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What Fruits Can Guinea Pigs Eat? What You Need to Know!
Fresh vegetables should be the staple of your guinea pig’s diet, but you can occasionally give your cavvy fruit as a treat. However, not all fruits are suitable for your guinea pig to eat, which means you need to have guinea pig safe fruits on hand.
To learn what fruits guinea pigs can eat, keep reading. This article covers what fruit is safe for guinea pigs, how much fruit you should feed guinea pigs, and the overall diet of a healthy guinea pig. Let’s get started.
Is Fruit Good for Guinea Pigs?
Fruit offers a lot of vitamins and minerals that are great for guinea pigs. Vitamin C, for example, is a vitamin guinea pigs need a lot of, and many fruits are high in this vitamin. Because of the various vitamins and minerals found in fruit, fruit is a great snack for guinea pigs.
However, fruit is often high in sugar too. Although this sugar content isn’t too much for humans, fruits can easily cause your guinea pig to get fat if fed too frequently. In other words, fruit is good for guinea pigs if only given on occasion, but it can quickly overload the guinea pig on sugar if overfed.
What Fruits Can I Feed My Guinea Pig?
When selecting fruit for your guinea pig, it’s important to select fresh and organic fruits that have as little chemical, preservatives, and additional sugar as possible. More so, try select fruits that are relatively low in sugar and carbs to keep your guinea pig in healthy shape.
Here are some fruits that are guinea pigs safe and how often you can feed then:
|Blueberries||A couple times a week|
|Cranberries||A couple times a week|
|Oranges||A couple times a week|
|Raspberries||A couple times a week|
|Strawberries||A couple times a week|
The best fruits to feed your guinea pig include most berries, such as blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and strawberries. Berries taste delicious to your guinea pig, but they are relatively low in sugar and carbohydrates in comparison to other fruits. Oranges are another great fruit simply because they are so high in vitamin C.
What Fruits Are Bad For Guinea Pigs?
Most fruits fed in moderation are healthy for guinea pigs. Especially if the fruit is organic and thoroughly cleaned, you don’t have much to worry about when it comes to feeding it to your guinea pig.
You should never feed your guinea pig fruit with the seeds still inside. Seeds can be choking hazards and toxic. Cherry seeds, for example, have small amounts of arsenic that don’t affect us, but can poison the small guinea pig body. For this reason, just remove all seeds before feeding the fruit.
Don’t feed your guinea pig canned fruit either. Canned fruit comes with preservatives and additional sugars that will overload your guinea pig in no time. Stick to fresh fruits and vegetables.
How Often Should I Feed My Guinea Pig Fruit?
Because of how much sugar comes in fruit, do not feed fruit to your guinea pig every day. At most, you can feed fruit to your guinea pig a couple times a week (aka no more than two days a week) for a tasty snack that your guinea pigs will go crazy over.
Even when you feed fruit to your guinea pigs, make sure that fresh vegetables are the staple of their diet. It might be helpful to think of fruit as dessert for your guinea pig. Just as you wouldn’t have cake and ice cream every day to keep your body healthy, don’t give fruit to your guinea pig every day.
We recommend simply feeding your guinea pig a couple of berries twice a week. The berries will add additional nutrients to the guinea pig’s diet without overloading the cavvy on sugar. Switch out the fruit types based on the season to keep the guinea pig excited for its dessert.
What Else Should I Feed My Guinea Pig?
Since fruit is only fed to your guinea pig as a dessert, you will have to fill the rest of the guinea pig’s diet with other tasty food.
The most important aspect of your guinea pig’s diet is hay. Guinea pigs should have constant access to hay because it has a lot of fiber, wears down their teeth, and keeps them full. Without constant access to hay, your guinea pig will likely be hungry and overeat on pellets or veggies.
In addition to hay, provide your guinea pig constant access to water. It’s a good idea to purchase vitamin C droplets to put inside the water to ensure your guinea pig gets an adequate amount of vitamin C at the same time.
Twice a day, feed your guinea pig fresh vegetables. Fresh greens are the best because they offer a lot of vitamins without excessive calories. Aim for about 1 cup of vegetables a day. Avoid iceberg lettuce because it has too much water and can lead to diarrhea.
Some guinea pig parents like to get pellets as well. Pellets ensure that the guinea pigs have the right number of vitamins and minerals, but you should not provide constant access to pellets because they can make your guinea pig fat.
If you are diligent in providing enough vegetables, vitamin C, and fruit for your guinea pig, you technically don’t need to feed them pellets. In fact, the healthiest diet for your guinea pig is simply hay, vegetables, some fruit, and extra vitamin C.
If you want to make your guinea pig super happy, add fruit to their diet. Fruit will help your guinea pig get enough vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals it needs. Because of the high sugar content, don’t overindulge your guinea pigs on fruit, though.
Instead, put your guinea pig on a primary diet of hay and vegetables, but toss in extra vitamin C and the occasional fruit. If you do this, your guinea pig will likely love you and squeal every time you open the refrigerator.
Featured image Credit: Monkeyoum, shutterstock
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.