Plums… What do we know about them? They are obviously delicious, juicy, easy to eat and they hide amazing health benefits. Plums belong to the genus Prunus Rosaceae family which also includes nectarines, peaches, and apricots. There are different colors and shapes, there are over 2000 varieties of plums to choose from.
Rich in vitamins, antioxidants and very low in calories, this small fruit is the amazing snack and dessert for humans but what about our guinea pigs? Do plums have the same benefits for guinea pigs? In this article, we are going to talk about plums as potential food for the guinea pigs.
So, can guinea pigs eat plums? Are they safe for our tiny animals? Yes, guinea pigs can definitely eat plums but you need to pay attention to the servings and frequency. You are free to add plums to your guinea pig’s diet as a dessert or treat and they will absolutely love it!
Plums contain lots of vitamins and health benefits for guinea pigs and they are easily brought at the store or you can grow them yourself! That tree you want to put on that particular spot in your garden? Why not plant a plum tree?!
Coming back to how safe it is to feed plums to your guinea pigs, like we said you need to pay attention to the servings, frequency and the way you give the plum to your little friend. They may be delicious, but don’t fall for your guinea pig’s “puppy eyes”. They can be dangerous if given in excess or if given in the wrong way. To help you understand more, keep reading the following section in order to find everything you need to know about guinea pigs and plums.
Main Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Plums
Now let’s explore the health benefits that plums can provide to guinea pigs:
- A high amount of vitamin C – guinea Pigs don’t produce vitamin C (just like us, humans) so they need to get that vitamin from the food they eat. Also, vitamin C helps boost the immune system and it helps absorb iron.
- Low in calories – it’s a delicious fruit but low in calories! It makes your guinea pig happy and healthy!
- Potassium – helps to maintain good bone strength, giving your guinea pig a good, healthy and longer life.
- Antixidant Properties – contains Vitamin C and phytonutrients.
- Maintains a Healthy Nervous System – vitamin B6 helps in the transmission of nerve signals.
Nutrition Facts of Plums
We know plums have a variety of vitamins. In fact, they have many more than we expect and all the vitamins help in a different type of health issues. These are the nutrition facts per 1 plum:
- Water (g) – 57.57
- Energy (kcal) – 30.36
- Protein (g) – 0.46
- Fat (g) – 0.18
- Carbohydrate (g) – 7.54
- Fiber (g) – 0.92
- Sugars (g) – 6.55
- Calcium (mg) – 3.96
- Iron (mg) – 0.11
- Magnesium (mg) – 4.62
- Phosphorus (mg) – 10.56
- Vitamin B6 (mg) – 0.02
- Potassium (mg) – 103.62
- Vitamin C (mg) – 6.27
- Vitamin K – 4.22
Source: Health Encyclopedia – University of Rochester
Serving Size, Preparation and Frequency of Plums
We now know that plums have a lot of good things to give to our little animals. However, let’s not forget that too much can be dangerous with every single food and for guinea pigs, it’s no different. Let’s pay attention to the serving size, preparation and frequency so you can give your guinea pig delicious plums but in a safe way.
- Serving Size and Frequency
The safe serving size for most fruits in guinea pigs diet is always twice per week. This means you can give one plum to your guinea pig 2 times per week, as a treat.
The pit of the plum should always be removed, as it contains cyanide and can cause the guinea pig to choke! The skin of the plum should be kept on – most of the antioxidants are located in the skin! Plums should be chopped in small pieces before given to the guinea pigs.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Plums to Guinea Pigs
We now know that the safe amount of plums you can give to your guinea pig. Let’s look at the risks if you give them more the safe serving size.
- Diarrhea – very painfully, not comfortable at all and can lead to major problems.
- Stomach aches – The guinea pigs digestive system did not evolve to digest fruit well so when given too much, their system is not strong enough to digest it in a normal and safe way.
- Formation of calcium stones – very dangerous in this case. Once they are formed, they can lead to your guinea pig’s being in pain all the time and, in the most severe cases, it can lead to your little friend’s death.
What Happens If Your Guinea Pig Eats a Plum with the Pit?
It’s crucial to always be sure to take out the pit out of the plum before you give it to your guinea pig. However, if it happens, don’t panic. Accidents can happen.
There are two major risks you need to have in mind if this happens: cyanide poisoning and physical obstruction.
Cyanide is a potentially deadly chemical, rapidly acting and found in some foods: apples, plums and apricots. It is also contained in cigarette smoke and combustion products of synthetic materials (plastic). In humans, the exposure to cyanide can lead to weakness, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, vomit and dizziness. Cyanide gas is also used to exterminate pests and vermin.
It can also be called “Blocked Intestine” or “Gastrointestinal Obstruction”. This causes extreme pain, discomfort and can lead to a more deadly ending. If you read carefully both of these risks, you now understand how dangerous and potentially deadly it can be if your guinea pig eats the pit of a plum. Now, accidents happen and you should not feel guilty if it happens. Just rush your little guy to the vet so they can do an x-ray and maybe other tests to determine what treatment is needed.
Quick Facts About Plums
- Plum has several species, between 19 and 40 but only 2 (hexaploid European plum and diploid Japanese plum) are known and of commercial significance around the world.
- Every continent has the ability to grow plum trees, except Antarctica. Plum trees are usually planted in temperate zones.
- Plums include many health benefits. Between them are the relief from anxiety-related problems and indigestion.
- They have antioxidant powers.
- It prevents brain cell breakdown.
- Can be cooked and baked.
- The world’s leading producer of Plums is China.
- In America, the leading producer is California.
- Plums can be used culinary; they can be added to jellies, puddings and jams.
Source: Plums – Utah State University
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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