With so many delicious fruits and vegetables available in local stores and markets, it is exciting to discover which ones are safe for your pet to eat. Owners with years of experience and newbies alike can stay up to date on their guinea pig’s dietary needs through research and guides like this one. Adding things to your cavy’s diet is not only tasty and fun but also enriching and fun for your furry friend.
Generally, a guinea pig’s diet should consist of approximately 80% hay, and 20% pellets, fruits, and veggies to stay healthy. This means that your cavy can try new fruits and vegetables every week or so. If you need inspiration or are curious about what your guinea pig can eat, start with the things you like. This leads us to question one of the most popular fruits in the world; can guinea pigs eat strawberries?
Guinea pigs can eat a small portion of strawberries once or twice a week.
Strawberries are a delicious ground fruit containing a high water content, a lot of Vitamin C, and plenty of antioxidants. Guinea pigs need to get Vitamin C through their diet since their bodies aren't capable of making it. The antioxidants help reduce inflammation and balance free radicals in your pig’s body. Plus, the presence of plant compounds like anthocyanin and quercetin help lower cholesterol and boost your guinea pig’s cardiovascular health. Even the stems and leaves are safe to eat, perhaps being healthier than the fruit itself since they have more fiber and less sugar. Despite the moderate level of sugar in strawberries, they actually have less sugar than other fruits used as a treat for guinea pigs. Overall, strawberries are a tasty superfood treat for your cavy.
Although the sugar content in strawberries is lower than in some other fruits, it can still be dangerous for your pig in large quantities. Because excess sugar can give guinea pigs diarrhea, an imbalance in intestinal bacteria, or even health conditions like diabetes and obesity, sugary treats should be fed in moderation. One noted concern is that strawberries can often contain pesticides or chemical residue from their time growing on a farm. Another issue is that as a ground-growing fruit, strawberries tend to become dusty and dirty. For both of those reasons, be sure to thoroughly wash all the strawberries you prepare for both yourself and your guinea pig.
Appropriate Serving Size and Preparations
As with any new food, you should give your guinea pig a small piece (approximately the size of your fingernail) to try. Watch them eat their strawberry treat and keep an eye on them for a while after to see if they behave abnormally or have diarrhea. As long as they don’t have any allergic reactions and it doesn't seem to upset their stomach, you can give it to them as an occasional treat!
You should start by properly cleaning your strawberries under running water. Remember that the stems and leaves are healthy and not harmful for your guinea pig. If it's your guinea pig's first time trying strawberry, be sure to only give them a small amount. Adult guinea pigs who have eaten strawberries before can eat up to two small strawberries or one medium strawberry over the course of a week. Most people choose to cut the strawberry in half or into slices and give that serving to their pig once or twice a week, but it is also okay to give your guinea a whole small strawberry.
To sum things up, small portions of strawberries can be a treat for your guinea pig once or twice a week. Strawberries, because of their sugar content, are not fit to be included in your pig’s diet every day. The stems and leaves are healthy for your pig, perhaps even better than the fruit itself. Be sure to clean your strawberries well, and serve them in small amounts never exceeding more than one medium strawberry in a week. As always, you should speak to your veterinarian before altering your guinea pig’s diet in any way. You can also try GuineaDad Herbal Supplements as an alternative option for your guinea pig's source of nutrients. Many GuineaDad Herbal Supplements have many of the vitamins and mineral that your guinea pig's need for a healthier life. If your guinea pig doesn't like strawberries or doesn't feel well after eating them, don't worry, there are plenty of other fruits and vegetables to try!