In this article, we will discuss everyone’s favorite food – the pumpkin! This fruit is extremely popular and tasty, we use it in many versatile ways. Let’s be honest, who hasn’t heard of pumpkin latte coffees, or a ton of other pumpkin recipes we can’t resist? Now, the focus is on the guinea pigs, and whether they can enjoy this delicious and nutritious fruit.
Can guinea pigs eat pumpkin? Yes, guinea pigs can eat pumpkin. They love the flesh of the pumpkin, but the only danger is the seeds which can choke the guinea pig! Pumpkin is very nutritious for guinea pigs and it contains very vital nutrients (such as vitamin A and C) for keeping the cavy healthy and alive. You can give a small handful amount of pumpkin, or a few chunks/pieces, and this should be given not more than 2 times per week to your guinea pig. We will discuss this more in the sections below.
In these sections, we will also discuss all facts, information, nutrients, risks, benefits and everything you need to know about pumpkin as food for your lovely guinea pig. Detailed research on every food for the guinea pig goes a long way to keep your pet happy and healthy. So, keep on reading about this mouthwatering fruit.
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Pumpkin
- Healthy weight – the pumpkin is relatively low in calories, so the guinea pig will not be at risk of obesity or major weight changes at all. Also, it is low in fat, so we can say that pumpkin is not a fattening food at all.
- Antioxidants – vitamin A is keeping the overall health and immunity of the guinea pig in great shape. All organs will work perfectly fine, and with that, the immunity will be in perfect health too.
- Scurvy prevention – Pumpkin has vitamin C. Sadly, the guinea pigs don’t produce this vitamin naturally, and they can’t store it either. They get this vitamin through supplements or foods. That way they are safe from getting scurvy which damages their fur, reduces the appetite, causes loose stool and internal bleedings and other bad symptoms which can be fatal if untreated.
- Healthy blood – the guinea pig will be safe from anemia and blood-related problems.
Nutrition Facts of Pumpkin
These are the nutrition facts about 100g (3 oz) of pumpkin:
- Low in calories – 26 calories. Pumpkin may be sweet in taste, but it is not fattening at all. This amount of calories will maintain a healthy weight for the guinea pig.
- Carbs and protein – 6.5 g of carbs and 1 g of protein. A moderately normal amount of these main energy sources – just enough to provide quick and slow-release energy for the daily needs of your guinea pig.
- Fiber – 0.5 g. This is a low amount of fibers but this is ok for the guinea pig because an excess of fibers will cause bad digestion and diarrhea.
- Sugar – 1.4 g. The sugar in the pumpkin is not the best nutrient for the cavy, because it will cause painful digestion if it’s served in large amounts.
- Fat – 0.1 g. Great news for cardiovascular health and weight too. Less risk of clogged blood vessels, and also of obesity.
- Vitamin A – 14 %. This vitamin is a strong antioxidant, fights inflammation, prevents diseases caused by free radicals damage, keeps the kidneys, skin, heart, lungs healthy, and the immunity too.
- Vitamin C – 15 %. The most important vitamin for a guinea pig. It prevents the fatal disease called scurvy when the cavy lacks the needed dose of this vitamin.
- Vitamin E – 5 %. The vitamin E keeps the skin healthy, prevents cancer and inflammation too, and keeps the eyesight healthy.
- Thiamin – 3 %. Also named B1 vitamin, this vitamin keeps nerves healthy, stomach and intestines too and it promotes good flow of electrolytes in all cells and muscles.
- Riboflavin – 6 %. Known as B2 vitamin, this nutrient breaks down all foods into energy and transports oxygen well throughout the organism.
- Calcium – 21 mg. This amount of calcium is too high for the guinea pig because in large amounts it causes them urinary problems. Otherwise, this mineral forms strong bone tissues in young guinea pigs.
- Iron – 4 %. The iron is essential to keep blood healthy and to prevent anemia.
- Potassium – 10 %. This mineral regulates blood pressure and its deficiency causes fatigue and constipation.
- Copper – 6 %. Copper works together with iron to create red blood cells and it helps the body to get all benefits of iron absorption.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Pumpkin to Guinea Pigs
- Urinary problems – Sadly, the mineral calcium in the pumpkin is not very good for the guinea pigs. It is good only when they are young, to help them form strong bones during development and growth. But, grown guinea pigs are at risk of urinary stones, pain during urination or blood in urine, and infections in the urinary tract. If left untreated, this can be fatal if the kidneys stop functioning!
- Digestion pains and diarrhea – Pumpkin is sweet, and this means it contains some sugar of course. Sugar is not well digested by guinea pigs. Their stomachs are very fragile, and with excess sugar (above moderate servings), they will have stomach pains and diarrhea too.
- The pumpkin seeds – like most other types of seeds they are not good at all for the guinea pigs. Partially because they are fattening, but the greatest risk is that they can be a choking hazard for the poor cavies! The guinea pigs won’t be able to chew them properly and they can get stuck in their mouth and throat!
Quick Facts on Pumpkin
- The pumpkins belong in the family of honeydew melons, cucumbers, zucchini, cantaloupe, and watermelons
- Pumpkins are originating from Mexico and Central America
- The word pumpkin first originated from the Greeks, as the word ‘Pepon’ or ‘large melon’. After this, the word went through many adaptations by the French and English translations.
- Back in 1584, Jacques Cartier, a French explorer of North America called this fruit ‘a gros melon’. Later, this term in English was translated as ‘pompions’, so now this is known as ‘pumpkin’
- The heaviest pumpkin in the world had a weight of 820 kg, found in Minnesota
- Pumpkins are planted during May and June, and they are picked in October when they reach the vibrant orange color.
- Pumpkins are technically a fruit, but in culinary terms, we consider them to be vegetables.
- There is archeological evidence for the first domesticated pumpkins, dating back to 7,000 years ago, in Mexico.
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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