When it comes to diets and food, guinea pigs need special attention and plenty of vitamin C. This is where rose hip could play a valuable role! But what exactly is rose hip? Well, it is a fruit that grows on the rose plant. They come in many different colors, from a dark intense purple to bright red to orange and black. Further, they grow in spring and summer as the result of flower pollination. This fruit can not only be eaten as a raw berry, but it also makes a great power food in jams, syrups, jellies, and part of nutritious and healthy smoothies. Having this in mind, could the rose hip be beneficial to smaller house pets like guinea pigs?
Can guinea pigs eat rose hip? Absolutely yes, guinea pigs can eat the rose hip but be aware that this fruit is sweet and sugar in large amounts is not good for the guinea pigs. This is why you need to give them rose hip in moderation with proper serving sizes.
Also, some guinea pigs prefer sweet or savory food more than the other. If there is no particular preference, then the guinea pig will eat the rose hip in a second. Therefore, you can add this wonderful fruit to the list of edible, nutritious, and healthy food that a guinea pig can enjoy safely.
Rose hip can be purchased online or in-store at the local supermarket or local pet store, it is not too difficult to find. Rose hip can be enjoyed both fresh, dried, or even baked. Please do bear in mind that if cooked or exposed too much when raw, the vitamin C content could diminish. Are you new to rose hip? Don’t worry, in the following sections below you will master this fruit as food for the guinea pigs.
Main Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Rose Hip
- A good boost of vitamin C – guinea pigs, like us humans, are not able to produce their own supply of vitamin C. This means that they rely on outside sources of the vitamin such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Rose hip contains a good amount of vitamin C and will make wonders for the pet’s health and lifestyle.
- Prevents diseases – when guinea pigs are lacking vitamin C, they develop complications such as scurvy. This is a disease that causes hair loss, external bleeding, diarrhea, reduced appetite and energy, and induces arthritic pain. Monitor your pet closely.
- Low in fat – another benefit is the low percentage of fat contained in the fruit. This is optimal because it makes rose hip a perfect snack and meal for the guinea pig.
- High in iron – surprisingly, the rose hip has high percentages of iron and this can be beneficial for your guinea pig’s red cell count and they will be healthier. This can be especially important for pregnant sows that need not only extra energy and food but also the highest quantities of red cells to cope with the pregnancy.
Nutrition Facts of Rose Hip
With 100 g of rose hip, these are the nutrients:
- Calories – 160
- Total Fat – 0,2 g
- Sodium – 5 mg
- Potassium – 430 mg
- Total Carbohydrate – 40 g
- Dietary fiber – 25 g
- Sugar – 2,5 g
- Protein – 1,7 g
- Vitamin C – 715%
- Vitamin A – 85%
- Magnesium – 20%
- Calcium – 15%
- Vitamin B-6 – 6%
- Iron – 7%
As you can see, the rose hip is packed with nutrients! No wonder it’s a hit amongst guinea pigs and humans, they hold many important key minerals and vitamins.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Rose Hip to Guinea Pigs
Although there are many benefits of feeding your guinea pig with rose hip, there are also some considerations we need to take into account:
- Sugar levels – the fruit can at times contain high levels of sugar. This can potentially damage your pet’s health and diet and create complications with its heart, circulation system, and blood pressure.
- Fruit hairs – when feeding your pet with rose hip, make sure you remove the hairs that are found inside of the fruit. We, therefore, recommend that you slice up the fruit, remove carefully all the hairs within it, and position the rose hip in the eating corner in your pet’s cage. We also recommend that you separate the skin of the fruit from the pulp.
- Complications – when excessive amounts of the rose hip are consumed, there are further physical complications. These include diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, hyperactivity, fatigue, and pain.
Serving Size, Preparation and Frequency of Rose Hip
Choose quality over quantity when feeding your pet. Rose hip may be high in vitamin C but its sugar levels are not recommended for daily and constant consumption. Therefore, feed your guinea pig rose hip 3 times a week. Don’t worry though, this fruit is very much welcomed in the pet’s diet! As mentioned above, cut up the fruit and remove the internal hairs, otherwise, they can compromise the guinea pig’s health.
The ideal daily serving size should range from 5 to 10 grams and only 2 to 3 times a week.
Is your pet new to rose hip? No problem! The best way to introduce the fruit to your guinea pig is to give small pieces slowly at a time. Also, check to see whether your pet has more of a sweet tooth or has a soft spot for savory snacks.
How easy is it to get and grow rose hip?
Depends on your time availability. If you have more time on your hands then we suggest you grow them fresh from rose plants, so you and your pet can enjoy the freshness and home produce. Have no worries if you don’t have time to grow them on your own! You can acquire them at your local supermarket or pet store, or explore the internet for feasible options.
Otherwise, as an alternative, rose hip can also be found in a powder form, which can be diluted into water and given to the pet. The only warning is that bacteria may grow quickly in the water bottle and the vitamin C properties are gone after long exposure. This method is not recommended.
Quick and Fun Facts About Rose Hip
- Rose hip is one of the fruits with the overall highest vitamin C content.
- Rose hips can be made into jelly, juices, syrups, jams and if left to dry out long enough, into delicious tea!
- The hip can be used for minor medicinal practices and turned into therapeutic massage oil.
- The seeds can be used as ingredients for beauty products such as make-up, creams, masks, and face cleansing.
- You can even brew beer or wine with rose hip!
- The Greek poet Sappho defined roses and its fruits the “Absolute Queen of Flowers”, in 600 B.C.
- Many religions across the world find rose hips sacred and a divine gift.
- Fruit on a rose is known as achenes, where a single enclosing contains a single unique seed, which is found inside the hip. The rose hips are developed from stem tips that swell in order to enclose their hairy achenes. Lastly, the hip skin is initially green and then can develop into shades of burnt orange, bright red, deep purple, or black.
- Rose hip was once a medicine used for dog bites, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and menstrual complications. In fact, the British kept the fruit within pharmacopeia, an official list regarding medicinal drugs that had their effects and instructions on how to use, until the end of the 1930s.
- Rose hip juice and syrup were used during World War I and World War II to prevent the soldier from developing diseases such as scurvy and boost their immune system and fight off any further complications.
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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