Most people love kiwi as it is refreshing, acidic, sweet, and has a very specific pleasant taste. But what about our guinea pigs? If you own guinea pigs, you know that they are herbivores’ pets and you probably thought that kiwi being a fruit might be a good choice to implement into their diets.
So, can guinea pigs eat kiwi? Guinea pigs can eat kiwi as it is an excellent source of vitamin C, but kiwi should be given only in moderation due to sugar and its acidic taste. Otherwise, if serving sizes and the frequency of the kiwi are regulated, it then becomes an excellent addition to the guinea pig’s diet.
It is the pet owner’s job to research the benefits and risks of any food they plan to give to their pets. We are here to make this process a little bit easier by having all of the information in one place.
In this article, we will show you what nutrients are present in kiwi, why kiwi is good for the guinea pig, and possible risks that they can get from eating too much kiwi. Additionally, we are also going to give you some interesting facts about kiwi. Let’s begin!
Is Kiwi Good for Guinea Pigs? | Health Benefits
There are numerous health benefits that can be attributed to kiwi. Some of them are the following:
Good for Weight Loss
Kiwi is low in fat and calories. If your guinea pig loves to chew on a kiwi, you won’t have to worry about obesity or weight gain. Also, the fibers in the kiwi improve bowel movements, especially if the cavy suffers from constipation. Fibers are essential for good digestion.
The proteins and carbs in the kiwi will give energy to the guinea pig. They are the essential energy sources that make any organism function well on a daily basis.
With the antioxidants in the kiwi, such as vitamin A, the guinea pigs will be at less risk for early aging which can also bring different diseases along the way. This vitamin basically hunts down the free radicals in the body.
Also, vitamin A keeps the heart, lungs, kidneys, skin, and brain in good health. In short, antioxidants are really good for a stable immune system.
Prevention from Scurvy
Kiwi is an excellent source of vitamin C. This important vitamin prevents a dangerous disease called scurvy, which is a significant risk factor for guinea pigs.
It manifests itself with severe symptoms like a rough coat, swollen joints, internal bleeding, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. Guinea pigs don’t produce vitamin C naturally, so food and supplements with vitamin C help them stay healthy.
Healthy Skin and Good Eyesight
Vitamin E is essential for healthy skin. It slows down aging and prevents skin issues that can appear due to an unbalanced diet.
But, there are other benefits too, like prevention of inflammation, better eyesight, and even less risk from certain cancers. Also, carotenoids found in kiwis, such as beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, contribute to good eyesight.
Relieving Aches and Pains
Mineral magnesium relieves pains all over the body and helps with aching muscles, keeping them in perfect shape. It is especially good for the muscles that are sore or in pain. Also, the heart muscle is kept in good shape as well.
Optimal Cardiovascular System
With the low amount of fat and zero cholesterol (among other nutrients too), the whole cardiovascular system will work properly. Vitamin K ensures less blood loss in case an injury happens because it contributes to healthy blood clotting.
Nutrition Facts of Kiwi for Guinea Pigs
The following nutritional information below is for 100 g (3 oz) of kiwi fruit:
- Energy – 61 kcal
- Protein – 1.14 g
- Total lipid (fat) – 0.52 g
- Carbs – 14.66 g
- Dietary Fiber – 3 g
- Sugars – 8.99 g
- Calcium – 34 mg
- Magnesium – 17 mg
- Phosphorus – 34 mg
- Potassium – 312 mg
- Vitamin C – 92.7 mg
- Vitamin B-6 – 0.063 mg
- Vitamin A – 4 µg
- Vitamin E – 1.46 mg
- Vitamin K – 40.3 µg
- Folate – 25 µg
- Carotene, beta – 52 µg
- Lutein + zeaxanthin – 122 µg
Is Kiwi Poisonous to Guinea Pigs? | Possible Risks
There is around 34 mg of calcium in 100 g of kiwi fruit. This amount of calcium is quite high, and not good for the guinea pig. Too much calcium gets accumulated as it deposits in the urinary tract of the guinea pig.
Then, it causes problems like painful urination, blood in the urine, urinary infections, and often bladder or kidney stones. This process can even cause fatal renal failure unless cured in time.
In 100 g of kiwi, there is around 9 g of sugar and 3 g of fiber. We mentioned that fiber is healthy for digestion, but an excess of fibers can also upset the stomach and can cause loose stool or tummy pains. Also, sugar in larger amounts can cause stomach problems because guinea pigs can’t digest sugars properly.
Serving Size and Frequency of Kiwi for Guinea Pigs
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Kiwi Every Day?
Guinea pigs shouldn’t eat kiwi every day. Even though kiwi is a good source of vitamin C, it’s essential to provide them with a rich diet with different fruits and vegetables. Some recommendations are strawberries, broccoli, kale, oranges, and others.
We recommend feeding your kiwi guinea pigs once or twice a week. This frequency is enough for them to have proper nutrition with this fruit.
How Much Kiwi Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
Kiwi has many good nutrients for the guinea pigs. The most essential one is vitamin C, but it also has bad nutrients such as sugar and calcium.
Because of that, serving sizes need to be regulated. You can give them a few small chunks or 2-3 small thin slices of kiwi and only a few times per week.
More Information About Kiwi and Guinea Pigs
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Kiwi Skin / Kiwi Peel?
Guinea pigs can’t eat the kiwi skin, which means you will need to peel it. The fuzzy, hairy layer of the kiwi is not tasty or good for the fragile stomach of the guinea pig.
But, the green flesh of the kiwi is safe to consume. Also, kiwi skin can contain some pesticides that may be harmful to guinea pigs so that is an additional reason to remove it.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Kiwi Seeds?
Guinea pigs can eat kiwi seeds because they are soft and small. They don’t really pose any danger to them. Bigger seeds, like the ones from watermelon, apple, and bell peppers have the possibility of being a choking hazard. So, you need to avoid feeding them to guinea pigs.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Golden Kiwi?
Guinea pigs can eat golden kiwi. This type of kiwi is safe for them but only in moderation. Golden kiwi is a type of kiwi that has smooth and hairless skin with golden-brown color. The inside of this kiwi has a yellow color and fewer seeds than a green kiwi.
The good thing is that golden kiwi has even more vitamin C than green ones, so they can be very beneficial for the guinea pig’s health.
But, because of other nutrients such as sugar and calcium, it’s crucial to feed them golden kiwi in small amounts and not every day.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Kiwi Berries?
Guinea pigs can eat kiwi berries and even their skin. Kiwi berries are sweeter in taste but also smaller than regular kiwi. They are grape-sized kiwis. Their skin is also softer and edible.
When it comes to nutrients, kiwi berries are similar to regular green kiwi and have the same health benefits for guinea pigs. They are rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Also, it’s important to feed them kiwi berries only in moderation and wash them thoroughly with water if you feed them with skin.
Quick Facts on Kiwi
The following are some interesting facts on kiwi:
- The kiwi fruits belong in the berry family.
- There are also hairless types of kiwi available in certain regions.
- Kiwi has more vitamin C than oranges.
- The first kiwi fruit has originated from China, and it was called ‘Yang Tao’.
- When the 20th century began, this fruit was brought to New Zealand, and there it was named “kiwi” because of a similar look to the kiwi bird.
- The majority of kiwi fruits are grown and produced in Chile, New Zealand, and Italy.
With food, you should be careful what to choose. If you are not sure what to feed them but believe your little piggies deserve some great treats, check our Helpful Guide to the Best Guinea Pig Treats to get some ideas.
List of Sources
Nutrient Requirements of Laboratory Animals: Fourth Revised Edition
The Effects of Diet on Anatomy, Physiology and Health in the Guinea Pig
The Nutritional and Health Attributes of Kiwifruit: A Review