The easy answer is yes! Guinea pigs can eat cherries, but in moderation—meaning quite small amounts. There’s both positives and negatives to consider when thinking about introducing cherries into your guinea pig’s diet, so it’s important to know all the information possible to make the best decision.
What vitamins and other nutrients does cherries contain?
This helps with the formation of collagen, which gives support and structure to your guinea pig’s skin! This can be especially important for hairless guinea pigs! They don’t have any hair or fur protecting their skin, so it’s important that their skin is able to stay healthy on its own. Vitamin C also aids with the absorption of iron, which is vital to maintaining blood health by ensuring that the necessary oxygen transport proteins are synthesized and working properly.
It also boosts the immune system, which helps ensure that the guinea pig body is able to fight off infection and aids maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth! As your guinea pig ages, they’ll need their bones to be strong in order for them to stay active and healthy! There is 7 mg in a 100 g portion.
Not only needed for your piggy’s bones, but studies have suggested that it can help with protecting against cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Calcium is necessary in different amounts for different guinea pigs, depending on their age, sex, and health conditions!
For example, a younger guinea pig will need lots of calcium because they’re still growing and developing, and an older guinea pig will need more because they need to maintain the strength of their bones as they age! There is 13 mg in a 100 g portion.
This helps with filtering out waste in the kidneys and plays a key role in how the body uses energy! Filtering out wastes is essential to ensuring that the guinea pig’s overall health is secure. It’s also important that guinea pigs’ bodies are getting the correct energy allocation for different biological functions, whether it’s for their cells to be able to remove the carbon dioxide from the oxygen they’re transporting through the body, or other different processes.
Phosphorus also works in tandem with calcium for bone health. There is 21 mg in a 100 g portion. The ideal Ca:P (calcium to phosphorus ratio) of any food for guinea pigs is 1.33:1, and the ratio for cherries in particular is 0.8:1.
What other benefits do cherries provide for your guinea pig?
Cherries have been shown to help with the cardiovascular system and regulate cholesterol and glucose levels! They can also help with digestion because of the large amount of fiber that they contain. And a little known fact about cherries for both humans and guinea pigs—cherries can help with sleep! Where humans can drink some cherry juice to aid with sleep, consumption of the fruit can help with piggy sleep as well.
What are the downsides about cherries for guinea pigs?
There are some downsides to cherries, despite the benefits. Guinea pigs can suffer from a sore mouth because of the acid in cherries, which is in part why we should limit the amount that we give them. Also, while fiber can help keep their digestive system on track, at the same time it can also render them constipated if they have too much fiber. It's important to keep their diet balanced because of this reason.
Guinea pigs can eat cherries, but do they like it?
Yes, they love them because they’re sweet, but you should try to give it to them in moderation!
How should you go about feeding your guinea pig cherries?
If you decide to feed cherries to your guinea pigs, make sure that you go for the freshest ones, because they have more nutrients than cherries that have been sitting for longer.
Also when feeding them, you also want to make sure that you thoroughly wash them to get rid of any lingering pesticides.
Cherries are ready to be fed to your guinea pigs once you have removed the pit and the stem! Only give them one cherry, twice a week at most if you’re including other fruits in their diet. You can choose to slice the cherry up to make it easier to eat.
Overall, it is OK to feed your guinea pigs cherries!
Like with many fruits and vegetables, feeding them to your guinea pig in moderation is important in order to make sure their diet has variety and the best nutritional value!
What else can guinea pigs eat?
Check out our Fruit Master List for quick facts on common fruits that your guinea pig can and can't eat.