When you think about vitamins and refreshing fruits, what is the first fruit that comes to mind apart from lemons? It is the orange! The oranges are maybe the fruit that’s used the most for both eating and juicing. It is full of vitamins, especially vitamin C, and it contains more vitamin c than lemons do. Today we will discuss if oranges are a good food for our guinea pigs.
Can guinea pigs eat oranges? Yes, guinea pigs can eat oranges. This fruit is very beneficial for them because it contains high amounts of the vitamin C, which is crucial for survival and health of the guinea pigs. Unlike hamsters, the guinea pigs can consume this fruit and they can benefit from it too. The cavies love the taste of oranges, and to be honest, it is very refreshing for them, especially in the warmer months.
In the sections below we will cover all the benefits a guinea pig can have from oranges, but also possible risks and precautions too. This fruit is known to be among the best fruits for the overall health. And truth be told, it is not just good for the health, but is also a great refreshment that is versatile to consume in various ways. So, keep reading to learn how to properly feed your guinea pig this delicious fruit.
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Oranges
- Energy – In the oranges, there is a 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 a fruit. And the cavy 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) – Orange is 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. All this means 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 body weight will not be affected, and most importantly, the blood vessels will not be clogged so the 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. Every fully grown guinea pig 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.
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!
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, not a whole orange! A slice or two, or one thick big wedge is enough for the cavy 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 for your cavy are the Lychees, mandarin orange, as well as Clementine oranges. Of course, you can give the cavy a taste of any common orange you mostly buy and consume yourself, as long as you pay attention to the servings.
Can guinea pigs eat the orange peel too?
Yes, if your guinea pig munches on the peel it is completely safe and edible. Of course, the peel also contains vitamin C so there are benefits from it too. However, avoid giving the cavy too much of the peel and focus more on the flesh fruit part. This is because the peel is rougher than the flesh and may irritate their mouth tissue while chewing it.
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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