Strawberries are one of the most popular fruits in the world and they are loved by many. They are filled with many nutrients that are beneficial to both humans and animals. There are different varieties of berries, but strawberries stand out as the most popular type. Now let’s see if our cute guinea pigs can have strawberries in their diet.
So, can guinea pigs eat strawberries? Guinea pigs can eat strawberries as they are packed with numerous nutrients (including vitamin C) that are ideal for the guinea pig’s health. They also like the taste of strawberries but the only problem with them is the sugar content, so be careful with the serving sizes and frequency.
Strawberries are high in vitamin C, this vitamin is critical to the guinea pig’s health. Just like humans, guinea pigs can neither create nor store vitamin C and this is why this vitamin is so important for our cute little pets. This is however not the only beneficial vitamin present in strawberries.
Now that we know that our guinea pigs can eat strawberries let’s take a look at some important information about guinea pigs and strawberries such as benefits, nutrients, possible risks, and quick facts. Let’s begin!
Are Strawberries Safe for Guinea Pigs? | Health Benefits
Strawberries are a very delicious fruit and guinea pigs love to eat them, but are strawberries good for guinea pigs? Strawberries are good for guinea pigs as they are filled with numerous benefits for them. Some of these benefits include the following:
• Help to Regulate Blood Sugar
As much as the strawberries are naturally packed with sugar, they can equally reduce the blood sugar levels in the guinea pig’s body. Dietary fiber which is available in strawberries has some fantastic benefits when it comes to regulation of blood sugar levels.
• Help With Digestion
Digestion is a really important body process that is vital for the extraction of nutrients from food, and guinea pigs usually don’t have a robust digestive system. Therefore, they need help from their diet. Strawberries can help with the digestion process due to the presence of dietary fiber in them. Fiber not only makes digestion easier but also makes the bowels flow smoothly.
• Weight Loss
Dietary fiber in strawberries helps to establish a feeling of satiety and fullness in your guinea pig. When food intake gets reduced, the number of calories taken into the body will also decrease. This can result in the loss of weight in your guinea pig to some extent. A healthy guinea pig should have an average weight.
• Regulation of Blood Pressure
Blood pressure should be at optimum levels if you want your guinea pig to be safe from diseases and other health complications. Strawberry is filled with potassium that is ideal for regulating blood pressure in your guinea pig’s body. Potassium achieves this by cutting down the effects of sodium. Research also shows that potassium can improve the quality of the guinea pig’s life and prevent diseases and numerous infections.
• Eliminates Free Radicals in the Guinea Pig’s Body
Metabolic processes in guinea pigs can lead to the production of free radicals. These radicals are not safe for guinea pigs, primarily if they exist in large portions. They have serious negative effects including cell damage and diseases/infections. Antioxidants can counter the presence of free radicals by eliminating them. Strawberries are filled with numerous antioxidants such as vitamin A, which will help guinea pigs to deal with free radicals.
• May Help to Reduce Inflammation
Swelling or rather an inflammation occurs due to the effects of diseases/infections or injury. It is a normal body response but it is harmful if it becomes chronic. To prevent this from happening, you need to use foods that are rich in antioxidants. This will keep your guinea pig safe from developing chronic inflammation.
• Strawberries Contribute to Better Cardiovascular Health
Heart health is essential for a longer life span of your guinea pig. Strawberries have the right nutrients and compounds that aid in heart health. Anthocyanin is one of the compounds that are vital for the well-being of the heart as it eliminates the chances of heart failure, among several other heart complications.
Quercetin is yet another compound that prevents heart damage from high levels of cholesterol. Strawberries also have polyphenol that reduces the chances of platelet build-up and inflammatory effects that can result in heart complications. Lastly, potassium and fiber are two nutrients that equally contribute to a steady and strong heart.
• Boosts the Immune System of the Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs rely on foods that are rich in vitamin C for a strong immune system. Vitamin C helps to eliminate diseases and infections in addition to enforcing the production of white blood cells. Strawberries are packed with sufficient amounts of vitamin C for guinea pigs. You should know that guinea pigs have weak immune systems and that is why they need this vitamin in large portions.
• Helps to Improve Vision and Sight
Nutrition Facts of Strawberries for Guinea Pigs
- Energy – 32 kcal
- Protein – 0.67 g
- Total lipid (fat) – 0.3 g
- Carbs – 7.68 g
- Dietary fiber – 2 g
- Sugars – 4.89 g
- Vitamin A – 1 µg
- Vitamin C – 58.8 mg
- Vitamin B-6 – 0.047 mg
- Vitamin E – 0.29 mg
- Vitamin K – 2.2 µg
- Sodium – 1 mg
- Potassium – 153 mg
- Calcium – 16 mg
- Iron – 0.41 mg
- Zinc – 0.14 mg
- Copper – 0.048 mg
- Selenium – 0.4 µg
- Phosphorous – 24 mg
- Magnesium – 13 mg
- Folate – 24 µg
- Thiamin – 0.024 mg
- Riboflavin – 0.022 mg
- Niacin – 0.386 mg
- Lutein + zeaxanthin – 26 µg
Are Strawberries Bad for Guinea Pigs? | Possible Risks
Guinea pigs can eat strawberries, but there are also some questions from the owners such as are guinea pigs allergic to strawberries, or can you give guinea pigs strawberries without any risk? Strawberry might be a nutritious and healthy fruit, but this doesn’t exclude them from a few potential dangers they present to guinea pigs. The following are some of these risks:
• Pesticide Residue
This is an absolute risk as strawberries fall get treated with pesticides very often. In some countries, this is not regulated properly and can be extremely dangerous. Pesticides are supposed to keep pests away, but when consumed by animals such as guinea pigs, they can be very dangerous and cause health problems. Some of these risks are food poisoning and stomach aches which may lead to diarrhea and vomiting. In case you notice this, you need to offer sufficient water to your guinea pig and seek medical help as soon as you can. A way to prevent this is to wash each strawberry before feeding your guinea pig.
• Beta-Blockers Medicine
When your guinea pig is taking beta-blockers medicine, it would be unwise to feed it strawberries due to the high presence of potassium.
It’s known that guinea pigs can have allergies to some foods, and strawberries are one of them. When you feed your guinea pigs with strawberries for the first time, give them a small amount of strawberry and monitor their behavior. If they stop eating strawberries or are behaving strangely, that can be a sign of an allergic reaction. Also, after some time they can have diarrhea or vomiting.
Serving Size and How Can You Feed Strawberries to Guinea Pigs
Considering some risks, it’s very important to know if can you feed guinea pigs strawberries daily and how many strawberries can guinea pigs eat a day? No worries because in the following sections we will go through each question and provide you with all the necessary information.
Can Guinea Pigs Have Strawberries Every Day?
No matter how beneficial strawberries are for guinea pigs and how many good nutrients are there, guinea pigs shouldn’t eat strawberries every day. So, how often can guinea pigs have strawberries? It’s recommended for guinea pigs to eat strawberries one or two times a week, but only as a treat and in small serving sizes.
Guinea pigs shouldn’t eat strawberries very often because of the sugar and calcium content in them. Huge amounts of sugar and calcium can lead to some serious health problems in guinea pigs such as diarrhea, obesity, diabetes, kidney and bladder stones.
How Many Strawberries Can a Guinea Pig Eat?
As we have said, guinea pigs can’t eat strawberries every day and in large serving sizes. So, what amount is the best, and can guinea pigs eat whole strawberries? Guinea pigs can have the entire strawberry but only two times per week. Even if your guinea pigs ask for more, you need to think about their health and not give in to their wishes.
Do Guinea Pigs Like Strawberries?
Guinea pigs definitely like strawberries, they are herbivores and they will like almost any type of fruit and vegetable, especially fruits that are high in sugars. Fruits are like a delicious treat for them and not only that they enjoy eating strawberries but also blueberries, grapes, raspberries, bananas, and many others.
Guinea pigs will eat these fruits every time you give to them, so you need to regulate how often and how many strawberries they will get. Also, it’s very important to wash thoroughly any fruits you feed them, because of pesticides that can be harmful to their health.
More Information About Strawberries and Guinea Pigs
Now, that you know how to feed strawberries to guinea pigs, we will talk about other parts of the strawberry plant. In the following sections, you will find out can guinea pigs eat strawberry plant leaves, are strawberry tops good for guinea pigs, and much more.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberry Leaves?
There are many misunderstandings about the strawberry plant and especially leaves. Many owners want to know are strawberry leaves poisonous to guinea pigs and if they can have them in their diet. Strawberry leaves aren’t poisonous to guinea pigs and they can eat them without any problems. Guinea pigs love to eat leafy vegetables, so strawberry greens can be great food for them. In some cases, the guinea pig will like strawberry leaves more than the actual berry part. Strawberry leaves are rich in antioxidants and contain fewer sugars, which is good for guinea pig’s health.
Also, you need to check the reaction of the guinea pigs when they’re eating strawberry leaves because some of them can maybe be allergic to these leaves.
Related: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Leaves?
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberry Tops?
Just as it was the case with strawberry leaves, guinea pigs can eat strawberry tops, and they are actually better for them because strawberry tops contain less sugars and more vitamin C and fiber. Strawberry tops for guinea pigs are totally safe, healthy, and delicious.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Dried Strawberries?
Dried fruits are usually very high in calories and sugars, so are guinea pigs allowed to eat strawberries when they are dried? Guinea pigs shouldn’t eat dried strawberries because of their high sugar content. It’s recommended not to feed your guinea pigs with any type of dried fruit, such as dried apricots or dried bananas.
Guinea pigs technically can eat dried fruits, but it can cause stomach and other health problems for them. This is why vets also don’t recommend feeding dried strawberries and other dried fruits to guinea pigs.
Can Guinea Pigs Drink Strawberry Juice?
Guinea pigs can drink only 100% natural and homemade strawberry juice that is diluted with water. Any other type of juice that you can buy in the store are forbidden for guinea pigs. Commercial strawberry juices contain a lot of sugars and other ingredients that aren’t good for guinea pig’s health.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Frozen Strawberries?
Guinea pigs can eat frozen strawberries that have been previously defrosted on the room temperature. If you give them frozen strawberries or any other food that is not defrosted, your guinea pig is going to have stomach and digestive problems because they are just too cold and also can be harmful to guinea pig’s teeth. Guinea pigs can actually eat defrosted strawberries, but it’s always better to give them raw fresh fruits and vegetables. They will enjoy them more.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberry Flowers?
There are isn’t enough information or owner reports related to if guinea pigs can eat strawberry flowers. Guinea pigs can eat many flowers, but strawberry flowers are not very tasty and we’re not sure if guinea pigs will eat them.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberry Jam?
Guinea pigs can’t eat strawberry jam because it is full of sugar and it can cause serious health problems to them. Never feed your guinea pigs with any processed or cooked foods, because it can be very harmful to them.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberry Seeds?
Guinea pigs can eat strawberry seeds because these seeds are very small and tiny so they won’t cause any problems. They can’t eat apple seeds or watermelon seeds, but strawberry seeds are completely safe for guinea pigs.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberry Stalks/Stems?
Guinea pigs can eat every green part of the strawberry, which means that they can eat strawberry stalks or stems as well. Strawberry stalks are completely safe for guinea pigs and also very healthy. As we have said, some guinea pigs will love strawberry tops more than the berry and it is the same case is with stems. Stems can be even more delicious and they will enjoy eating them.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Wild Strawberries?
If you can pick up some wild strawberries, your guinea pigs will be happy. Guinea pigs can eat wild strawberries as they are very tasty for them. Wild strawberries also have high levels of sugar, so you need to feed them to guinea pigs just occasionally and in small amounts.
What about green parts of the wild strawberries, can guinea pigs eat wild strawberry leaves, flowers, and stems? Guinea pigs can eat wild strawberry leaves, flowers, and stems, they are completely safe for guinea pig’s health.
Quick Facts On Strawberries
The following facts about strawberries will amaze you:
- Each spring, the first fruit to ripen is strawberry.
- An average strawberry has 200 seeds in it.
- In the USA, 75% of strawberries are produced in California.
- Strawberries have a pleasant fragrance.
- They are perennial plants.
- Ancient Romans used strawberry for medicinal purposes.
- Strawberry has three different variants, i.e. overbearing, day-neutral, and June-bearing.
- Belgium has a museum that is dedicated to strawberries.
- Each state in the USA grows strawberries.
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.
If you found this post useful, would you mind helping out by sharing it? Just click one of the handy social media sharing buttons below so others can also learn about guinea pig food and diet!
List of Sources
Zilva, S. S., Vitamin C requirements of the guinea-pig, The Biochemical Journal, 1936.
O’Dell, B. L., Morris, E. R., Pickett, E. E., Hogan, A. G., Diet Composition and Mineral Balance in Guinea Pigs, The Journal of Nutrition, 1957.
Cannon, M. D., Emerson, G. A., Dietary Requirements of the Guinea Pig with Reference to the Need for a Special Factor, The Journal of Nutrition, 1939.
Odumosu, A., Wilson, C. W. M., Metabolic Availability of Vitamin C in the Guinea-pig, Nature, Volume 242, Issue 5399, pp. 519-521, 1973.
National Research Council (US) Subcommittee on Laboratory Animal Nutrition, Nutrient Requirements of Laboratory Animals: Fourth Revised Edition, 1995., Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1995.
Norman, R., Wills, A. P., An Investigation into the Relationship between Owner Knowledge, Diet, and Dental Disease in Guinea Pigs (Cavia porcellus), Animals: an open access journal from MDPI, 2016.
Townsend, G.H., The guinea-pig: general husbandry and nutrition, The Veterinary record, 1975.
Bruce, H. M., Parkes, A. S., Feeding and breeding of laboratory animals III. Observations on the feeding of guinea-pigs, Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Witkowska, A., Price, J., Hughes, C., Smith, D., White, K., Alibhai, A., Rutland C. S., The Effects of Diet on Anatomy, Physiology and Health in the Guinea Pig, Journal of Animal Health and Behavioural Science, 2017.
Hirsch, E., Some determinants of intake and patterns of feeding in the Guinea pig, Physiology & Behavior, 1973.
Ezell, B. D., Darrow, G. M., Ascorbic acid content of strawberries, Food research, 1947.
Giampieri, F., Tulipani, S., Alvarez-Suarez, J. M., Quiles, J. L., Mezzetti, B., Battino, M., The strawberry: composition, nutritional quality, and impact on human health, Nutrition, 2012.
Afrin, S., Gasparrini, M., Forbes-Hernandez, T. Y., et al., Promising Health Benefits of the Strawberry: A Focus on Clinical Studies, Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 2016.
Giampieri, F., Forbes-Hernandez, T. Y., Gasparrini, M., et al., Strawberry as a health promoter: an evidence based review, Food and function, 2015.