Guinea pigs always love getting treats, especially sweet and juicy fruits. However, all cavy owners know that not all kinds of produce that are safe for humans are also safe for your furry babies to eat. For example, there is a very big chance that you love eating mangoes.
Does it mean that you can also share it with your guinea pigs? Can guinea pigs eat mango, too?
Nutritional content of mangoes
Mangoes are an excellent source of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. If you are asking “can guinea pigs have mango,” first, it is best to know about its contents.
- Calcium and potassium – These two are important for proper maintenance of healthier body functions.
- Fiber – Fiber is essential as it helps with proper digestion and slows down the release of blood sugar.
- Vitamin C– Mangoes contain extremely high vitamin C content compared other types fruits and even vegetables. Vitamin C, as you know, is necessary for the diet of guinea pigs.
- High sugar content – It doesn’t come as a surprise that mangoes are high in sugar. After all, it is a type of fruit and fruits have fairly high content of sugar.
Can guinea pigs have mangoes?
Yes, guinea pigs can have mangoes but remember to only feed it to them in moderation or in limited amounts.
When you speak of moderation, it is already enough to give only one to two bite-sized pieces to your guinea pig.
As far as the diet of your guinea pig is concerned, make sure that you feed him with a mixture of ¼ to ½ cup of fresh vegetables and fruits daily and you shouldn’t go beyond that.
Take note that this amount should not only be made up of pieces mango. Once again, mango pieces are only acceptable to be given as treats to guinea pigs provided that you only use them as intermittent treats.
If your cavy doesn’t eat the mango pieces, these will likely sit inside the cage, get old, and become unsafe to consume in the end.
In the event that your pet doesn’t eat these vegetables and fruits within a period of 12 to 24 hours, make sure that you throw them away immediately.
The remaining part of their diet or the 90% or so must be composed mainly of hay and guinea pig food.
You have to make sure that you feed your guinea pig with this amount of not more than once to twice a week and never two consecutive days.
Remember that while there are guinea pigs that are more than happy to munch on mango pieces, most of them don’t really like the taste of this fruit.
Are mangoes healthy for your guinea pig?
Aside from being sweet and delish snacks, mangoes also offer several health benefits.
As stated above, mangoes are rich in several essential nutrients such as vitamin C and calcium, both of which can help your guinea pig to stay healthy. Here are some of the possible health benefits that mangoes can offer to guinea pigs.
- Vitamins C
The high vitamin C content is no doubt the primary benefit of mangoes. Vitamin C is one essential vitamin that guinea pigs need for them to stay healthy and maintain the proper functions of the different systems of their body.
Vitamin C is a big support for the overall health of their immune system. What makes this vitamin considered to be essential is because guinea pigs don’t have the ability of producing it themselves.
One of the most common health concerns or diseases observed among many guinea pigs is scurvy that often occurs when their system lacks vitamin C.
Vitamins also contain a rich amount of vitamins B6 and A that help in the overall growth of your guinea pigs and contribute to a healthier metabolism.
Another content of mangoes is calcium. Guinea pigs need proper balance of calcium, especially if you consider their bones. Calcium is also important for female guinea pigs that are pregnant.
Both phosphorus and calcium are critical parts of a diet as these are necessary for proper bone movement and development, tooth or dental growth, and other needs of the nervous system.
It has been revealed that guinea pigs with inadequate amount of calcium in their body is linked to several physical abnormalities including lethargy, decreased appetite, muscle spasms, decreased uptake of phosphorus, limb paralysis, brittle bones, and broken teeth and bones.
But, it is important to remember that excessive calcium may also result to bladder stone formation as well as other kinds of medical issues in guinea pigs.
There is also a significant amount of antioxidants in mangoes and according studies, these can help lower the risk of cancer as well as other more serious health conditions.
This is because antioxidants are potent and these are found to fight off free radicals, thus reducing the possibilities of cell damage.
The reduced cell damage can theoretically help guinea pigs to have faster and better recovery from injuries.
- Potassium and magnesium
Potassium and magnesium are two of the most critical minerals for guinea pigs that can also be found in mangoes.
These two help in the proper maintenance of the cardiovascular system of a guinea pig for it to stay healthy and function smoothly.
The truth is that these two are working together to maintain regular levels of blood pressure and encourage proper blood vessels functions.
As expected, fiber is necessary for the digestive health of your guinea pigs. It can help keep everything running efficiently and smoothly in their gastrointestinal system. This is incredibly essential for their health, particularly for their diets made up of hay.
Are mangoes dangerous for guinea pigs?
Yes, mangoes can pose harm to guinea pigs if you don’t prepare, serve, and monitor them properly.
Excessively large pieces of mangoes can also become choking hazards, which is definitely not a good thing.
There are also issues associated to feeding your guinea pigs with too much mangoes.
Guinea pigs may suffer from digestive upset such as anorexia or decreased eating, diarrhea, dehydration, lethargy, and others that may result to more harmful health problems if not treated by a vet right away.
Due to guinea pig’s small bodies and the sugar content of mangoes, these animals are at higher risk of getting diabetes and becoming overweight because of eating too many snacks and fruits like mangoes that contain sugar.
Fruits such as mango may lead to uncomfortable side effects for guinea pigs. If you notice your guinea pig showing signs of these issues after you add a new food to their diet, call your local vet immediately to seek professional help.
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