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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apples? What You Need to Know!

Nicole Cosgrove

Guinea pigs can definitely eat apples! These are beneficial to eat and pack a healthy punch when it comes to a guinea’s nutritional needs, although there are certain aspects of apples that you need to avoid.

Many times, we want to share different kinds of food with our beloved pets. If we have a good meal or snack and they look curious, then why not? However, when it comes to guinea pigs, you need to be informed of their nutritional hazards. There are many things that they can’t eat.

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Nutritional Benefits of Apples

It might seem odd to compare humans to guinea pigs, but you can think similarly about their dietary needs. Just as we need a certain amount of different vitamins and other nutrients, so do guinea pigs.

Apples help fulfill some of these nutritional requirements. Vitamin C is one of the most significant nutrients in apples. Guinea pigs typically need 10 mg of vitamin C each day. Apples can supply them with the entirety of their daily requirement in just a couple of bite-sized chunks.

Apples also contain B-complex vitamins, including vitamin B-6, riboflavin, and thiamin. These help maintain the nervous system of your little friend.

Although we might prefer it at times, don’t peel the apple if you want it to be as healthy as possible. The skin of an apple is high in dietary fiber. It aids in digestion, both for humans and guinea pigs.

If you want to put more fiber into your guinea pig’s diet, consider the leaves on an apple tree. These contain dietary fibers and calcium to help support their bones.

Apple close up

Apples have other vitamins as well, in lesser quantities, but enough to satisfy a guinea pig. These include:

  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Sodium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin E
  • Folate
  • Beta carotene

Apple Hazards to Know Before Feeding

Although the flesh and skin of the apple are healthy sources of nutrients for guinea pigs, there are still risks to consider before feeding them this fruit.

The first is the sugar levels found in apples or any fruit. Whenever you feed your guinea pig fruit and other foods not included in their typical dietary plan, monitor the amount of sugar that they receive.

Most animal bodies are not designed to process sugar well. In turn, it can make them quite ill and even be a stepping stone toward other more harmful diseases. Since apples have a high concentration of sugars, don’t overfeed them.

Never feed any animal the fruit seeds or pieces of fruit that still contain seeds. Most fruit seeds contain a potent poison called cyanide. It is only harmful to humans in larger quantities. For a small animal like a guinea pig, even one seed can make them sick, and more than one could even kill them.

Acidic foods are not suitable for a guinea pig’s overall health. Some apples are more acidic than others, but with any apple, moderate the amount. They can only digest small amounts of them at a time.

Don’t feed your guinea pig cooked apples or any other kind of cooked food. Guinea pigs should only ever have fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains. The chemical changes that occur after cooking food are harmful and can damage their digestive system.

Guinea Pig with red background
Image Credit: Che Dean, Flickr

Recommended Serving Sizes and Methods for Apples

It is critical to feed the correct portion sizes of apples or anything else to an animal as small as a guinea pig.

Don’t feed apples to a guinea pig daily. Their systems won’t have enough time to digest and store all the sugar and other compounds they contain. Instead, pick one or two days a week to give your guinea pig an apple for a treat.

How much should you give them for each serving? Don’t feed them the entire apple. Instead, cut up a half cup of apple chunks. This amount is more than enough for them to enjoy it without reaping any harmful effects.

If you notice after eating the apples that they struggle with diarrhea or bloating, keep an eye on them. It typically shouldn’t last for long, but if it continues, talk to your vet. Make sure that they drink plenty of water after eating the apple to neutralize the harmful effects.

What Age Can Guinea Pigs Start Eating Apples?

Don’t feed baby guinea pigs apples or any other dietary supplement. They should only eat hay and pellets and drink their mother’s milk for proper growth and development. Feeding them foods that contain high amounts of sugar is hard on their tiny bodies.

You can feel safe feeding small amounts of apple to your guinea pig when they are 6 months old. After a year, feel free to give them the typical serving size recommended for adult guinea pigs.

Are Certain Types of Apples Better or Worse for Guinea Pigs?

Not all apples are the same. When it comes to feeding them to your guinea pig, you need to pay attention to what kind you give them because they might favor one instead of another. Not all forms of apples are safe.

Grey Guinea Pig and apple
Image Credit: enriquelopezgarre, Pixabay

Green Apples

Guinea pigs can eat green apples. They are healthy for them, still containing many of the antioxidants and vitamins. They are not as sweet as red apples. Guinea pigs should not eat them in excess because the acidity can cause stomach problems.

Red Apples

Guinea pigs can eat red apples. They are sweeter and juicier than other kinds of apples, and guinea pigs tend to like them more. Still, don’t let those begging eyes persuade you to up their portions, since this sweetness is exactly what doesn’t sit well with them after too much.

They have all the healthy nutrients typical to apples, and the skin is especially rich in antioxidants.

Crab Apples

Although guinea pigs can eat crab apples, they won’t tend to appreciate them as much. Some people believe that crab apples are toxic to guinea pigs. This is not true, but you should avoid feeding them too much. They should eat fewer crab apples than other kinds of apples.

Before giving a crab apple to your guinea pig, remove the entire core. The core is harder for them to digest and higher in more harmful compounds.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Guinea pigs should not drink apple cider vinegar. The liquid is too acidic for them and quickly causes serious stomach issues.

Some people are proponents of adding a couple of drops of apple cider vinegar into the guinea pig’s water. It supposedly helps heal urinary diseases. Talk to your vet before supplementing their water source with any vinegar substance to ensure your pet’s safety.

Apple Juice

Guinea pigs should not drink store-bought apple juice. There are many other preservatives, sugars, and harmful elements processed into the juice. The amount of sugar in it is dangerous for them.

If you have homemade apple juice, they can drink small amounts. The juice should be diluted with water and be at the stage before any sugars or other supplements are added.

Apples
Image Credit: pasja1000, Pixabay

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Spoiling your guinea pig is fun and allows you to make your pet happy. Bonding with your guinea pig by giving them little treats is satisfying. However, the health of your pet should always come first. Feeding them apples in moderation is healthy and an excellent treat for your guinea pigs.


Featured Image Credit: enriquelopezgarre, Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.