The short and sweet answer? Guinea pigs can eat pumpkin, but they just can’t enjoy it in pies like we humans can! It’s important to know that pumpkins should only be fed to our piggies once in a while as a treat—any more than that and it can lead to some health issues.
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 does pumpkin contain?
One of the best things Vitamin A does for guinea pigs is it helps with promoting eye health and preventing cataracts! It’s also good for keeping skin hydrated. This is especially good for those of you that are piggy parents to hairless breeds! It’s important that guinea pigs with no hair have their skin hydrated. If their skin is dry, they can get itchy and scratch at themselves, which will lead to wounds that can be at risk of getting infected. In a 100 g serving, there is 5.7g of Vitamin A.
Vitamin C can help boost your guinea pig’s immune system and can assist with healing. Boosting the immune system is important because we want to prevent your guinea pigs from catching infections. When it comes to guinea pigs and infections, these can become dangerous and even fatal in some cases.
We want to prevent this as much as possible. Consumption of it also helps prevent scurvy. Pumpkin doesn’t really have a notable amount of Vitamin C, which means it can’t be considered a good source of it and wouldn’t significantly supplement your piggy’s diet. Still, it can still be used as a sweet treat for your guinea pig!
In guinea pigs, potassium can help regulate fluids, as well as nerve signals and their muscle contractions. It also helps protect against osteoporosis, and can prevent bladder stones. Bladder stones can be painful and uncomfortable for your guinea pigs to pass, especially if their urethras get clogged with the stones.
If this becomes the case, the infections can become fatal. It’s important that you get medical attention from your veterinarian if this happens to your guinea pig. There is 340 mg of potassium in 100 g of pumpkin!
What other benefits does pumpkin provide for your guinea pig?
Fruits and veggies are so good for their fiber content—it helps with maintaining and regulating your guinea piggies digestion! The nutrients in pumpkin can also help with reducing blood pressure and preventing heart diseases.
What are the downsides about pumpkin for guinea pigs?
Unfortunately, even though we as humans can enjoy pumpkin seeds, they’re actually dangerous to guinea pigs. They’re not only a choking hazard, but they can also get stuck in your guinea pig’s teeth. The seeds also have a high fat content which isn’t very safe for guinea pigs.
Pumpkins are also high in water content. While in most cases this isn’t a bad thing when it comes to fruits and veggies, it can become a bad thing if the foods are overconsumed. The excessive water in pumpkin can lead to diarrhea if your guinea pigs has too much of it.
Unfortunately, even though pumpkins are a sweet treat for your piggy, the high sugar content can lead to constipation and obesity. Sugar consumption by your guinea pig should be regulated to prevent these!
Guinea pigs can eat pumpkin, but do they like it?
Guinea pigs are just like us—they love sweet things, and pumpkin isn’t any different!
How should you go about feeding your guinea pig pumpkin?
Fortunately, guinea pigs can eat both the rind and the flesh of the pumpkin! You just have to make sure that you thoroughly clean the outside to rid the rind of any dirt and germs that may be there. We’ve mentioned time and time again that pumpkin is fine as long as it is served in moderation. The average butternut pumpkin weighs around 800 g.
Guinea pigs can be given two to three small cubes measuring around half an inch all around. To prevent over consumption, they should only be fed pumpkin once or twice a week! The best way to see how much to give them is by keeping an eye on their excrement. If it’s loose, reduce the amount you’re giving them and go from there.
Overall, it is OK to feed your guinea pigs pumpkin!
Pumpkin is perfectly fine to be fed to your guinea piggies in moderation! Use them as a sweet treat to supplement their diet, but keep an eye on them when you first introduce it to your piggy—their body’s responses will always tell you if it’s OK for them.
What else can guinea pigs eat?
Check out our Vegetable Master List for an extensive list of vegetables for guinea pigs!