Guinea pigs are so small and fluffy, cute, and lovable! If you are the proud owner of a guinea pig, you already surely know how much company they can be. Much attention must be paid to their care to avoid any health problems.
Apples, for example, are known to be among the healthiest foods in the world, but here comes the big question: Can guinea pigs eat apples?
We all know the saying that goes “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” We all know how delicious and healthy apples are, but can they be consumed by these little furballs? Here are all the answers.
Can guinea pigs eat apples?
The digestive system of guinea pigs is different from a human digestive system. Their digestive systems require a diet that is low in fat and sugar, but high in fiber.
Can guinea pigs eat apples? Sure, it is possible. However, before you cut the fruit into small pieces and give it to your furry friend, there are a few things you should know. Apples should be served as a reward and not as an important source of nutrition.
A guinea pig’s main diet should consist of fresh hay, vitamin C pellets (they are unable to synthesize vitamin C on their own), and fresh, clean water. Guinea pigs also love large amounts of dark green leafy vegetables.
All fruit and vegetables should be given in moderation. These snacks are designed to be special pleasures only. Yes, they can eat apples, but that’s not what they need. A healthy guinea pig’s diet should contain lots of fiber instead of sugar. Sugar-based treats should only be given sparingly.
As mentioned earlier, guinea pigs cannot synthesize their own vitamin C and need to supplement it in some way. Most fruits contain vitamin C, which can be beneficial, however, apples and other fruits are also high in sugar.
Although these sugars are natural, guinea pigs have a hard time digesting too much sugar. This can lead to problems with the digestive system. Eating excess sugar is the worst thing for your furry friend’s tummy. For guinea pig bellies, apples can be the equivalent of candy, sweets, and drinks for humans.
On average 1 apple contains about 18 grams of sugar.
The Apple Test
Apples are, in fact, a very nutritious delight, but that doesn’t mean you have to push them down your guinea pig’s throat. Just because they might be your favorite fruit doesn’t necessarily mean they’re their favorite treat too.
Just like with any vegetables and fruit you plan to give your guinea pig, a test is required first. Guinea pigs are quite fussy animals and you may find it surprising that they don’t eat everything that is offered to them.
Cut a small piece of apple and leave it in the cage. It is also possible to give it directly from your hand, but this depends on the degree of confidence you have established with your guinea pig at this point. This is the part where you have to closely observe how much they like or reject this piece of fruit.
Your furry friend may start munching on it very quickly or quickly drag it to its hiding place. If your pet takes any of these actions, they are likely to like it. However, it may gnaw and then leave it there. I bet you know what that means …
Also, there is a chance that your guinea pig will feel lost and shy around people. If this is the case, it will surely not try to eat. That doesn’t mean they don’t like it. It just means that your furry pet is not yet perfectly comfortable with you which is why it acts cautiously. Don’t worry if it ends up doing this. You can try again later, once you have gained its trust.
Introduce apples to your guinea pig’s diet
The first thing you should always keep in mind is that apples are only meant as rewards. No matter how much they end up loving them, apples shouldn’t be a permanent part of your pet’s diet.
The guinea pig’s diet should consist mainly of hay, pellets, and occasionally fruit and vegetables. If you are giving it apples, be sure to cut the fruit into small pieces. It will be easier for them to chew the fruit and it will also help them with their digestion. Don’t make the mistake of giving it a whole apple. Many owners do this but risk suffocating the poor animal, without even knowing it.
Another thing you should take into consideration is that even though apples have a lot of health benefits, they are acidic. This means that excessive consumption can have serious consequences for your guinea pig. Mouth ulcers are just one of these consequences.
If you find that your pet loves these fruits, you should consider introducing them into their diet slowly and feeding them once a week. Watch your pet’s behavior carefully. Also, be sure to check its mouth to see if any wounds have developed. Also, be sure to check your guinea pig’s digestive system.
In other words, if it has diarrhea. If you notice loose stools, start by reducing the amount of apple you are giving it. Even more, you can also eliminate the apple entirely from the guinea pig’s diet.
What kind of apples can guinea pigs eat?
Guinea pigs can eat all varieties of fresh apples. You just need to make sure the apples are ripe without a sour taste. They may simply not like eating apples with a sour taste.
Also, don’t give apple seeds to your guinea pigs. The apple seeds contain cyanide, which is toxic and your pet can choke on the seeds.
The apple skin contains fiber and is good for your guinea pigs, always in moderation. You can also feed them apple leaves occasionally as they contain some calcium.
Your beloved guinea pig will be much healthier and happier in the long run with a stable and nutritious diet designed specifically for guinea pig digestive systems. Always make sure your pet has plenty of fresh hay, vitamin C supplements, vegetables, and clean water for each day.
Guinea pigs can certainly eat apples from time to time. Just keep in mind that they should be given in moderation, that way there shouldn’t be any problems regarding your pet’s health.