There’s lots of things pet parents wonder about when it comes to feeding their guinea pigs. One common question is whether or not guinea pigs can eat apricots.
Yes, guinea pigs can safely eat apricots, and they’re a good source of nutrients for the little rodents. Apricots are packed with vitamins A, C and E, as well as potassium and dietary fiber. However, they’re also high in sugar, so it’s important to only give your guinea pigs a small amount at a time – as an occasional treat.
Keep reading to see the complete breakdown of apricots and whether or not they’re a good fit for your guinea pig’s diet.
Shall we begin?
What are Apricots?
The fruits of apricots are small and are sort of like a small peach, with colors ranging from yellow to orange and red tinges due to exposure to the sun.
There are many different types of apricots. Some apricots are more common than others. The Japanese apricot is a popular type of apricot that’s grown for its beautiful flowers and edible fruit.
They can also be referred to as Prunus armeniaca (fancy, huh?).
They’re high in carbohydrates, vitamins (like vitamin C), and antioxidants (which are excellent for guinea pigs, but more on that later). Apricots are a fruit that can be dried. When they’re dried, apricots lose a lot of their nutritional value.
Are Apricots Safe for Guinea Pigs to Eat?
Yes, apricots are safe to eat. They’re a good source of vitamins and minerals for guinea pigs. The high sugar content is a little concerning, but as long as you limit the amount your guinea pig eats, they should be just fine.
Here’s some specific health benefits that apricots have to offer.
1. Supports Heart Health
Apricots contain flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that helps to reduce the risk of heart disease. Flavonoids also do the hard work of keeping the arteries clear of plaque buildup and keeping cholesterol levels in check (which is definitely a good thing for your little friends).
Your little buddy’s body functions more efficiently because of flavonoids – they protect against everyday toxins and stressors.
If that’s not a great start to a health benefit, I don’t know what is. With all the hoopla around piggies and the state of their hearts, you definitely want to keep your little friends’ heart health at 100%. Right?
2. Helps with Hydration
Apricots are extremely naturally high in water, and as such, they help with blood pressure regulation and body temperature.
Once your guinea pig is hydrated, its blood helps in the circulation of nutrients throughout its body.
Other benefits of good hydration include:
- Preventing infections
- Keeping joints lubricated
- Improving sleep quality (not that piggies sleep a lot), cognition, and mood
- Keeps organs functioning properly
3. Boosts Immune System
As mentioned earlier, apricots are high in nutrients and antioxidants (including vitamins A, C, and E), which help keep your guinea pig’s immune system strong.
Antioxidants help to get rid of harmful toxins and byproducts that can damage cells, leading to inflammation. Inflammation can be the root cause of many diseases, so you definitely want to do everything you can to avoid it.
Vitamin A is important for eye health and vision, as well as skin and coat health. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that’s involved in collagen production (which helps keep your guinea pig’s skin healthy and strong).
We want to do everything we can to reduce inflammation because it can lead to all sorts of health problems down the road.
When their immune system is working well, it can help protect your piggies from a wide variety of health problems – like respiratory illness, cancer, and heart disease.
Seems like a pretty good little fruit, huh?
4. Protects against Scurvy
Scurvy is caused by a severe lack of vitamin C in the diet. Guinea pigs can’t make their own Vitamin C, so it’s important that they get a good amount of it from their food.
Since apricots are such treasure troves of massive amounts of vitamin C, feeding them to your cavies can help them avoid this horrible disease.
Symptoms of scurvy include:
- loss of appetite
- soft, loose stools
- loss of weight (as a result of loss of appetite)
- stiff joints that become sore and inflamed (painful to your guinea pig when you try to pick them up)
- sluggish and loss of energy
- worn and shaggy coats
Vitamin C is important for the growth and repair of tissues in the body – including bones, blood vessels, and skin.
It’s also important for wound healing, and it helps the body absorb iron and that’s essential for good health.
5. Improves Eyesight and Skin Condition
Vitamins A and E are vital in improving eyesight, and apricots possess many of them. You see, Vitamin A especially helps with night vision, and it can help decrease the risk of developing some types of blindness.
Guinea pigs have very poor eyesight (which is why they do a lot of navigating by smell and with their whiskers), so they need all the help they can get.
Vitamin E is an important antioxidant that helps to protect cells from damage. It also helps improve skin condition and keeps the immune system strong. And a healthy coat of fur equals a healthy piggie.
Apricots are a good source of both of these vitamins, so feeding them to your piggies can help improve their eyesight and skin condition.
Are Apricots Bad for Guinea Pigs?
People say there’s a disadvantage for every advantage, and that’s pretty much the case with apricots and guinea pigs. Keep in mind that there’s disadvantages to feeding guinea pigs ANY food.
Apricots have a lot of nutrients in them, but if you feed your guinea pig too many or don’t give them enough water, they might get sick.
So, let’s see what might happen if you feed your fur babies too many apricots.
1. Mouth Sores
There’s a certain amount of acidity in apricots (just like any fruit), so that means there’s also the potential for mouth sores.
Mouth sores look like little ulcers around their lips and inner cheeks of their mouth, and they can be very painful.
If you notice your little friends’ tongue or mouth looks red and inflamed (and a loss of appetite, it might be a sign that they have mouth sores.
Plus, mouth sores make it more difficult for your cavies to eat, so they could lose weight and get sick if they can’t eat properly.
Just like people, guinea pigs can get obese (yep, fat) if they eat too many high-calorie foods.
Apricots are a good source of dietary fiber, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and E – all of which are essential nutrients for guinea pigs. But they also have a lot of sugar – more than what cavies should be eating in one sitting.
So, if you give your guinea pigs too many apricots, they could end up putting on too much weight.
Cavies who are obese are more likely to suffer from health problems like heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. So, it’s important to only feed them a small amount of apricots at a time as an occasional treat.
3. Digestive System Problems
Since apricots are high in fiber, they can help improve your guinea pig’s digestive system. Overfeeding them, however, can have the opposite effect and give them digestive system problems.
Apricots are a type of fruit that contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and helps to regulate blood sugar levels, while insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water and helps with constipation (in other words, keeps your little friends regular).
Too much insoluble fiber can cause issues like bloating, constipation, and diarrhea in cavies. So, it’s important to only give them a small amount of apricots at a time as an occasional treat.
As you can see, there are some disadvantages to feeding your guinea pig apricots (or any other fruit for that matter). But, as long as you give them a small amount at a time as an occasional treat, they’ll be just fine.
You don’t want apricots to cause your guinea pig any digestive system problems, so go easy on how much you feed your fur babies.
4. Choking Hazard
Another thing to keep in mind is that apricots have a large pit in the center, which can pose a choking hazard for your fur babies. If you do give them an apricot, make sure to remove the pit first.
Choking hazards are a real concern for cavies, as they can easily choke on small objects.
That’s why it’s important to always supervise your guinea pig when they’re eating, and to only give them manageable pieces of food – nothing too large or too small.
Nutritional Facts for Apricots
Using the data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one 35g apricot contains the following nutrients and the amount:
- Energy: 16.8 calories
- Protein: 0.49 g (helps for keeping your piggies going throughout the day)
- Fat: 0.14 g (close to zero fat. Awesome!)
- Carbohydrates: 3.89 g (high in carbs. But this is due to the natural sugars found in apricots)
- Fiber: 0.7 g (keeps your pet regular and healthy)
- Sugars: 3.23 g (doesn’t seem like a lot, but you still need to be careful with how much you give your fuzz spuds)
- Calcium: 4.55 milligrams (helps keep bones strong and healthy)
- Iron: 0.14 mg
- Magnesium: 3.5 mg (gotta keep those muscles working, right?)
- Phosphorus: 8.05 mg (healthy bones and teeth)
- Potassium: 90.6 mg (regulates heartbeat and ensures proper function of muscles and nerves, also vital for synthesizing protein and metabolizing carbs)
- Sodium: 0.35 mg
- Zinc: 0.07 mg
- Copper: 0.03 mg
- Selenium: 0.04 micrograms (mcg)
- Vitamin C: 3.5 mg (perfect for boosting immunity and keeping them healthy)
- Thiamine: 0.01 mg (vital in the growth and function of cells)
- Riboflavin: 0.01 mg (helps in proper brain function and skin development)
- Niacin: 0.21 mg
- Vitamin B-6: 0.02 mg
- Vitamin A: 33.6 mcg (improves immune system and great for eyesight)
- Vitamin E: 0.31 mg (healthy skin and healthy eyes – your pet’s very own diet-based skincare routine)
- Vitamin K: 1.16 mg (prevents excessive bleeding, aids blood clotting)
How Do Apricots Compare To Other Stone Fruits?
Apricots are a good source of nutrients for your guinea pig, but how do they compare to other stone fruits?
Stone fruits like apricots, plums, and peaches have a lot in common nutritionally. They all contain high levels of fiber (which is great for digestion) and vitamins A, C, and E (which are great for immunity).
Take a closer look at some of the key nutrients in each fruit:
|Plum||1.4 g||9.92 g||9.5 mg||6 mg|
|Apricots||2 g||9.24 g||10 mg||13 mg|
|Nectarines||1.5 g||7.89 g||2.9 mg||2 mg|
|Dates||8 g||63.4 g||0.4 mg||39 mg|
|Peaches||1.5 g||8.39 g||4.1 mg||4 mg|
|Cherries||2.1 g||12.8 g||7 mg||13 mg|
The values above are the nutrient values for one 100 g.
Apricots have the highest amount of Vitamin C, and they tie with cherries having the second-highest amount of calcium.
Dates have the highest fiber, sugar, and calcium but the lowest vitamin C.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apricots Everyday?
No, don’t feed apricots to guinea pigs every day. Ideally, you should only feed your guinea pigs apricots once or twice a week – in small amounts.
Remember the dangerous side effects I mentioned? They’re all tied to overfeeding.
To avoid those side effects, be extra careful with how much (and how often) you feed your piggies. Many of the side effects can be reduced or stopped by reducing or stopping intake.
How Many Apricots Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
One small slice of apricot is an appropriate serving for an adult guinea pig. Remember that this is a treat, and you should only give your guinea pig one slice of apricot at a time.
When you feed your guinea pigs apricots, try to serve it to them more like a snack rather than turning it into their daily diet.
Also, remember to space out your serving days and never feed your guinea pigs apricots (or any other fruits) on two consecutive days.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Dried Apricots?
No, guinea pigs can’t eat dried apricots. Dried fruits are too sugary and sweet for guinea pigs, and they’re not very nutritious.
Guinea pigs can’t digest sugar and processed food well. Unfortunately, eating dried apricots will weight gain, diarrhea, and other health problems in guinea pigs. Stick with fresh apricots.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat The Skin of Apricots?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat apricot skin. As long as you wash the apricot first, the skin is safe for guinea pigs to eat.
The skin of an apricot is a good source of dietary fiber, which helps with digestion. Just make sure to wash the apricot first to remove any pesticide residue.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apricot Pits?
No, guinea pigs can’t eat apricot pits. The pits contain a compound called amygdalin, which breaks down into cyanide in the body. Cyanide is poisonous to guinea pigs (and humans).
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apricot Flesh?
It’s perfectly safe for guinea pigs to eat apricot flesh in moderation. Apricot skin (like other fruit skin) tends to have more fiber and is a good source of antioxidants.
Just like any other fruit, make sure to wash the apricot before giving it to your guinea pig. And only give them a small slice at a time – as an occasional treat.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Frozen Apricots?
Guinea pigs can’t eat frozen apricots because they are too cold and hard to eat. Cavies have sensitive digestive systems, and the extreme cold might upset their stomachs. Fresh, room temperature apricots are best.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Canned Apricots?
No, it’s not good for guinea pigs to eat canned apricots. Canned apricots typically have a lot of extra sugar and preservatives added that aren’t good for guinea pigs. And the syrup that they’re packed in is usually full of high fructose corn syrup, which is also bad for guinea pigs.
Yes, canned apricots (and fruits) are very convenient, especially when the fruits are not in season – but it’s not worth feeding them to your fur babies it’s going to make them sick later on down the line.
It’s best to stick with fresh, raw apricots when you’re feeding them to your guinea pig.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apricot Jam?
No, guinea pigs shouldn’t eat apricot jam. This is because jam has way too much sugar in even just a teaspoon of it for it to be healthy for them.
A guinea pig’s diet should consist of a raw, all-natural diet, and their digestive systems do not allow them to digest cooked food easily.
You shouldn’t feed your guinea pig processed food as a general rule. Processed food includes pellets, which are the most processed type of food for them.
Can Baby Guinea Pigs Eat Apricots?
Apricots can be given to baby guinea pigs at around two weeks old or so. Still, since they are smaller than grown guinea pigs, it is advisable to feed them in even smaller amounts.
Can Pregnant Guinea Pigs Eat Apricots?
Pregnant guinea pigs can eat apricots as long as they’re fed in moderation.
A pregnant guinea pig’s diet should consist of:
- Grass and/or grass hay (do not feed them lawnmower clippings because it upsets their digestive systems and can make them sick)
- Green leafy vegetables (remember that some outdoor plants are poisonous to your guinea pig)
- Small amounts of vitamin C rich foods
- A small amount of high-quality commercial pellet
Be sure to maintain a regular schedule when it comes to feeding your guinea pig (twice a day, morning and evening).
Do Guinea Pigs Like Apricots?
Yes, there’s a good chance that your guinea pig will like apricots. Apricots are sweet and soft, which are two qualities that most cavies love in a food. But remember to only give them a small amount at a time, as an occasional treat. Too much sugar can make them sick.
How to Introduce Apricots to Guinea Pigs
Introducing more fruits and vegetables to your guinea pig’s diet should be done slowly, over the course of a several days to few weeks. This gives their digestive system time to adjust to the new food.
If your guinea pig has never had apricots before start:
- by mixing a small amount (just one or two slices) into their regular diet
- observe them for a day or two to see if they have any adverse reactions (like diarrhea)
- if all goes well, then you can start giving them fresh apricots as a treat
Plum Alternatives (Stone Fruit)
You might be wondering if guinea pigs can eat other stone fruits. And that’s a good thing. You want to make sure that you’re feeding your guinea pigs a variety of fruits and vegetables to ensure that they’re getting all the nutrients they need.
So, let’s take a look at some other stone fruit options that guinea pigs can eat:
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Plums?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat plums. But just like with apricots, make sure you feed your guinea pigs plums in moderation.
Plums are a good source of Vitamin C, which your guinea pig needs, so this is a beautiful addition to guinea pig’s treats.
Feed plums to your guinea pigs one to two times a week to avoid complications.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Dates?
Unfortunately, guinea pigs can’t eat dates. Dates are high in sugar and don’t have much nutritional value for guinea pigs.
Dates are not necessarily toxic for your guinea pigs, but they contain really high sugar levels that are bad for them. Dates also lack the essential nutrients needed for your guinea pig.
Lastly, dates are a bit sticky and can cause your guinea pig to choke, so think twice before you pick those dates up at the store to add to your guinea pig’s treats.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Nectarines?
Nectarines are safe for guinea pigs to eat, but you have to be careful when you feed it to them.
For starters, nectarines have a pit, so you must first remove that before feeding it to your guinea pig.
Nectarines are lovely and sugary – this does not make it entirely bad for your guinea pig. But, still, it is not altogether suitable for them, either.
However, you can still feed it to your guinea pig but only as a diet treat and not as a part of their regular diet.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Peaches?
Yes, peaches are safe for guinea pigs to eat.
Just like nectarines, peaches have a pit that you must remove before feeding it to your guinea pig.
And also like nectarines, peaches are lovely and sugary. So, while they’re not bad for your guinea pig, they’re not the best food for them, either.
Feed peaches to your guinea pigs only as a diet treat and not as part of their regular diet.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Lychees?
Yes, guinea pigs can each Lychees…but in moderation (you might be tired of reading about moderation…sorry, it’s a fact of guinea pig ownership). Lychees are an excellent source of nutrients and vitamins, containing considerable sugar.
What Fruit Do Guinea Pigs Like The Most?
It’s hard to say, but berries (blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, and strawberries) taste delicious to your guinea pig. Asides from the taste, berries are relatively low in sugar and carbohydrates compared to other fruits.
It is safer to feed your guinea pig berries more occasionally than fruits high in sugar like apricots and peaches.
What is a Guinea Pig’s Ideal Diet?
Guinea pigs need the right kind of food to be healthy and happy. Feed them the following to make sure they are well taken care of:
1. Hay and Grass
Your guinea pig is expected to have fresh grass as often as possible – every day ideally.
Guinea pigs are natural herbivores, and they need hay and/or grass for their digestive systems to function correctly.
Guinea pigs’ teeth are always growing, so they need to eat hay to keep them at the right length and shape. Eating hay also protects them from dental disease.
Vitamin C is a crucial aspect of your guinea pig’s dietary needs, and grass-based guinea pig pellets are a great source of this. At least a tablespoon a day should be offered to your fur babies.
If your guinea pig is growing, nursing, underweight or pregnant, it may need a bigger portion of these pellets.
About a cup of vegetables should be offered to your guinea pigs every day.
Vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber for your guinea pig. Some of the best vegetables for guinea pigs include: broccoli, endive, radicchio, kale, parsley, peas, and spinach.
The amount of food a guinea pig needs depends on several factors, including age, lifestyle, and overall health.
When you want to introduce new food to your guinea pig’s diet, do so gradually and avoid sudden changes to their diet.
So, can guinea pigs eat apricots? Most definitely, if served as a treat.
As we’ve established, Apricots are a great source of nutrients and vitamins needed in your pet’s diet. But be careful when feeding your guinea pig, and don’t overfeed them with apricots.
Apricots aren’t meant to be a staple (or even a significant part) of your guinea pig’s diet. Only a snack – no more than once or twice a week.
So, there you have it. Apricots are good for guinea pigs, but only in moderation!
Do you have any other questions about what fruits and vegetables guinea pigs can eat?
Let me know in the comments below.