Petkeen is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commision. Learn More

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Orange Peels? What You Need to Know!

Nicole Cosgrove

May 27, 2021

Just like humans, guinea pigs also love oranges. However, what sets them apart is that while humans throw away the orange peels, guinea pigs love nibbling on them.

Your furry companion can benefit from the orange’s incredible health benefits. You can also feed it plus the peels because they are edible for piggies and contain lots of nutrients, just like the fruit itself.

But as much as cavies love orange peels, it’s not a great idea to allow them to nibble on a whole peel. This article will address the risks of letting it happen as well as the benefits.

divider-guineapig

Benefits of Orange Peels for Guinea Pigs

dutch guinea pig
Image Credit: Pezibear, Pixabay

1.   Helps to Prevent Cancer

Orange peels contain compounds known as flavonoids, limonene, and phytochemicals that inhibit cancer-linked proteins. These compounds can cut cancer risk and prevent cancerous activities in your piggy’s body.

2.   Prevents Scurvy

Just like the orange flesh, orange peels have lots of vitamin C that help keep scurvy at bay, preventing cases like internal bleeding, stomach upset, loss of appetite, and poor-quality coat.

3.   Harbors Valuable Nutrients

Orange peels are rich in nutrients. They contain vitamins C, B6, and A, good amounts of calories, carbs, proteins, fibers, niacin, flavonoids, limonene, phytochemicals, thiamin, and calcium. It means that a piece of the peel is enough to meet some of the vital nutrients your pet requires.

4.   Enhances Digestive Health

The fiber in the orange peel aids in digestion combats digestive disorders and promotes regularity in the intestinal tract. However, be sure to serve in moderation as excess fibers can turn against the pet and cause diarrhea.

5.   Strengthens the Heart

Orange fruit peels have zero cholesterols thanks to flavonoids that help lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure levels. These properties help keep your pet’s cardiovascular health in check.

6.   Helps Fight Obesity

Unfortunately, guinea pigs are prone to obesity and require low-calorie foods to help prevent weight-related issues. These peels have low calories and anti-inflammatory properties that are a step towards a healthy weight and a great addition to a weight loss diet plan.

The fibers in the peels also help control appetite, while vitamin C helps to burn body fat.

Potential Drawbacks of Feeding Orange Peels to Guinea Pigs

Orange Peels
Image Credit By: CC0 Publlic Domain, pxhere

Urinary Tract Complications

Although calcium minerals are vital for animals and humans, they can pose health risks to guinea pigs if in excess. Unfortunately, orange peels contain calcium and may create urinary stones in the piggy’s gall bladder and kidneys, causing toilet issues. These conditions can be fatal if you don’t treat the animal immediately.

Cause Digestion Issues

Orange peels have a tough texture and high fiber content making them hard to digest. Eating excess peels can cause stomach discomfort such as bloating and diarrhea. It would be best to limit the amount you offer your piggy.

May Harbor Chemical Residues

Farmers usually use chemicals like pesticides and herbicides on citrus fruits like oranges to protect them against insects. While the inner flesh contains undetectable chemical levels, orange peels contain significantly higher amounts.

Exposing your guinea pig to unwashed orange peels predisposes it to respiratory issues, nausea, and stomach upset requiring emergency treatment.

You can grow your oranges or buy from organic farms to reduce adverse health effects. It’s also essential that you thoroughly wash the peels with hot water if you can to reduce the number of chemicals your pet may ingest.

divider-hamster

Summary

Unbeknown to most people, orange peels are nutrient-packed and a tasty snack for guinea pig pets. Piggies love having something to chew on and keep them busy through the day-and orange peels can do just that.

However, it would be best to feed them just a few well-cleaned pieces of the peel to prevent potential drawbacks. Don’t worry if your piggie dislikes the rind-some piggies don’t like the peel’s taste.

Find out more about food safety for your guinea pig:


Featured Image Credit: okeykat, Unsplash

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.