It’s not at all unusual to want to spoil your guinea pig with a treat every now and again.
And while there are plenty of commercial options available to pick and choose from, it’s tough to beat giving your furry little pig a sweet piece of fruit – especially something as tasty as a strawberry.
You may have heard that it is completely safe to give guinea pigs fruit, especially strawberries, so long as you make sure to avoid overfeeding them.
Other people, though, may have told you that the sugar and the streets can wreck their digestive health faster than you ever believe possible – turning those furry little family members into diabetics and shaving their lifespan significantly.
What’s the truth?
Guinea Pigs can eat strawberries in small portions. Only feed strawberries to your Guinea pig once or twice a week as part of a balanced diet. Strawberries contain 5% sugar by weight – and that’s a lot of sugar to pump into your tiny little guinea pigs. Strawberries should be given as a treat.
Will giving strawberries to your guinea pig too often really harm their health and wellness?
Let’s find out.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberries?
Strawberries are a summertime favorite for millions of people, but your guinea pigs will like a snack of strawberry just as much – as long as you keep the amount of strawberry you give them limited to only a few small pieces every week.
Strawberries themselves are absolutely loaded in Vitamin C, a vitamin that your guinea pigs need for optimum health and one that they don’t often get enough of in their normal food.
At the same time, though, strawberries are also 5% sugar by weight – and that’s a lot of sugar to pump into your tiny little guinea pigs.
What we are trying to say is that you can give your guinea pig strawberry confidently, but you have to make sure that you aren’t overloading their health systems with too much sugar. It really is possible to push their blood sugar levels to unsafe heights pretty quickly with too much fruit, causing them to turn into diabetics and ending their lives prematurely because of it.
If you’re going to give your guinea pig strawberries it’s not a bad idea to give them small pieces attached to the green leafy tops. This balances out the sugar, give them something sweet to chew on and helps you with portion control as well.
Are There Other Fruits Guinea Pigs Can Safely Eat?
You can give your guinea pigs a couple of other fruits as well, including:
You might also want to think about sneaking your guinea pig a bit of sweet pepper every now and again.
They will love the sweet treat but you won’t have to worry about the sugar content in peppers the way you do with foods like strawberries.
How to Feed Your Guinea Pigs Strawberries
Feeding your guinea pig strawberries (or any other fruit, for that matter) is pretty simple and straightforward.
Only ever get your fruit from a reputable source, too, making sure that it is ripe and not rotten. Scrub all of those pesticides, toxins, and potential chemical agents of the fruit before you begin to slice it up and you’ll be good to go.
The next step is to cut those strawberries up into tiny little pieces, even smaller than what you might consider bite-size for a child. You want to be sure that your guinea pig can manage them without any trouble.
It’s also not a bad idea to let those strawberries warm up to temperature. Cold fruit – especially cold strawberries – can cause stomachaches for your guinea pigs.
Make sure that your only ever giving them a bit of strawberry a handful of times each week (maybe two or three times max) and you should be good to go!
Like all things in life, too much of a good thing can cause you harm. It’s the same for your cute little guinea pig. You may think you’re doing them a favor or giving them the best possible fresh fruit diet.
But in the long run, you could be seriously harming their health. You should speak to your local vet and get their advice on the perfect diet for your guinea pig.
Guinea pigs are greedy little things and will often eat and eat until they are sick ( Similar to us ) but you are in control of their diet, life and longterm health. So, be responsible and give them a healthy balanced diet with the odd strawberry piece as a treat.