Watermelon is a juicy and tasty fruit that everybody loves. They share the same family with cucumber, zucchini, and squash. Watermelons are classified as both fruits and vegetables, botanically. Now, we will talk about if our cute guinea pigs can consume watermelon.
So, can guinea pigs eat watermelon? Yes, guinea pigs can eat watermelon but because of the high sugar content in watermelons, it is essential for the owner to regulate the intake of this food to once or twice in a week.
Sugar in watermelon can affect the well-being of your cute little guinea pig. 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 that 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.
The following sections will cover anything that you need to know about watermelons. This includes the watermelon benefits for guinea pigs, nutritional content, possible health risks, and some quick facts about the juicy fruit.
Main Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Watermelon
Watermelons have plenty of health benefits for your cute little pet, these are some of these benefits:
- Keeps your guinea pig hydrated – 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 92% of water content, they are among the most succulent fruits in the world.
- Keeps your guinea pig’s weight in check – with 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, found in melons, have positive benefits when it comes to cancer prevention. Lycopene is linked explicitly to preventing digestive related growths by reducing insulin growth factor. A high level of insulin is linked to cancerous growths in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Boosts 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 melons 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.
- Alleviates inflammation – otherwise known as swelling, inflammation is a healthy body response to diseases and injuries. When inflammation increases to chronic levels, this can pose harm 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.
- It is essential for vision and sight – some nutrients in melons have significant benefits for 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.
- Boosts the immunity of your guinea pig – vitamin C is an essential nutrient in this fruit that helps to strengthen the white blood cells. This helps to ward off diseases and at the same time keeps your guinea pig pet’s health intact — also, the vitamin C aids in the absorption of iron into the body.
- Helps to improve digestion – the presence of dietary fiber in melons helps to boost digestion.
- Helps to relieve muscle soreness – although not a significant problem in guinea pigs, muscle soreness can lead to immense discomfort. You can save your pet this trouble by feeding it watermelons which have citrulline. This is a compound that reduces pain and improves muscle movement.
Nutrition Facts of Watermelon
There are several nutrients found in melons that are beneficial to your guinea pig. Per 100 g of watermelon these are the nutrition facts:
- Calories: 30 – this is a realativly low amount of calories for a fruit.
- Carbohydrate: 7.5 g – a good amount of energy for your guinea pig.
- Protein: 0.6 g – this is really low but usually fruits are high in carbs and low in protein content.
- Vitamin C: 13% – the importance of this nutrient, cannot be overemphasized. It is vital to the well-being of your pet.
- Vitamin A: 11% – this is equally an essential vitamin as it is both a potent antioxidant and also plays other vital roles in the body.
- Potassium: 112 mg – a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure through the relaxation of heart muscles.
- Magnesium: 2% – This mineral helps to promote a healthy cardiovascular system in cavies and helps to prevent heart-related complications.
- Iron: 2% – this is really important for strong blood in guinea pigs.
As for the serving size, you can give them half a cup of watermelon sliced into small cubes. This fruit is really good for them during hot summer times.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Watermelon to Guinea Pigs
There are a few risks that your guinea pig may face by consuming watermelons; they include:
- High sugar levels – melons are tasty, and that is why you won’t find it difficult introducing them into a guinea pig’s diet. But the high level of sugar in the watermelons is a health concern. This is why you need to restrict the number of times you give it to your pet. Once or twice in a week is enough. Remember that guinea pigs are sensitive, and high sugar levels can cause diarrhea and stomach upsets.
- Too much potassium – the levels of potassium in melons are also very high, and feeding your guinea pig too much of this fruit can pose a dangerous threat to its health.
Quick Facts on Watermelon
These are some of the most interesting facts about watermelons:
- Watermelon is classified as both fruits and vegetables.
- They are called watermelons due to their 92% water content.
- They 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 record 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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