When you think about vitamins and refreshing fruits, what is the first fruit that comes to your mind apart from lemons? Oranges of course! The oranges are maybe the fruit that’s used the most for both eating and making juices. It is full of vitamins, especially vitamin C, and it contains more vitamin c than lemons. Who would have thought? In this article, we will discuss if oranges are good food for our guinea pigs.
Can guinea pigs eat oranges? Yes, guinea pigs can eat oranges. This fruit is very beneficial for guinea pigs because oranges contain high amounts of vitamin C, which is crucial for their survival and health. The guinea pigs love the taste of oranges, and to be honest, they are very refreshing for them, especially during the warmer months. Unlike hamsters, the guinea pigs can consume oranges and they have benefits from them as well.
In the sections below we will cover all the benefits a guinea pig can have from eating oranges but also possible risks and precautions you should be aware of. Oranges are known to be among the best fruits for the overall health and truth be told, it is not just good for the health but they are also a great refreshment that is very versatile (can be consumed in various ways). So, keep reading to learn how to properly feed your guinea pig with delicious oranges.
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Oranges
- Energy – Oranges have a very good amount of calories to provide the organism with enough warmth and nutrition.
- Healthy weight – Orange has almost 90 calories but that is not much for fruit and the guinea pigs won’t eat a whole orange anyway! Also, it is low in fat so it won’t change the weight.
- Healthy cardiovascular system (low in fat, potassium, magnesium) – Oranges are low in fat and this keeps blood vessels unclogged. Also, the potassium contributes to a good balance of salt and water in the body and the magnesium keeps the heart muscle healthy and strong in guinea pigs. All this means guinea pigs will have excellent health of the cardiovascular system!
Nutrition Facts of Oranges
These are the nutrients per approximately 6 oz of orange (one large orange):
- A good amount of calories – 86.5 calories. For fruit, this amount is great and will provide more energy throughout the day (see carbs and proteins point below). Also, this caloric amount is not extremely high considering we are talking about fruit. So, the guinea pig will not get fat from oranges!
- Carbs and proteins – there are 21.6 g of carbs and 1.7 g of protein in one big orange. These two are the main sources of energy for any organism to survive and fulfill any daily activities, even if it’s just resting without movements.
- Low in fat – 0.2 g. With a low amount of fat, the bodyweight will not be affected and most importantly, the blood vessels will not be clogged so the guinea pig heart will work better too.
- Fibers – 4.4 g. The fibers are always beneficial for good digestion. Without them, there is a chance of constipation and unhealthy bowel movements (irregular emptying).
- Vitamin C – 163 %. With such a high amount of vitamin C, your guinea pig is surely safe from the dangerous scurvy disease. This disease starts when the cavies are lacking this vitamin because they don’t produce it naturally or store it in their bodies.
- Thiamine – 11 %. This is the B1 vitamin and it turns the carbs into energy very fast.
- Potassium – 10 %. The potassium helps in maintaining healthy blood pressure and balance of electrolytes and water in the body too. Without potassium, there is a risk of fatigue, constipation, and dehydration.
- Vitamin A – 8 %. This is a strong antioxidant which will keep immunity in amazing health and it will protect it against free radicals that damage the lungs, liver, heart, skin – every organ.
- Calcium – 73.6 g. This amount of calcium is too high for the guinea pig. When this mineral deposits in excessive amounts, there are serious urinary problems for the guinea pig.
- Sugar – there is 17 g of sugar in one large orange. Of course, this means you can only serve oranges in only in moderate amounts because this is too much sugar for the cavy to digest!
- Magnesium – 18.4 g. This mineral is keeping the muscles strong and healthy.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Oranges to Guinea Pigs
- Urinary problems – The orange contains quite a lot of calcium. Fully grown guinea pigs will not benefit from calcium. Those mineral deposits create bladder and kidney stones, pain during urination and bloody urine too.
- Bad digestion – Also, orange has sugars too. It contains beneficial nutrients like vitamin C, but precaution is needed because of the sugar. Sugar can cause painful digestion or bowel problems like a loose stool.
How to Feed Oranges To Guinea Pigs (Serving Size and Frequency)
How Often and How Much Orange Is Good for My Guinea Pig?
Because of the sugar content and calcium as well, limit oranges to 2 times per week. Of course, do not give them a whole orange! A slice or two, or one thick big wedge is enough for the guinea pig to be delighted! Otherwise, there is a risk of urinary issues and bladder/kidney stones, as well as bad digestion and belly pains from the sugars in the orange.
Which Oranges Are Best for the Guinea Pig?
The tastiest and best types of oranges for your guinea pig are the Lychees, mandarin orange, as well as Clementine oranges. Of course, you can give the guinea pig a taste of any common orange you buy and consume yourself, as long as you pay attention to the serving sizes.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat the Orange Peel Too?
Yes, if your guinea pig munches on the orange peel it is completely safe and edible. Of course, the orange peel also contains vitamin C so there are benefits from it too for the guinea pig. However, avoid giving the cavy too much of the orange peel and focus more on the flesh fruit part. This is because the orange peel is rougher than the flesh and may irritate their mouth tissue while chewing it.
Quick Facts on Oranges
- The orange belongs to a family of berries so it is basically considered a berry!
- Orange was introduced in the Mediterranean area directly by the Arabs, back in the 10th century.
- The Bergamot orange type is grown for the production of cosmetics mostly.
- Orange trees can survive for more than a century!
- The Valencia oranges are most grown all over the world.
- Chinese people believe the Pummelo orange brings luck.
- Orange is not named because of its orange color. The name comes from a Sanskrit word ‘naranga’ coming from Tamil Nadu (India) and the meaning is ‘fragrant’.
- Oranges were considered once a sign of fertility when given to newlywed couples.
- To get all the fibers of an orange, you need to consume more than 6 cups of cornflakes for breakfast!
- Christopher Columbus introduced the first orange and its seeds to America, back in 1493.
- Back in the 18th century, British sailors ate oranges and sauerkraut too for scurvy prevention!
- The orange blossoms and orange fruit itself symbolizes love.
- The Gods thought of oranges as their signature fruit. They called it ‘golden apple’ because Hercules stole many oranges!
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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