Can Grapes Kill Your Guinea Pig? (What You Need To Know)

Have you just recently adopted a guinea pig? Well, if you are anything like me, then the next thing on your mind is what to feed it. I specifically wondered if eating grapes was safe for my guinea pigs.

Generally, guinea pigs can eat corn safely. Because it’s so sugary, grapes should only be eaten once or twice as week – as an occasional treat. Just don’t over do it or your guinea pig will have digestive issues and other health problems.

Keep reading to learn all the tips on how to feed this tasty treat to your piggies safely and which “grape foods” are all right for them to enjoy.

You’ll also learn the health risks that guinea pigs face from eating too much of these treats.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Grapes Safely?

can guinea pigs eat grapes

There are certain foods that are toxic to guinea pigs, but grapes aren’t one of them. Guinea pigs can safely eat grapes – with your help, of course.

There’s about 16.2 g of sugar in 100g of grapes.

(I’ve done the math, and that’s A LOT of sugar).

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And guinea pigs don’t handle sugar well. Their digestive systems especially have a hard time processing large amounts.

So the key to letting your cavies enjoy these tasty, little fruits is moderation and portion control.

If you do that, then there’s no reason why guinea pigs can’t eat grapes.

A quick video

Why You Should Feed Your Guinea Pig Grapes

There’s many health benefits to guinea pigs eating grapes. And a few of them are explained below:

1. Rich Source Of Antioxidants

They’re overflowing with antioxidants. Antioxidants have an important job. They help protect against the harmful free radicals in guinea pigs’ bodies.

Free radicals are unstable atoms that cause heart disease, certain cancers, premature aging, and other health problems.

They’re also a good source of vitamin C, resveratrol, beta-carotene, quercetin, lutein, lycopene and ellagic acid. These are all powerful antioxidants (think of them as a well-meaning gang that busts up cells that might make your piggie sick).

They keep your piggies healthy by:

  • protecting again scurvy
  • preventing bladder cancer, which guinea pigs are very prone to
  • keeping guinea pigs from going blind
  • boosting the immune system and protecting them against cataracts
  • lowering cancer risk

Grapes do this for guinea pigs better than many other fruits because they have such high levels of antioxidants.

These compounds are mainly found in the skin and seeds. (But, don’t even think about feeding your piggies the seeds. They’re a choking hazard nightmare waiting to happen).

Antioxidants can often be found in colorful red and blue fruits like guava, strawberries and blueberries.

2. Strong Bones

This fruit is stuffed with minerals that guinea pigs need – calcium and magnesium.

  • Calcium is a mineral that guinea pigs need in their diets. It helps make strong bones and teeth, so guinea pigs who don’t eat calcium-rich foods like grapes can have weaker bones or may even develop bone problems. Note: Too much calcium can cause bladder and kidney stones in piggies.
  • Magnesium is also an essential mineral guinea pigs need, but it’s not as well known as calcium. Magnesium helps make guinea pig bones stronger and supports their joints, too. It’s also good for guinea pigs’ digestive health.

Want cavies with good bone health? A grape or two every now and then should do the trick.

3. Good For Heart Health

If you want your guinea pigs to have a healthy heart, then grapes are the way to go.  

They contain many nutrients that help keep their hearts strong and healthy. For example:

  • Lowers blood pressure: This is because of their potassium content. Potassium also contain potassium which helps keep their blood pressure levels working the way they should.                              
  • Decreases cholesterol levels: They’re supposed to make it harder for your cavies’ bodies to absorb cholesterol.

As long as we don’t overdo it with these little guys (and please don’t overdo it) , there’s no reason why they can’t enjoy this tasty snack.

Thinking about adding a piggie to your family or want to brush up on the essentials? Gotcha covered. What you need is a reliable, “all-in-one” resource to refer to when you’re struggling. A Beginner’s Ultimate Guide To Guinea Pig Care is a starting point with all the basics and more to get you on your way!

can guinea pigs eat grapes

Can Grapes Kill Your Guinea Pig? (The Risks)

Based on my research and experience, there’s are only a few foods that guinea pigs can eat daily like hay, grass (untreated), and bell pepper.

Everything else has to be monitored by you or there’s a chance that your fur babies can get sick.

Just like anything else, there’s some risk involved in serving them.

Fortunately, most of these risks can be avoided as long as you feed them in moderation and your little friends are already healthy.

1. Too Much Sugar Leads To Problems

Now, grapes have a low glycemic index. This means that it’s not bad for guinea pigs in small amounts. However, these fruits also have a high amount of sugar which is what you should really watch out for.

If you feed guinea pigs with grapes on a regular basis, they might develop diabetes (rare, but possible – especially if you give your little friends large amounts of sugary foods all-the-time).

Or overfeeding can explode your cavies’ weight and make them obese (dangerously overweight).

  • Overweight piggies tend to suffer more often because their bodies cannot handle excess weight properly. This may result in joint pain, arthritis, kidney problems, skin issues, respiratory diseases, and other illnesses.
  • Diabetes can be life-threatening. If your guinea pig is obese, then it’s already at a higher risk for this medical condition. High blood sugar is bad. But low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is worse – and can be fatal.

2. Digestive Issues

Grapes are about 80% water. If you feed your fur babies too many of them, then there’s a chance that you’ll cause them to have diarrhea.

This isn’t an issue if guinea pigs eat them as a treat every now and then (in moderation – like once or twice in a week). But regular, daily feeding can lead to big, watery guinea pig poos.

It could even lead to dehydration is not treated right away – potentially fatal. So make sure you keep an eye on your little friends when you feed them.

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3. Poison By Pesticides

Your piggies won’t drop dead if you feed them grapes that aren’t organic every now and then. (I’m not gonna lie to you and freak you out like that).

But, it’s generally recommended to choose organic ones when you can.

Farmers often spray them (and other fruits like raspberries, cantaloupes, corn, and blueberries) with pesticides. This can be poisonous to guinea pigs (heck, even to us as humans) – overtime.

If you buy grapes from a farmer’s market or from an organic farm or store, then chances are that you’re buying the freshest, least -pesticidy (is that even a word?) guinea pig-safe fruit.

This way, guinea pigs won’t get sick or have any issues with digestion.

If you buy them from your local supermarket, then chances are high that they were sprayed with pesticides before being sold to you.

So make sure to wash the grapes well before giving them to your little friends.

Organic ones don’t have any harmful pesticides on their skin (or inside it, either).

Do Guinea Pigs Like Grapes?

Of course, many guinea pigs like grapes. Some pet parents say that their piggies are literally obsessed with them.

But, some of our little friends are a little picky. So, not every piggie will take dive into a bowl of them and start munching away.

And, for the guinea pigs that don’t eat them, there’s plenty of other guinea pig safe fruit and vegetables (like spinach, corn, beets, and endive) that you can give them to try.

Bottom line?

You won’t know if your cavies like grapes unless you offer it to them. They’ll let you know if they like it – one way or another.

It would be great if your piggies did like grapes, because they’re relatively cheap, portable treats.

How Many Grapes Can I Give My Guinea Pig Every Day? (Feeding Guidelines & Cautions)

Let’s make sure that your piggie’s experience with eating them is a positive and safe one:

  • Only feed a guinea pig more than two grapes per week. They should be eaten as a rare treat and not every day. They can be bad for your fur babies if you overfeed them.

Do this and your little friends will be just fine.

If it’s your first time giving your piggies grapes to try, make sure that you only feed a small amount (like half a grape). It’s better to introduce new foods to your cavies slowly, so that their tummies can get used to it. That way they won’t have diarrhea or other digestive problems. Slow and steady is the way to go.

How To Store Grapes And Serve Them To Your Piggies

It’s so annoying when you pick out a package of grapes and then a day or so later they look like a mushy, blob of grape goo.

That’s because grapes have a tendency to decay and rot quickly – unless they’re stored in the fridge or eaten quickly.

You should only give guinea pigs fresh fruit, so here are some tips on how to keep your grapes fresher (longer):

  • Wash the fruit (organic, if you can) in a water and vinegar mixture.
  • Lay them out to dry on paper towels. Or you can gently pat them dry.
  • Place them in an airtight container.
  • Put them in the back of the fridge (which will help keep them cold and fresh) and they should last for a couple of weeks.

Now, to deal with the small choking risk of grapes, do the following before you give them to your fur babies:

  • Cut them in half, length-wise
  • The skin doesn’t need to be peeled off (that’s where most of the nutrients are)
  • Remove the seeds or (better yet) buy seedless to save yourself that particular headache

It’s so annoying when you pick out a package of grapes and then a day or so later they look like a mushy, blob of grape goo.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Grape Skin?

The most nutritious part of a grape is it’s skin, so guinea pigs should definitely eat grape skin. It’s loaded with vitamins and other nutrients.

Can They Eat Grape Seeds?

Guinea pigs shouldn’t eat grapes with seeds.

They’re hard, little, and choking hazards.

It’s important to note that if you give your cavies fruit or veggies with hard seeds in them, the seeds may get stuck and cause them to choke.

Grape seed is in this category.  Avoid them if you can.

(And I’ve never had to do it, but I’ve been told that doing a revamped Heimlich maneuver on a guinea pig is more than a little traumatizing. Do yourself and your piggie a favor – remove the seeds.)

Can Guinea Pigs Drink Grape Juice?

Absolutely not.

Never let your guinea pigs grape juice. There’s way too much sugar in store-bought grape juice.

You might be thinking “But, aren’t my piggies drinking juice when they actually eat the grapes?”

You’re correct, my friend.

But, store-bought grape juice is infinitely sweeter than the juice of one (or two) fresh grapes. Plus, here’s added sugar in store-bought grape juice.

The only liquid that should be going into your piggie’s water bottle or water bowl is…(you guessed it!) water.

Just say no to grape juice if you care about your guinea pigs at all. Fresh water is always best.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Raisins and Prunes?

Raisins and prunes are teeming with extra sugar and preservatives.

Yes, they both have Vitamin C in them.  But, the horrific amount of sugar in raisins and prunes overshadows it.

Both bad for guinea pigs, so avoid giving your furry friend any raisins or prunes.

What Color Grapes Are The Healthiest?

Grapes come in many different colors and there’s many types of grapes. There are red and green grapes.   Some are pink, black, or yellow.

Grapes in all colors contain resveratrol (a powerful antioxidant), but red and black (Concord) grapes and their skins have much more than other colors.

Your piggies will get a lot more nutrients from those than the other colors.

So, if you’re going to feed your furry friends a grape or two, go with red or purple grapes for the most nutritional bang for your guinea pig buck.

Which Foods Should Guinea Pigs Avoid?

Guinea pigs should avoid certain foods because they pose a choking hazard or are low-quality, toxic, or unhealthy, which means guinea pigs shouldn’t eat:

  • Caffeine products (like coffee, soda pop, tea)
  • Beans (kidney or pinto)
  • Peanuts and peanut butter (they’re actually legumes not nuts!)
  • Raw sugar cane/sweet grasses
  • Meat of any kind
  • grass that’s been cut with a lawnmower or treated with pesticides
  • Avocado pits and avocado
  • The pits of any type of fruit (like peaches)
  • Milk, ice cream, yogurt and other dairy products

This isn’t a complete list, but it covers most foods that guinea pigs shouldn’t eat.

Final Thoughts: Are Grapes Good For Guinea Pigs?

Now you know that grapes are safe for your fur babies to eat as a tasty treat.  And the health benefits of grapes are awesome – from the Vitamin C to the magnesium, it’s a healthy treat for your piggies.

So you don’t have to be nervous about giving grapes to guinea pigs – and neither should other guinea pig pet owners.

  • The high sugar content of grapes is insane.  So, make sure that you always give a small portion size of grapes so that they don’t end up eating too much sugar.  
  • Only feed grapes once or twice a week (if not less) to keep your piggies healthy.
  • Green grapes are all right, but red and black grapes are better.  Those types of grapes have more antioxidants and nutrients.  Go with the seedless variety if you can.
  • If at any time while feeding grapes to your guinea pig you notice it showing signs of stress, such as diarrhea or vomiting, stop giving it grapes immediately and see a veterinarian.

At the end of the day, grapes are the type of food that you can easily give your piggies – as long as you don’t go overboard with them.

So, what do you think? Are you going to feed your piggies a grape and see how they like it?

7 secret guinea pig hacks

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The best way to wash and store fruit to make it last longer. (2021, March 9). Homegrown Traditions. https://homeandkind.com/the-best-proven-way-to-wash-and-store-fruit-to-make-it-last-longer/

D’Amico, S. (2017, May 9). Here’s how much sugar is in your favorite fruits. Spoon University. https://spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle/favorite-fruits-ranked-by-their-sugar-content

Dealing with an overweight rabbit or Guinea pig. (2019, February 22). Hartz. https://www.hartz.com/dealing-with-an-overweight-rabbit-or-guinea-pig/

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DVM, S. L. (2015). The Guinea pig handbook. Barron’s Educational Series.

Grapes, Raw: FoodData central. (n.d.). FoodData Central. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174682/nutrients

Groves, M. (n.d.). Top 12 health benefits of eating grapes. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-grapes

Guinea Pig Size-O-Meter. (n.d.). UNC Research. https://research.unc.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/61/2012/11/Body-Condition-Scoring-Guinea-Pig.pdf

Guinea pigs with diabetes – General information – Patricia’s Guinea pigs. (n.d.). Guinea Lynx :: A Medical and Care Guide for Your Guinea Pig. https://www.guinealynx.info/patriciasimon_diabetes.html

Health benefits of Black grapes. (2020, September 1). WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-black-grapes#1

Nutrient requirements of the Guinea pig – Nutrient requirements of laboratory animals – NCBI bookshelf. (n.d.). National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK231932/

Varietal differences among the polyphenol profiles of seven table grape cultivars studied by LC-DAD-MS-MS. (n.d.). PubMed.

WareN, M., & L.D. (n.d.). Grapes: Health benefits, tips, and risks. Medical and health information. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271156

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