Can guinea pigs eat apples? Well, in a word — yes! However, they can’t eat too much, thanks to the sugar content. But keep reading for more about what parts of the apple are best and how much is too much.
Are Apples Safe for Guinea Pigs
Ever looked in your fruit bowl and wondered “can guinea pigs eat apples?”
They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away! That’s how the famous old phrase goes, isn’t it? And that’s certainly true (especially if your local doc has an fruit phobia).
But while we all know how good fruit is for us humans, what about our pet guinea pigs?
Yes, apples are a safe treat for your guinea pig, as long as they’re enjoyed in moderation (isn’t it always the way?).
Guinea pigs aren’t typically over-eaters, but apples contain far more sugar by volume than grass or hay. This means they can easily consume too many calories eating apples (and fruits in general).
Consuming too many calories of course leads to weight gain. Weight gain causes many other issues. A few of these are diabetes, difficulty grooming, and strain on your guinea pig’s internal organs.
Let’s now look at apples for guinea pigs in more detail.
Guinea Pigs and Apples
Guinea pigs love food and are obviously vegetarian. Their natural diet comprises of mostly grasses, so the number one food they love is, well, grass. Hay comes a close second.
But they love almost all fruits and vegetable too. Apples also contain lots of good fiber and vitamins for guinea pigs.
And we humans love apples, so it makes sense to feed the guinea pig with the odd slice, doesn’t it?
Also, there are often apples kicking out the house. So sooner or later, the curious owner will want to give a little fruit from their personal supply to their furry little friend.
Apples are one of the most plentiful and popular foodstuffs on the planet. In fact, an almost unbelievable 81 MILLION metric tons of apples are eaten every year across the world. Apples account for almost 15% of all the fruit grown and consumed on Earth.
There are more than 2,500 different types of the fruit.
The three most popular varieties of apple worldwide are Golden Delicious, Gala, and Red Delicious. Fun fact: The first apples were grown in Central Asia back in 6500 BC. Precisely, in Kazakhstan — planting quickly spread afterward.
However, the region still produces a huge amount of the red and green fruit. Now as well, China is responsible for 49% of the world’s apple growing.
61% of the world’s apples are eaten fresh. 21% are used for apple juice and cider and the remaining 18% are used in apple “products.”
Do Guinea Pigs Like Apples?
As we’ve already touched upon, rodents love fruit and veg.
So unless you have a particularly fussy little pet, there’s very little chance that they won’t enjoy a nice munch of apple.
But we’re all individual and if your guinea pig doesn’t like apple, just try something else instead!
Are Apples Bad for Guinea Pigs?
No, apples a good fruit to feed your guinea pig. The only issue is how often you feed them apples. Due to the high sugar content, it’s best to feed them the fruit as a treat and not a staple.
Are Apples Good for Guinea Pigs?
Cavies require at least 10 mg of Vitamin C a day. Fresh fruit and vegetables help with this enormously, so that’s a great health benefit of apples.
Apple peels contain fiber, which is good for digestion.
You can even feed your guinea pig apple leaves — if you’re lucky enough to have an apple tree in your yard. Perhaps try putting a whole small branch into their hutch. They’ll eat the leaves, strip the bark to keep their teeth trim, and play among the arms and twigs!
Apples leaves also contain calcium, which is also good for guinea pigs, and all animals.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Green Apples?
It is wise to exercise caution as you feed your guinea pig apples. Here’s why: some types of apples are unsuitable for guinea pig consumption. One of those is unripe or sour apples in general — which are usually green.
Avoid these more sour-tasting apples as they contain acids. Acids can cause cavy mouth irritation and discomfort. Opt for more sweet and plain-tasting red apples instead.
Also, do not feed rotten apples to your guinea pigs. If you wouldn’t eat it because it’s gone bad, your pet shouldn’t either.
Can I Feed My Guinea Pig the Whole Apple?
The flesh of the fruit is fine, but try to avoid feeding cavies the entirety of an apple. One thing you should keep in mind is how to feed guinea pigs apples.
Cut small chunks, like a quarter of an apple and let them nibble at it. Feeding a guinea pig a whole apple may be a choking hazard.
Here are a few more questions about what parts of the apple are okay to feed guinea pigs:
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apple Skin?
Sure. Just for reference, by apple skins, we mean apple peels. In fact, you’ll probably find that’s the part of the apple love the best. There’s even a little fiber in apple peel, so that’s an added bonus.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apple Seeds?
No. Avoid giving them the seeds.
Apple seeds contains trace amounts of cyanide which can become toxic if they accumulate.
Don’t panic if your cavy munches down a couple of seeds, but don’t feed them apple seeds regularly.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apple Cores?
They can, provided you’ve cleared the pips or seeds out.
But you might miss some — no one’s perfect. So it’s best to avoid feeding your guinea apple cores and stick with the good juicy bits.
What Happens If My Guinea Pig Eats Too Much Apple?
If it’s the flesh of the apple, you need not worry too much.
Your pet may bloat a little and even suffer with a minor bout of diarrhea. But there shouldn’t be any real long-term medical issues from eating a lot of apple once or twice.
If they do become slightly sick, take away any remaining apple and replace it with normal hay-based pellets. Then, make sure you’ve provided your pet with plenty of fresh, clean drinking water. Especially if the the apple has loosened their stools.
If any issues persist, visit your veterinary surgeon as soon as possible — better safe than sorry.
My Guinea Pig Ate Apples, What Should I Do?
Sit back and hope they enjoy it!
So long as they eat apples in moderation, there’s no issue here whatsoever.
Just make sure that fruits like this are treats that supplement your guinea pig’s normal diet. You do not want apples to make up a significant part of their diet.
Can Baby Guinea Pigs Eat Apples?
Baby guinea pigs should feed on milk or formula for the first 6 weeks at least. Thereafter, you can introduce pellets and ease them into a fruit and veg diet.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apples Every Day?
As mentioned earlier, it’s best to keep this one as now-and-again treat. Perhaps once a day or several times a week. It also helps to keep the portion size small since apples are high in sugar.
Guinea Pig Apples Treats
Here are a couple of great ways to feed your guinea pig apples:
- Dried apple treats
- Apple “salad” with other veggies such as carrots as well as some hays. Your guinea pig will enjoy the variety.
- Fresh apple chunks — the typical way to feed apples.
Alternatives to Apples for Guinea Pigs
Some other options to try if you want to provide that mix of sweetness, fiber, and crunch include:
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apples: Summary
So, to sum up: If you want to give your guinea pig pieces of apple, go for it! Apples are a good source of Vitamin C. Their peels contain fiber, and their leaves are a source of calcium too.
However the fruit is also high in sugar, so keep apple fruits as a treat for your pet. Aim for no more than a small portion once or twice a week. Remember to discard the core and seeds first!
Guinea pigs can’t exactly overdose on apple. Regardless, fruits like these should be supplementary to your guinea pig’s main hay-based diet, not a core part of it.
Do your guinea pigs adore apples? Have you ever tried feeding them the leaves as well? Tell us your pigs’ favorite fruity snacks in the comments section below!
Please feel free to share your experiences with guinea pigs and apples in the comments below.
References and Further Reading
- Apples: Health Benefits, Facts, Research; Nordqvist, J; Medical News Today.
- A Comprehensive Review of Apples and Apple Components and Their Relationship to Human Health; Hyson, D; Advances in Nutrition, Volume 2, Issue 5.
- Social experience, behavior, and stress in guinea pigs; Sachser, N & Lick, C; Physiology & Behavior, Vol. 50, Iss. 1.
- PetMD. Grzyb, K. DVM. 5 Things You Need to Make Your Pet Guinea Pig Healthier and Happier.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apples has been extensively revised for 2019.