Summer is a perfect season when it comes to tasting juicy and refreshing fruits. Today we will talk about the tangerine. This fruit is incredibly healthy, tasty, hydrating, refreshing and aromatic. Everyone loves a plate full of tangerine wedges during hot summer days. But, do our guinea pigs like tangerines? Or more precisely, can they eat this fruit? Let’s find out!
Can guinea pigs eat tangerines? Yes, guinea pigs can eat tangerines. But, tangerines shouldn’t be fed often to our guinea pigs because tangerines contain high levels of sugar in them, and they are also acidic. The golden rule for feeding the guinea pig with tangerines is 1-2 times per week, not more.
The guinea pig cannot eat the skin or seeds of the tangerine, so be careful when you separate the wedges before the serving. Examine them closely, because some tangerine types have seeds in the center. A few wedges or pieces is a good serving size for the guinea pig.
It is good to know that our guinea pigs can get a nice juicy refreshment during hot summer days. Tangerines will make them go crazy with joy! The aroma of fresh and peeled tangerines will make the guinea pigs skip when they see you, and the tangerine will be devoured in seconds! Still, don’t go overboard with tangerines, they are sweet and acidic, which is not so good for the guinea pig.
If you are interested, below are the nutrients, benefits, risks and other details for tangerines as food for the guinea pig.
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Tangerines
- Healthy weight – tangerines are low in calories and fat, which means they are not going to affect the healthy weight of the guinea pig. Also, they are low in proteins and have a moderate amount of carbs, and in normal servings, this is not posing a risk for weight gain.
- Scurvy prevention – this fruit is rich in vitamin C, the vitamin that fights off the fatal disease called scurvy. This disease starts with these symptoms: no appetite, diarrhea, discharge, bleedings, rough fur and fatigue. If untreated, it can be deadly. But, this is prevented if your guinea pig receives enough vitamin C on a regular basis.
- Strong immunity – tangerine has vitamin A and manganese. These are the strongest and best antioxidants for overall protection against diseases and free radical damage.
Nutrition Facts of Tangerines
These are the nutrition facts for 100 g (3 oz) of tangerine:
- Low in calories – 53 calories. The tangerines will not fatten up the guinea pig, because the guinea pig won’t eat a lot of this in the first place. In moderate amounts, tangerines will not affect the weight.
- Carbs and proteins – there are 13.3 g of carbs and 0.8 g of proteins in tangerines. Carbs and proteins are the main energy sources and this fruit is quite rich in carbs.
- Fiber – 1.8 g. The fibers are essential for proper digestion and regular bowel emptying.
- Sugar – 10.6 g. This amount of sugar is too high for the guinea pigs. The stomachs of guinea pigs cannot process too much sugar. The result of excess sugar is upset stomach and digestion problems.
- Low in fat – 0.3 g. There is almost no fat in tangerines, and this makes them the perfect fruit for maintaining a healthy weight and having a healthy cardiovascular system. Too much fat damages the blood vessels, but luckily tangerine has low amounts of fat.
- Vitamin A – 14%. This vitamin is an antioxidant and it boosts the immunity. The overall health will be much better, and all organs will be kept in good shape and health (brain, skin, eyes, kidneys, lungs, heart…)
- Vitamin C – 44%. Vitamin C is like the Holy Grail for guinea pigs! Without it, they cannot be healthy or survive. Lack of this vitamin makes them prone to scurvy, a fatal disease. So, since guinea pigs cannot produce this naturally, they need it through foods or supplements. And, tangerines are rich in vitamin C!
- Vitamin E – 1%. This vitamin is important for healthy skin. Also, it can prevent heart issues, it boosts the immunity, lessens inflammation and protects from skin cancer.
- Thiamin – 4%. Also known as the B1 vitamin. The B1 keeps the stomach and intestines healthy, but it also creates better flow of electrolytes in the body.
- Riboflavin – 2%. This is the B2 vitamin. It converts foods to energy and promotes good oxygen flow of all cells in the body.
- Niacin – 2%. Niacin is the B3 vitamin and it has many benefits. It lowers cholesterol, prevents diabetes and heart problems, and it reduces bone pains too.
- Vitamin B6 – 4%. This vitamin boosts the production of the happiness hormone, serotonin. Also, it helps sleep and it reduces anxiety too.
- Pantothenic acid – 2%. Also known as B5 vitamin. B5 converts food to energy, but it also helps with making blood cells.
- Calcium – 37 mg. The calcium is good for forming strong bones, but it is beneficial only if the guinea pig is young and still growing. Once the cavy is fully developed, it can actually suffer from many urinary problems that are triggered by calcium.
- Iron – 1%. Iron is crucial to keep the blood healthy and strong. With enough iron, there is less risk of anemia.
- Magnesium – 3%. Magnesium removes muscle pains, keeps all muscles strong and healthy (even the heart muscle too), it prevents diabetes and cardiovascular problems as well.
- Potassium – 5%. Potassium can reduce the formations of kidney stones, it can also keeps the bone tissues dense and strong, and lowers high blood pressure too.
- Copper – 2%. Copper makes red blood cells and helps in iron absorption.
- Manganese – 2%. Another antioxidant in tangerines; it regulates the blood sugar, lessens inflammation and prevents many diseases caused by free radical damage.
Remember, give tangerine to your guinea pig only 2-3 times per week. One or two wedges are more than enough for the benefits, without risking the health of your cavy.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Tangerines to Guinea Pigs
- Bad digestion – tangerines have a lot of sugar. The amount they have is too much for the fragile stomach of the guinea pig. Our furry friends cannot digest too much sugar too often. The result of excess sugar in their diet is an upset stomach, cramps, gasses, and loose stool.
- Urinary problems – there is calcium in tangerines and this mineral will worsen the health of the urinary tract of the guinea pig. There is a higher risk of blood in urine, painful urination, stones in the bladder and kidneys too. Excess calcium piles up in the urinary tract of guinea pigs and this can be fatal!
Quick Facts On Tangerines
- Tangerines are the smaller version of an orange; tangerines are sweeter and have a stronger aroma than oranges.
- The peak season for tangerines is from autumn to spring.
- The Dancy tangerine was the most popular tangerine type in the USA until the 1970s.
- It is believed the tangerines were at first cultivated in China, more than 3000 years ago.
- In Europe, the tangerines were brought in the 19th century.
- Several varieties of tangerines are popular today; Sunburst, Honey, Fallglo, Fairchild and Robinson.
- There are over 50 existing varieties of tangerines worldwide.
- The essential oil of tangerines is used in perfumes, cosmetics and also as aromatic medicine for reducing stress!
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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