It’s important to know what fruits guinea pigs can eat and how much fresh fruit is ideal in their diets.
When we think of fruits, we as humans often instantly think it’s healthy, so it should be for our guinea pig’s diet as well.
Fruit has a high sugar content which is OK for most humans. But guinea pigs are only 1-2 pounds, and the amount of sugar our bodies can handle versus there’s is quite different.
Important things to keep in mind when feeding your guinea pigs fruit is that if given too much, they can become overweight and get diabetes, which can stem into other health problems.
There are health benefits in fruit like vitamin c; however, it should be more of a treat, like a few times a
week than daily.
Here are fruits guinea pigs can eat.
- Tomatoes (but never the stems or stalks, only the fruit)
When serving your guinea pig fruit, make sure you wash it well and try to serve it at room temperature not straight from the fridge.
Remove all choking hazards from the fruit like apple seeds, any seeds, pits; these can also be toxic to your guinea pig.
Citrus fruits have a great source of vitamin c in them but be careful not to give too much as it can cause mouth sores and digestive problems like diarrhea.
How much fruit should guinea pigs be eating? Can guinea pigs eat fruit every day?
1/2 tsp to 1 tsp a couple of times a week.
Guinea pigs should only be eating small quantities of fruit included in their healthy diet due to fruit having a lot of sugar (natural sugar).
Is fruit good for guinea pigs?
Yes, it does provide them with vitamin C; however, they should only have it in small amounts. In a guinea pigs’ natural environment, they don’t have access to fruits and therefore don’t need them to survive.
Can guinea pigs have dried fruit?
No, they really shouldn’t have dried fruit. Fruit already has a lot of sugar, and then you dry it condensing it into a smaller form, and the amount of sugar goes up significantly.
Just stick to small portions of fresh fruit if you’re going to serve a special treat to your guinea pig.
What role should fruit be in a guinea pigs’ diet?
Guinea pigs’ diets should be balanced primarily composed of commercial pellets (guinea pig pellets), unlimited amounts of hay (high quality hay), fresh vegetables, and fresh fruit.
You want to be careful when introducing new foods or sudden changes to your pet guinea pig due to their sensitive digestive tracks. They may experience some diarrhea when trying new foods.
What works for one guinea pig might not work for another one. They, like humans, have their own personal food preferences.
Vitamin C supplementation is crucial to the survival of your guinea pig; without enough vitamin C, they will get scurvy.
This is because guinea pigs, like humans, cannot create their own vitamin c, so they need to have supplements to survive.
What is scurvy?
Scurvy is a disease that happens by not getting enough vitamin c in one’s diet.
They, just like humans, can get scurvy.
Scurvy can be a life-threatening disease for your guinea pig and should be avoided easily by supplements.
Cavies, unlike the majority of other mammals, lack the L-gluconolactone oxidase enzyme that you would need to turn glucose in the body to vitamin C.
This is why it’s so crucial for them to have a lot of vitamin c. You don’t need to worry about overdosing your guinea pig with too much vitamin c because they will urinate the excess out.
What are the symptoms of scurvy in your guinea pig?
- weight loss
- loss of energy
- rough coat
Lucky for us, it’s an easy thing for guinea pig owners to provide this essential nutrient to their daily diet.
How do you ensure your guinea pig doesn’t get a vitamin c deficiency?
With proper nutrition with the right foods, you will be providing all the vitamin c and essential nutrients your guinea pig needs.
What does a good diet for a guinea pig look like?
- 1/3-1/4 cup a day of high-quality vitamin c fortified pellets
- 1 cup fresh leafy greens and high vitamin C fresh vegetables
- High-quality hay (unlimited amounts)
- 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp of fruit a few times a week for an occasional treat
You will need high-quality guinea pig pellet food; these are fortified with vitamin C, so you don’t have to worry about adding it.
Some things to think about regarding this is the shelf life of vitamin c fortification once it hits the air (it will vary on your food); make sure to read the package and follow the directions so that your guinea pig is getting the vitamin c it needs.
Fresh veggies like leafy greens, broccoli, bell peppers(red and green pepper) have high levels of vitamin C. Make sure you’re only feeding your guinea pig around 1 cup a day of fresh vegetables.
If your guinea pig doesn’t eat the vegetables provided to them during the day, discard them and don’t leave them in the cage. They can start to grow bacteria that isn’t good for your guinea pig.
Fruits can be vitamin c-rich foods, but too much sugar outweighs the good for everyday use and maintaining guinea pigs’ health. This isn’t a good source to rely on for getting their overall vitamin c needs.
You can also buy vitamin c supplements that go in their water bowl or water bottle. It’s important to note that not all guinea pigs will like their water to have flavor, so it’s better to buy the food that has it already in it.
Hay is not a full source of vitamin c, but it is essential for guinea pigs for other reasons like keeping their teeth the proper size and providing important fiber for their digestive tract.
Can you overdose your guinea pig on vitamin C?
No, any excess vitamin C they take in will be peed out. Make sure your guinea pig always has access to freshwater.
How do you keep your guinea pig from gaining weight?
It’s important for your guinea pig not to gain excessive weight because it can cause health problems in them.
They shouldn’t have unlimited access to pellets; make sure they are measured out daily to ensure you’re not overfeeding them.
As long as you use the proper hay and not alfalfa hay, they can have an unlimited supply and shouldn’t gain weight.
Alfalfa hay is high in protein and calcium, which can cause problems for your guinea pig, and shouldn’t be used regularly.
Keeping their fruit intake low will also help them keep any excess weight off.
Guinea pigs don’t need commercial treats; they are often made with artificial sweeteners, gums, adhesives, etc., that aren’t good for your guinea pig.
You can get them natural sticks and treats if you feel the need.
Make sure to read the ingredients before giving them to your pet.
Why can they have unlimited hay?
Hay is an integral part of their diet as their digestive systems need the fiber it offers them.
Guinea pigs have teeth that constantly grow; in order for the teeth to be filed down properly, they need hay to keep them filed down.
There are numerous types of hay out there for guinea pigs, but it’s important to get it from a credible, made for guinea pig source from a pet store or reputable online source.
Timothy hay is a popular hay that guinea pigs can have constant access to munch on.
To wrap up what fruit guinea pigs can eat, we hope this answers your questions on fruit guidelines in their diet. It’s best to serve small amounts only a few times a week to keep your guinea pig in good health.
Want to learn more about guinea pigs? Check out these other articles!
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