Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cherries?

Guinea Pigs Jul 15, 2021
Written by | Updated Jul 16, 2021
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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cherries?

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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cherries?

Fresh sweet cherries are a delightful summertime treat with a very short season in most places. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on some, you might be tempted to share a few with your furry friend.

Hold on, though.

Cherries aren’t exactly bad for guinea pigs but they’re a treat that needs to be enjoyed in very limited quantities. So yes, guinea pigs can have cherries, but no, they can’t have them very often.

Keep reading for the full scoop. In moments, you’ll be well-informed on the subject of cherries for guinea pigs, and your furry friend will thank you for keeping them safe.

Cherries Nutrition Stats

Brimming with antioxidants and so delicious you might not be able to stop until the whole bag is gone, cherries are a rare treat when they’re in season.

In a one-cup serving of ripe sweet cherries with the pits still in, you’ll get about:

  • 87 calories
  • 1 g carbohydrates
  • 9 g fiber
  • 5 g protein
  • .3 g fat

Cherries Nutritional Facts

Cherries arent’ particularly high in any single nutrient but they are really good for you overall. So go ahead and enjoy, even though you won’t be able to share many with your cavy!

That same one-cup serving of ripe, sweet cherries gives you approximately:

  • 3 iu vitamin A
  • 306 mg potassium
  • 7 mg vitamin C
  • .1 mg vitamin B6
  • .1 mg manganese
  • 2 mg magnesium
  • .3 mg pantothenic acid
  • .1 mg copper
  • 4 mg choline
  • 9 mcg vitamin K
  • 9 mg calcium
  • 29 mg phosphorus

Can Guinea Pigs Have Cherries?

Yes, but only a tiny bit, and hardly ever.

We know that’s not the answer your guinea pig was looking for but cherries are very high in sugar for their size and they just don’t offer that many benefits for your pet. They’re not the worst treat you could offer but they’re not exactly the best, either.

Are Cherries Good For Guinea Pigs?

Not really. We hate to rain on your cavy’s parade but cherries and guinea pigs aren’t a great match for one another. This doesn’t mean your pet can’t have cherries – it just means that you need to be really careful about offering the right amount.

Do Guinea Pigs Like Cherries?

It’s safe to say that most guinea pigs love cherries. That’s the really sad part. You give a guinea pig a cherry and watch them nibble with delight only to realize that there is no more. Ever. Well, not ever… but for a guinea pig, a month is a really long time. And the cherries might be gone by then.

How Many Cherries Can A Guinea Pig Eat?

Again, we’re sorry to disappoint! Here’s how much cherry to feed your guinea pig:

Age Amount
Baby guinea pig None
Adult guinea pig 1 cherry with the pit and stem removed

Your guinea pig might be excited to have a cherry but you’ll want to prep it carefully.

Go ahead and take out the pit and remove the stem. Both of these are choking hazards for your cavy, plus they contain some traces of cyanide, which is toxic.

After your guinea pig eats the cherry (take pictures! It’s just this once!) watch them for signs of an upset tummy or diarrhea. This isn’t likely as you’re offering such a small amount but it can happen anytime you give your cavy something new, particularly when it’s high in sugar.

How Often Can A Guinea Pig Eat Cherries?

Hardly ever. In fact cherry season might be over by the next time your guinea pig can have cherries.

Only offer one cherry once per month and don’t give it to your cavy on the same day as you offer another snack.

Guinea pigs eating cherries are cute – beyond cute! But don’t give in to temptation and feed your pet more than the recommended amount.

The Correct Diet Is Important

Since most of a guinea pig’s diet consists of vegetation that grows close to the ground (mostly grass!) it isn’t likely that they’d encounter cherries in their natural habitat. And even if they did, you can be sure that there would be lots of competition from birds and other animals. Cherries and guinea pigs just aren’t meant to be.

Good news though, because there are lots of things your guinea pig can eat instead of cherries. We’ll start with what to feed your guinea pig on a daily basis.

  • Unlimited amounts of fresh hay such as timothy, oat, or orchard
  • A serving of vitamin C enriched guinea pig food (check the package for the serving size)
  • Unlimited amounts of clean, fresh water (rinse and refill your guinea pig’s water bottle every day)
  • About one cup of veggies, mostly leafy greens with a few crunchy veggies for variety (rotate through lots of different veggies all week long so your guinea pig doesn’t eat too much of one thing)

It’s best if you can break your guinea pig’s “salad” into two or three servings and offer them at different times during the day.

What Are Other Healthy Alternatives To Cherries In A Guinea Pig’s Diet?

Here’s the fun part. Even though guinea pigs can’t eat cherries in unlimited quantities, they probably won’t miss them – because there are lots of other foods they can have far more often!

Next time you’re looking for a healthy treat to give your guinea pig, consider:

  • zucchini
  • summer squash
  • pumpkin
  • winter squash
  • cabbage
  • brussel sprouts
  • green beans
  • artichoke
  • parsley
  • basil
  • beets
  • beet tops
  • cilantro
  • carrot
  • carrot tops
  • romaine
  • mint
  • arugula
  • swiss chard
  • sweet potato
  • butter lettuce
  • cucumber
  • buttercrunch lettuce
  • bibb lettuce
  • escarole
  • rocket
  • spinach
  • bell pepper
  • endive
  • parsnip
  • tomato
  • bok choy
  • asparagus
  • yu choy
  • broccolini
  • broccoli
  • watercress

Even though this is a pretty long list of foods that are good for guinea pigs, there are tons of other fruits and veggies they can enjoy safely.

Spend just a few minutes researching each new addition to your cavy’s diet and you’ll learn whether that item is safe, plus you’ll find out exactly how much of it (and how often!) your guinea pig can eat.

Giving a guinea pig cherries is fun while it lasts.

Let them enjoy this special treat and then get back to the regularly scheduled program – lower sugar veggies and fruits, guinea pig food, and lots of hay – and your cavy will thrive!

FAQ

Are cherries safe for guinea pigs?

Yes, it’s safe to give a cherry to a guinea pig but only if you remove the stem and pit first. Be sure to wash the cherry well to remove any pesticide.

Can cherries make my guinea pig sick?

Yes – sadly, too many cherries will give your guinea pig diarrhea and a very upset tummy. Only give your guinea pig one cherry per month.

Can guinea pigs eat sour cherries?

Yes, but that doesn’t mean they’ll like them.
Even if your guinea pig likes sour cherries, only give them one at a time, and only once a week. Just like sweet cherries, sour cherries have a little bit of cyanide in their stems and pits so these must be removed before your guinea pig has their treat.

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Anne is a wellness writer with a lifelong love of animals large and small. As a former veterinary technician, she has a passion for your pet’s well-being. Anne rescues and rehabilitates animals in need. She shares her farm with lots of critters including horses, sheep, dogs, cats, rabbits, and chickens.
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