Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apples?
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Crunchy, sweet, and absolutely delicious, apples are a favorite healthy snack. Not only do we humans love these flavorful fruits, many pets enjoy them, too.
For guinea pigs, apples are a favorite treat – but before you head to the kitchen, there are a few more things to be aware of.
Keep reading to learn all about apples for guinea pigs.
Apple Nutrition Stats
As fruits go, apples are fairly low in calories and super-high in healthy fiber.
In one medium-sized unpeeled apple, you’re likely to get:
- 72 calories
- 19 g carbohydrates
- 3 g fiber
- .36 g protein
- .2 g fat
Apple Nutritional Facts
Great news for you (and your guinea pig!) Apples are high in vitamin C, with about 6.3 milligrams in one medium fruit. That same medium-sized apple with skin provides:
- 75 iu vitamin A
- 148 mg potassium
- 8 mg calcium
- 1 mg magnesium
- .17 mg iron
- zince – trace
- niacin – trace
- manganese – trace
- phosphorous – trace
Apples also contain traces of vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, and vitamin K.
Can Guinea Pigs Have Apples?
Absolutely! Apples are great for guinea pigs, thanks to all of the nutrients they contain. Unless you’re feeding organic apples, you’ll want to scrub the fruit thoroughly before slicing it up for your cavy.
Apples are susceptible to insect damage so most orchards spray heavily.
Even organic apples might have traces of dirt on their skin, so scrub away!
Be sure to remove the stem and seeds when giving apples to a guinea pig, too. These contain traces of cyanide – not enough to kill your pet, but enough not to be good for them.
The hard fibers that surround the seeds should also be removed, as they can cause digestive upset.
Since apple skin (and the portion of fruit right under the skin) contains most of the nutrients, you might want to leave the skin on and allow your guinea pig to nibble at it.
Bad news though: The fiber in the skin can sometimes cause diarrhea, which is why some pet parents decide to peel apple slices before giving them to their guinea pigs.
Are Apples Good For Guinea Pigs?
Lots of pets can eat apples, guinea pigs included – but how good are apples for your beloved cavy? The good news is that apples are a really good source of vitamin C, which is great as your guinea pig can’t make this nutrient on their own.
The antioxidants and minerals in apples are good for guinea pigs too, but the high sugar content means that you need to be careful about how much apple to give your pet and how often to offer it.
Do Guinea Pigs Like Apples?
Almost all guinea pigs will express an interest in apples, but not all guinea pigs like them. If your pet sniffs around, nibbles a bit, and loses interest quickly, it’s possible that they don’t like the apple slice you’ve offered, or it’s possible that they would prefer a different variety of apple, i.e. a sweet fuji or jazz apple over a tart granny smith.
There’s one more reason why your guinea pig might not like the treats you’re giving them: If they’re new and still becoming accustomed to you, they might be a little suspicious about new treats.
Give your pet time! Once they know and trust you, they’ll be more interested in the new foods that you’re offering.
How Much Apple Can A Guinea Pig Eat?
That’s a great question and we’re glad you asked! Here’s how much apple a to feed your guinea pig:
|Baby guinea pig
|Adult guinea pig
|1 ½ inch thick slice of apple
Since apples sometimes cause digestive issues for guinea pigs, it’s really important not to offer too much, and it’s also important to watch for diarrhea over the next 12 hours or so. Only give your guinea pig a small amount of apple – about one quarter of the recommended serving – the first time you offer this treat.
If they like it and respond to it well, you can gradually increase the amount over time.
How Often Can A Guinea Pig Eat Apples?
Since apples are acidic, they can cause mouth sores in your guinea pig if eaten too frequently. Only offer apple about once a week, and not on the same day as other foods that are acidic or sugary.
Don’t worry – there are plenty of other treats to give your guinea pig, and variety keeps life interesting.
The Correct Diet Is Important
The natural guinea pig diet consists mainly of leafy plants and grass. You can treat your guinea pig to the diet nature intended by offering an unlimited amount of fresh, aromatic hay, along with a full drinking bottle of fresh water.
Here’s what else to feed a cavy:
- Guinea pig pellets fortified with vitamin C (See the label for information about how much to serve; serving size varies by brand)
- About one cup of fresh food per day, generally split into two smaller servings; crunchy and green veggies should be the main ingredients
What Are Other Healthy Alternatives To Apples In A Guinea Pig’s Diet?
Guinea pigs love to eat a huge variety of veggies and fruits – so you have plenty of options when deciding which treats to include in their daily salad.
Here are some of the herbs and veggies guinea pigs like most:
- carrot tops
- beet tops
- swiss chard
- butter lettuce
- buttercrunch lettuce
- bibb lettuce
- green beans
- bell pepper
- summer squash
- sweet potato
- brussels sprouts
- bok choy
- yu choy
Your guinea pig will appreciate the treats you offer – and when you provide a variety of fresh foods on a rotating basis, you’ll be doing your part to provide plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Remember to offer an endless supply of Timothy hay and a daily portion of guinea pig food with vitamin C added, and you’ll be well on the path to ensuring that your pet lives a healthy life.
Giving your guinea pig apples – just in small quantities – is a good way to add variety and make life a little more interesting!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are apples safe for guinea pigs?
Absolutely! So long as you’re careful with preparation and so long as you don’t overdo it, apples are among the best sweet treats for guinea pigs.
Can apples make my guinea pig sick?
Since a guinea pig’s natural diet doesn’t include lots of sweet foods, their body simply doesn’t deal with a major influx of sweets well. This is true even when those sweets are natural and healthy, i.e. apples, grapes, watermelon, and other fruits. Too many apples can harm your diet so stick to the recommended amount even if your pet seems to be begging for more sweets!