What fruits can guinea pigs eat? This is a question that many guinea pig owners have.
Guinea pigs can eat a lot of different types of fruit. For example, they can eat blueberries, strawberries, tangerines, watermelon, passion fruit, melons, bananas, and many more. But, fruit should only be given as an occasional treat. If guinea pigs eat too much fruit, they could get mouth sores, diabetes, or develop other health issues.
In the never ending quest to keep your pet guinea pig (or pigs) healthy, it’s important to know what fruits they can and can’t eat.
Not only that. You need to understand the health benefits and risks associated with feeding piggies fruit.
So, let’s get you squared away.
But first…to have a good understanding of what fruits guinea pigs can eat (and why), you first need to understand…
The Benefits Of Feeding Guinea Pigs Fruit
When it comes down to it, feeding fresh fruit to your guinea pigs is all about providing them with essential nutrients that they can’t get in large amounts from their other food sources like fresh hay, fresh vegetables, or guinea pig pellets
There’s tons of good stuff in fruit that’ll help keep your furry potatoes healthy (as long as you’re not serving up tons of fruit to your piggies every day).
Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of feeding guinea pigs fruit:
1. Vitamin C Protection Against Scurvy
One of the most well-known benefits of feeding fruit to your fur babies is that a lot of fruits are a great source of Vitamin C, which helps to protect them against scurvy.
Guinea pigs don’t make their own Vitamin C, so they need to get it from their food (actually proper nutrition on a daily basis is a great way…well, the only way, to make sure your piggies are healthy and happy).
To prevent illness, the average piggie need about 10 to 30 milligrams of Vitamin C each day. If they are young, or if they are sick or pregnant, then it’s recommended that they get even more.
If guinea pigs don’t have access to enough Vitamin C in their diet, they can develop a disease called scurvy.
Symptoms of scurvy include:
- sluggishness (scurvy sucks the life out of guinea pigs)
- gums that are red, swollen and bleed easily
- teeth that loosen and fall out
- easy bruising
- skin lesions (sores)
…even death (if you don’t get them treatment).
So, by feeding your piggies fruit on occasion, you’re helping to protect them from a potentially deadly disease.
And before you say it:
Please don’t put Vitamin C drops in your piggie’s water. Sometimes it changes the taste of the water, and then they won’t drink it.
Instead, give them add a little fruit to their diets that are high in Vitamin C like blueberries, bell pepper, strawberries, kiwi fruit, blackcurrants and guava.
2. Immune System Boosters
It’s a good choice to give your piggies a slice or small piece of fruit because many fruits are also high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are important because they help to boost the guinea pig’s immune system.
Antioxidants help protect cavies against free radicals (molecules that can damage cells and DNA).
A strong immune system is crucial for your piggies because it helps them fight off diseases and stay healthy (cuz we all want healthy guinea pigs, right?).
Fruits that are high in antioxidants include:
This makes berries some of the best fruits guinea pigs can eat. (And the high levels of Vitamin C in berries is an added bonus). Plus, most cavies love berries.
3. Better Digestion
Even though piggies get lots of fiber through the hay they eat (which you should be giving them daily), guinea pigs can still benefit from the fiber in fruit.
Fruit can help with digestion because it helps to move food through the intestines. This is important because guinea pigs need a healthy digestive system to extract all of the nutrients they need from their food.
Some good fruits for digestion include apples, papaya, and pineapple.
4. Helps Keep Them Hydrated
If your little friends aren’t drinking water from the water bottle or bowl, offering them fruit can help to make sure they’re getting enough fluids.
Many fruits are high in water content, so they can help guinea pigs stay hydrated.
And staying hydrated is an important thing for guinea pigs because it helps keep their skin healthy, flushes toxins out of their system, and helps with digestion (yep, you’re gonna hear that word a lot).
Some good fruits for hydration include:
But, before you start giving them every type of fruit under the sun, it’s important to understand…
The Risks Associated With Feeding Guinea Pigs Fruit
Just like with anything else, there are risks associated with feeding guinea pigs fruit ( I know, huge bummer).
Fortunately, taking a few precautions (more on these later) can help you avoid any health problems.
Another thing to be aware of is that different fruits have different nutritional values.
Here are a few of the risks to be aware of:
1. Choking Hazards
All produce classified as fruits have seeds. And some seeds, like those from watermelons, pumpkins, cherries, and cantaloupes, are large and can easily choke guinea pigs.
So, when offering fruit to your little friends, make sure to remove the seeds first. It doesn’t take long and is definitely worth the effort to avoid a trip to the vet.
Some fruit seeds are small (or soft) enough for piggies to eat. Like:
- berries (basically all of them)
- bell peppers (yep, it’s a fruit, but a lot people use it as a veggie)
- cucumber (uh-huh, yet another fruit often used as a vegetable)
2. Mouth Sores
Guinea pigs, like people, can get mouth sores from eating too much fruit.
The high acidity in some fruits can cause irritation and even bleeding of the delicate tissue inside the your little friends’ mouth.
So, to avoid this problem, it’s best to only give your piggies small quantities of fruit as an occasional treat.
3. Weight Gain
The high sugar content in many fruits can cause your piggies to gain weight if they eat too much.
(Notice the trend here?)
While a little bit of weight gain isn’t a bad thing, too much can lead to health problems like:
- heart disease
- joint pain
- respiratory problems
So, remember to only give guinea pigs fruit as a special treat and make sure that the majority of their diet still consists of hay (lots and lots of hay), pellets, and fresh vegetables.
4. Digestion Issues
Overfeeding fruit to your fur babies can lead to diarrhea and even stomach bloat. Even introducing too much of a new food (too quickly) to your piggies’ diet can cause digestive issues.
Diarrhea can be fatal to piggies because they can quickly become dehydrated.
And, stomach bloat (technically called gastric dilatation and volvulus) is a life-threatening condition that can occur when guinea pigs have an insane build up of gas or food. It’s very painful…and yes, your piggie can die from it.
So, once again, it’s important to remember that cavies should only have fruit as a small percentage of their overall diet.
Yes, it’s possible for piggies to get diabetes from eating too much fruit.
Just like with people, cavies who have diabetes can’t process sugar properly and it builds up in their blood stream.
This can lead to a number of health problems, including blindness, kidney failure, and even death.
While piggies aren’t as prone to getting diabetes as people are, it’s still something to be aware of.
So, again, remember to only give them fruit as a special treat and make sure their diet is mostly made up of hay, pellets, and fresh vegetables.
Now you know all about the risks associated with feeding guinea pigs fruit. But don’t let that stop you from giving them the occasional treat.
Just be smart about it and take a few precautions.
What Fruit Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
Now, that we’ve covered the risks associated with guinea pigs eating fruit, let’s take a look at some of the fruits they can enjoy.
Keep in mind that while these are some of the most common fruits guinea pigs can eat, it’s important to remember that they should only have a limited amount and that you need to take into account their individual dietary needs.
- Apples: They’re high in fiber which is good for digestion. But, the seeds are poisonous, so remove them before feeding to your piggie.
- Apricot: This fruit is a good source of Vitamin A and potassium. So, it’s good for your guinea pig’s overall health.
- Banana: Since the sugar level is crazy high, I wouldn’t make it a go-to for your fuzz spuds. But it’s fine to give them as an occasional treat. Banana peels are a particular favorite of cavies. Just make sure you wash them well before giving them to your cavies.
- Blackberry: These are high in antioxidants which can help keep your piggie’s immune system strong. Plus, it’s okay if they eat the seeds.
- Blood oranges: This fruit is sweet and juicy and packed with Vitamin C. Just be sure to feed in moderation.
- Blueberry: Another antioxidant-rich fruit, blueberries are also a good source of Vitamin C. And they have a low sugar content.
- Cantaloupe: This fruit is a good source of Vitamin A and beta-carotene, which can help your piggie’s eyesight.
- Casaba Melon: Your piggies can enjoy a small slice of this melon from time to time without issues. This sweet and juicy fruit is a good source of Vitamin A, potassium, and magnesium.
- Cherries: Make sure you get rid of the seeds, because they’re a choking hazard. But, your fur babies can enjoy the flesh of these sweet treats.
- Clementines: This is a citrus fruit, so you definitely want to avoid feeding them to piggies that have mouth sore issue. But, they’re a good source of Vitamin C.
- Cranberry: This tart fruit is a good source of Vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants.
- Dragon fruit: This fruit is a good source of Vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium.
- Figs: Very, very high sugar content and the fiber is massive; almost too potent for piggies. Only feed occasionally.
- Grapes: Ditch the seeds. This fruit is high in sugar and can cause obesity if guinea pigs eat too many, too frequently.
- Grapefruit: It’s filled with nutrients like Vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene. But, it’s very acidic, so feed it to your piggie rarely or avoid completely – especially if your fur babies have mouth sore issues.
- Guava: This sweet fruit is a good source of Vitamin C, dietary fiber and potassium.
- Honeydew: A small slice won’t as a treat won’t hurt your piggies as long as you don’t overdo it. This fruit is a good source of Vitamin A and potassium.
- Kiwi: Your fur babies can eat the skin and seeds of this sweet fruit. It’s high in fiber, antioxidants, and Vitamin C.
- Kumquat: Has lots of Vitamin C, A, and other nutrients for your little friends. Just make sure you remove seeds. They’re a choking hazard for your fur babies.
- Lemon: Another citrus fruit. It’s not poisonous, but it’s very acidic. So, only give your guinea pig a slice on occasion and avoid if they have mouth sore issues.
- Lime: It’s not poisonous, but it’s very acidic. So, only give your fur babies a slice on occasion and avoid if they have mouth sore issues.
- Mandarins: This sweet and juicy fruit is choked full of Vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. But, it’s a citrus fruit (yep) and you should probably limit how much of it you feed to your piggies.
- Mango: Rich in Vitamin A, fiber and beta-carotene, mangos make a healthy addition to your fur babies’ diet
- Nectarine: This is kinda like a peach. Just remove the pit and your piggies can this tasty fruit…in moderation, of course.
- Orange: Like other citrus fruits, oranges are high in acidity so they should only be given to guinea pigs as an occasional treat. They’re also a good source of Vitamin C.
- Papaya: This sweet fruit is a good source of Vitamin C, A, and other nutrients. But, ditch the seeds. They’re not good for your little friends.
- Passion fruit: If your piggies haven’t had passion fruit, it’s definitely worth a try. It’s sweet and juicy with a slightly tart taste. This fruit is high in Vitamin C and antioxidants.
- Peach: Just remove the pit and your piggies can this tasty fruit…in moderation, of course.
- Pear: This is a high-fiber fruit that’s okay for guinea pigs to eat every once in awhile.
- Pineapple: This is yet another citrus fruit that’s high in Vitamin C, but should only be fed rarely, because of the sugar content.
- Plums: Remove pit and your little friends should be good-to-go.
- Pomegranate: This fruit is a good source of Vitamin C and antioxidants, but don’t feed the seeds to your little friends. They’re really hard to crack, which makes them a choking hazard.
- Raspberry: This tart fruit is a good source of Vitamin C, dietary fiber, and antioxidants. Seeds are fine for your little friends to eat, too.
- Satsumas: This seedless, Asia-based citrus fruit is filled with Vitamin C to boost your little friends immune systems.
- Starfruit: This exotic fruit is packed with nutrients to help keep your piggies healthy. As long as you don’t overfeed it, then it’s a good fruit option for your piggies.
- Strawberries: This popular fruit is a great snack for piggies. It’s high in Vitamin C, antioxidants and dietary fiber. Strawberry tops are a favorite!
- Tangerines: This sweet and juicy fruit is choked full of Vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. But, it’s a citrus fruit (yep) and you should probably limit how much of it you feed to your piggies.
- Watermelon: A guinea pig favorite! It has a higher sugar content than most other fruits (unfortunately). But it’s also full antioxidants and other nutrients. Piggies can have it as an occasional treat. Just feed it in smaller quantities And please avoid feeding watermelon to your piggies on a regular basis. The less sugar they have, the better.
What Fruits Aren’t Safe for Guinea Pigs?
As great as many fruits are for guinea pigs, there’s a few that should be avoided like the plague.
Some fruits should just be avoided, because they’re high in sugar and can lead to weight gain, tooth decay, and other health issues.
Other fruits are poisonous to guinea pigs, so it’s important you know which ones to avoid at all costs.
Here’s a list of some fruits cavies should never eat:
- Avocadoes: They’re incredibly high in fat and can cause stomach upset and other health issues.
- Rhubarb: This plant is poisonous to cavies and can cause serious health problems, like liver damage. If you grow rhubarb in your garden, then you need to keep your fuzz spuds away from it.
- Candied fruits: Fresh fruit has enough (and sometimes too many) natural sugars in it, so feeding your fur babies candied fruit is just asking for trouble. The extra sugar, artificial sweeteners, and syrup in candied fruit can cause weight gain, tooth decay, and other health problems for your little friends.
- Certain fruit seeds and pits: Some fruit seeds and pits (like those from plums, apricots, and peaches) can choke guinea pigs. It’s best to remove them before feeding the fruit to your piggies. Other seeds, like cherry seeds, are outright poisonous and can cause serious health problems.
- Raisins: These dried grapes are high in sugar (let’s call it insanely high) and can cause stomach upset, diarrhea, and other health issues.
- Fruits snacks: While some fruits snacks (like freeze-dried fruit) may seem like a healthy option, they’re usually high in sugar and can cause the same problems as candied fruit. It’s best to avoid them altogether.
- Dried fruits: Just like raisins, dried fruits are high in sugar (WAY too high) and have tons of calories in them. Stick with fresh fruit, so your cavies can stay healthy and happy.
How To Feed Guinea Pigs Fresh Fruits
There’s a few things you need to remember to do when you’re feeding your little friends fresh fruits. If you keep these precautions in mind, then you and your guinea pigs can enjoy a healthy and delicious snack.
1. Wash The Fruit Carefully
Before you give any fruit to your guinea pigs, be sure to wash it well. This will remove any pesticides or other chemicals that may be on the surface of the fruit.
Organic fruit is a good option (if it’s in the budget) , because it doesn’t have any pesticides or chemicals on it. But, even if the fruit is organic, you should still wash it well before feeding it to your guinea pigs.
2. Remove Parts That Might Hurt Your Piggies
Not every fruit is meant to be eaten as-is. Some fruits require a little bit of effort on your part to make them safe for your little friends to enjoy.
This means removing seeds and pits from fruits like plums, apricots, pomegranate peaches, cherries, and other fruits before feeding them to your cavies.
You’ll also need to take note of what part of the fruit can be eaten. Like with oranges, you can feed guinea pigs the fruit itself, but you’ll need to remove the pith (the white part) before feeding it to them.
3. Avoid Overfeeding
As with any food, it’s important to not overfeed your fuzz spuds when feeding them fresh fruits.
Fruits are a great source of nutrients and vitamins, but they should only be given as a occasional treat. If you feed your fur babies too much fruit, they’ll end up overweight and unhealthy.
How To Introduce Fruit To Your Guinea Pigs
When you ‘re introducing fruit to your guinea pigs, you should start off with a small amount and gradually increase the amount over time.
If you give them too much fruit at once, they might get sick or even diarrhea. So, it’s important to be patient and let your guinea pigs adjust to the new food.
Some cavies might not like fruit at first (they’re very picky eaters), but with a little bit of patience, they’ll come around.
Stick with offering them small amounts of the same fruit. Maybe even mix it wit their pellets?
Eventually your fur babies will start to enjoy the taste of fruit and you can increase the amount.
Do Guinea Pigs Like Fruit?
Many guinea pigs like fruit. What’s interesting is that some of their favorite fruits end up being the “scraps” of fruit that humans wouldn’t normally eat. Like banana peels or the tops of strawberries (I mean, who’d have thought?).
Experiment with a variety of fruits and see which ones your guinea pigs like the most. Then rotate them in and out so they don’t get bored with the same thing.
The important part is to make sure your fuzzies are getting a variety of different fruits and other foods in their diet so they can stay healthy and happy. That way, you can make sure they’re getting the best nutrition possible.
What Fruit Can Guinea Pigs Eat Every Day?
The only fruit that guinea pigs can eat every day is bell pepper.
Most people treat bell pepper like a vegetable, but the seeds (which guinea pigs can eat) put it in the fruit category.
Bell peppers are extremely high in Vitamin C. A cup of of it is about 120mg of Vitamin C.
However, you won’t feed your cavies an entire cup of bell pepper. A slice a day (combined with leafy greens and other produce) is a great way to make sure they’re getting their recommended Vitamin C intake.
How Often Should I Give My Guinea Pig Fruit?
Typically, you can give your guinea pigs fruit once or twice a week as an occasional treat. Only give them small amounts. Fruit should never be the main part of their diet.
Giving them more than that might result in them becoming overweight, developing mouth sores, or having other health problems.
Some fruits should be given a little less frequently. Like citrus fruits. Since there’s such a huge variety of other types of fruits to choose from, it’s best to take it easy on the citrus fruits.
What if My Guinea Pig Ate Too Much Fruit?
If your guinea pigs eat too much fruit, they might get diarrhea. Those loose, stinky stools are a sign that you need to avoid giving your guinea pigs too much fruit.
Try cutting back on the amount of fruit you’re giving them and see if that helps. Just stick to hay and pellets for a day or two. They’re usually back to normal after that.
If your little friends continue to have problems after eating too much fruit, get them to the vet. It could be a sign of another, more serious health issue.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Frozen Fruit?
Guinea pigs should never eat frozen fruit. Their digestive systems are designed to handle fresh fruit, not frozen fruit.
Unfortunately, ice cold fruits can cause a bad reaction to a guinea pigs’ digestive system. It can cause bloat. A health issue that can be very dangerous (even fatal) for guinea pigs.
Serve all fruits at room temperature when possible.
However, keep in mind that frozen fruits usually have some of their nutritional properties removed when they are blanched in hot water – which is what usually happens before they’re frozen.
When you feed your pets, remember to always give them fresh fruit.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Canned Fruit?
No, guinea pigs can’t eat canned fruit. The canning process destroys the nutritional value of fruit. Plus, canning foods often involves adding salt or sugar to improve flavor and color. Guinea pigs don’t need any added sugars or salts in their diet.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cooked Fruit?
Guinea pigs shouldn’t eat cooked fruit. The cooking process destroys the nutritional value of fruit. What’s the point in feeding them something that doesn’t have any nutritional value?
Also, their digestive systems are designed to process raw fruit (and vegetables). If you give your piggies cooked fruit, they might not be able to digest it properly and that could lead to health problems.
Can I Feed My Guinea Pig Fruit Juice?
There’s some situations where it’s all right to serve your guinea pigs fruit juice. For example, some piggie parents offer their cavies diluted, organic, AND natural cranberry juice if they’ve had a history of bladder stones.
The cranberry juice flushes their systems clean and helps to prevent stones from forming.
However, you should never give your guinea pigs store-bought fruit juices. They’re usually packed with sugar and other unhealthy ingredients that are bad for cavies.
It’s definitely not something that should be a part of their regular diet.
For the most part, you should only offer water to your little friends.
Can Baby Guinea Pigs Eat Fruit?
Yes, baby guinea pigs can eat fruit. They’re able to eat the same types of fruit as adult guinea pigs.
However, you should only give them a small amount at first to see how they react. Just like with adults, too much fruit (well, too much of anything actually) can cause health problems for baby piggies.
Just like adults, young guinea pigs should only have fruit as an occasional treat and in small amounts.
Make sure the fruit you’re giving them is cut into very small pieces so they can eat it without any problems – at least until they get a little older.
Can Pregnant Guinea Pigs Eat Fruit?
Pregnant guinea pigs can eat fruit as long as it’s offered in moderation. Too much fruit can in their daily diet cause health problems for them. And you definitely don’t want to overfeed them because that can lead to them being overweight during their pregnancy (and I know you don’t want that).
Final Tips On Feeding Fresh Fruit To Your Guinea Pigs
Here’s a few more tips on feeding fresh fruit to your guinea pigs that should help keep them healthy and happy:
- Make sure the fruit is ripe. Underripe fruit can be hard for guinea pigs to digest and might give them an upset stomach.
- Only offer a small amount of fruit at first to see how your guinea pig reacts. Too much fruit can cause health problems for piggies, just like it can for humans.
- Serve fruit at room temperature whenever possible. Cold fruits can cause a bad reaction to guinea pigs’ digestive system and might lead to them getting bloat – which is a health issue that can be very dangerous (even fatal) for cavies.
- Always offer fresh fruit. Don’t give them canned, cooked, or frozen fruit.
- Remember to give guinea pigs a constant supply of fresh water to drink. Even though many fruits have a high water content, your little friends still need plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Fruit is a great way to add some variety to your guinea pigs’ diet and it’s a healthy snack for them. Just make sure you’re giving them the right kinds of fruit and in the right amounts.
And don’t forget about feeding your little friends leafy greens like romaine lettuce, kale, carrot tops, and radicchio.
Fresh veggies like that combined with high quality hay, daily green peppers, and good guinea pig food pellets will have plenty of vitamins in them to keep your little friends in great shape.
You’ve gotta give your fuzz spuds a healthy diet (a good diet!) if you want them to live long, healthy lives.
If you do that, your cavies can enjoy all of the benefits of fruit without any of the negative consequences.