There’s nothing like a sweet, ripe strawberry. It’s one of the most popular berries in the whole world for its sweet taste, deep color, and extreme versatility, at least among humans. But what about pets? Can guinea pigs eat strawberries too?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat strawberries! They’re actually pretty good for these rodents. Strawberries have great nutrition and can provide a bevy of health benefits for your cavy. There are a few risks that you should keep in mind, but they’re relatively harmless as long as you keep a watchful eye on your pet.
Are Strawberries Good for Guinea Pigs?
Strawberries provide a huge number of health benefits compared to many other fruits. This has to do with the intrinsic nutrition of a strawberry and its relatively low sugar content.
Low Sugar Content
Although strawberries are succulently sweet, they don’t actually contain that much sugar. For instance, 100 grams of strawberries contains approximately 5 grams of sugar, which is exceptionally low as compared to many other fruits.
So, if you’re looking for a fruit to give to your cavy with minimal chances of diabetic progression or obesity, strawberries might be what you’ve been looking for.
What do your sweet little guinea pig and the infamous Captain Blackbeard have in common? They’re both highly susceptible to scurvy! Scurvy is an illness brought on by a vitamin C deficiency. Historical pirates used to experience this due to a lack of fresh food while aboard their ships. However, your guinea pig is more likely to contract it because their bodies cannot produce it naturally.
That’s why vitamin C is so important for guinea pigs! Thankfully, strawberries have so much of it. As a matter of fact, strawberries have slightly more vitamin C than oranges do, for the same amount.
Are Strawberries Bad for Guinea Pigs?
While concerns about the sugar inside strawberries can be frightening, there are a few other things to be mindful of as well. The biggest concerns for your guinea pig eating strawberries are easily or noticeably avoidable.
One of the biggest concerns when eating fresh strawberries is the use of pesticides. Before feeding any strawberries to your guinea pig—or yourself, for that matter—you need to thoroughly wash the fruit every single time. Another way to avoid pesticide residue is to buy organic strawberries that were grown without the use of pesticides.
Once a strawberry is offered to your pet, it will quickly sludge and spoil and won’t last as long as their hay or even their daily serving of pellets. Therefore, you should only offer your pet strawberries on days when you’ll be around for cleanup in a few hours.
Can My Guinea Pig Eat Strawberry Tops?
Strawberry tops are safe for guinea pigs to consume and contain more fiber than the fruit itself. However, your cavy may prefer the fruit, so it’s just a matter of taste for them.
Can My Guinea Pig Have Strawberry Jam?
Absolutely not. Strawberry jam is filled with things that guinea pigs should avoid, such as sugar. This can cause serious problems for their health. Your cavy should never eat any cooked or otherwise processed food.
How Many Strawberries Can My Guinea Pig Eat?
You should only give strawberries to your cavy on a once-a-week basis (assume all fruits are treats). They should never be used as a meal replacement—only as an occasional snack.
The best way to feed strawberries to your guinea pig is to slice up a single strawberry and give them a few pieces. You don’t want to overfeed them, as that can cause an upset stomach and indigestion. Even if they love it, don’t be goaded into giving them more by their cute begging face!
Strawberries can truly be a healthy treat for your guinea pig. However, you need to make sure you don’t overfeed your pet, wash the fruit thoroughly first, and don’t leave it out too long.
If at all possible, promote eating of the tops, leaves, and stems. These are all perfectly fine for your guinea pig to eat and pose even fewer issues than the fruit itself. As always, your veterinarian should be your first point of contact if you have doubts about your guinea pig’s diet.
For more posts about guinea pigs, check out these posts:
- What Do Guinea Pigs Eat? The Best Foods to Feed Your Guinea!
- Can Guinea Pigs Eat Tomatoes? What You Need to Know!
- 100+ Guinea Pig Names: Ideas for Doting & Social Guinea Pigs