Nectarines are a delicious refreshing summer fruit. They are similar to peaches, but they are slight difference between these two fruits. The nectarines have a smooth outer layer, whereas the peaches have that famous fuzzy layer. Nectarines are delicious and refreshing, so let’s see if our guinea pigs can enjoy them safely in their diets.
Can guinea pigs eat nectarines? Guinea pigs can eat nectarines but only in moderation as they contain a lot of sugar. Their stomachs are not designed to digest sugars, so consider nectarines only as a treat rather than regular food for guinea pigs. Also, nectarines have a pit as a core, which needs to be removed before giving this fruit to the guinea pigs.
In the following sections below, we will discuss how to safely give this tasty fruit to the guinea pigs as a treat and avoid any health risks. Also, we are going to go through all the benefits, risks of the nectarines for guinea pigs. Let’s begin!
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Nectarines
The guinea pigs will receive energy from nectarines because of the carbs and proteins present in them. The riboflavin will also help with converting carbs and proteins to energy. Riboflavin is also known as vitamin B2, and it helps transfers oxygen throughout the whole body.
Healthy Cardiovascular System
Nectarines can improve the cardiovascular system. This means that there will be less risk of heart-related problems like hypertension, stroke, or similar issues. This fruit has no cholesterol and is really low in fats. This couldn’t sound better as far as cardiovascular health goes. Without cholesterol, blood vessels are stay unclogged, and with low amounts of fat, there is also less risk of heart-related issues and weight changes.
With enough iron, the blood is stronger and less prone to anemia. This nutrient balances blood pressure and contributes to a healthier cardiovascular system. The copper works together with iron to make blood stronger and healthier and form more red blood cells, which are needed to avoid anemia. The potassium will regulate blood pressure, and niacin, also known as vitamin B3, lowers cholesterol and ensures healthy cognitive functions.
Vitamin A is among the best antioxidants for guinea pigs and it will keep your pet’s immunity in great shape. It will block the damage from the free radicals that cause diseases and early aging.
Prevention from Scurvy
Finally, vitamin C will improve the overall health of the guinea pig. Without this vitamin, the guinea pigs are prone to diseases such as scurvy, which can be fatal. Scurvy manifests through the following symptoms: rough fur, nausea, diarrhea, no appetite, internal bleeding, and more. So, with foods rich in vitamin C, they will be protected!
Nutrition Facts of Nectarines for Guinea Pigs
Here are the nutrition facts per 100g (3 oz) of nectarines:
- Energy – 44 kcal
- Protein – 1.06 g
- Total lipid (fat) – 0.32 g
- Carbs – 10.55 g
- Dietary fiber – 1.7 g
- Sugars – 7.89 g
- Calcium – 6 mg
- Iron – 0.28 mg
- Magnesium – 9 mg
- Phosphorus – 26 mg
- Potassium – 201 mg
- Sodium – 0 mg
- Zinc – 0.17 mg
- Copper – 0.086 mg
- Vitamin C – 5.4 mg
- Vitamin B-6 – 0.025 mg
- Vitamin A – 17 µg
- Vitamin E – 0.77 mg
- Vitamin K – 2.2 µg
- Thiamin – 0.034 mg
- Riboflavin – 0.027 mg
- Niacin – 1.125 mg
- Folates – 5 µg
- Lutein + zeaxanthin – 130 µg
Risks to Consider When Feeding Nectarines to Guinea Pigs
The nectarines are known to be very sugary, and that is harmful to your guinea pigs. So nectarines have to be moderated in order to avoid the excess sugar, which will worsen the digestion of your cavy. Due to the sugar content, the guinea pigs may get belly aches or loose stool.
This fruit also has some amount of calcium. Calcium is a mineral that is essential for strong bones when guinea pigs are young and still growing. In adult guinea pigs, this mineral can create urinary stones and even cause fatal renal failure if fed in large amounts. Fortunately, there isn’t that much calcium in nectarines, but you still need to be careful with serving sizes.
Serving Size and Frequency of Nectarines for Guinea Pigs
Can Guinea Pigs Have Nectarines Every Day?
Guinea pigs shouldn’t eat nectarines every day. As we have already said, nectarines contain sugar. To avoid too many sugars in the guinea pig’s diet, you should feed them nectarines only 1 to 2 times per week maximum. You also need to give your guinea pigs other fruits such as peaches, oranges, mango, tangerines, apricots, and many others in order to establish a healthy and diverse diet.
How Many Nectarines Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
Due to sugar, calcium, and possible risks, guinea pigs shouldn’t eat too many nectarines. A normal serving would be a few slices or a few small chunks for one guinea pig. That amount is enough for a healthy and balanced diet, especially if you combine that with other fruits and vegetables. After all, nectarines are a treat, not an everyday food for guinea pigs.
More Information About Guinea Pigs and Nectarines
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Nectarine Skin?
Guinea pigs can consume nectarine skin, which is edible for them and quite tasty. Just ensure that the nectarine or any other fruit is washed properly if you don’t plan on peeling it for your guinea pigs. If you notice that your guinea pigs don’t like nectarine skin, you can peel it off. Guinea pigs, just like humans, have their personal taste preferences, and maybe some of them will not like the taste and the texture of the nectarine skin while others won’t.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat White Nectarines?
Guinea pigs can eat white nectarines, and some of them will prefer more these nectarines than the yellow ones. The reason is their taste. White nectarines are less acidic and taste sweeter than yellow nectarines, but they still have the same amount of sugar. Because of that, you need to also feed them white nectarines only in moderation.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Yellow Nectarines?
Yellow nectarines are the most common type of nectarines. They have a sweet taste and some acidic flavor. Guinea pigs can eat yellow nectarines but also only in moderation. It’s very important not to overfeed them with yellow nectarines due to sugar and calcium content. However, they are good for guinea pigs in small amounts because they are low in calories and provide many beneficial antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Quick Facts on Nectarines
- Nectarines are also called “shaved peaches”.
- The color of nectarine can be orange, pale whitish color, and yellow-pink too.
- They originated in China 2000 years ago but were mostly cultivated in Persia, Italy, and Greece.
- The Spanish travelers brought them to America in the 17th century.
- The name “nectarine” means “sweet like nectar”.
- Nectarines belong to the rose family, or “Rosaceae”.
- The best seasons for the nectarines are spring and early autumn.
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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List of Sources
Norman, R., Wills, A. P., An Investigation into the Relationship between Owner Knowledge, Diet, and Dental Disease in Guinea Pigs (Cavia porcellus), Animals: an open access journal from MDPI, 2016.
National Research Council (US) Subcommittee on Laboratory Animal Nutrition, Nutrient Requirements of Laboratory Animals: Fourth Revised Edition, 1995., Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1995.
Witkowska, A., Price, J., Hughes, C., Smith, D., White, K., Alibhai, A., Rutland C. S., The Effects of Diet on Anatomy, Physiology and Health in the Guinea Pig, Journal of Animal Health and Behavioural Science, 2017.
Cantín, C. M., Moreno, M. A., Gogorcena, Y., Evaluation of the antioxidant capacity, phenolic compounds, and vitamin C content of different peach and nectarine [ Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] breeding progenies, Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 2009.