If you and your guinea pig like to bond over a snack, you might want to know what kind of fruit can guinea pigs eat?
After all, fruit is packed with fiber and vitamins, and we know it’s good for us.
Can guinea pigs eat fruit too?
It would sure help out when there’s too much in the fruit bowl!
Here’s our complete guide the best fruit for guinea pigs…
Fruits for guinea pigs
As a responsible pet owner, you have undoubtedly researched the proper diet for your guinea pig.
While leading experts agree on feeding guinea pigs plenty of hay and leafy green vegetables, many have differing views on the nutritional value of fruit.
A recent study in the Journal of Animal Health and Behavioural Science acknowledges the conflicting opinions on whether or not fruit should be fed to guinea pigs at all.
Since the sugar content is so high in fruit, feeding your guinea pig too much of it could put your pet at risk for diabetes.
However, if fed in moderation, fruit can be beneficial to your guinea pig.
By incorporating small portions of fruit into your guinea pig’s diet, you can help ensure a healthy life for your pet.
What fruits can guinea pigs have?
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 pelletized food.
In order to supplement nutritional requirements and add variety, you should also feed your guinea pig leafy green vegetables and occasionally some fruits.
Like humans, guinea pigs lack the ability to produce Vitamin C and must obtain it from their diet.
You can make sure your guinea pig obtains daily doses of Vitamin C by choosing a pellet food fortified with the vitamin and feeding select fruits sparingly.
Feeding your guinea pig fruit
Fresh fruit can be a tasty treat for your pet, but only in the right quantities.
Be especially mindful of the sugar content and err on the side of caution when feeding fruit: few bites are more than enough!
Also, be sure to wash all fruit thoroughly before feeding any to your guinea pig.
As with any other dietary changes, be sure to monitor your pet closely for any adverse reactions.
If you notice that your guinea pig develops any strange symptoms or behavior, consult a veterinarian immediately.
Now let’s get to the tasty part: what kind of fruit can guinea pigs eat?
Our top ten fruits for guinea pigs!
If you are looking to add healthy variety and additional sources of Vitamin C to your guinea pig’s diet, try incorporating these ten fruits:
Oranges are an excellent source of Vitamin C, and your guinea pig can occasionally have a small slice of an orange as a treat.
Be sure to peel the orange beforehand.
If you notice that your guinea pig begins to develop mouth sores, discontinue feeding him any citrus fruits, as they are highly acidic.
Apples are a great way to add a little fiber to your guinea pig’s diet.
Start by cutting up a small slice and see how your guinea pig reacts to it.
If your guinea pig seems to enjoy the apple, you should be able to incorporate this as a treat once per week.
Blueberries are another source of Vitamin C, but they are also especially high in sugar.
You may feed your guinea pig a few blueberries every once in a while, but they should not be a regular staple in your guinea pig’s diet.
You can feed your guinea pig banana slices as a treat, but only once or twice a month.
Bananas can provide an additional source of Vitamin C and more flavor variety in your pet’s diet, but they can also cause constipation and digestive distress in large quantities.
Monitor your guinea pig closely to see how he reacts to eating bananas, and only feed them as a treat sparingly.
Guinea pigs can eat melon as a treat about once a week.
All kind of melon are suitable, but cantaloupe pips other types to the post for containing the most vitamin C and calcium per 100 grams.
Watermelon makes an especially refreshing treat on a hot day!
Apricots are safe for guinea pigs to eat, but they are also high in sugar and should only be fed in moderation.
You can feed your guinea pig one or two small slices of apricot once or twice a week at the very most.
Strawberries are another fantastic source of Vitamin C, but they do contain quite a bit of sugar as well.
You can offer a strawberry to your guinea pig once or twice per week as a treat.
One is plenty! Be sure to wash it thoroughly and cut it into small pieces.
Your guinea pig can eat the leafy green part on top too – try saving the hulls for your guinea pigs when you’re preparing strawberries for the rest of your family!
Pears can also be a healthy snack for your guinea pig, but only about once or twice per week.
Since they are acidic, they can cause digestive issues and mouth sores if fed in large quantities.
Try feeding your guinea pig a few small bites of pear once per week to see how he adjusts to this new treat.
Guinea pigs can eat sweet or sour cherries very sparingly – only once per month to be on the safe side.
Cherries can provide another source of Vitamin C, but they are also extremely sweet.
Be sure to remove the stem and cut the cherry into small bites.
Remember how little your guinea pig is – one cherry is enough!
Cranberries are also high in Vitamin C and can help prevent urinary tract infections.
Your guinea pig can eat them two or three times per week.
And some fruits to never give your guinea pig…
Fruit fruits are actually poisonous to guinea pigs, but there are a couple to avoid.
First, the leaves and stem of tomatoes and tomatilloes – the flesh is fine, but the leaves and stems are toxic to our little cavy pals.
Secondly rhubarb, which is technically a vegetable anyway (it’s true!), and highly poisonous to guinea pigs.
Can guinea pigs eat dried fruit?
There’s a world of difference here between “can” and “should”.
Dried fruits are very high in calories and sugar – far denser in both than fresh fruit is.
Teeny tiny quantities of dried fruit won’t hurt your guinea pigs, but they really are a Christmas and birthdays only kind of treat.
If you do feed them, try and stick to organic brands without chemical preservatives added.
But most of all, bear in mind that compared to their diet in the wild, fresh fruit is already an epic treat for guinea pigs.
There’s really no need to go one up and offer dried fruit too!
Best fruit for guinea pigs
Trying out different fruit treats and getting to know their tastes is a fun way to bond with your guinea pig.
What kind of fruit can guinea pigs eat?
The best fruit for your guinea pig is one that he loves, and which he only eats in sparing amounts.
By feeding fruit to your guinea pig in moderation, you can provide a healthy diet full of fresh variety.
Keep in mind that your guinea pig may take a liking to these fruit snacks, and he might try to persuade you to feed him more!
No matter how cute and persuasive your guinea pig may be, it’s important to limit his portions of fruit to keep him healthy.
What fruits do guinea pigs eat in your home?
Are your guinea pigs avid fruit eaters?
What are their favorite fruits, are they a sucker for something we’ve missed?
Tell us all about it in the comments section below!