Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cantaloupe?
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A yummy summertime favorite and an essential addition to colorful fruit salad, cantaloupe is popular all over the planet.
Whether you’ve been to the farmer’s market recently or if you’ve grown your own, you’re probably wondering if it’s OK to share a bit of cantaloupe with your cavy.
If so, how much cantaloupe can a guinea pig eat, and how often can they have this scrumptious treat?
Hold on, because we’ve got all the answers. First thing first: Yes! Guinea pigs can have cantaloupe.
But it’s important to give your cavy the right amount, and not more often than recommended. Keep on reading for the full scoop. We’re about to share everything we know about cantaloupe for guinea pigs.
Cantaloupe Nutrition Stats
Oh-so-yummy, with an almost creamy texture that’s unlike anything else! Is it even possible for cantaloupe to be good for you? The fact is, this melon is surprisingly healthy.
A satisfying 1-cup serving of cut-up cantaloupe gives you approximately:
- 60 calories
- 6 g carbohydrates
- 6 g fiber
- 5 g protein
- .3 g fat
Cantaloupe Nutritional Facts
Cantaloupe is an awesome source of the vitamin C you and your guinea pig need, plus it’s an outstanding source of vitamin A! In fact, you get more than 100 percent of your daily recommended value for both of those vitamins from that same one-cup serving.
Cantaloupe gives you approximately:
- 5987 iu vitamin A
- 473 mg potassium
- 65 mg vitamin C
- .1 mg vitamin B6
- .1 mg manganese
- 2 mg magnesium
- .1 mg thiamine
- .2 mg pantothenic acid
- .1 mg copper
- 9 mg calcium
- 2 mcg folate
- 4 mcg vitamin K
Can Guinea Pigs Have Cantaloupe?
Of course! Cantaloupe is high in sugar so you’ll have to be careful about offering the right amount, but overall, this is a wonderful treat for your cavy. After all, it’s completely natural.
Is Cantaloupe Good For Guinea Pigs?
If you’ve been reading up on guinea pigs or if you’ve been a cavy’s caretaker for a while now, you probably know that these little piggies have something in common with us humans (besides great looks, that is!)
Guinea pigs can’t make their own vitamin C, so its up to us as their guardians to ensure that they get enough. Without it, your guinea pig could suffer from vitamin C deficiency or even show symptoms of scurvy.
Having lots of vitamin C is one thing that makes cantaloupe such a nice natural treat for guinea pigs. The vitamin A it contains is great for your cavy’s health as well, and the rest of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants contribute to your pet’s overall well-being.
So congrats! You just found a fantastic snack for your piggie!
Do Guinea Pigs Like Cantaloupe?
Guinea pigs love cantaloupe! Once your pet tries a nibble, you can expect lots of excitement and perhaps a little bit of begging once treat time has come to an end.
Don’t give in though, even if your piggie seems to be asking for more cantaloupe. Too much can upset your guinea pig’s digestive system.
How Much Cantaloupe Can A Guinea Pig Eat?
Your guinea pig might start popcorning for joy when they hear the answer, because it’s quite a bit!
Here’s how much cantaloupe to feed your guinea pig:
|Baby guinea pig
|Adult guinea pig
|2 1×1 inch squares
To you, this is only a few bites of cantaloupe. To your guinea pig, it’s a feast! In fact, it might be a bit too much if your pet is on the small side; consider offering half this amount if your piggie is smaller than average.
Anytime you introduce a new food to your guinea pig, it’s a good idea to be careful. So offer a tiny bit – maybe a half-inch square – the first time you give your guinea pig cantaloupe.
This way, your pet’s system will have a chance to adjust and the risk of an upset tummy will be lower.
Spend several hours checking up on your piggie to make sure that there are no complications. If your guinea pig seems lethargic or shows signs of discomfort, cantaloupe might not agree with them.
If your cavy has diarrhea, then their system simply isn’t ready for this treat.
So long as you offer a very small amount though, everything should be fine. If all goes well and your cavy’s behavior and bowel movements are normal, you can offer them more cantaloupe next time it’s on the menu and gradually work your way toward the full amount.
Within a few weeks, your guinea pig will be eating cantaloupe like a champion!
How Often Can A Guinea Pig Eat Cantaloupe?
Even though cantaloupe is good for cavies, it’s kind of like cookies are for us humans: We shouldn’t have rich, sugary treats too often and neither should our pets.
But the good news is that just as we can have treats in moderation, so can they. You can give a guinea pig cantaloupe once or twice per week.
Just make sure that you’re not offering it on the same day as you give your pet other sweet snacks, unless you cut each item down significantly so that all the fruits amount to just one serving.
The Correct Diet Is Important
We’ve never met a wild guinea pig, but we’ve heard that they’re just as cute as their tame cousins. This makes sense – after all, they’re the same species!
Just like cuteness, pet guinea pigs share the same dietary requirements as wild cavies. There are certain things they shouldn’t eat, and lots of things they should have in abundance.
The number one thing on the “good” list is hay. Give your guinea pig all the fresh hay they can eat, along with extra for fun tunneling and nesting projects.
Next, make sure that your guinea pig always has access to clean, fresh water. Rinse and refill their drinking bottle every single day.
There are a couple of other foods guinea pigs need besides hay and water:
- Guinea pig pellets with added vitamin C should be offered every day. The package’s label will tell you how much to feed your cavy based on their size and life stage.
- Approximately one cup of fresh vegetables each day, preferably divided into two or three smaller meals. Offer different leafy greens and crunchy veggies on different days as added protection against oxalic acid buildup.
What Are Other Healthy Alternatives To Cantaloupe In A Guinea Pig’s Diet?
Since guinea pigs need lots of fresh food and variety is important, we’ve come up with some ideas.
Next time you’re shopping, look for guinea pig-approved veggies and herbs such as:
- carrot tops
- swiss chard
- beet tops
- green beans
- winter squash
- sweet potato
- butter lettuce
- buttercrunch lettuce
- bibb lettuce
- summer squash
- bok choy
- bell pepper
- yu choy
- brussels sprouts
Even though there are lots of choices here, the fact is, guinea pigs can eat most veggies and fruits – but you’ll have to be careful, because some foods are toxic to cavies.
Spend just a few minutes checking up on new options to make sure that you’re giving your guinea pig safe vegetables and fruits, and to find out just how much of each item your cavy can have.
For now though, it’s time to break out the melon and share a snack with your pet!
Giving your guinea pig cantaloupe is sure to let them know they’re appreciated – and it’s a nice way to get a little more vitamin C into their diet, too!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is cantaloupe safe for guinea pigs?
Yes, cantaloupe is safe for your cavy so long as you stick with the recommended serving size.
Can cantaloupe make my guinea pig sick?
Yes – it’s unfortunate but sweet foods including cantaloupe can cause diarrhea in guinea pigs. Long-term overfeeding can also put your cavy at risk of obesity and diabetes, two unpleasant conditions that make your guinea pig uncomfortable, sick, and at risk of having a far shorter life.
Can guinea pigs eat cantaloupe rind?
No, it isn’t a good idea to give guinea pigs cantaloupe rind since conventionally grown cantaloupes are heavily treated for pests, and as the texture of the rind holds lots of toxins.
Can guinea pigs have cantaloupe seeds?
No, you’ll need to remove the seeds before you give your guinea pig cantaloupe. Seeds like these are very sharp and they can easily become lodged in your cavy’s throat.