Watermelon is a juicy and tasty fruit that everybody loves. It belongs to the same family as the cucumber, zucchini, and squash. Watermelons are classified as both fruits and vegetables botanically. In this article, we will talk about if our cute guinea pigs can consume watermelons as well.
So, can guinea pigs eat watermelon? Guinea pigs can eat watermelons but because of the high sugar content in them, it is essential for the owner to regulate the intake of watermelons only to once or twice a week. Also, it is important to remove the watermelon seeds as they can present a choking hazard to guinea pigs.
Sugar levels in the watermelon can affect the well-being of your guinea pig pet. For that reason, you can give your guinea pig watermelon as an occasional treat but not as regular food. The fact that watermelon has high levels of sugar does not imply that it lacks nutrients beneficial to your guinea pig pet. In essence, it has all the vital nutrients, including vitamin C which is crucial to the health and well-being of guinea pigs.
In the following sections, we have covered anything that you need to know about watermelons and guinea pigs. This includes the watermelon benefits for guinea pigs, nutritional content, possible health risks, and some quick facts about this refreshing juicy fruit. Let’s begin!
Is Watermelon Good for Guinea Pigs? | Health Benefits
Watermelons have plenty of health benefits for guinea pigs, the following are just some of them:
Apart from the water they drink, by feeding them with watermelon guinea pigs will be well hydrated. Fruits that have high water content help to keep your cavy hydrated and watermelons are filled with sufficient water. At almost 92% of water content, they are among the most succulent fruits in the world.
Guinea Pig’s Weight Management
With a high-water content, combined with enough dietary fiber, your pet can eat watermelon without getting huge amounts of calories. Besides, fiber is a filler food and it increases the satiety of your guinea pig. This way, your pet will be full and won’t overeat due to decreased appetite. All of this helps with weight control.
Helps Prevent Cancerous Growths
Compounds such as lycopene that are found in watermelons have positive benefits when it comes to cancer prevention. Lycopene is linked explicitly with preventing digestive related growths.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
Compounds in watermelon such as lycopene may help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. These two are the most prominent causes of heart failure. Also, lycopene reduces oxidative damage and the thickening of artery walls. Citrulline is an amino acid found in watermelons that helps to increase the levels of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is beneficial for the expansion of blood vessels, and this helps to keep blood pressure at optimum levels. Some of the other nutrients beneficial to the heart found in watermelons include potassium and magnesium.
Otherwise known as swelling, inflammation is a body’s response to diseases and injuries. When inflammation increases to chronic levels, it becomes dangerous to your guinea pig. Watermelons are rich in antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties. These are vitamin C and lycopene, which reduce oxidative stress and prevent chronic inflammation.
Vision and Sight
Some nutrients in watermelons have significant benefits for guinea pig’s eye health. Lycopene, for instance, is useful to the eyes and helps to prevent diseases and infections. One of these diseases includes macular degeneration that often leads to blindness.
Vitamin C and Scurvy
Watermelons are very rich in vitamin C. This is an essential nutrient for guinea pigs as it helps to ward off diseases and at the same time keeps your guinea pig pet’s health intact. Also, vitamin C aids in the absorption of iron into the body. Lastly, guinea pigs need to have vitamin C daily, and with the deficiency of this vitamin comes disease scurvy that is very dangerous for them. Luckily it can be prevented with a rich vitamin C diet for guinea pigs.
Helps to Improve Digestion
The presence of dietary fiber in watermelons helps to boost digestion.
Relieves Muscle Soreness
Although not a significant problem in guinea pigs, muscle soreness can lead to immense discomfort. You can save your pet from this trouble by feeding it watermelons which have citrulline. This is a compound that reduces pain and improves muscle movement.
Nutrition Facts of Watermelon for Guinea Pigs
There are several nutrients found in watermelons that are beneficial to your guinea pig. Per 100 g of watermelon these are the nutrition facts:
- Energy – 30 kcal
- Protein – 0.61 g
- Total lipid (fat) – 0.15 g
- Carbs – 7.55 g
- Dietary fiber – 0.4 g
- Sugars – 6.2 g
- Calcium – 7 mg
- Iron – 0.24 mg
- Magnesium – 10 mg
- Phosphorus – 11 mg
- Potassium – 112 mg
- Sodium – 1 mg
- Vitamin C – 8.1 mg
- Vitamin B-6 – 0.045 mg
- Vitamin A – 28 µg
- Vitamin E – 0.05 mg
- Vitamin K – 0.1 µg
- Folate – 3 µg
- Lycopene – 4532 µg
- Lutein + zeaxanthin – 8 µg
This is a relatively low amount of calories and protein for a fruit, but luckily for guinea pigs watermelons have a good amount of carbs and vitamin C which is very important and a vital nutrient to the well-being of your pet. Vitamin A is also equally an essential vitamin as it is both a potent antioxidant and also plays other vital roles in the body.
Is Watermelon Bad for Guinea Pigs? | Possible Risks
In addition to all the health benefits of a watermelon, it’s also important to know are guinea pigs able to eat watermelons without any risks and is watermelon poisonous for guinea pigs in some special cases. There are a few risks that your guinea pig could potentially face by consuming watermelons:
- High Sugar Levels – Watermelons are tasty, and that is why you won’t find it difficult to introduce them into a guinea pig’s diet. But high levels of sugar in watermelons is a possible health concern. This is why you need to restrict the number of times you give watermelon to your pet. Once or twice a week is enough. Remember that guinea pigs are sensitive, and high sugar levels can cause diarrhea and an upset stomach.
- Too Much Potassium – The levels of potassium in watermelons are also high, and if your guinea pig has problems with kidneys, feeding it with this type of fruit can pose a dangerous threat to its health. That’s because kidneys can’t remove the excess of potassium if they don’t work well. This process can cause serious complications.
Serving Size and Frequency of Watermelon for Guinea Pigs
Can Guinea Pigs Have Watermelon Every Day?
Guinea pigs can’t eat watermelon every day because of the sugar content in this fruit. They shouldn’t eat any fruit or vegetable every day and you need to make a proper schedule for every food that you plan on giving them. Guinea pigs can eat watermelon once or two times per week, but only in small serving sizes. If you feed them with watermelons every day, that can lead to many health problems in guinea pigs, like diabetes or obesity.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Whole Watermelon?
Guinea pigs can’t eat the whole watermelon, that’s really too much for these little pets. You can give them half a cup of watermelon sliced into small cubes. They will eat a lot of watermelons if you give it to them because they sometimes don’t know when to stop eating and watermelon is also very delicious for them. So, it’s very important to limit their portion of watermelon before serving them.
Do Guinea Pigs Like Watermelon?
Guinea pigs like watermelons, especially during the hot summer times because watermelon has high water content and keeps the guinea pig’s body hydrated. Generally, they love to eat fruits because of their sweetness, and next to the watermelon you can also give them strawberries, apples, grapes, bananas, and many others.
Can Baby Guinea Pigs Eat Watermelon?
Baby guinea pigs can’t eat watermelon during the first few weeks of their life. During that period they only need fresh hay, especially alfalfa hay, and water every day, that’s an essential food for them. After that period, they need some special intake of different vitamins and minerals from different fruits and vegetables. So, after a few weeks of baby guinea pig’s lifespan, you can introduce it to watermelon but only in small serving sizes and not every day.
More Information About Guinea Pigs and Watermelon
Now that we’ve said how to feed watermelon to guinea pigs, it’s also important to learn what part of watermelon can guinea pigs eat, can guinea pigs have watermelon rinds and are guinea pigs allowed to eat watermelon seeds? Let’s see!
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Watermelon Rind?
Guinea pigs can definitely eat the red part of a watermelon, but what about the green part? Can guinea pigs eat watermelon skin or rind? Guinea pigs can eat the watermelon rind and that part is actually better for them because the rind of watermelon contains less sugar than the red part.
Watermelon rinds or peels also contain vitamins and minerals that are good for guinea pig’s health, but you still have to be careful with the serving sizes. If your guinea pigs eat too much of the watermelon rind they can get diarrhea or digestive and stomach problems. Also, it’s very important to wash the watermelon skin thoroughly due to the possibility of it having pesticides, which can be harmful to guinea pigs.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Watermelon Seeds?
Some types of seeds can be very dangerous or poisonous for guinea pigs, so can guinea pigs eat watermelon seeds and are watermelon seeds poisonous to guinea pigs? Guinea pigs can’t eat watermelon seeds, they are not poisonous but they are big and can be a choking hazard to them. You need to remove all the black seeds from a watermelon before giving it to guinea pigs.
Can guinea pigs eat watermelon white seeds? Guinea pigs can actually eat white watermelon seeds because these seeds are smaller and soft and nothing bad will happen if your guinea pigs eat some of them. But it’s safer if you remove all the seeds, white and black from the watermelon.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Seedless Watermelon?
Guinea pigs can eat seedless watermelons because they are very similar to seeded watermelons in taste, sweetness, and texture. But these watermelons are not actually completely seedless, they have white and soft seeds, that aren’t so harmful to guinea pigs, but it’s better if you remove all the seeds. Also, be careful with the serving sizes of seedless watermelons, they are also full of sugar and that can be bad for guinea pig’s health.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Watermelon Leaves?
There isn’t much research that says if watermelon leaves are edible even for humans, so we can’t say if guinea pigs are allowed to eat watermelon leaves. There are other leafy vegetables that guinea pigs enjoy eating, such as spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, and many others, so you don’t need to risk with the watermelon leaves. Just give them the red part and rind of the watermelon.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Yellow Watermelon?
Guinea pigs can eat yellow watermelon, but only in moderation. This type of watermelon has a lack of lycopene, the pigment that gives red or pink color to fruits and vegetables, and because of that, it is yellow inside. Still, it has almost the same nutrients as the red/pink watermelon.
Yellow watermelon also contains vitamin C and vitamin A which are good for guinea pigs but it can be sweeter than the red/pink one, so it’s not recommended to feed guinea pigs with this watermelon very often or in large serving sizes.
Quick Facts on Watermelon
These are some of the most interesting facts about watermelons:
- Watermelon is classified as both fruit and vegetable.
- They are called watermelons due to their 92% water content.
- There are 1200 distinct varieties of watermelons.
- Contrary to popular belief, seedless watermelons are not genetically engineered.
- Everything on the watermelon is edible.
- The heaviest watermelon that entered the Guinness book of world records weighed 350.5 pounds.
- Farmers in Japan grow watermelons in different shapes.
- Watermelons are the official state vegetable of Oklahoma.
- They were kept in tombs of kings in ancient Egypt as a way of nourishing their souls.
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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