So you’re looking for snacks for your friends. You find a piece of fruit – a blood orange on the counter. That makes you wonder if guinea pigs can eat blood oranges.
Yes, guinea pigs can definitely eat blood oranges safely. They’re full of antioxidants, potassium, and other nutrients that guinea pigs need. But, make sure you feed it in moderation. Otherwise the calcium, acid, and sugar in blood oranges can cause health problems for your guinea pigs.
In this blog post you’ll learn how to feed your guinea pigs blood oranges and some of the health benefits they provide. I’ll even give you the goods on the nutritional value of blood oranges.
Let’s get started!
What Are Blood Oranges?
Okay, so their name is pretty gross, but blood oranges are actually a sweet, delicious variety of orange. They get their name from the dark crimson flesh that’s almost blood-colored.
The distinctive color here comes from the presence of anthocyanins (an antioxidant-more on that later), a family of polyphenols that are found in many flowers and fruit. It’s unusual to find them in citrus fruits.
The main compound found in red oranges is Chrysanthemin. Chrysanthemin is a type of anthocyanin (let’s hear it for antioxidants) that’s found in high concentrations in blood oranges.
And that’s not all – blood oranges are also high in Vitamin C and other nutrients.
Plus, they’re very sweet – like tangerines, satsumas, and other varieties of oranges.
Are Blood Oranges Good For Guinea Pigs?
Of course, blood oranges are good for guinea pigs. And I’m going to tell you why.
1. Strengthens Guinea Pig Immune Systems
Blood oranges are chocked full of antioxidants. Antioxidants like Vitamin C help to strengthen guinea pig immune systems. Plus, the anthocyanins in blood oranges help to fight off free radicals.
Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells. They’re thought to play a role in the development of some diseases, like cancer (which means they’re bad news).
So by adding blood oranges to their diet, you can help protect your little friends from disease and strengthen their immune systems.
A strong immune system is important for guinea pigs because they are susceptible to a variety of illnesses – especially upper respiratory infections. A diet full of antioxidants can help keep them healthy.
2. Helps Guinea Pigs Avoid Scurvy
It’s important for you to understand that your cavies can’t produce Vitamin C in their own bodies.
“So what does that mean for guinea pigs?” you may be wondering.
It means that they need to get it from their diet.
If guinea pigs don’t have access to Vitamin C, they can develop a disease called scurvy. Symptoms of scurvy include:
- weight loss (because scurvy snatches your cavies’ appetite)
- swollen joints
- bleeding gums (I mean…eww)
- and a bunch of other symptoms too gruesome to mention.
So, guinea pigs need Vitamin C in their diets – and blood oranges are a great source of it.
Now, you definitely don’t want to overload your piggies with blood oranges. But, it’s a good option (when mixed with other guinea pig safe veggies) to help keep them from developing scurvy.
That’s something you definitely want to have on your side as a guinea pig mom or dad.
3. Healthy Skin
Vitamin C (yep, there’s that word again) is fantastic for your fur babies’ skin.
It helps to keep their skin healthy, elastic and free from infection and dryness.
In fact, lot of pet parents find that Vitamin C supplements (or extra Vitamin C in their piggies diet natural ways) to help to clear up skin problems in their cavies.
So if your guinea pig has a bit of a dodgy coat (and let’s be honest, some piggies need a little help in that area) then you may want to try adding a small amount of blood oranges into their diet.
Risks Of Feeding Blood Oranges To Guinea Pigs
Of course, with every good thing there’s always a risk. Guinea pigs can have bad reactions to the foods they eat because sometimes their pet parents give them too much food or the cavies have a sensitivity to a certain food or health condition.
1. Mouth Sores and Ulcers
One risk of giving guinea pigs too blood oranges is that they may develop mouth sores or ulcers.
Like most citrus fruits, blood oranges contain citric acid. The acid in the orange is what causes the mouth sores.
If your guinea pig does develop mouth sores, stop feeding them oranges and contact your veterinarian for help.
These are painful and can often lead to infection if not treated properly.
2. Digestive Problems
Another risk of feeding guinea pigs blood oranges is that they may experience digestive problems.
The fiber and high water content of the fruit can cause guinea pigs to become constipated or have diarrhea.
But, this really only happens if you overfeed the blood oranges. This is why it’s important to only give them a small amount as part of their overall diet.
It’s really a case of too much of a good thing.
If you don’t want your little friends to blow up like a balloon, you need to be careful not to overfeed them blood oranges.
The high sugar and calorie content of the fruit can quickly lead to obesity if guinea pigs eat too much.
And with extra weight comes extra problems like:
- heart disease
- joint pain
So, while blood oranges are a great source of Vitamin C and other nutrients, it’s important to feed them in moderation.
Like with anything else, moderation is key. Just don’t overdo it.
How Much Blood Orange Should I Feed My Guinea Pigs?
As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to only give them a small amount as part of their overall diet.
Only give your piggies a small slice of blood orange once or twice a week. And always serve it with leafy greens like kale, collard greens, romaine lettuce, radicchio, and chard.
That way your fur babies get a good variety of nutrients and you don’t have to worry about them developing any negative side effects.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat the Peel and Skin of Blood Oranges?
Guinea pigs can eat the skin and peel of blood oranges, but only in moderation.
Just make sure there’s no pesticides on it from when the orange was picked by washing the citrus fruit really well.
The skin and peel of blood oranges have nutrients in them, too. And it can’t hurt to give your piggies a little bit of fiber.
So, go ahead and give your guinea pigs the skin and peel of blood oranges, but only in moderation. And remember, less is usually more when it comes to citrus fruits for your piggies.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Blood Orange Seeds?
Blood oranges have very few seeds. But, guinea pigs shouldn’t eat them. They’re choking hazards.
If you notice any seeds while you’re slicing into the blood orange, then make sure you pluck them out before giving the blood orange to your guinea pigs.
Otherwise, they’ll just end up swallowing them and that could cause some serious problems.
The seeds can be a choking hazard and no one want to have to do the Heimlich with a guinea pig.
Can Guinea Pigs Drink Blood Orange Juice?
No, guinea pigs shouldn’t drink the juice from the blood orange.
The juice is high in sugar and guinea pigs can easily become obese if they drink too much of it. Not to mention, they could end up with diarrhea, just like they could from eating the fruit itself.
So, stick to serving your guinea pigs fresh blood oranges and leave the juice for humans.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Frozen Blood Oranges?
Guinea pigs shouldn’t eat frozen blood oranges. Unfortunately, their digestive systems are sensitive to extreme temperatures.
So, it’s best not to give them anything that’s been frozen to avoid stomach pain and other digestive problems.
Plus, there’s a chance that their lips or tongue might stick to the frozen fruit (can you say ouch?) and that could lead to further injuries.
Just stick to giving them fresh blood oranges and you’ll be good to go.
My guess? Your furry potatoes would much rather have a fresh blood orange than a frozen one.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Canned Blood Oranges?
Canned blood oranges aren’t a healthy food for guinea pigs, so guinea pigs shouldn’t eat it. The sugar and acid levels in canned blood oranges are too high for guinea pigs and can cause stomach issues. In general, there is little nutritional value in blood oranges. You should try to avoid giving them to your piggies if you can.
Can Baby Guinea Pigs Eat Blood Oranges?
Baby guinea pigs can eat blood oranges safely. When babies are born, they can usually start eating solid foods right away. Still, you might want to wait until your baby guinea pigs are two weeks old before you give them fruit.
When they’re around two weeks old, their moms will start to wean them and they’ll be ready to try a lot more new things.
So, give your guinea pig babies a blood orange and introduce them to the wonderful world of citrus fruits (with small servings, of course).
Can Pregnant Guinea Pigs Eat Blood Oranges?
Yes, pregnant guinea pigs can eat blood oranges. They need all the nutrients they can get to support their pregnancies.
The anthocyanins in blood oranges can help with fetal development and there’s lots of Vitamin C in them, too.
Just make sure you’re feeding your pregnant guinea pigs a balanced diet of high quality hay, guinea pig food pellets, and fresh vegetables. You can also give them a small slice blood orange or two as a special treat.
Can Senior Guinea Pigs Eat Blood Oranges?
Yes, senior guinea pigs can eat blood oranges. Just like pregnant guinea pigs, they need all the nutrients they can get to support their aging bodies.
The anthocyanins in blood oranges can help with brain function and memory. And the Vitamin C in them can help older piggies stay healthy and strong.
How To Feed Guinea Pigs Blood Oranges
Now that you know all the great reasons to feed your guinea pigs blood oranges, let’s talk about how to do it.
- Make sure the blood orange is fresh and ripe.
- Wash the orange well to remove any pesticides or chemicals.
- Cut the orange into small slices so your guinea pigs can easily eat it (peel is fine, too).
- You can either give the slices to your guinea pigs directly or put them in their food dish.
And that’s all there is to it! Your guinea pigs will love getting a blood orange as a special treat.
What Other Kinds Of Citrus Fruits Can Guinea Pigs Eat ?
Most guinea pigs enjoy other fruits besides blood oranges.
And even though your little friends can be picky about what they eat, it’s important to give them a variety of foods. That way, they’re more likely to have all the nutrients they need.
Here’s some info on some other citrus fruits that you might have been thinking about serving to your fur babies:
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Satsumas?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat satsumas. They’re a type of mandarin orange and are high in Vitamin C. Satsuma peels are also good for guinea pigs to eat. As with all other fruits, portion size is important so your guinea pig doesn’t get sick.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Lemons?
Try to steer clear of giving guinea pigs lemons. They’re not poisonous, but they’re VERY acidic – much more so than a lot of other fruits. They’re too acidic for guinea pigs and can cause mouth sores and stomach problems. Even though it has a ton of Vitamin C in it, it’s probably not worth the risk.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Tangerines (or Mandarin Oranges)?
It’s safe for guinea pigs to eat tangerines. Just wash them well before feeding them to your little friend. Tangerine peels are also a good source of nutrition for your pet. Just keep the portion sizes reasonable and your little buddy will be just fine.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Grapefruit?
Another citrus fruit that’s safe for guinea pigs to enjoy is grapefruit. It provides your piggies with all of the Vitamins C (as oranges), B-complex vitamins, Vitamin A, and other key nutrients they need to be happy and healthy.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Clementines?
Clementines are a safe bet. Clementines are completely healthy for guinea pigs to enjoy. Clementines are a kind of mandarin orange, making them a suitable choice for guinea pigs. Because they’re less acidic than other oranges, they’re better tolerated by their stomachs and mouths (I’m looking at you , lemon).
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Oranges?
Guinea pigs can eat oranges. This means they’ll get a lot of fiber, Vitamin C, antioxidants and other nutrients from the fruit. Be careful with the seeds, though – make sure you toss them into the trash before giving them to your pet.
Things To Remember
So, can guinea pigs eat blood oranges? Of course, they can.
Blood oranges are a great source of Vitamin C, which is important for guinea pigs. The anthocyanins in blood oranges can also help with brain function and memory, making them a great choice for older guinea pigs.
Plus, the antioxidants help keep guinea pigs healthy and free from diseases.
You can give your guinea pigs different types of fruit, such as grapefruits, lemons, tangerines, blood oranges and clementines.
But be careful not to give them too much citrus fruit because it might not be good for their health.
You should also make sure they are getting the right amount of nutrients from other important foods like hay, green, leafy veggies, and high-quality guinea pigs food pellets.
So, be sure to give your guinea pigs a blood orange as a special treat every once in a while.