The short and easy answer is yes, guinea pigs can eat dragon fruit! We’ve done so many different posts on what vegetables guinea pigs can eat, and what fruits they can eat, and we still have more to offer! However the ones we cover from now on might be different from the things you’ll find at your local supermarket.
Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya, is a tropical fruit native to places like southern Mexico and Central America. This fruit isn’t just one of your favorite acai bowl bases, it’s a super tasty tropical fruit that you can feed your piggy. There are two main types: pink skin with white flesh, and pink skin with pink flesh! The white-fleshed dragon fruit is less sweet than the other variety.
What vitamins and other nutrients does dragon fruit contain?
This is important for gut health and regular bowel movements! It also makes stool easier to pass for your guinea pig. Fiber is also great for controlling blood sugar levels, helps lower cholesterol, and maintain healthy weight. In 100 g of dragon fruit, there are 1.8 g of fiber.
This is great for boosting guinea pig immunity! Strengthening the immune system helps their body fight against infection and illness. Vitamin C also helps protect cells against free radicals that cause heart disease, cancer, and a multitude of other diseases. In 100 g of dragon fruit there’s 6.4 mg of vitamin C.
Studies have shown that calcium can have benefits for more than just their bones. This is important for guinea pigs’ heart, muscles, and nerves to function properly. In 100 g of dragon fruit, there is 107 mg of calcium.
What other benefits does dragon fruit provide for your guinea pig?
Dragon fruit also contains iron, which is necessary for your guinea pig’s body to make hemoglobin and myoglobin, which are both necessary for oxygen transport! Blood health is highly reliant on iron consumption. And especially when guinea pigs are young, iron is important for maintaining their growth and development.
Iron deficiency, just like in humans, can be pretty harmful because it can result in hair loss, weakness, and it affects their appetite.
There’s also potassium which works hand-in-hand with iron to regulate blood health as well. It helps with maintaining blood pressure at normal, healthy levels for guinea pigs.
What are the downsides about dragon fruit for guinea pigs?
The downside of guinea pigs is that it can contribute to weight gain because of the carbohydrate content. This is why just like with any kinds of fruits and vegetables that guinea pigs eat, they need to be given it in moderation!
Even though there’s fiber in dragon fruit, the sugar content can counteract it and make it difficult for guinea pigs to digest it. Guinea pigs’ bodies aren’t able to process sugars like humans can, so it can lead to digestive issues.
In dragon fruit, there is also a large amount of calcium. While guinea pigs do need calcium, they need it in moderate amounts, especially as they get older. With this amount of calcium, it’s very important that they are fed this fruit in very small amounts and on rare occasions. Too much calcium can lead to urinary tract infections, which in some cases, can be fatal.
Guinea pigs can eat dragon fruit, but do they like it?
It depends! Some guinea pigs enjoy it, some don’t! It also depends on the kind. Guinea pigs have been shown to like the pink flesh variety more than the white flesh one, but sometimes the variation doesn’t matter!
To see if your guinea pig likes it, you’ll just have to let them try it!
How should you go about feeding your guinea pig dragon fruit?
Make sure you thoroughly wash the dragon fruit skin to get rid of any pesticides that might have been used in the growing process. Make sure to peel the skin completely from the flesh as well!
We recommend only feeding your guinea pig 1-2 one square-inch cubes once a month or so. This is just because of how high the calcium content is, and you have to keep in mind the other sources of calcium in the rest of their diet too.
Overall, it is OK to feed your guinea pigs dragon fruit!
Just like with any fruits and vegetables that guinea pigs can eat, it’s important to always feed it to them in moderation. Make sure that you are considering all the different nutritional facts for the other produce you’re feeding your piggy to make sure that you’re not overloading them on anything.