Will Orange Peels Kill Your Guinea Pigs? (You Need To Know)

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Most people love oranges because they’re a juicy and nutritious fruit. But what about orange peels? Are they safe for guinea pigs to eat? Well, as it turns out…

Yes, guinea pigs can eat orange peels. Orange peels are non-toxic and rich in nutrients like fiber and Vitamin C. But, make sure that you wash the peel thoroughly to remove any pesticide residue before feeding it to your guinea pig. And avoid overfeeding them, as too much orange peel can cause stomach problems.

a guinea pig wondering if he can eat orange peels

But before you toss that piece of orange peel to your favorite pet, hold on. There’s lots to learn about feeding guinea pigs orange peels safely. (And of course, you want to make sure they’re getting the best nutrition possible, too.)

Let’s dive in, shall we?

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Orange Peels?

a tip about how guinea pigs can eat orange peels in moderation
If you can afford it, organic is the way to go. It’s much healthier for your piggies.

As a general rule, guinea pigs can eat orange peels safely. Actually, the peels of oranges have more Vitamin C and fiber than the orange pulp (pulp is the edible, inner part of the fruit). So, if your guinea pig is munching on an orange peel, they’re getting a good dose of nutrients.

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Orange peels aren’t as sweet and juicy as the pulps, the little bits of the orange flesh. As humans, we don’t actually pay attention to the orange peels. But the outer part of the fruit is also edible – for guinea pigs AND us, if you can believe it.

Potential Risks Of Feeding Orange Peels

4 risks of guinea pigs eating orange peels
There’s an element of risk to every food that you feed your furry friends. Just make sure that you’re feeding piggie-friendly amounts and not feeding anything too frequently.

Like any other food, there’s risks to feeding orange peels to guinea pigs. That’s why you have to pay more attention to how you go about choosing, preparing, and offering the treat to guinea pigs.

Some of the risks include:

  • Digestive issues
  • Pesticides
  • Bladder and Kidney stones
  • Mouth Sores

Let’s look at each of these in turn:

1. Digestive Issues

You love your guinea pig, and you want to give them the best of everything. So when you’re peeling an orange, you think, “why not just give them the whole peel?”

After all, it’s natural, right? And the fiber is good for them, too? Right?

Uhhhh, well…while a small amount of orange peel is fine for your guinea pig, too much can actually make them sick. The problem is that orange peels are high in fiber, and guinea pigs can’t digest HUGE AMOUNTS of fiber very well. (Think of it as too much of a good thing, okay?)

So, overfeeding them orange peels can cause stomach problems like diarrhea and bloating. So the next time you’re peeling an orange, resist the temptation to share the entire peel with your furry friend. Piggie appropriate amounts only, please.

2. Pesticides

Did you know that the pesticides on the peel can actually make your piggies sick? Guinea pigs are very sensitive to chemicals, and even a small amount of pesticide can cause them to experience serious health problems.

Symptoms of exposure include difficulty breathing, tremors, stomach upset, and paralysis. In severe cases, pesticides can even be fatal.

It’s important to avoid giving them oranges peels with pesticide or chemical residue. Instead, opt for organic oranges (if they fit in your budget) or wash the fruit thoroughly before feeding it to your little friends. Take these precautions to keep your little friends healthy AND safe.

3. Bladder And Kidney Stones

Orange peels have calcium in them. This mineral is important for your pig’s dental and bone health. Too much calcium can also cause bladder and kidney stones (and even make it worse) in guinea pigs.

What does calcium have to do with it? Well, guinea pigs can only absorb (into their body) or get rid of (through their pee) a certain amount of calcium.

All the extra calcium ends up being stored in their bladder (or kidneys), which hardens and can eventually lead to stones. Painful, painful stones.

To top it off, stones can actually block the urethra, which is the tube that carries pee from their bladder out of their bodies. If this happens, your guinea pig could die.

Usually, getting rid of the stones requires dangerous surgery. So, it’s important not to overdo it with treats like orange peels (or any other calcium-rich food).

4. Mouth Sores

Overfeeding orange peels to guinea pigs can give them mouth sores. The high acidic content in the citrus fruit can cause an imbalance in the pH levels of their mouths, leading to soreness and irritation. So, much so that your little friends might not be able to eat.

And that’s not good. Because piggies need to eat constantly to keep their digestive systems moving and mouth sores can quickly lead to weight loss, malnutrition – and even death if left untreated.

So be careful not to overdo it with the orange peels. A little bit goes a long way.

Make sure you also monitor your little friends for signs of discomfort when feeding them orange peels (or any type of new food for that matter). If you notice your pet scratching at its mouth or refusing to eat, stop feeding it orange peels and consult your veterinarian.

Advantages Of Feeding Orange Peels To Your Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs are often described as “pickier eaters” than other types of pets. But, there’s actually a number of foods that guinea pigs enjoy, including orange peels.

On top of being a tasty treat, orange peels offer lots of benefits for guinea pigs. For example:

1. They Help Prevent Scurvy

One of the most important things to remember is that they need a steady supply of Vitamin C to avoid getting scurvy.

Symptoms of scurvy include a serious lack of energy, hair loss, and bleeding gums. If left untreated, scurvy can be fatal.

Fortunately, oranges are an excellent source of Vitamin C, and adding a few pieces of it to your piggie’s diet can help keep your little friend healthy and scurvy-free.

2. Help Boost Their Immune System

As any guinea pig owner knows, keeping their furry friend healthy is a top priority. One way to do this is to make sure they’re getting plenty of natural immune system-boosting foods in their diet – like orange peels.

Orange peels contain polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants (gotta love ’em) that help to protect cells from damage and help keep your fur babies disease-free.

Oranges are a good source of Vitamin C, which is essential for a strong immune system. They also contain polyphenols, which are antioxidants that help to protect cells from damage and protect against sicknesses.

Just a few pieces of dried orange peel added to their hay or pellets every now and then will help boost their immune system and keep them healthy and happy.

Plus, it’s a natural way to take care of your fur babies – no need for processed foods or supplements. So go ahead and let them enjoy the occasional orange peel – it’s good for them.

3. Keep Your Piggies Digestive System Healthy

For guinea pigs, one of the most important things is maintaining a healthy digestive system. If they don’t have that they can….well, die.

To keep their gut biome healthy and prevent potentially fatal gastrointestinal stasis (also called GI Stasis).

That’s when your fur babies’ digestive system stops moving completely. And that’s also when your guinea pig can end up with a blockage that requires surgery to fix or that might kill them.

A healthy digestive system is one of the keys to keeping your guinea pig happy and healthy. And one way to do that is to make sure they’re getting plenty of fiber in their diet – like orange peels.

Just a few pieces of dried peel per day can help keep your guinea pig’s digestive system moving along smoothly.

Added bonus?

The Vitamin C in oranges can help boost your pet’s immune system. (Just consider it a little backup for all those polyphenols that I talked about earlier.)

So the next time you enjoy a juicy orange, don’t throw away the peel – your guinea pig will thank you for it.

4. Improves Eye Health

Piggies depend on their hearing, whiskers, and sense of smell much more than on their sense of sight. But, they still need healthy eyes.

Thankfully, orange peels are high in Vitamin A, an antioxidant in treating and preventing common eye issues in guinea pigs.

The Vitamin C in orange peels can help to prevent cataracts and other eye problems. Orange peels also contain beta-carotene, which is essential for good vision.

So, if you’re looking for a way to improve your guinea pig’s health, consider adding some orange peels to their diet.

5. Protects Against Cancers

While most guinea pigs won’t develop cancers or tumors until they are at least four years old, these conditions can be lethal when they come. The limonene, flavonoids, and phytochemicals in orange skin inhibit cancer-linked proteins, so you can count on peels to keep the chances of cancer in your pet low.

Nutrition in Orange Peels

Besides the health benefits mentioned above, we have other numerous perks your pet will benefit from incorporating orange peels into their diet. Let’s get a better glimpse of that by looking at the nutritional composition of orange peels.

According to the USDA, every 100 grams of raw orange peels contain the following;

  • Water – 72.5g: Perfect if you want a well-hydrated guinea pig.
  • Energy – 97Kcal: It keeps guinea pigs active. Calories equal energy. Just make sure you don’t overdo it.
  • Protein – 1.5g: Collagen is the protein that is important for cartilage, skin, and bone health in your piggies
  • Fat – 0.2g: Low fat is always, always good when it comes to your little friends.
  • Carbohydrate – 25g:  This nutrient fuels the brain, heart, lungs, and other organs in your piggies’ bodies.
  • Fiber – 10.6g: A little of this goes a heck of a long way to keep your fur babies ‘ digestive system running smoothly.
  • Calcium – 161mg: Can help their bones and teeth grow healthy and strong (they need those teeth, right?), but it’s important to do so in moderation to avoid other health complications. Too much calcium can cause urinary stones in guinea pigs, so be careful!
  • Vitamin C – 136mg: Want scurvy-free, disease-free piggies? You need to make sure that there’s plenty of this Vitamin in their diets.
  • Thiamin/Vitamin B1 – 0.12mg: This nutrient helps to turn carbohydrates into energy. (Zoomies, anyone?)
  • Niacin/Vitamin B3 – 0.9mg: This type of vitamin B is important for keeping a healthy nervous system in guinea pigs. It also helps keep the skin and heart healthy.
  • Riboflavin/Vitamin B2 – 0.09mg: The vitamin helps in red blood cell production, and it also helps turn proteins into energy.
  • Vitamin B6 – 0.176mg: Nervous systems are as important to piggies as anything else, and this vitamin helps with that.
  • Iron – 0.8g: Iron is a mineral that helps your guinea pig have healthy blood levels and regulate their body temperature.
  • Potassium – 212mg: The mineral promotes heart health and combats heart issues in guinea pigs. It also eliminates sodium from your pig’s body to keep the blood pressure at healthy levels.
  • Phosphorus – 21mg: It works with calcium to promote healthy teeth and bones in your guinea pig. (yep, teeth again!)
  • Magnesium – 22mg: The nutrient promotes heart health, combats depression (but I hope your little friends are happy), and keeps the blood sugar level in check.
  • Zinc – 0.25mg: The mineral plays a fundamental role in promoting immune health. Zinc also helps your pig’s wound heal faster (but hopefully there’s not too many of those!)

Yep, orange peels are nutritional powerhouses that can do wonders for your guinea pig’s health.

But, as with anything else, moderation is key. Too much of a good thing can still lead to health problems, so make sure you only feed your guinea pig orange peels in moderation.

How Much Orange Peel Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

Guinea pigs can eat a small piece of orange peel per serving. This will be good for their health, but make sure to only give them a small piece and wash it well before giving it to them.

And remember: Even if you’re feeding your furry friend organic orange peels, you still need to be careful.

Pesticides aren’t the only threat in orange peels. Sometimes the skin may carry dangerous bacteria, so always wash the peel thoroughly before offering it to your pet.

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How Often Can Guinea Pigs Eat Orange Peels?

Guinea pigs should only eat orange peels as a special treat, no more than once or twice a week. It’s important not to give them too much, and to space out the treats so they don’t get sick from eating too many – or too much – of them.

Although orange peels are healthy for you, that doesn’t mean they are good for your pet. The level of calcium, sugar and other nutrients in orange peels can cause problems if your pet eats them too often.

Your pet may even develop boredom from having the same treat over and over again. (Let’s make sure they don’t get bored, right?)

To avoid all these problems, keep orange peels among the list of occasional treats. It is healthier for your pet and will keep them happy. And when your best friend is happy, so are you!

Can Guinea Pigs Drink Orange Peel Tea?

Unfortunately, guinea pigs can’t drink orange peel tea. Generally, it’s not a good idea to offer guinea pigs liquid treats, whether coming in tea or juice form.

In liquid form, orange peels become denser in harmful compounds like calcium, making the tea a potentially dangerous drink for guinea pigs.

Stick with fresh water instead. That’s really the only liquid your guinea pig needs – unless your vet says something different.

Do Guinea Pigs Like Orange Peels?

a helpful fact about whether or not a guinea pig can eat orange peels

Many guinea pigs like to nibble on orange peels. Guinea pigs tend to like anything that they can chew on, and the peels satisfy their natural urge to gnaw. But, each guinea pig has their own preference, so it’s always worth trying out different foods to see what they like best.

Lots of guinea pigs tend to love the taste of orange peels. But to some, orange peels don’t feature on the list of their favorite treats.

If you’re not sure whether your guinea pig will like orange peels or not, offer them a small piece and see how they react.

Can Baby Guinea Pigs Eat Orange Peels?

Yes, baby guinea pigs can eat orange peels safely. Orange peels contain a lot of Vitamin C, calcium, and potassium which are all good for your guinea pig.

Orange peels contain a lots of nutrients necessary for your baby piggies. As such, offer it occasionally to your young pet.

Typically, baby guinea pigs are weaned around 4 weeks old and they’ll be more likely to nibble on orange peels and other treats around this time.

If you have any concerns about your baby guinea pig’s health, always consult your vet.

Can Pregnant Guinea Pigs Eat Orange Peels?

Yes, pregnant guinea pigs can eat orange peels. Typically, they need a lot of calcium and vitamin C in their diet. Orange peels are a great source of both of these nutrients.

Remember that a pregnant guinea pig’s diet should consist mostly of hay, fresh vegetables, and a small amount of pellets. Orange peels can be given to them occasionally as a treat, but they shouldn’t make up the majority of their diet.

How to Feed Orange Peels to Guinea Pigs

You may be able to give your pet orange peels as a treat. You should start with a small piece and then give them more if their body can handle it – and if they like it.

Whenever introducing any food – or treat – to your pet, always play it safe. If you switch your guinea pig’s diet abruptly, it can cause stomach problems. (We’re talking stomach pain, bloat, diarrhea…the works).

So always start with giving your piggies the smallest possible amount of the new food to try to avoid any issues. And give it to them SLOWLY.

Then, monitor your little friends to see how they react to the new food (about 24 hours or so). If all seems to be well, increase the amount slightly and keep a close eye on the reaction.

How To Prepare Orange Peels For Guinea Pigs

To prepare orange peels for guinea pigs, start by choosing fresh, organic oranges from the grocery store. Wash the fruit thoroughly to remove any harmful substances before cutting it into smaller pieces.

To prepare orange peels for your pet piggy, wash them and slice them into tiny pieces that your furry friends can easily eat.

How To Feed Oranges To Guinea Pigs

When feeding oranges to guinea pigs, moderation is key. Only offer your guinea pig a small wedge of oranges once per week. And as usual, wash the orange thoroughly before you present it to your pet for a treat.

Feeding oranges to guinea pigs is very similar to feeding them the peels – and any other treat in that case. You have to start with very small amounts and then increase the quantity bit by bit until you get to the recommended amount. 

Can Oranges Be Bad for Guinea Pigs?

a sarcastic guinea pig comment about eating orange peels
Seriously, though. Keep your piggies away from pesticides and chemicals if you want them to live happy, long lives.

Yes, oranges can be bad for guinea pigs. They can cause diabetes, bladder and kidney stones, indigestion, and obesity when given in large servings.

But you can avoid these problems by following some basic feeding rules. Give your guinea pigs oranges in moderation to make sure they stay healthy.

Like the orange peels, the inside part of an orange is safe for guinea pigs to eat. This juicy part contains almost every nutrient you’ll find in the peel, so it’s just as healthy for pigs as the peel is.

However, one thing worth pointing out is that orange flesh has more sugar than peel. As such, it’s more likely than the skin to cause diabetes, obesity, and other conditions associated with high sugar intake. For that reason, always offer oranges in small quantities and not as a daily treat.

Oranges are a good food for guinea pigs. They are high in calcium, which can cause urinary stones in cavies. But as long as you feed them within the safe limits, you don’t have to worry about the negative side effects.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Orange Seeds?

No, guinea pigs shouldn’t eat orange seeds. Orange seeds are a potential choking hazard for guinea pigs, so always get rid of them before offering the fruit to your fur babies.

It’s never a good idea to offer any fruit seeds to guinea pigs – at least not the hard ones. It even gets worse for orange seeds. Orange seeds can be larger and too slippery to be safe for your small rodent friend.

Offer oranges to cavies but remove all the seeds first. Make sure you take out even the small seeds. Choking can happen from things you least expect, so it’s important to be careful.

What Peels Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

Guinea pigs can safely eat orange peels, apple peels, banana peels, guava peels, and other fruit skins. However, never feed mango skin to your guinea pig. It doesn’t offer much nutrition-wise and can even be risky for your little, fuzz spuds.

Most fruit peels are safe for guinea pigs to eat. But you should always be careful with how you prepare and offer them. Peels that are well-prepared and served occasionally make a healthy treat for guinea pigs.

1. Orange Peels

As pointed out, orange peels are undoubtedly a good treat option for guinea pigs. These fruit skins are healthy for all cavies, including guinea pups and pregnant sows, thanks to the Vitamin C and other nutrients they contain.

But again, as you offer orange peels to your pocket pet, it’s worth keeping in mind that the treat is high in calcium and fiber. Offer it to your little friends 1 to 2 times a week at most. And make sure you follow all feeding guidelines for it.

2. Apple Peels

Apple peels are safe for guinea pigs to eat. They contain up to 50% more nutrients than the inside flesh of the apple. However, they are also high in fiber, so only give your guinea pig a little bit at a time.

Apple skin is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and other essential compounds.

Overall, the nutrients and minerals in apple peels can help to lower your piggie’s risk of cancer – and other health issues. As always though, be sure to rinse the skin of the apple thoroughly for any pesticides that may be present.

3. Banana Peel

Banana peel is rich in vital compounds such as fiber and potassium, and it’s generally healthy for guinea pigs. Hence, the next time you are serving banana to your guinea pig, offer it together with the peel.

Humans usually don’t eat banana peels. But they’re perfectly safe for guinea pigs to nibble on.

4. Guava Peels

Guinea pigs love to eat guava peels. They are also a good source of vitamin C, which is twice as much as what you would find in orange peels. When you give guavas to your guinea pig, don’t forget to give them the peel too.

Guavas are healthy for guinea pigs when offered occasionally – and so are the peels. Peels contain much more than what the inside part of guava offers (like the nutrients) and it’s low in calories (which is always a win).

That’s good news for pets like guinea pigs – especially ones with diabetes or other similar health issues.

5. Grapefruit Peels

Grapefruit peels make a healthy treat for guinea pigs, but it’s important to feed them in moderation. If your guinea pig eats too much grapefruit peel, it could develop mouth sores or other health problems. (That citric acid is no joke!)

The vitamin C in grapefruit helps to keep their immune system strong, and the fiber helps to regulate their digestive system. Grapefruit peel also contains antioxidants, which can help to protect against different diseases. You can offer your guinea pig a small piece of peel once or twice a week as a treat.

With a little care and moderation, grapefruit peel can be a great way to give your guinea pig the

Things To Remember About Orange Peels and Guinea Pigs

To this point, I believe you already know much about feeding orange peels to guinea pigs. Here’s a quick recap of what we’ve discussed;

  • Orange peels are generally safe for guinea pigs to eat.
  • Orange skin has more vitamin C and fiber than pulps.
  • Don’t feed orange peels more than twice a week.
  • Orange peels can prevent scurvy, strengthen immunity, deter cancers, improve eye health, and boost digestive health.
  • Bloat, pesticides, urinary stones, diabetes, and digestive issues are some of the potential health risks of feeding malpractice.
  • Only work with organic variety when feeding guinea pigs orange peels.
  • Most other fruit peels are safe for guinea pigs while seeds aren’t.

Planning Your Piggie's

Meals Just Got A LOT Easier!

Our Wheekly Meal planner is designed to make it simple and fun for you

to create balanced and healthy

meals for your furry friends -

and they'll love you for it!

FREE

National Library of Medicine. A Report Of Fourteen Spontaneous Tumors Of The Guinea Pig. 1975 Feb;25(1):92-102. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1091778/

PDSA(n.d.). Guinea Pig Health. Learn How To Give Your Guinea Pig A Daily Health Check And Help Them Stay In The Best Of Health.  https://www.pdsa.org.uk/pet-help-and-advice/looking-after-your-pet/small-pets/guinea-pig-health

PetMD (2011, July 21). Cancers and Tumors in Guinea Pigs. https://www.petmd.com/exotic/conditions/skin/c_ex_gp_cancers_tumors

RPSA (2019, October 9). What Do I Need To Know About My Guinea Pigs’ Health? https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/what-do-i-need-to-know-about-my-guinea-pigs-health/

The Humane Society of The United States. (n.d.). Guinea Pig Feeding: How Much To Feed. https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/guinea-pig-feeding

U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2019, April 1). Guavas, Common, Raw. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173044/nutrients

U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2019, April 1). Orange Peel, Raw. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169103/nutrients

U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2019, December 16). Oranges, Raw, Navels. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/746771/nutrients

U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2021, August 30). Apples And Oranges Remain The Top U.S. Fruit Choices. https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/chart-gallery/gallery/chart-detail/?chartId=101944

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