Can Guinea Pigs Eat Watermelon? What are some foods that you should never feed to guinea pigs? Learn all about your pets’ diet in this informative article.
Guinea pigs are adorable little pets commonly found in American households. Kids love having them as they are happy creatures and are pretty interactive. These colorful furry rodents are far less a responsibility than having a dog or a cat, and they make great first pets. They are usually less prone to severe diseases and can have a long healthy life with proper care and nutrition. As a pet owner, there are always doubts about which food is suitable and any common food item that can cause health issues. Guinea pigs do have sensitive bellies, and hence it is essential to feed them the right food and in the right quantities. Learn whether can guinea pigs eat watermelon or not and what are other food items to avoid by reading this article.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Watermelon?
Watermelons are popular snacks relished, particularly during hot summer days. Guinea pigs can eat watermelons but in moderation. Watermelons provide hydration to them and are a good source of Vitamin C in their diet, but the high sugar content in watermelons can be harmful. Hence, it is crucial not to give it in large quantities. Give them the rind of the watermelon with a bit of flesh to enjoy. This way, sugar consumption will be in moderation. Additionally, remove all the seeds from the watermelon piece as the seeds can pose a choking hazard. Considering all things, you should feed a small piece of watermelon, not more than once a week.
Foods Guinea Pigs Shouldn’t Have
Avocado contains a toxic substance called persin, concentrated in leaves, skin, pit, and bark which can cause digestive issues. The flesh of the avocado is generally safe to eat but has high-fat content which is not suitable for guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs cannot digest garlic or any other type of bulb food such as onions, leeks, potatoes. These are not toxic but can lead to severe symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.
Overconsumption of green beans can lead to magnesium deficiency in guinea pigs. Calcium and phosphorus combined together inhibit magnesium absorption and hence can cause bladder stones.
With no nutritional value, iceberg lettuce can be quite fibrous and watery which can cause diarrhea.
The high amount of starch in potatoes can be harmful to the digestive system of guinea pigs. They are herbivores and feeding food high in carbohydrates can be detrimental to their health.
Corn have excess sugars which can lead to risk of diabetes in guinea pigs. Generally, high sugar diet is not healthy for guinea pigs.
Olives are usually highly processed and guinea pigs should be strictly fed fresh fruits and vegetables and hence olives are not an ideal food item for them. It also has high quantities of fat and sugar that can be detrimental to guinea pigs and can be difficult to digest.
Rhubarb is extremely poisonous for guinea pigs and can be highly fatal. It should be avoided at all costs.
It is not a great food for guinea pigs as they contain about 90% saturated fat. It is not toxic but the fat content can make them fat and restrict the movement.
Similarly, food items like cherries, nuts, herbs, coffee, pepper, sweet peas, and paprika should be avoided as they can cause severe harm to your little furry friend.
Ideal Diet for Guinea Pigs
An ideal diet for guinea pigs consists of 3 components:
1. Hay and Guinea Pig Pellets
This should constitute about 85% of their diet. Guinea pigs are herbivores, and through this food, they can get the optimum nutrients and enough fiber to keep their digestive system healthy.
2. Fruits and vegetables
The rest 10-15% of the diet should be of fruits and vegetables to provide them with the daily Vitamin C and Vitamin A content. This roughly estimates to ¼ to ½ a cup of fruits and vegetables. Follow the below list to know which fruits and vegetables to avoid and which are safe for your herbivorous friend. Although, always feed the fruit or vegetable in moderation to avoid side effects.
Make sure your little pet gets enough hydration for the day, especially in the days of summer. Clean and change their water bowl every day to avoid stagnation of mosquitoes and bacteria.
Foods Safe for Guinea Pigs
There are many fruits and vegetables that are safe for guinea pigs to eat. They can provide the essential nutrients for their healthy growth. These include:
Rich in Vitamin C, blueberries are part of a healthy diet for guinea pigs. Vitamin C helps improve digestion and keeps their systems healthy.
Grapes are rich in Vitamin C, and hence can be fed to guinea pigs. It also provides other nutrients such as magnesium, calcium which help in building strong bones.
Guinea pigs can eat a moderate amount of melon without the seeds. Melons are rich in Vitamin A which can boost the immune system of your little pet.
Guinea pigs can eat strawberries safely. This low-calorie food has less sugar and can help improve cardiovascular health, boost immunity systems, and is rich in antioxidants preventing the presence of free radicals in guinea pigs.
It contains some key vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin K, calcium, potassium, Vitamin E, iron, dietary fiber, phosphorus, Vitamin B6, and zinc which can promote good health in guinea pigs. Chewing on asparagus also helps in making their teeth stronger.
Another vegetable with high amounts of Vitamin C, zucchini is quite healthy for guinea pigs to eat promoting good digestive health, immunity system.
7. Banana squash
Banana squash has high amounts of potassium and provides necessary protein to guinea pigs enabling growth, especially in the younger ones. Potassium also helps in preventing kidney stones.
Cilantro, pumpkin, pineapples, spinach, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage are some other food items that you can feed in moderation to guinea pigs.
Points to Remember
- Refrain from feeding high-fat food items to guinea pigs as it poses a direct threat to their heart.
- Remove all the seeds from any fruit or vegetable before giving it to your little furry friend as seeds can pose a choking hazard to them.
- Guinea pigs are herbivorous, meaning they eat everything veg, and hence, you should avoid feeding them with meat and other non-veg items. These food items can be hard for them to digest and might even lead to other severe problems if given for a long time.
- Do not overfeed any one particular fruit or vegetable and always keep some variation in the food items you feed them.
- Always give any food item in moderation as too much food can make them lazy and lethargic, thereby impacting their heart health.
- Any food given in high quantities can lead to severe side effects even if they are safe to eat. For instance, even though spinach is safe to eat, if consumed in higher quantities, it can lead to bladder stones in guinea pigs.