Lemons are very tasty and healthy fruit. They have a specific acidic taste, and the aroma and scent are refreshing and pleasant. We can have lemon juice or use it for taste in cocktails, or even eat it! Now, because this is a fruit, and guinea pigs are vegetarians, you would assume that they can eat a lemon, right? Let’s find out!
Can guinea pigs eat lemons? Yes, guinea pigs can eat lemons, but in moderation. This is simply because lemons contain some sugar, calcium, and phosphorus too. Also, the lemon has a very acidic taste, and this could be unpleasant for the stomach of guinea pigs. They don’t digest sugars or acidic fruits very well, so their tummy might get upset. However, if given in moderation and occasionally, lemon is ok for guinea pigs.
So, we found out that guinea pigs can eat lemons in moderation. Even fruits and veggies that are healthy and natural need precaution, as with anything consumed. Sometimes too much of a good thing is not so good, and this goes for every food. Before we start giving lemon chunks to our guinea pigs, let’s see all the good and the bad things about this fruit.
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Lemons
The lemon is not very caloric, so this fruit won’t make your cavy chubby. Also, the guinea pig couldn’t eat a whole lemon fruit even if it wants to – because of the strong acidity (and other compounds that you have to be cautious of calcium and sugars)
Healthy Cardiovascular System
Lemon is low in fat, but also it has no cholesterol. With low fat and zero cholesterol, the blood vessels will be unclogged and this will allow the heart to work properly and easy. Cholesterol is one of the things that lead to strokes, hypertension or heart attacks
Prevention From Scurvy
If there is one thing lemon has a lot of, it is the vitamin C. Everyone knows this – if you need lots of vitamin C, just reach for some lemons. Well, guinea pigs really need lots of this vitamin, because without it they get the disease scurvy. It manifests with internal bleeding, swelling in joints, rough fur, loss of appetite and fatigue.
In lemon, there are fibers too. Per 100 g, there is 4.7 g of fiber. This is good for the gut health and activity, but it also needs to be in moderation (too much fibers may cause loose stool)
With the carbs and proteins, the guinea pig may feel some energy and warmth. Of course, the amount is not too much, but is definitely enough for a fruit served in moderation.
Lemon has vitamin A which is a great antioxidant. It keeps all cells safe from free radical damage – the free radicals cause premature aging and more diseases.
Healthy on the Inside and Outside
With the B6 vitamin and vitamin A, the guinea pig will be healthy overall with good immunity. The B6 vitamin makes skin healthier, liver, blood vessels, anemia is cured, eyesight is improved and aches are relieved. The vitamin A also helps for formation of bones and teeth, and for soft tissues as well.
Nutrition Facts of Lemons
Per 100 g of lemon fruit:
- Low in calories – 20 calories. This amount is not much, and this means the lemon is not a fattening fruit. No worries if you think your guinea pig will get chubby from lemons!
- Low in fat – 0.3 g. This amount is amazing, because fat is known to be damaging the blood vessels, and it also leads to obesity. The blood vessels will be unclogged with less fats, and the healthy weight of the cavy will not be changed.
- Vitamin C – 77 mg. With this amount of vitamin C, everyone will instantly get an amazing vitamin-boost-bomb! The guinea pigs need this vitamin to keep their overall health and avoid the scurvy.
- Vitamin A – 1%. Vitamin A is important for antioxidant protection; it prevents most diseases, and it helps in the formation of soft tissues too.
- Vitamin B6 – 5%. The B6 vitamin has a ton of beneficial functions. It removes stress, cleanses the internal organs, improves the look of the skin and hair, it soothes pains and aches too, among other things.
- Fibers – 4.7 g. This is a good amount of fibers for a fruit. Everyone needs fibers; they improve the digestion and bowel movements, and they keep the stomach and intestines active.
- Carbs and proteins – 10.7 g carbs and 1.2 g protein. These amounts are quite good for fruit and are the main energy sources needed on a daily basis.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Lemons to Guinea Pigs
- Urinary problems – because lemons have some calcium and phosphorus, this increases the risk of urinary problems. When calcium deposits as an excess mineral in the urinary tract of guinea pigs, it can make bladder or kidney stones. But, other complications are expected too; urinary infections or blood in the urine. So, any food that has calcium, but also has good nutrients for the cavy, must be served in moderation.
- Stomach sensitivity – the lemon also has fibers and sugars. The digestive system of guinea pigs is not designed for digesting too many fibers – this makes them bloated, gassy and with loose stool. Also, they can’t digest sugars – this makes discomfort in the stomach, pains during digestion and overgrowth of ‘bad’ bacteria in the stomach.
Quick Facts on Lemons
- The lemon is a hybrid fruit from citron and orange
- Some historians believe lemons grew even in the 1st century A.D.
- The rind and pulp of lemon is used for cooking – it gives more aroma to the meals, and there is less waste from the fruit too
- The pH of lemon is 2.2, hence the acidic taste
- It is believed that lemon originates from Northern Burma or China, and also from regions like Northeast India and areas nearby
- The first cultivation of lemons in Europe started in the 15th century, in Genoa, Italy.
- Christopher Columbus introduced lemon to the Americas, back in 1493, when he brought seeds of lemon to Hispaniola during his voyages
How Much Lemon for the Guinea Pig? How Often Too?
Since the lemon is very acidic, no worries, the guinea pigs can’t overeat lemons. One small slice or chunk from the lemon should be enough for a bit of lemon refreshment. Because of the sugar and great acidity in the lemon, avoid it for daily feedings, and give this to the guinea pig every few days.
If Guinea Pigs Can’t Eat Too Much Lemon, What Other Fruits Can Give Them the Needed Vitamin C?
If you don’t have lemons at home, or you fed the cavy lemon, next time you can try some of these fruits: orange, apple, blueberries, bananas, apricot, melon, pear, strawberries, cranberries, and cherries.
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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