Guinea pigs are able to eat tomatoes, but in careful moderation! If you are choosing to include this fruit (usually mistaken for a vegetable), make sure you read on to make sure you know about the risks and possible side effects of guinea pig tomato consumption!
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 tomatoes contain?
Guinea pig diets need to be full of Vitamin C in order to prevent scurvy! This disease can be dangerous as vitamin C deficiency can lead to small wounds not healing quickly or to bleed excessively, lethargy, weight loss due to pain while eating, and other serious symptoms. It’s important that you’re feeding your guinea pigs enough vitamin C!
It also helps promote a well-functioning immune system to aid them in fighting off any illnesses and infections they might catch. Guinea pigs easily get infections, and it’s important that their body is able to defend them against them and help them recover. Tomatoes have 39.2 mg of vitamin C in a 100 g serving.
This one isn’t talked about a whole lot, but potassium helps with regulating fluids, nerve signals, and muscle contractions! This is important because we want our piggies to be able to run around and zoom as much as they can!
Keeping your guinea pigs active is vital to keeping them healthy and making sure they live for as long as they can. It also helps with regulating your guinea pigs’ blood pressure. Tomatoes contain 237 mg of potassium per 100 g portion.
This helps with their digestive system, which is important so they can absorb and break down all the nutrients in their food to keep them healthy! Guinea pigs are one of the animals that eat their own poop.
What happens is they will eat their food and extract the first round of nutrients, and their body will release nutrient-rich pellets that they will then consume a second time around to extract the rest! It’s a very efficient way for them to ensure that they are able to absorb everything they need. There is 1.2g of fiber in a 100 g portion.
What are the downsides about tomatoes for guinea pigs?
Unfortunately, there are quite a few negatives when it comes to serving your guinea pig tomatoes. For example, sores can form on their mouths if you overfeed them tomatoes. This is caused by the large amount of acid that is in tomatoes. This condition is called Cheilitis.
Tomatoes can also cause diarrhea if fed too much at once, which is a common side effect when it comes to most food! This is why everything you give them should be fed in moderation. Another downside is that tomatoes easily become very dangerous to your piggy if they aren’t fed to them when 100% ripe. Unripe tomatoes can poison them, and you need to make sure to never feed them any green parts, whether it’s the stem, leaves, as this could kill them.
Guinea pigs can eat tomatoes, but do they like it?
Despite the many drawbacks of tomatoes, most guinea pigs love them—but despite their love for the fruit, you should still watch how much you give them!
How should you go about feeding your guinea pig tomatoes?
Tomatoes can be given to your piggy around two or three times per week at most! Guinea pigs can eat any kind of tomato—it’s just important that they’re completely ripe and fed in moderation. The average regular tomato weighs anywhere around 75 to 150 g, and they should only be getting a one inch cube in order to reduce the chances of overfeeding. If you notice any changes in their waste output, then it’s best to either reduce the amount, or to stop altogether.
Overall, it is OK to feed your guinea pigs tomatoes!
We just want to emphasize that you just make sure not to give them too much, or you can risk some very painful side effects for your piggy. Just as with all fruits and veggies you choose to give your guinea pig, make sure to do thorough research and listen to your guinea pig’s body.
What else can guinea pigs eat?
Check out our Vegetable Master List for an extensive list of vegetables for guinea pigs!