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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Watermelon? Or the Rind? What You Need to Know!
For humans, nothing is more satisfying on a sweltering summer day than biting into a juicy slice of watery-sweet watermelon. But can your little guinea pig friend have a taste of this refreshing treat? Yes, your piggy can eat watermelon, but only in moderation.
But is watermelon actually healthy for a guinea pig? And what about watermelon rind?
In this article, we’ll explore the possible health perks and risks of feeding your guinea pig watermelon, how and when to serve him this tasty fruit, and if he can eat the rind as well.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Watermelon?
While a guinea pig’s diet should mainly consist of hay, grass, fresh veggies, and guinea pig pellets, the occasional fruity treat will not harm him. This includes watermelon.
Your guinea pig can eat watermelon but in moderation. You should only feed your pet a small slice of watermelon about once every week.
While hay and grass are imperative to your guinea pig’s digestive tract and teeth, too much watermelon can cause him to have an upset tummy. Furthermore, watermelon contains a high amount of sugar, which can lead to excessive weight gain and tooth decay in your guinea pig.
Is Watermelon Good for Guinea Pigs?
Watermelon is a great source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B1, copper, pantothenic acid, biotin, magnesium, and potassium. Out of all of these vitamins and minerals, Vitamin C is the most vital for your guinea pig’s health. This is because like humans, your cavy cannot produce his own vitamin C naturally.
Vitamin C is essential for your guinea pig’s diet and can boost their oral health and immune system. Moreover, vitamin C has been shown to prevent diseases, such as scurvy, in guinea pigs. Symptoms of scurvy in guinea pigs can include fatigue, discharge, bleeding, a loss of appetite, a rough coat, and diarrhea.
Larger doses of vitamin C may be necessary if your guinea pig has a particular health concern, and you will need to safely incorporate these doses into his diet.
Young guinea pigs thrive on calcium because they need it to help with their developing bones and bodies. Pregnant guinea pigs also need to be served a calcium-rich diet, as it helps to improve the bones and teeth of the babies.
Additionally, as its name suggests, watermelon contains a high concentration of water. In fact, watermelons are actually 92% water! This can help keep your guinea pig hydrated, especially throughout the summer months.
The potassium found in watermelon can also help to prevent kidney stones in guinea pigs.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Watermelon Rind?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat watermelon rind. In fact, the rind is actually better for them than the flesh because it contains a lot less sugar.
Preparing watermelon grind for your guinea pigs is simple. All you need to do is rinse it thoroughly and cut it up into bitesize pieces. Be sure to check the rind for seeds. Your guinea pig can choke on them. Though the seeds are mainly in the pink, fleshy part of the fruit, some can get mixed up in the rind.
Is Watermelon Bad for Guinea Pigs?
While watermelon is an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium for your cavy, feeding it to them in excess can be dangerous.
If guinea pigs consume too much watermelon, they can suffer from diarrhea. Additionally, watermelon contains a lot of sugar. Too much of the sweet stuff can lead to obesity and diabetes in your guinea pig.
How Often Can Guinea Pigs Eat Watermelon?
Always feed your guinea pig any type of fruit, including watermelon, in moderation. You should only be serving him watermelon in small amounts once a week.
How Should I Feed My Guinea Pig Watermelon?
Always be sure to thoroughly wash the watermelon before serving it to your guinea pig to remove any chemicals. Also, remove all of the seeds as they can be a choking hazard for your cavy.
Cut the watermelon flesh and grind into small pieces.
Never feed your guinea pig rotten watermelon.
Guinea pigs can eat watermelon and watermelon rind. But only fresh, seedless watermelon fed in moderation. This luscious fruit can be a healthy and delicious weekly snack that helps ward off scurvy, boosts immunity, and aids in bone and tooth development.
Featured Image Credit: Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker, Flickr
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.