Although guinea pigs should not eat certain parts of a cherry, the meat of the cherry itself is safe for them to eat in moderation. Guinea pigs should not be given the stem, any attached leaves, or the pit of the cherry as they are harmful to their health.
As is with most food, cherries come with their fair share of nutritional benefits and can be a tasty treat for your pet. However, despite how much your guinea pig may enjoy it, it is better to remember that too much of a good thing can be bad.
What Parts of a Cherry Can’t Guinea Pigs Eat and Why?
There are several parts to a cherry fruit, and not all of them can be fed to your guinea pig without risking harm to their health. The meat, or flesh, of the cherry, is the safest and healthiest part for your guinea pig to eat, the following parts are not, Cherry stems, leaves, and cherry Pits.
- Cherry stems
- Cherry Leaves
- Cherry Pits
Why Are These Parts Harmful to Guinea Pigs?
The cherry pit, leaves, and twigs can be fatal to your guinea pig. This is because these parts of a cherry contain trace amounts of cyanide.
Cherry seeds, also referred to as the pit, contain cyanide in them while the leaves and branches have prussic acid. This prussic acid will gradually turn into cyanide within the leaves as they begin to wilt and die. Even the smallest amount of these things can be lethal to your guinea pig due to their small size.
If you plan on feeding your guinea pig a cherry, it is advised that you remove these parts prior to offering it to them so that they can enjoy their snack without serious risk to their health.
What are the Nutritional Benefits of Cherries?
If given in moderation, your guinea pig can enjoy this tasty snack and find a great source of vitamin C- a common deficiency in guinea pigs.
They supply them with vitamin A, vitamin K, Vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, magnesium, pantothenic acid, copper, choline, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, folate, and thiamine. They also provide protein, fiber, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
What are the Health Benefits That Cherries Provide for Your Guinea Pig?
Although it is not a treat that guinea pig owners should give regularly, cherries do provide your cavy with several health benefits. Some of these benefits include:
- Metabolism Increase– Cherries can actually increase your guinea pig’s metabolism and aid them in staying physically active.
- Good Source of Water– Guinea pigs who have a diet with high water will actually drink less. Because of the water content in cherries, they are a great source of water if you ever find a need for introducing more liquid to their diets.
- High in Antioxidants– Cherries are a great source of antioxidants, which will help keep your guinea pig in good health and better able to fight off disease.
- Heart Health– Cherries are known to help control cholesterol levels and can aid in good heart health for your guinea pig.
- Digestive System– As a result of their nutritional benefits, cherries are great for a guinea pig’s digestive system, providing them with plenty of fiber.
- Vitamin C– Guinea pigs do not have the necessary bodily function to make their own vitamin C. The lack of vitamin C is a common deficiency found among them. Cherries are high in it and can be a tasty way to add more into their diet every now and then.
Despite the health benefits that it may give your guinea pig, too much cherry can have a negative impact on your guinea pig’s overall health.
How Can The Meat of The Fruit be Harmful?
Although you may be tempted to feed your cavy more cherries once you see how much they love them, having too many cherries in their diet can result in obesity, diarrhea, diabetes, and mouth sores.
Due to the high level of acid in cherries, giving a guinea pig too many can result in mouth burns and sores.
This can be detrimental to your guinea pig’s health as any sores that develop inside the mouth or around the mouth may prevent him or her from drinking and eating their food.
Cherries also contain a lot of natural sugar inside them. Having a high level of sugar makes them a great treat but can adversely affect their GI tract and cause them to experience bouts of diarrhea.
It may also result in your cavy developing diabetes and/ or becoming obese.
What is a Safe Serving Size to Give Your Guinea Pig?
When feeding your guinea pig a cherry, you want to make sure to feed them one cherry at a time, though the frequency to which you can offer it to them varies in recommendation.
Some cavy owners will give their cavy one cherry as often as one to two times a week, while others will offer it only once a month.
To keep your pet as healthy as possible, it is highly recommended to speak to your veterinarian about how often you can safely give them a cherry.
Safe Fruits for Guinea Pigs
|Pineapple||Strawberries||Star fruits||Water Melon|
As you can see, cherries have plenty of benefits to your guinea pig’s health. As long as it is given in moderation with the hazardous parts removed, your cavy can safely enjoy this scrumptious fruit.