, kiwi, grapefruit and strawberries. However, high levels of sugar still exist in the composition of these fruits, so give them to your guinea pigs three or four times a week.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Fruits to Guinea Pigs
You know by now that guinea pigs are not allowed to have a huge intake of sugar. This can cause diabetes and a higher risk of premature death.
Also, fruit is generally very acidic. Small quantities do not hurt guinea pigs, however, if given daily, fruit can cause sores (throat sores especially), because of their acidity.
Be careful! While speaking of high levels of sugar, even though carrots are vegetables, they are very sugary as well.
Quick Facts on Fruits
Dried fruit actually contains even more sugar than the fresh ones. Avoid feeding your guinea pigs dried fruit. However, raisins are allowed in extremely small quantities and very sparingly.
There can never be too much vitamin C
Guinea pigs need 10 to 30 mg of vitamin C daily. This should be easily extracted from different fruits and vegetables. However, if you feed your guinea pig too much vitamin C foods, there will be no problems, because guinea pigs also cannot store vitamin C. If they need it, they use it and if they don’t, it will be eliminated through urine.
How often should I feed my guinea pigs fruit?
You can feed them about 3 to 4 times a week, even daily if you give them really small portions.
How should I feed them the fruit?
Never give your guinea pig old dried out fruit. They need to eat fresh fruit, very well washed. Even organic fruit can have left-over pesticides on them.
Dry them down using a towel: serving them dripping wet (even though it is a good way of incorporating more water in their diets) makes the bedding wet and uncomfortable to sit on. Cut the fruit in little pieces, for your guinea pig to have an easy time to eat them (you should do this with vegetables, also!).
Make sure to remove all the seeds or stones that may be found in fruit like melons, oranges, cherries. Also, don’t remove the skin (peel) of fruit like apples, but remove the orange peel.
Why grapes cause such a big debate?
This is happening because a lot of doctors believe grapes cause kidney diseases, but it is not proven. If you decide to feed your guinea pig grapes, make sure to remove the seeds.
Why feed guinea pig fruit if there are vegetables rich in vitamin C (that do not contain sugar)?
This is quite a simple and good question, but the answer is as simple as you would expect. Just like humans, guinea pigs can get bored of always eating the same food. Besides possibly getting depressed, they might also become literally sick of the same foods all over again. The best thing about fruit is that, because of the sweetness, guinea pigs look forward to getting the sweet treat. They would continuously eat fruit if you would let them but don’t, it is not healthy for them.
What are guinea pigs not allowed to eat?
Even though I have already answered this question briefly, I feel like I need to sum it all up here. Even though people are tempted to feed their pets with whatever they eat, guinea pigs require a lot of attention (in every aspect, food being one of them).
Guinea pigs are very sensitive rodents, they cannot process cooked food or meat. However, they need to have on hand hay at all times and fresh water. Vegetables and fruit need to be given in small portions at a certain time.
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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