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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Pears? What You Need to Know!
Just like us, guinea pigs enjoy munching on pears, and it’s perfectly safe for them to do so. Since they are herbivores, cavies can take all sorts of fruits and vegetables. Pears are quite sweet and can be a favorite for most guinea pigs. Be careful not to get them addicted! We’ll discuss how much and how often to share this sweet fruit with your piggy.
What’s in Pears?
Pears are valuable to a guinea pig’s overall system. They contain vitamins and minerals like:
- Related read: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cheese? What You Need To Know!
How Frequent Should Guinea Pigs Eat Pears?
Pears are quite sweet, and guinea pigs wouldn’t mind having them every day. However, just a few chunks twice a week would be ideal. They have very high sugar content, and you do not want your furry guy to pack up those extra calories.
Why Should My Guinea Pig Eat Pears?
Though the majority of their diet should not be made up of fruit, pears have several health benefits to guinea pigs.
1. Healthy Blood
The copper component is responsible for purifying blood and reducing the chances of contracting anemia.
2. Boost Immunity
Other than helping in blood purification, the 4% copper element increases red blood cells. This, in turn, boosts the immune system. You will soon notice that those trips to the vet will remarkably reduce if your guinea is eating a moderate amount of pears.
3. Healthy Cardio System
Pears carry very small portions of fats. Low fats also mean lower cholesterol which leaves the cardiovascular system working optimally.
When you feed your guinea pig with pears, you can also lower the risk of heart disease.
Since pears are a good source of fiber, which can improve digestion, as long as moderation is practiced.
5. Prevents Scurvy
Scurvy is a fatal disease among guinea pigs caused by vitamin C deficiency. Your hairy friend will lose that lustrous fur and have zero appetite even for their favorite meal. It then quickly escalates to diarrhea, discharge, and bleeding. Luckily, pears are rich in vitamin C, which can help prevent scurvy.
Getting pets to drink water is not always easy. Fruits like pears come in handy to help with hydration, as pears are composed of 84% water.
Risks Involved When Feeding Pears to Guinea Pigs
Even with the great benefits mentioned above, give cavies pears in moderation. Let’s look at some risk factors of overindulging your piggy with pears.
1. Weight Gain
Pears carry lots of sugar. They are also high in carbs, and these two can lead to weight gain. Extra weight on your piggy also works against a long lifespan.
2. Digestive Issues
The same pear that improves digestion in guinea pigs can also hurt that same system if given in excess. They also result in mouth sores, if not moderated.
Due to problems with digestion, your guinea pig may experience diarrhea. But this, in most cases, happens when it eats too much of the fruit.
4. Urinary Problems
Excess consumption of pears can also cause urinary problems for your guinea pig. Pears have calcium which, in oversupply, can cause kidney and bladder stones. If you notice blood in your guinea pig’s urine, it is best to see a vet.
How to Serve Pears to Guinea Pigs
It’s quite easy to feed pears to your guinea pig. You first need to thoroughly wash the pear to remove pesticides that were used during its growth.
Also, remember that your guinea pig can’t eat the same amount of fruit you can. So, chop the pears into little pieces and moderate the amount you serve. Small portions ensure that you don’t overfeed your pet.
Lastly, remember to take out the seeds as they carry cyanide that is harmful to your pet. They can also choke on the seeds.
What About the Pear Peels?
There’s no harm whatsoever when guinea pigs eat pear peels as long as you wash them properly.
What Type of Pears Shouldn’t Guinea Pigs Eat?
Guinea pigs can eat most types of pears so long as they have the desired nutrients. Always go with the fresh ones. Here are some varieties of pears you shouldn’t give your piggy:
1. Frozen Pears
Often pears are sold frozen in the market, which can compromise their nutritional effectiveness for guinea pigs.
2. Canned Pears
Canned pears can be very convenient for humans, but the additives included are not good for cavies. They can compromise your guinea pig’s health, especially because of the added sugar and fruit juice. Also, they have less nutritional value compared to the fresh ones.
3. Juiced Pears
When you juice pears, it has lots of sugar, which isn’t safe for your cavy’s health. Please offer moderate amounts of whole fruit to your piggies as opposed to juice.
Are Pears Safe for All Guinea Pigs?
Almost all guinea pigs can eat pears regardless of age or health issues, as long as you moderate their intake. For example, baby cavies can’t have as much as the grown ones.
For pregnant and nursing ones, you can increase their intake to maybe three times a week since they can benefit from more vitamin C found in pears.
As much as guinea pigs eat and enjoy pears, we cannot overemphasize the need to feed them in moderation. Though the benefits outweigh the risk factors, the fruit is not entirely safe, especially if offered in excess. Be sure to vary the vegetables and fruits your offer your piggy since guinea pigs can eat a large variety. Some of the alternatives include strawberries, apples, bananas, papaya, cantaloupe, watermelon, blueberries, etc.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay
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.
- What’s in Pears?
- How Frequent Should Guinea Pigs Eat Pears?
- Why Should My Guinea Pig Eat Pears?
- Risks Involved When Feeding Pears to Guinea Pigs
- How to Serve Pears to Guinea Pigs
- What About the Pear Peels?
- What Type of Pears Shouldn’t Guinea Pigs Eat?
- Are Pears Safe for All Guinea Pigs?