Summer has already started and we are all excited because we can’t wait for the juicy, refreshing watermelons! Nothing is better during the hot summer days than a slice of this watery-sweet fruit. When I cut the huge watermelon, I just eat the seedless pink center and just like everyone else throw away the whole rind part. You probably do the same, but throwing the rind could be wrong. It is nutritious and edible, so maybe it could be a refreshing treat for our guinea pigs? Well, let’s find out.
Can guinea pigs eat watermelon rind? Yes, guinea pigs can eat watermelon rind, in fact, the rind part of the watermelon is much better for the guinea pig because it has less sugar than the actual flesh part.
Preparing the watermelon rind for guinea pigs is easy, all it takes is a good and thoro rinse with water, and after that slice it up in pieces or strips. The seeds are always in the pink, fleshy part, but if you leave some of the pink flesh part on the rind, check for seeds again. Watermelon seeds are a choking hazard for the guinea pigs.
You may have thought that the pink fleshy part contains the most nutrients. But, the watermelon rind has even more nutrients than the fleshy part. This is much better for the guinea pigs; they will get enough health benefits, and they won’t ingest too much sugar.
If you want to learn more about watermelon rind as food for the guinea pigs please read the following sections about watermelon rind benefits, risks, nutrition facts for the guinea pigs.
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Watermelon Rind
- Scurvy prevention – the guinea pigs always need vitamin C in order to survive and fight off the fatal disease called scurvy (these are the scurvy symptoms: diarrhea, fatigue, rough coat, no appetite, discharge, bleedings). They are prone to scurvy only when they lack vitamin C in their diets. But, why do they lack vitamin C? It’s because they can’t make it naturally and they also can’t store it, so give them vitamin C foods whenever you can!
- Antioxidants – the watermelon rind has vitamin A and lycopene. Both are strong antioxidants that can improve overall health and boost their overall immunity. When the organism of the guinea pigs receives antioxidants, they can remove the free radical damage that causes them most of the health problems.
- Prevention from digestion problems – the watermelon rind has zinc and betaine, and they are very important for the gut health among other things. Why? Well, sometimes guinea pigs can have indigestion, cramps or diarrhea. The zinc can treat diarrhea, and the betaine can improve the digestion process overall.
- Prevention from kidney stones – the potassium contained in the watermelon rind can help with the prevention of kidney stones formations.
- Healthy blood – the watermelon rind also contains some iron. The iron keeps the blood in perfect health, it fights anemia and it removes weakness.
Nutrition Facts of Watermelon Rind
The watermelon rind has the following nutrients:
- Vitamin C – is the most important nutrient that guinea pigs can receive. Without this vitamin, they get the disease called scurvy. Also, guinea pigs can’t produce this vitamin naturally, and even when they receive it, they can’t store it. Basically, without this nutrient guinea pigs can’t survive, and the watermelon rind has it.
- Vitamin A – this vitamin has a positive impact on the health of the brain, skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, vision, and it also strengthens the immunity.
- Vitamin B6 – the B6 vitamin helps with relaxation, better sleep, and creates a happier mood. Yes, this vitamin can improve the quality of sleep, reduce stress, and boost serotonin production (the hormone of happiness).
- Zinc – the zinc treats diarrhea, boosts the overall immunity, and also prevents against chronic diseases.
- Potassium – with potassium, there is less risk of high blood pressure.
- Citrulline – this is an amino acid that contributes to the health of the blood vessels and the heart. It improves the blood flow too, and it can boost the immunity as well.
- Lycopene – lycopene is an antioxidant that can reduce the risk of certain cancers. Also, it has been proven that lycopene improves the health of the heart too.
- Flavonoids – the flavonoids are pigments in the plants and they can reduce the risk of cancers, heart diseases, strokes, but also they protect the health of the brain.
- Riboflavin – also known as the B2 vitamin. The B2 improves the oxygen flow in the body, it breaks down the consumed food and converts it into energy.
- Iron – Iron is a mineral that is crucial for the health of the blood, and with that said, the overall health too. When the blood is healthy and strong, the whole organism is less prone to any health problems. Iron is found in every cell, but mostly in the red blood cells. It removes fatigue, weakness, and it prevents anemia and boosts the overall immunity.
- Calcium – This mineral forms strong bones, but in excess, it can harm the urinary tract of the guinea pigs. Luckily, watermelon rind has just small amounts of it.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Watermelon Rind to Guinea Pigs
- Urinary tract complications – most fresh produce foods contain calcium, and the rind has some calcium traces too. This mineral in excess can damage the urinary tracts of the cavies, but luckily the watermelon rind doesn’t have much of it, and watermelon rind is given to guinea pigs just a few times per week. If given in excess, calcium can causes: blood in urine, pain during urination, bladder and kidney stones, and urinary infections.
- Possible ingestion of pesticides/insecticides – if the outer layer isn’t washed well (with several rinses under the water), there is a risk that the guinea pig can ingest some chemicals. Nowadays, every veggie and fruit is sprayed with insecticides and pesticides, so you must wash the green skin of the watermelon as much as you can.
- Indigestion – in case you leave a bit more of the fleshy part on the white rind, and the guinea pig could ingest too much sugar. The pink fleshy part of the watermelon is very sweet and sugary, and the cavies can’t digest excess sugars very good. After consuming sweet foods, they will get cramps, flatulence, gasses, pains, and loose stool. So, make sure to leave just a little bit of the fleshy part, not too much, and slice the rind thinly to make it easier for them to chew.
Tips on How to Feed a Watermelon Rind to Guinea Pigs
Rind with the green skin part for guinea pigs: yes or no?
Yes, the guinea pigs love the green part too. You don’t need to be a carving master in order to feed them the rind. It is enough to wash the watermelon rind part, make sure that there aren’t seeds anywhere, and also create thin slices with the green part.
I want to feed watermelon rind to guinea pigs daily but…
It is best to give the guinea pigs watermelon rinds a few times per week, 2-3 tops. You want to avoid feeding them watermelon rind daily because they must have a rich variety of foods in their diet. It is obligatory for guinea pigs to consume certain fruits, veggies, and pellets daily, but the watermelon rind can be given 2-3 times weekly.
I want to prepare the watermelon rind in a way that the guinea pigs will love it…
This is very easy. Of course, the outer layer of the watermelon must be washed with water, rinsed a few times. When you slice up the watermelon and its pink fleshy part, get ready to slice up the rind. It is best to make a thin, inch-size slice. Check for any seeds because maybe you have missed some, just in case, and you are ready to serve it to your cute furry guinea pig friend!
Quick Facts on Watermelon Rind
- Watermelon is called this way because it is 92% water.
- Watermelons come in almost 1200 varieties.
- There are seedless watermelons, and they are natural (not GMO).
- In Japan, watermelons can be grown in the shape of a cube!
- Also, in Japan and China, the watermelon is a perfect gift to bring when you greet a host.
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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