The easy answer is, yes, guinea pigs can have cucumbers. However, it’s important that we discuss what they contribute to their overall diet, so you can figure out how much to give to your piggy.
Overall, cucumbers don’t actually contribute as many nutrients compared to the hay and pellets that they are already eating, but they can be a good diet supplement. Thorough research for your guinea pig keeps them not only happy and healthy, but safe!
We've also got a Vegetable Master List that lists common veggies that your piggy can and can't eat!
What vitamins and other nutrients do cucumbers contain?
Cucumbers have a bunch of Vitamin C, which is great because guinea pigs require lots of it in their diet! They need 10-50 mg per day, and cucumbers have 5.3 mg in a 100 g serving. Based on the numbers, you can probably tell that cucumbers aren't an amazing source of Vitamin C, but they contribute benefits to your guinea pig's diet in other ways!
The amount of calcium that your guinea pig can have in a day heavily depends on what their urine output looks like! Cucumbers contain 14 mg of calcium in a 100 g serving. You need to watch out for calcium deposits, which look like tiny white granules. If there is a lot, then it’s time to cut back on the amount of different veggies that you are feeding them.
What other benefits do cucumbers provide for your guinea pig?
Cucumbers are one of those vegetables that are packed with water! It’s just as important for guinea pigs to stay hydrated as it is for humans. This ensures that if for some reason they’re not drinking water, they can get it from their foods as well.
What are the downsides about cucumbers for guinea pigs?
Ever heard of the saying ‘too much of anything is bad’? Unfortunately, that applies to cucumbers for guinea pigs. Consuming too much of it can upset a piggy’s stomach and lead to diarrhea, which can cause dehydration!
Guinea pigs can eat cucumbers, but do they like it?
They do! However, just like with zucchini, some guinea pigs may not like the skin, or they may not like the seeds, etc. The best way to figure this out is to feed them pieces that contain all aspects of the cucumber and see what they leave behind.
How should you go about feeding your guinea pig cucumbers?
Guinea pigs need around one cup (250 g) of fresh fruits and veggies to supplement their diet of hay and pellets. This means they should be getting a variety, with some very important ratios to keep in mind. The ideal calcium to phosphorus ratio is 1.33. To figure out whether your guinea pig’s diet has a good Ca:P ratio, some simple math is required.
Make sure you’re doing this math based on equal quantities of all the veggies you plan on feeding your guinea pig.
For this example, let’s use 40 grams.
For cucumber, there is a 0.7:1 of Ca:P ratio. We’ll pretend we’re also going to feed them some kale (2.4:1), zucchini (0.5:1), and red bell pepper (0.5:1). Add up the total amount of calcium between all the foods (4.1) and then divide it by the number of foods (4). The number for that calculation is 1.03. Then add up the total amount of phosphorus (4) and divide up by the number of foods (4). The number for that calculation is 1. The Ca:P ratio for this pretend-meal is 1.03:1, which is super good!
40 grams of cucumber per day can be a good place to start, depending on the Ca:P ratio of the other foods. That’s equal to around one to two inches slices of a regular cucumber. The general quantity of fruits and veggies you feed your piggy can be determined by doing this calculation, and adjustments can be made once you’ve examined their urine.
You can also figure out how much cucumber is too much for your guinea pig by keeping an eye on their waste output! If diarrhea occurs when they’re given 40 g, try reducing the amount.
Overall, it is OK to feed your guinea pigs cucumbers!
But, just like any other foods that you choose to feed your guinea pig, the biggest indicator for whether something is good for your guinea pig is by examining their waste, the condition of their skin, and their behavior towards the food itself. Make sure to keep a close eye on them, and you’ll have a happy and healthy piggy!
What else can guinea pigs eat?
Check out our Vegetable Master List for an extensive list of vegetables for guinea pigs!