guinea pig eating apples

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apple Cores? Pros & Cons Of Apple Cores

You can indeed feed your guinea pig apple cores, with one stipulation. The seeds must be removed – every single one. This is because apple seeds, stored in the core, are poisonous. They contain a toxic compound called cyanide. So, yes, guinea pigs can eat apple cores. We still want to be sure to answer the question ‘can guinea pigs eat apple cores?’ – read on!

Can Guinea Pigs eat Apple Cores? Apple seeds do not have a great deal of cyanide. When consumed by humans, it is hardly noticeable. Guinea pigs, however, are tiny. For them, a few seeds prove a much larger, considerably more harmful dose. Just a seed or two can make your guinea pig sick. 

You can see why feeding your guinea pig an apple core is a bit of a risk. Other, more benign parts of the apple – the flesh and the skin – are much more preferable. This being said, parts of the core besides the seeds can prove beneficial. Like the rest of the apple, these safe bits contain vitamins, fiber, and the like. In summation, apple cores have both pros, and cons, as listed below. 

Pros 

Apple Cores are affordable 

Fresh produce can sometimes be a bit pricey, some kinds more than others. Apples are one of the most affordable produce options at the grocery store. You can weigh some out for only a few bucks. There is also an excellent selection. For your guinea pig, go for apples that are crisp, and not too sweet or too sour. A nice, medium apple. 

Apple Cores are a good hydration source for Guinea Pigs 

Did you know that fruits and veggies are made mostly of water? This is why animals like rabbits, and wild guinea pigs, for that matter, are able to stay hydrated out in nature. They obtain water not just from streams, but fruits, veggies, and greens, too. Most produce is anywhere from 70-96% water. Apples are 85%, roughly. Clearly, this makes apples – and apple cores – a great hydration source. 

Apple Cores are full of fiber for Guinea Pigs 

When it comes to nutrition, guinea pigs require a few things above all. Fiber is one of these. Naturally, guinea pigs consume leafy greens, fruits, and veggies, which are extremely fiber-rich. Because of this, their bodies have adapted to handle fiber primarily. Fiber aids digestion helps balance blood sugar levels, and more. 

The entirety of the apple is fiber-rich: the skin, the flesh, and the core. 

Apple Cores contain Vitamin C 

Vitamin C is one of the top nutrients that guinea pigs require. This is because they do not create it themselves. Instead, guinea pigs acquire vitamin C from fruits, veggies, and other produce. This in mind, your guinea pig must have plenty of access to these foods. Apples are a nice choice. There is vitamin C in the flesh and in the core. 

Apple Cores are crunchy for Guinea Pig teeth 

Did you know that rodent teeth never cease to grow? Guinea pigs are no exception. In order to keep their teeth at the proper length, guinea pigs must almost constantly chew. This is a large part of the reason the little guys love to graze. While wood and toys are also available for guinea pigs to chew, crunchy food is something they depend on. A nice, crisp apple – or apple core – is a perfect choice. 

Feeding your Guinea Pig apple cores is Eco-friendly 

Few like to waste fresh produce! We may not enjoy the cores, but our small, furry friends are rarely so picky. Whether you offer them the tenderest flesh or a tough core, your guinea pig will appreciate it all the same. 

So, when you are going to toss your produce, you can probably save a core or two. Rid the cores of seeds, and offer only part of each, seed-free core to each guinea pig you have. 

Apple Cores are a healthy treat for Guinea Pigs 

Like most pets, guinea pigs are all about treats. While they may enjoy those from the pet store, these are typically not very healthy. Fruit, on the other hand, is full of fiber and vitamins, making it the ideal alternative. With fruit, your guinea pig can satisfy their sweet tooth and nourish themselves at the same time. 

Apples and apple cores make great guinea pig treats. Just make sure to portion accordingly, and to remove any and all seeds from the core. 

two guinea pigs
Fruit good as part of a balanced diet

Cons 

Apple Cores contain seeds that are Toxic 

While seedless apple cores are okay for guinea pigs, those with seeds are not, as they contain cyanide. This is a compound that is quite toxic – to guinea pigs, humans, and other animals. When humans eat apples, a few seeds slipping by is not strictly healthy, but not a big deal. You will likely not experience negative effects. For guinea pigs, which are much, much smaller, a few seeds will serve as a far larger dose. This will make them sick and may even prove deadly. 

You can see why this would fall under the ‘Cons’ category. Not everyone might wish to offer their pet something so potentially risky. While a seedless apple core is safe, an apple core with seeds is the opposite. 

When feeding your guinea pig an apple core, first remove the seeds so that it is safe. 

The seeds in apple cores are easy for Guinea Pigs to choke on 

Apple seeds are small, hard and slippery, and known to cause guinea pigs to choke. At worst, this is fatal. At best, if you or your guinea pig manage to dislodge the seed, they will still have had a near-death experience. Remove every single seed from apple cores before offering them to your guinea pig, to prevent this risk, and the trauma. 

Apple Cores are high in sugar 

Did you know that guinea pigs are prone to diabetes? This is because their little bodies are not made to process a lot of sugar. Unfortunately, there is excess sugar in many guinea pig treats and foods today. 

The result? Guinea pigs have been developing diabetes, or obesity and other, lesser health issues. Fruit can be a cause of this, apples – and apple cores – included. This is because most fruit is high in natural sugars. While healthier in some ways, natural sugars still affect blood sugar levels similarly to good, old-fashioned, processed white sugar. This means that you will need to monitor their natural sugar intake. 

Now, a lot of fruit, including apples and apple cores, is also high in fiber. This counteracts the sugar spike to a degree. Proper portioning is still of paramount importance. We will go over this below. 

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apple Cores? Pros & Cons Of Apple Cores 1

How To Safely Feed Your Guinea Pig An Apple Core 

Before you feed an apple core to your guinea pig, ascertain that the apple and core are still relatively fresh. A little wilting is fine; mold is never okay. From here, remove the seeds carefully. Do not leave even one. Another method is to scrape the apple flesh from the core, leaving the seeds and skeleton of the core. Toss the seeds and leftovers. You may feed the clean scrapings to your guinea pig. 

Cyanide poisoning in Guinea Pigs 

Should you suspect that your guinea pig has ingested seeds, check their vitals, i.e. their heart rate, breathing, temperature, etc. Depending on how certain you are of ingestion, it is probably most wise to take your guinea pig to the vet immediately. Otherwise, keep a close eye. Signs of cyanide poisoning include lethargy, vomiting, breathing difficulty, etc. Should your guinea pig exhibit any of these or other worrisome symptoms, seek veterinary care. 

Portioning the apple and apple core 

So, how much of an apple, or an apple core, can your guinea pig have? The recommendation is up to ½ cup, two times a week. 

You may want to start with ¼ cup just once a week, to see how their body responds. Sometimes new foods tend to irritate the sensitive guinea pig tummy. Start out with smaller portions, and build up from there. Signs of gastrointestinal upset to look out for are diarrhea, bloating, and lethargy. Should your guinea pig exhibit any of these symptoms, cease feeding the apples and apple cores to them. 

Pro tip: when it comes to introducing food to your guinea pig, offer just one new one at a time. This way you can pinpoint the change. Otherwise, you may end up wondering if it is the carrots, or the apple cores, etc. that is upsetting their tummy. Better to know for sure. 

F.A.Q

  • Can a guinea pig die from eating apple cores? Not unless you feed them too many seeds. To be safe, remove the seeds from the apple core. Feed occasionally as a treat.
  • How many apples a week should you feed your guinea pig? As a treat, we feed our two guinea pigs a few small pieces of apple twice a week mixed with other fruits and a stable and balanced diet.
  • What’s the best fruit to feed your guinea pig? There are many good and safe fruits to feed your guinea pig. Just remember to feed them in small portions as part of a balanced diet. Our guinea pigs and rabbits love strawberries.
  • Can you cure diabetes in guinea pigs? Like diabetes in humans, you can control it through a balanced diet. It’s the same with guinea pigs.

Don’t forget the veg!

Of course not only fruit should be feed to your guinea pigs. A balanced diet of pellets, guinea pig mix, hay and of course vegs should be all part of a Guinea pigs diet.

Below are some suitable vegs to feed to your guinea pigs as part of a balanced diet.

KaleParselyBroccoli
AsparagusSpinachTomatoes
Salad PeppersBasilCabbage
CarrotsCauliflower leaves and stalksCelery
ChicoryCorianderCourgette
CucumberDandelionsDill
ParsnipsRadishRocket
Romaine LettuceTurnipsWatercress

Conclusion: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apple Cores?

Clearly, there are plenty of both pros and cons to feeding your guinea pig apple cores. Should you have leftover bits of apple you wish to be rid of, or if apples are all you have in the house, an apple core can be a fine guinea pig treat or snack choice. 

A fresh, not-too-sweet, not-too-sour apple, cored and rid of seeds, is ideal. An apple core with seeds will do your guinea pig harm. A seedless core is a fine source of much-needed fiber and vitamin C.

We hope we’ve answered the question ‘Can Guinea Pigs eat apple cores?’ sufficiently that you are more aware of the benefits and drawbacks of feeding your furry friend apple cores.

Hutch and Cage.com does not provide veterinary advice. Our aim is to provide the reader with information to enable them to make a good decision when making a purchase or caring for their pet. All content is therefore for informational purposes only. If you're concerned about the health of your pet you should seek medical advice from a vet.