Can I feed my guinea pig strawberries? As a proud guinea pig owner, you surely want to spoil your beloved pet with delish treats from time to time.
While you can always choose from different options of commercial treats, nothing beats letting your furry tiny pig with a piece of sweet fruit, especially when it is something as scrumptious as strawberries.
You know for sure that you can let your guinea pig eat fruits like strawberries provided that you don’t overfeed them.
However, other people might have told you that sweets and sugar can ruin their digestive health making them diabetics and significantly reducing their lifespan.
So, are strawberries good for guinea pigs? Can guinea pigs have strawberries? Can guinea pigs eat strawberry leaves?
The answer is yes, you can let guinea pigs have small portions of strawberries. You should only feed them with this fruit once or twice weekly as part of a healthy and balanced diet. The sugar content of strawberries is 5% by weight and this is already lots of sugar for your small furry buddies. For this reason, strawberries must also be used as treats.
Do guinea pigs eat strawberries?
People love munching on strawberries when summertime comes and your guinea pigs also love them as snacks as much as you do. But, it is important to only give them a limited amount of strawberries, preferably just a few tiny pieces per week.
These fruits are rich in vitamin C that guinea pigs require for better health. It is a vitamin that they don’t usually get enough off in their usual foods.
As mentioned earlier, strawberries have 5% sugar content by weight, which is already a large amount for guinea pigs.
This means that you can confidently give strawberries to your guinea pig but you need to ensure that you don’t overload their system with excessive sugar. There is the risk of increasing their levels of blood sugar to risky heights too fast with too many strawberries that can make them diabetic and lead to a premature end of life.
If you really want to give strawberries to your guinea pig, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to just give them tiny pieces with the green leafy tops intact. This can help balance out the sugar and let them chew on something sweet while helping in proper portion control.
Strawberries should only be given as treats to guinea pigs for a maximum of once or twice a week.
Are strawberries healthy for your guinea pigs?
Strawberries contain the correct amount of minerals and vitamins that guinea pigs need. Guinea pigs require a properly balanced diet for them to have a long and healthy life. Strawberries are an excellent supplement in the diet of guinea pigs. The number reason why you might want to add these fruits to their diet is because of their vitamin C content.
Strawberries have higher vitamin C content than any other vegetables and fruits. Vitamin C is a critical part of their daily diet because this can help prevent diseases such as scurvy.
Strawberries are also loaded with fiber, an important part of their diet that helps maintain their digestive system. These furry pets need foods rich in fiber for them to stay healthy for a long time.
This is also rich in antioxidants that are beneficial for the wellbeing of guinea pigs.
But, despite all of these, you should always remember that there are still downsides to strawberries that you should know.
Do strawberries have negative effects for the health of guinea pigs?
Even though strawberries are rich in essential minerals and vitamins, they might still have negative effects on your small furry pets. The sugar content is the main concern here.
Strawberries are loaded with sugar at about 5% or 5 grams per 100 grams. These numbers might not sound too much for you but it is already a serious concern for your guinea pigs.
Excessive sugar in the diet of guinea pigs can usually result to diseases such as stomach upset, diabetes, and others that can be deadly when left unchecked.
Another thing you should know is the fruit’s natural acid content. Strawberries are acidic and also contain folic acid.
Eating foods that are too acidic may cause mouth sores as well as other critical health concerns. Strawberries also contain high amounts of calcium that can lead to diseases such as bladder stone when served together with other foods also rich in calcium. This means that you need to strictly monitor the calcium content in the food you serve to your guinea pigs.
Strawberries can also add a significant amount of vitamins to the diet of your guinea pig. But, you should always remember that hay is still the most crucial part of their daily diet.
This will help maintain the fiber requirement of their body and wear down the guinea pig’s growing teeth.
While you can fulfill your pet’s requirements for minerals and vitamins through serving a diet that only contains fruits and veggies, this might lead to dental diseases.
Always stick to the golden ratio and keep the fruit at only 5% to 10% of their daily diet’s proportion.
How to give strawberries to your guinea pig
Feeding strawberries to your guinea pig is rather straightforward and simple. You also have to make sure that you only buy your fruits from a reliable source to ensure that it is only ripe instead of rotten. Scrub off all toxins, pesticides, and chemical agents from the fruit before you start slicing it up and you will be good to go.
You can now cut the strawberries into small pieces that are much smaller than what can be considered bite-sized for kids. You have to make sure that your pet can eat the pieces without any issues.
It is also a good idea to let the strawberries warm up a bit. Cold fruits, specifically cold strawberries, may make your guinea pigs suffer from stomachaches.
See to it that you only give them a small amount of strawberries per week to stay on the safe side.
Just like everything else in this world, too much of a good thing is bad. This also applies to guinea pigs. You might think that giving them a fresh fruit diet is good for them. But, it can actually cause serious harm to their health in the long run. Always consult your local vet for some advice about the right diet for your guinea pigs.