what fruits guinea pigs can eat? Guinea pigs are omnivores and are allowed to eat a variety of different fruits. But feeding guinea pigs certain fruits should be avoided as it could pose a problem for your pet. This means they can generally eat fruits that most other rodents cannot due to their different dental structure. Keep in mind that many plants are toxic and can be deadly or cause illness if mistakenly consumed by your pet. The following is a list of fruits that Guinea pigs can eat without complications.
What Fruits Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
What fruits should we avoid completely and which ones can guinea pigs consume frequently or occasionally? We’ll examine the types of fruits that guinea pigs can eat today. We’ll advise you on how often to feed your guinea pig and assist you in choosing a variety of nutritious fruits.
We can all agree that Vitamin C is crucial for guinea pigs, but can too much of a good thing be harmful? Many cavy owners wonder what fruit guinea pigs can eat and whether they can even eat fruit. Guinea pigs are herbivores that only eat plants for food. A guinea pig’s main food source should be fresh hay or grass. Fresh produce, however, is also crucial.
Fruit is a good source of fiber and vitamins, especially vitamin C, both of which are crucial for guinea pig health. However, it also contains a lot of sugar, which in big doses is harmful to our cavies. Consequently, guinea pigs should only ever receive fruit in moderation.
What do Guinea Pigs Eat?
Guinea pigs are herbivorous animals, and their diet in captivity should closely model their eating habits in the wild. Your guinea pig’s diet should consist primarily of timothy hay or oat hay, along with natural pellet food. So can guinea pigs eat fruit? To supplement nutritional requirements and add variety, you should also feed your guinea pig leafy green vegetables and occasionally some fruits.
The Journal of Animal Health and Behavioural Science recently published a study that acknowledges the different views on whether fruit should be given to guinea pigs at all. Fruit has a lot of sugar, so if you give your guinea pig too much of it, it could get diabetes. Fruit, however, can be good for your guinea pig if given to it in moderation. A great technique to strengthen your bond with your guinea pig is to try out various fruit treats and get to know their tastes. What types of fruit can guinea pigs eat?
What Fruits Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
The sugar content of fruit is primarily what attracts guinea pigs to it. In the proper amounts, fresh fruit can be a pleasant treat for your pet. Along with a healthy diet of fresh hay and leafy greens, the following fruits are safe for guinea pigs to consume in small amounts.
- Melon (all types!)
- Strawberries (including the leafy green tops)
- Red tomatoes
What Fruits Are Not Safe for Guinea Pigs?
We’ve looked at the types of fruits that guinea pigs can eat in general. A few fruits should be avoided, albeit few are genuinely harmful to guinea pigs.
- Tomato stems and leaves
- The seeds and pips of fruits
- Dried fruits
Fruits that have been dried have a lot of calories and sugar. In contrast to fresh fruit, they are really much denser in both. And the primary issue with fruits for guinea pigs is sugar. Even while very small amounts won’t harm your guinea pigs, dried fruit is still best avoided. But most importantly, keep in mind that fresh fruit is already a fantastic treat for guinea pigs compared to their diet in the wild. Really, there’s no reason to include dried fruit as well!
Feeding Guinea Pigs Fresh Fruits
Fruit is edible to guinea pigs. Yes, but you must ensure that you are cooking them safely.
A fun idea to give your cavy’s diet some diversity is to find fruits that guinea pigs can eat. But while giving fruit, pay close attention to the amount of sugar and err on the side of caution. Several bites are more than sufficient! Additionally, make sure to thoroughly wash all fruit before giving it to your guinea pig.
And take out any potentially dangerous components from the fruits that guinea pigs can consume, including tomato leaves, apple seeds, or cherry pips. Be sure to watch out for any negative reactions in your pet, just like you would with any other nutritional adjustments. Consult a veterinarian right away if you see any unusual symptoms or behavior in your guinea pig.
How Often Should I Give My Guinea Pig Fruit?
Can guinea pigs consume fruit daily? As long as they are fed in moderation, some fruits are excellent for guineas. Depending on the fruit, there are differences in the precise quantity and frequency that they can consume it. This in turn is dependent on the fruit’s sugar content.
However, it is not advised to give guinea pigs fruit every day of the week. It is advisable to provide fruit to guinea pigs on occasion, like once or twice every week.
From an early age, you can give fruit to guinea pigs. Young guinea pigs should consume even smaller amounts of cavy-safe fruit because they are even smaller than mature guinea pigs. Baby guinea pigs can consume modest amounts of cavy-safe fruit.
Vitamin C and Scurvy in Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs, like humans, are unable to manufacture vitamin C and must instead get it from their diet. If they do not consume enough vitamin C, they could suffer from conditions like scurvy.
By selecting a pellet diet supplemented with vitamin C and limiting the amount of specific fruits you feed your guinea pig, you may ensure that it receives daily doses of the vitamin.
Fruit is nonetheless frequently heavy in sugar for guinea pigs despite this benefit. Here are several choices that still give your guinea pig the essential vitamin C while being lower in sugar.
- Fresh grass
What Fruits Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
Do guinea pigs have access to fruit? Yes! Your guinea pig will benefit most from a fruit that he enjoys and consumes sparingly. You may provide your guinea pig a balanced diet that is rich in fresh variety by sparingly giving it fruit.
Be aware that your guinea pig might enjoy these fruit treats and attempt to convince you to give him more food! No matter how endearing and convincing your guinea pig may be, it’s crucial to keep his fruit intake in check for his wellbeing.
Guinea Pig Eating
What can guinea pigs eat?
Foods to steer clear of Are dietary supplements a wise choice?
Common inquiries concerning a balanced diet are addressed in the Guinea Pig Manual.
Proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and water are necessary nutrients for a cavy, as they are for any human being. Carefully select and blend them to give your dogs a nutritious diet.
In order to achieve optimal performance, guinea pigs must have these basic nutrients available 24/7:
2) Grass Hay
3) Pellets (lower priority than hay and water)
Also, it is highly recommended to provide your guinea pig with following healthy nutrients and organic products:
4) Vegetables (daily)
5) Fruits (occasionally)
6) Vitamin C (if not getting enough through vegetables and fruits)
NOTE: Guinea pigs have a sensitive digestive system which is easily upset. Always introduce new foods slowly and patiently. Begin with a very small piece, and if they like it, keep increasing the amount a little for the next serving. The way that you introduce nutrients is as important as a healthy diet.
Healthy food plan, priority #1: Water
For best results, guinea pigs require a steady supply of pure, daily fresh, room-temperature water.
- Don’t drink distilled water (it does not provide minerals that are essential to important body functions).
- Avoid mineral-rich water (especially calcium).
- Do not mix any supplements, vitamins, or prescriptions with water.
- Untreated tap water is typically not advised because it may be contaminated with chlorine and heavy metals, however this depends on how well your home’s water supply is maintained, which may be checked.
- Fresh spring water or unflavored bottled water are suggested.
- Water should be available in a drip bottle put on a cage (to avoid contamination and/or spilling, which is typical for dish servings).
- periodically maintain the drip bottle nozzle (hay and pellet gunk can breed harmful bacteria and clog the water flow if not cleaned regularly).
Healthy food plan, priority #2: Hay
Animals that graze include guinea pigs. For three main reasons, it is strongly advised to give your guinea pig an endless supply of grass hay:
- Guinea Pigs must constantly graze and grind (hay) to keep their teeth from overgrowing because they are always growing.
- Their digestive systems remain healthy and active as a result of eating the long hay strands.
- They cannot considerably gain weight from hay. Hay is a meager supply of minerals and protein.
- Hay should have a great aroma and have a bright green hue when purchased. In most circumstances, purchasing fresh grass hay from a nearby farm would be a wise decision.
- Buy hay that isn’t dusty, brownish, or has an unpleasant smell. It’s possible that your pet won’t even eat it.
- Take care not to purchase straw in place of hay. Compared to hay, straw is more tougher, browner, and has almost no nutritional value.
There are two different common types of hays, and you need to know which one to use in which cases.
- Grass hay: Every guinea pig must have grass hay available at all times. Most famous example of this type is Timothy hay.
- Legume hay: Most famous example of this type is Alfalfa. This type is only recommended for pregnant cavies, young or sick cavies, as Alfalfa has more calcium, protein, and carbohydrates. It has to be used as a supplement, not as a replacement for a grass hay, which needs to be available for any cavy. Because of the high calcium content, it is not recommended to give Alfalfa to adult guinea pigs as there is a risk of formation of bladder stones.
NOTE: Pellets are not a substitute for hay. Lack of hay can lead to misalignment of the teeth that may require surgical correction, and gastrointestinal stasis – shutting down of the digestive tract which often leads to guinea pig death.
Healthy food plan, priority #3: Pellets for guinea pigs
- Not inevitable as hay or water, but plays a major roll in providing needed nutrients.
- Provide your guinea pig with about 1/4 – 1/8 cup of plain, dye free guinea pig pellets for eating.
- You can serve it in a small, relatively heavy ceramic bowl (to prevent tipping).
- It is recommended to buy pellets formulated with vitamin C.
- Store pellets in a dry, cool, dark place to preserve the potency of the vitamin C.
- Always look on for an expiration date to insure product freshness.
- Avoid pellets that use animal byproducts and those whose primary ingredient is corn.
- Do not feed other small animal pellets (like rabbit pellets), because the vitamin content is not the same, and can be harmful to your guinea pig in a long-term use.
- To prevent selective eating and junk chemicals, the boring, grayscale pellets are preferred over the funny colorful ones.
- Feed your guinea pig primarily green leafy vegetables.
- Some vegetables can be provided few times a day, some few times a week.
- It is strongly recommended to remove uneaten vegetables to prevent spoiling/rotting.
- Do not feed wilted or spoiled food.
- Don’t feed your guinea pig the same vegetables everyday – Variety is the key for maintaining guinea pig’s health.
- Be cautious about vegetables from the freezer – if the food is too cold, guinea pigs can get diarrhoea.
- NOT recommended: iceberg (high in nitrates and low in nutrients, can cause diarrhea if given in excess).
- NOT recommended: any vegetable in the cabbage family (it won’t kill them, but could cause bloat if feeding continuously), or beet greens (too high in oxalates)
4.1 Vegetables that guinea pigs can eat everyday
- Cucumber: Little nutritional value, but high water content – especially appreciated in summer
- Bell Peppers: Green and Yellow: Remove seeds
- Carrots: Both the root and the green tops are recommended (BUT take note that high sugar and Vitamin A content require moderate consumption)
- Green leaf lettuce
- Butterhead lettuce
- Red leaf lettuce
- Swiss chard (chard, silverbeet)
- Curly endive
- Belgian endive
- Sweet Potato leaves
- Chicory greens
4.2 Vegetables that guinea pigs can eat occasionally (few times weekly):
- Bell Peppers: Red/Orange (remove seeds)
- Asparagus (low in Vitamin C)
- Turnip greens
- Green leek tops: feed in moderation
- Pumpkin (WITHOUT seeds)
- Romaine (only small amounts recommended – it has a poor calcium/phosphorus ratio that can cause kidney stone problems)
- Spinach (small amounts recommended to avoid potential kidney stone problems)
- Broccoli leaves and peeled broccoli stem: Related to the cabbage family, so small doses recommended
- Cauliflower: Related to the cabbage family, so small doses recommended
- Kale: Related to the cabbage family, so small doses recommended
- Chinese Cabbage/pak-choi: Related to the cabbage family, so small doses recommended
- Corn silks and husks: When in season
- Parsley greens and root: Very high in calcium, so caution is recommended if guinea pig is prone to developing bladder stones
- Celery: Cut into small pieces as it is very stringy, to avoid guinea pig choking
- Celery leaves
- Fresh Grass: Clean, pesticide-free, not soiled by dogs/cats/etc, NOT cut by a lawn mower
- Tomato: Remove the poisonous tomato top (green part). Remove seeds if using a slice from a larger tomato
- Beetroot: Recommended in raw form rather than pickled. High in antioxidants and other nutrients. Feeding too often may result in red urine
- Carrot greens (high in calcium, potassium and vitamin C)
- Common grass (avoid ornamental ones)
- Chickweed (Stellaria media)
- Dandelions (Teraxacum officinale)
- Young clover (Trifollium repens or Trifolium pratense)
- Plantain (Plantago major, Plantago lanceolata)
- Anise (Pimpinella anisum)
- Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)
- Yarrow (Achllea millefolium)
- WARNING: Make sure that forages are free of chemicals, exhaust fumes or animal urine. It is best to harvest them in nature, far from urban areas. Pick plants that are undamaged, and healthy-looking.
1. Many fruits are full of natural sugar, have fruit acid and possible low Ca:P ratio, which could lead to bladder problems.
2. Cut the fruits to small pieces to avoid mouth soreness.
3. ! Because of the high sugar content, fruits must be provided occasionally, as a treat. This means small quantities (such as 1/8 of an orange, 1/8 of an apple, etc.), only once or twice per week.
Fruits which you can occasionally give to your guinea pig:
- Apple: Thin wedge, include peel, REMOVE SEEDS which contain cyanide compound
- Pear: Thin wedge, include peel, no seeds
- Apricot: Dried, a couple small pieces
- Banana: Relatively low in vitamin C but rich in other nutrients. BUT, could cause constipation, so feed in great moderation.
- Seedless Grapes or Raisins: NOT BOTH, and very sparingly
- Strawberries: Another popular summer fruit, also very high in vitamin C
- Watermelon: high water content, could cause diarrhoea
- Cranberries: very high in vitamin C; too much can cause STOMACH UPSET
- Grapefruit: Pink, red, and white varieties are all good sources of vitamin C, but they can be too sour for some pigs. They are high in WATER content so are refreshing in warm weather.
- Kiwi: Extremely high in vitamin C and considered very good for cavies
- Mango: High water content makes it very refreshing
- Raspberries: Some guinea pigs find these too tart to eat; others love them
- Cherries: without pits
- Dried fruits: Full of concentrated sugar, so give rarely and in very small doses
5.1 Fruits to Avoid
Guinea pigs will eat most types of fruit, but some vets believe that grapes can lead to kidney disease and are best avoided. If you do decide to feed them to your pets, be sure to give them seedless grapes.
6. Vitamin C
Guinea pigs are, like humans, one of the very few mammals who can’t make their own vitamin C, so they need to get it from their food and food suplements (latter not recommended). Guinea Pigs are highly prone to getting scurvy and loss of resistance to other diseases, which is a disease caused by low levels of Vitamin C.
- Healthy, adult guinea pigs need 10mg/kg to 30 mg/kg per day of Vitamin C.
- Sick or pregnant guinea pigs need a minimum of 30 mg/kg per day.
- Water drops and tang are not recommended (they can even make cavies stop drinking water, if they dislike the taste).
- It is possible (depends on the many unique factors) that they receive adequate vitamin C from fresh vegetables and pellets, but not reliable.
NOTE: Multivitamins are NOT recommended. Excessive amounts of fat soluble vitamins like A and D can cause serious problems for your guinea pig.
CAUTION: Food to AVOID at All Costs
- Altered food: cooked, tinned, preserved, etc.
- Pickled vegetables: sour krauts, dills, capers
- Potatoes: skin and eyes are poisonous, very starchy, high in oxalic acid
- Nuts, Seeds, Lentils, Beans (exception are green beans)
- Red hot chilli peppers, Jalapeno peppers, Hot herbs and spices
- Collard Greens: could cause gas
- Bok choy
- Dairy products, Meat, Fish, Eggs, Bread, Chocolate
- Alcohol, Teas, Coffee, Carbonated Drinks, Fruit juices (exception can be made on sugar-free or unsweetened juices)
- Peanut butter, cakes, cookies, baked goods
- Iceberg lettuce: practically no nutritional value, very fibrous and watery
- Corn kernels, Popcorn: risk of choking
- Seeds: risk of choking
- Tomato leaves and stalks
- Tamarillo leaves
- Avocado, Coconut: too high in fat
- Taro: dangerous if eaten raw
- Jams, jellies and fruit preserves: too high in sugar
- Garlic or pungent onions
- Horseradish root
- Commercially grown flowers
- Wild plants, grasses, and herbs that you are unfamiliar with
- Any non guinea pig food which often contain seeds and different balance of vitamins and minerals which aren’t suited for a guinea pig’s dietary needs
What do guinea pigs eat? The best foods to feed your cavy
We answer the question ‘what do guinea pigs eat?’ and provide you with a list of safe foods to include in your furry friends daily diet
What foods consume guinea pigs? Finding out what foods to include in your guinea pig’s daily diet in order to keep them happy and healthy should be high on your to-do list if you have recently welcomed one of these furry little animals into your home, in addition to spending money on the best guinea pig accessories.
The most crucial thing to understand before getting a guinea pig is that it is a herbivore, which means that the only other foods that are safe for it to eat besides hay are fruits and vegetables.
Along with avoiding all animal products, nuts, and seeds (which a guinea pig’s sensitive digestive system cannot process), you should try to limit the amount of fruit you give them because the majority of it is quite high in sugar.
The majority of your guinea pig’s food should consist of hay and green, leafy vegetables that are available all day long as these pocket pets enjoy to graze, while fruit makes a great treat in little amounts.
We’ve put up this helpful guide to help you know which foods are suitable for your guinea pig to eat and which ones should be given sparingly or not at all. It will help you create a delectable diet that is nutritionally balanced for your furry companion.
What do guinea pigs eat?
Guinea pigs are herbivores, which means they only eat plants and plant–based foods. Because a guinea pig’s teeth are constantly growing, their digestive system evolved to break down fibrous foods, which, when consumed, help to wear their teeth down and keep them at a comfortable length.
Being a herbivore means that while the digestive system is capable of handling large quantities of hay, vegetables and fruit, it lacks the necessary enzymes to break down animal protein, nuts and seeds. It’s important you steer clear of any animal-based products (such as meat, eggs, and cheese) as ingesting these will make your pocket pet very ill.
The good news is, there are plenty of delicious and nutritious fruits and vegetables that your fur friend can munch on that, alongside hay, will provide them with all the vitamins and minerals they need to ward off obesity, dental disease, gastrointestinal problems and other potential health issues.
Hay is the most important part of your cavy’s diet and they should have access to this 24/7. Remember, your pocket pets teeth grow continuously and munching on abrasive grasses will help prevent them from becoming overgrown or infected.
Most pet parents tend to opt for timothy and orchard grass hays, but meadow and oat are also good choices. Steer clear of alfalfa or clover hay unless you have a baby guinea pig or one who is pregnant, as these grasses are high in calcium which can lead to bladder stones.
What vegetables can guinea pigs eat?
Vegetables are a rich source of nutrition for your fur friend, but how much you give them will depend on how well their digestive system is able to tolerate it. Some cavy’s can consume quite a lot of fresh produce, while others can struggle with diarrhea if they eat too much in one sitting.
You can offer a selection of vegetables to your guinea pig on a daily basis, but just be mindful that they’re still eating their hay. Some cavy’s love their vege so much that they’ll actually neglect their hay if given half the chance, so keep an eye on that as they still need to consume hay to keep their teeth healthy.
Vegetables and herbs that are safe for you fur friend to consume, include:
- Romaine lettuce
- Bell peppers
- Brussel sprouts
- Celery stalks and leaves
- Beet greens
- Swiss chard
If you’re wanting to introduce new vegetables into your cavy’s diet, be sure to add these in one at a time, monitoring them closely to see how they respond. We recommend opting for organic produce if you can afford it as these are free from pesticides.
What fruits can guinea pigs eat?
Fruit can make a wonderful addition to your guinea pigs diet and it can help add some much needed variety, not to mention a touch of sweetness. That being said, fruit is very high in sugar and because of that it should be given sparingly as a treat so as not to upset your cavy’s gastrointestinal tract.
We recommend feeding your guinea pig small, bite-sized portions of fruit a few times a week to provide them with adequate vitamin C. Cavy’s can’t produce their own vitamin C, which makes them vulnerable to scurvy, so fruit given sparingly will ensure they get a regular dose of this essential vitamin.
Here are some fruits that are safe for guinea pigs to consume in small quantities:
Berries are a good choice when it comes to the fruit group that’s the safest to feed your cavy on a regular basis (a few times a week) as they’re low in sugar and carbohydrates. Acidic fruits, such as oranges and pineapples, are best given on a more occasional basis.
Foods guinea pigs can’t eat
As you know, guinea pigs are herbivores, which means animal products need to be avoided, but just because they can eat plants and plant-based foods, that doesn’t mean that all of them are suitable for consumption. Some foods can be toxic while others are simply not good for their digestive system and can cause stomach upsets.
Here are the foods you’ll want to avoid feeding your cavy:
- Iceberg lettuce
- Dried beans
- Meat of any kind
- Peanut butter
If you let your guinea pig out of their cage regularly and allow them to roam freely around your garden or inside your home, it’s important to note that many flowers and plants are toxic to our little fur friends and can cause serious illness or death if ingested.