Lots of people enjoy oranges as a tasty snack. But, what about your guinea pigs? Can guinea pigs eat oranges?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat oranges in moderation. Guinea pigs can even eat orange peels and the flesh of oranges. Oranges have a high vitamin C content as well as other essential nutrients, which guinea pigs need to survive and stay healthy. But, overfeeding oranges; however, may cause guinea pig digestive issues like stomach pain, bloat, and diarrhea.
In this blog post, you’ll learn when guinea pigs can eat oranges, when you should avoid giving oranges to your piggies (risks), how much orange you can feed your little friends, and lots more.
So, let’s get started!
What Are Oranges? Are They Called Anything Else?
Oranges are a common tasty fruit. They’re usually, well…orange in color, with a delicious tangy flavor.
They’re part of the citrus family, which also includes grapefruits, limes, lemons, and more.
Oranges are scientifically called Citrus sinensis .
Oranges are a healthy option for cavies (when fed in small amounts).
This is because oranges contain lots of Vitamin C, which cavies need to survive and stay healthy. Oranges also contain lots of other essential nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
There’s different varieties of oranges, that each have their own unique tastes (and different amounts of nutrients). Some common orange varieties include:
- blood oranges (not actually blood-filled, just named for it’s rich, dark-red flesh),
- Valencia oranges
Oranges are very refreshing for piggies, especially during the warmer months.
Are Oranges Good For Guinea Pigs? (Health Benefits)
Oranges are a healthy addition to guinea pigs’ diets. They’re full of essential nutrients that cavies need to survive, like Vitamin C, fiber, and more.
1. Protects Against Scurvy
Not only does Vitamin C give your piggie’s immune system a huge boost, it also helps guinea pigs fight off scurvy.
Scurvy is a health condition cavies get if they don’t get enough Vitamin C, which can cause their gums to bleed and their teeth to fall out (along with many other nasty things).
Cavies need lots of Vitamin C (well, at least 10mg to 30mg a day) because they can’t produce their own vitamin C internally, just like humans. This means that your piggies depend on external sources for the high amounts of Vitamin C they need to survive.
Oranges are a great, tasty way to boost guinea pig’s Vitamin C levels in their diets.
2. Helps With Hydration
Your little friends need constant access to water. If your piggies don’t drink a lot of water from their water bottle (or bowl), then it’s likely that they’re getting the bulk of their liquid from the fruits and vegetables that you’re feeding them.
Now, there’s 86.7 grams of water in 100grams of oranges. That’s a colossal amount of water.
Giving your little friends oranges (and other piggie-friendly produce) is a great way to supplement guinea pig water intake and hydrate your fuzz spuds.
3. Boosts Immune System
The mega amount of Vitamin C in oranges really helps your furry burritos battle off any bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens.
And since upper respiratory infections are one of those nagging illnesses that piggies can be prone to catch, you need to make sure that piggies get plenty of Vitamin C in their diets.
Are Oranges Bad For Guinea Pigs?
Like any other fruit, oranges can be bad for guinea pigs, unless…you’re careful about how much orange you give your piggies and think about how it will affect their bodies.
Too much of anything is a bad thing, and this includes what you feed your little friends. Just because cavies can eat oranges doesn’t mean your fur babies should be given oranges all day long (big mistake).
If you’re not careful, there’s some bad health issues that your little friends can end up getting.
1. Mouth Sores
Since oranges have Vitamin C (or citric acid), there’s a chance guinea pigs can develop mouth sores from eating oranges – especially if you overfeed them oranges.
Overfeeding piggies oranges (or giving them oranges too often) can cause them to develop uncomfortable mouth sores that affect their eating habits.
Mouth sores and ulcers are typically due to cavies eating too many citrus fruits (like oranges and grapefruit).
2. Bladder and Kidney Stones
I don’t see this mentioned a lot on forums or on the Internet, but oranges have a decent amount of calcium in them. There’s about 43 mg of calcium in 100g of oranges.
So you might be thinking: What’s the big deal with calcium?
Well, when cavies end up eating way too many foods with a high-calcium content, then they can end up forming bladder and kidney stones.
The acidity of oranges can be bad for guinea pigs’ teeth. The acid can wear down tooth enamel and cause sensitive cavies to have tooth problems.
And any issue that messes with your little friends’ teeth will affect guinea pig’s eating patterns. And that’s never good for your little friends.
This isn’t necessarily a deal breaker as long as you remember to go easy the amount of oranges your give your fur babies. Keep it as an occasional treat and don’t main it their every day main meal.
4. Digestive System Problems
Overfeeding oranges to your guinea pigs can cause all sort of digestive problems for them:
- First off, cavies can get a nasty case of diarrhea from guinea pig orange overload. The high water content will cause your piggies to poop their guts out.
- Second, your piggies can get an upset stomach from guinea pig orange overload so don’t overfeed oranges for their main meal.
- Plus, your little friends might develop gas and stomach pain from not being able to properly digest huge amounts oranges (especially if they eat oranges daily). That might lead to bloat – a serious condition that can kill piggies if it’s not treated in time.
I’m not trying to scare you into never feeding oranges to your cavies.
In fact, I can’t stress this enough.
Don’t freak out over feeding your fuzz spuds oranges.
As long as you feed the oranges in the correct amounts, your piggies can enjoy all the benefits of this tasty fruit.
Nutritional Facts for Oranges
There’s a lot of guinea pig orange benefits out there. I’ll leave you with some guinea pig orange facts so you can find out more information about guinea pigs and oranges…
Each 100 grams of orange includes the following nutritents:
- 86.7 grams of water (remember what I said about it being good for hydration?)
- 52 calories (not as much as some fruits, but it’s still a lot of guinea pig calories)
- 11.8 grams of carbohydrates (high in sugar and carbs – take it easy on the portions you feed your guinea pigs or they can gain weight quickly)
- 2 gram of fiber (meh)
- 8.57 grams of sugar (this is a little high as guinea pigs need to stay away from too much sugar, but it’s still within guinea pig orange benefits range)
- 43 milligrams of calcium (*gasps softly*; avoid stones by only feeding oranges in moderation)
- 10.1 grams of vitamin C (great for piggie immune systems, skin, and joint health).
How To Prepare Oranges For Your Guinea Pig?
It’s pretty simple to prepare guinea pig oranges. Here’s a few easy steps to take:
- Only use ripe oranges. Anything unripe won’t taste as good to your piggies and you should never feed rotten fruit to your piggies (cuz that can make guinea pigs sick).
- Wash the oranges . You want to get rid of any pesticides that might be on the fruit. If you’re able to get your piggie organic oranges…hooray! Those are the best.
- If you’re concerned about pesticides on the orange peels, just peel the orange and toss the peel.
- Remove the orange seeds. Their little, choking hazards for your little friends.
- Cut them into small pieces that your fuzz spuds can safely eat.
Do You Need To Peel Oranges Before Your Give Them To Your Guinea Pigs?
As long as you wash the oranges really well, the guinea pigs don’t need you to peel their oranges. Guinea pigs can eat (and often enjoy) orange peels.
However, some guinea pig owners like to peel the oranges before feeding it to their fur babies because they’re worried about pesticides, dirt, and bacteria on the orange peel.
If you’re able to get organic fruit for your piggie’s, pesticide poisoning is less likely to occur.
It’s up to you if you want to use the guinea pig oranges with or without the peels.
How Do Oranges Compare To Other Citrus Fruits?
So, you might be wondering if guinea pigs can eat oranges , then how do oranges to other citrus fruits?
Well, the table below compares nutritional values of different citrus fruits.
|Tangerines (Mandarins)||1.8 g||10.6g||26.7mg||37 mg|
|Oranges||2 g||8.57g||59.1mg||43 mg|
|Lemon||2.8 g||2.5 g||53 mg||26 mg|
|Clementines||1.7 g||9.18 g||48.8mg||30mg|
|Pineapple||1.4 g||9.85 g||47.8 mg||13mg|
As you can see, oranges are relatively low in calcium and sugars compared to guinea pig citrus fruits. But, it also has the highest amount of Vitamin C compared to other citrus fruit.
This is another example of guinea pig orange benefits.
How Much Acid Are In Citrus Fruits?
Citric and ascorbic acids are one of the reasons why you need to watch how much orange you give your piggie – especially if your piggie is prone to mouth sores.
I’ve included a table below that shows how guinea pigs compare to other citrus fruits when it comes to acidity.
|Tangerines (Mandarins)||8 to 9|
|Oranges||3 – 4|
|Lemon||2 to 3|
|Grapefruit||3 to 3.75|
|Clementines||8 – 9|
|Pineapple||3 – 4|
|Limes||2 to 2.8|
As you can see, oranges are about average when guinea pig acid compared to guinea pig citrus fruits.
Lemon is pretty high in acidity. Clementine oranges (or cuties) and tangerines are relatively low in acid compared to other citrus fruits.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Oranges Everyday?
Guinea pig should never eat oranges every day. The high sugar, calcium, and acid levels in the fruit can cause guinea pigs to suffer from mouth sores or ulcers, bladder sludge and stones.
Plus, cavies can easily gain a lot of weight if they eat oranges too often (that sugar content will creep up on your piggies).
A small amount of orange (or a small slice of orange) once or twice a week (at the most) is about how often you can feed guinea pigs oranges.
The benefits of eating oranges are definitely there. It’s just not something you need to feed your guinea pig everyday. But, it’s a nice and healthy addition to their diet, so piggies should eat oranges from time to time.
How Much Orange Can I Give My Guinea Pig?
Since guinea pigs can eat oranges, you might be wondering how much oranges guinea pigs should have.
A 1/2 inch to 1 inch piece of orange is typically more than enough orange for one adult guinea pig.
Remember guinea pigs can’t have oranges everyday.
Only give your little friends oranges every once in a while (once or twice a week, max) and oranges should never guinea pig oranges as their main source of food.
Do Guinea Pigs Like Oranges?
Yes, lots of guinea pigs enjoy eating oranges. But, the only way to know if YOUR piggies like oranges is to let them try a small piece.
Don’t get discouraged if your furry burritos don’t seem to like them at first. Cavies are such picky eaters that is usually takes cavies a while to guinea pig try a new food.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Orange Peel and Skin?
Guinea pigs can eat orange peel and skin. It has all the same guinea pig orange benefits, just be wary about the chemicals and pesticides on the peel that might make your pets sick.
As long as you wash the orange peel very well, there’s nothing wrong with cavies eating oranges with peels.
But, if the guinea pig orange is not organic or if you’re not sure how it was grown (with pesticides, etc.), then you should probably cut off the peel before giving guinea pigs oranges to eat.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Orange Flesh?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat orange flesh. Actually, it’s the most common part of the orange that they eat. And it’s a tasty and healthy treat guinea pigs will love and appreciate.
It’s very important, however, that you feed the orange without seeds or pits.
Seeds are extremely unsafe for cavies to eat because they can chock your guinea pigs to death.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Orange Seeds?
Never feed guinea pigs orange seeds. They’re a serious choking hazard for guinea pigs – due to their hardness and their size. Orange seed are just the right size to get stuck in your guinea pig’s throat.
So, either feed your little friends seedless oranges (like clementine oranges) or make sure that you get rid of all seeds before serving the orange to your little friends.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Leaves from an Orange Tree?
As long as the guinea pig orange tree is not sprayed with any pesticides or chemicals, guinea pigs can eat leaves from an orange tree.
Most fruit tree leaves (like peach and apple) are actually good for cavies to eat.
However, like every other vegetable or fruit or leafy green, the orange tree leaves need to be fed in moderation.
Can Guinea Pigs Drink Orange Juice?
It isn’t good for guinea pigs to drink orange juice. It’s not going to hurt guinea pigs at first, but it’s a bad idea.
The problem with guinea pigs drinking orange juice is the sugar in the drink. It’s just too sweet for guinea pigs to guinea pig have and they can get sick from drinking the juice.
We’re talking obesity, diabetes, and other health issues.
So, unless you’re running out of water, leave the orange juice out of your guinea pig’s diet.
Instead give guinea pigs clean, fresh water every day, because it’s the safest and healthiest option for all piggies.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Frozen Oranges?
No, guinea pigs should never eat frozen oranges. This is because when vegetables are frozen, they lose a lot of their nutritional value. If guinea pigs eat too much ice with their orange, they might end up with a stomach ache.
It can be kind of like when someone drinks something really cold and it shocks the system. Think brain freeze: except in your piggie’s stomach.
This could lead to problems like bloat (which you definitely don’t want), gas, or even diarrhea.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Canned Oranges?
Guinea pigs should never eat canned oranges. Canned oranges have lot of extra ingredients and additives that aren’t good for guinea pigs.
Canned oranges are just oranges with all the nutrients processed out of them (plus a ton of extra sugar in the form of a sugary syrup) added back in.
If you want to give oranges to your pets, simply feed oranges right off the tree or buy oranges at the store without any added ingredients or preservatives.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Orange Jam Or Orange Marmalades?
Orange jams and marmalades should be off limits to guinea pigs. Guinea pigs definitely can’t eat them. These spreads are simply oranges with huge added sugar and preservatives, so they aren’t good for piggies to eat.
Can Baby Guinea Pigs Eat Oranges?
Baby guinea pigs can eat oranges. Oranges are healthy for guinea pigs of all ages. Just serve fresh, plain oranges to your piggies without any added preservatives or sugars, and you’re good to go.
At two weeks old baby guinea pigs’ mamas stop nursing them, and that’s when they become a lot more interested in solid foods.
If you want, you can give oranges to your piggies at this point for a yummy and nutritious snack.
Can Pregnant Guinea Pigs Eat Oranges?
Orange are safe for pregnant guinea pigs to eat. The extra Vitamin C is good for them during the pregnancy, and is sure to help them feel better.
As always, make sure that you feed the oranges in moderation. That way pregnant piggies can enjoy the perks of eating oranges while not getting too many extras that will hurt them.
More Information About Oranges, Other Citrus Fruits, and Guinea Pigs
You might be wondering about other citrus fruits that guinea pigs can eat. Let’s take a look as some options and see if they make the piggie-food friendly cut.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Grapefruit?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat grapefruit. It’s another nutritious option for piggies to enjoy as a healthy snack. It has plenty of Vitamin C (like oranges) and other essential nutrients to keep your piggies healthy.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Pineapple?
Pineapples are safe for guinea pigs to eat. Like most fruits the sugar content is a little on the high side, but it’s not too bad.
Pineapples are also loaded with vitamin C and plenty of other essential nutrients that cavies need to stay healthy. So it’s all good for them!
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Lemons?
Lemons aren’t good for guinea pigs to eat, so they should be off limits. It’s one of the most acidic citrus fruits. And with mouth sores and ulcers being a common guinea pig health issue, most fruits with a lower acid content are almost always a better choice.
So oranges are the way to go over lemons—just make sure you feed them oranges without any added preservatives or sugars if they’re eating oranges, not drinking orange juice!
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Tangerines?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat tangerines. Tangerines are another type of oranges. So, if you can feed oranges to them, you can also feed tangerines to them.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Limes?
Limes are safe for guinea pigs to eat. They’re not nearly as acidic as say…lemons, but they’re stilled filled with plenty of Vitamin C and antioxidants.
Guinea pigs can eat lime slices as long as they’re fresh and weren’t preserved with anything extra like sugar or salt. So, they’re a good option for piggies to snack on.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Clementines (Or Cutie Oranges)?
Guinea pigs can eat clementines. Even though that have slightly different nutritional values than regular oranges, they’re just oranges. And that’s makes them safe to eat.
An added perk is that there’s much less acid in clementines, which means that there’s less risk of your little friends getting mouth sores or ulcers.
So as long as they’re fresh and haven’t been preserved with anything extra (like sugar or salt) you can give them to your little friends without any issues.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Blood Oranges?
It’s fine for guinea pigs eat blood oranges. They have a little more sugar in them than regular oranges. That’s because of their rich, dark color.
Just feed your piggies a small amount (only once or twice a week). And you’ll be good to go.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Tangelo Oranges?
Tangelos are another variety of oranges. So they’re safe for guinea pigs to eat. They have some Vitamin C in them, which is good for your guinea pigs’ health.
But just like regular oranges, it’s best not to give too many of these oranges to piggies.
What Do Guinea Pigs Typically Eat?
Cavies should eat mostly hay and pellets. Their diet should be about 80 % hay-based.
- Hay is vital for their health and digestive system, so it’s the most important part of their diet.
- Pellets (about a tablespoon a day) should be hay-based without added grains and other “junk” ingredients that can make your piggies sick in the long run.
- A cup of fresh vegetables (and a bit of fresh fruit every now and then) can be added to their diet.
- Fresh, clean water is should always be available to your guinea pig at all times(and make sure that their water bottle or bowl is clean, too).
And that’s it! Be sure to rotate the vegetables that you give your piggies to round out the diet and make sure that they get all of the nutrients that they need. And get rid of uneaten fruit within a day or two.
Final Thoughts About Whether Guinea Pigs Can Eat Oranges
With oranges being so beneficial for piggies, it’s easy to see why they are a recommended fruit for them to eat. They’re a fantastic source of Vitamin C and lots of other nutrients, too.
When oranges are part of a well-rounded diet, your furries can enjoy them in moderation.
Feeding oranges once or twice a week is fine for the average adult cavy. Just remember that oranges have natural sugars in them, so it’s best not to overdo it.
The oranges are very healthy for your furry friends and make a tasty treat for them, too.
If you do, it’s possible that oranges can cause weight gain because of the sugar content. So be sure not to go overboard.