Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cherries? Benefits, Risks & Serving Size

Shirin Biswas
Feb 29, 2024 By Shirin Biswas
Originally Published on Oct 25, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
Can guinea pigs eat cherries or should you avoid them? Read on to have your questions answered!
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 9.4 Min

Cherries are one of the fruits that guinea pigs love to eat.

However, pet parents often find themselves asking whether the fruit is actually good for their pets or if it is doing more bad than good. Well, be assured that these ruby-red fruits are definitely beneficial for your guinea pigs!

Cherries are a rich source of antioxidants and have nutrients that will positively affect the body of your pet when you feed them the fruit. The vitamin C content in cherries is sure to ensure a good immune system and help in healing processes. Although, the nutritional index can also easily be replaced with other vegetables such as bell pepper if your pet happens to be allergic. Read ahead to know all the dos and don'ts of feeding cherries to your guinea pigs!

If you enjoyed this article, why not also check out can guinea pigs eat corn and can guinea pigs eat grapes.

Are cherries safe for guinea pigs?

Guinea pigs are loved as pets all over the world for many reasons. Not only are they heart-warmingly cute, but they also are fairly low maintenance.

While taking care of these animals is usually an easy task feeding these animals may become quite the task for pet parents who aren't well versed with the dos and don'ts of raising guinea pigs as parts of the family. Understandably, since these animals are so tiny, they do not have the same organs as humans or even as larger pets such as dogs. Hence, their digestive system is only capable of processing a fraction of the food that human beings can.

While the list of food items that guinea pigs eat is rather small, the list of nutrients that are needed in order to fuel the animal's body and make sure it is healthy is long and hefty. The biggest challenge that pet parents often face is regarding how they should be able to squeeze in all the required nutrients in the very small cup of food that their guinea pigs eat. The simple solution to these problems is to learn the guinea pig's anatomy and to curate a diet that would tend to all its needs.

You might have noticed that your guinea pigs love eating cherries and wondered if the fruit was actually good for your pets or was doing more bad to them than good. The simplest answer to the question would be that yes, cherries are mostly safe for your guinea pigs. Cherries, whether it be a sour cherry or sweet cherry, have a nutritional index that includes many vitamins and minerals. Cherries also have some antioxidants that are rarely found in other fruits and vegetables. Hence, this fruit is likely to do some good to your dearest pet's body. However, it is important that you exercise moderation when you feed your guinea pigs with some tasty treats.

This fruit should be established as a treat that your rodent buddy is given to eat once in a while since there are a lot of health issues that can come to being with overfeeding. It cannot be overlooked that cherries contain many vital nutrients that are required in order to make sure that your guinea pig is in optimum health, however, overfeeding can negate all the health benefits and cause severe issues instead.

For instance, cherries contain a lot of sugar. While these rodents definitely love their sugars and will squeak for more once the fruits are over, it is not particularly good for guinea pigs to be eating a lot of sugar since that can make them diabetic and obese.

Benefits Of Cherries For Guinea Pigs

Yes, guinea pigs love cherries and it is safe to say that cherries love them back when fed in small and calculated amounts. When you give cherries to your guinea pigs, they get many nutrients such as vitamin k, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, melatonin, anthocyanins, vitamin C, and many more.

While feeding your guinea pigs too many cherries is not a great idea, one or two cherries are sure to help your adorable pet in being able to live a happier and healthier life. Feeding cherries to guinea pigs gives them large amounts of vitamin C. Since these animals are incapable of producing their own vitamins, they require external sources in the form of raw fruits and vegetables. Cherries have a high concentration of vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system of these animals greatly.

A weak immune system means that the guinea pigs would be unable to ward off any health issues, and any wound or scar would take longer to heal. Hence, you should feed cherries to your guinea pigs every once in a while, although, eating cherries can easily be replaced with other foods such as bibb lettuce and summer squash. These vegetables roughly have the same nutritional index but pose less threat than cherries do.

When it comes to cherries, nutrition is also derived in the form of the vitamin K content in this fruit. While it is not widely known, a guinea pig's bones grow throughout the animal's life. No matter how unlikely it may seem to humans that such a small animal would have such levels of extensive growth, it holds true for guinea pigs. Hence, it becomes important that vitamin K is a part of a guinea pig's diet along with regulated amounts of calcium so that the health benefits are provided.

Vitamin K not only ensures that all the blood components of the animal are produced in plenty amounts, but also helps in healthy bone growth. Since cherries are a rich source of vitamin K, pet parents often choose the fruit to be a part of the diet of their pet guinea pigs. However, since guinea pigs can only be fed one cherry at a time, the fruit can easily be replaced with other sources of vitamin K such as swiss chard or winter squash.

Cherries also contain melatonin, which is not a nutrient that is found in too many foods. Melatonin is such a potent nutrient that helps in the regulation of a guinea pig's diet and sleep schedule. Hence, these fruits will help in making sure that your pet gets some peaceful sleep and does not suffer from any chronic anxiety.

Cherries are also rich sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants are helpful for a guinea pig's health since it fights any internal body issues. Antioxidants help in avoiding chronic heart issues, as well as regulating the cholesterol and glucose levels in the bodies of adult guinea pigs.

In addition to antioxidants, cherries are also rich in anthocyanins. This is one of the rare nutrients that have very potent and important health benefits. These benefits include maintenance of heart health and avoidance of any cardiovascular troubles. Hence, you feed them one cherry at a time, your guinea pigs are also likely to have healthier hearts and therefore live longer. Other nutrients such as pantothenic acid and zeaxanthin are important and helpful for guinea pigs if the serving size of cherries that you give your guinea pigs is properly and thoughtfully regulated.

Some guinea pigs are allergic to cherries!

How many cherries should you feed guinea pigs?

While the vitamin C content and other nutritional factors may motivate you towards stocking up the fridge with sour cherries and sweet cherries that your guinea pigs can eat throughout the week, that would hardly be a good idea; neither would it be a great idea to plant a cherry tree in the backyard unless you and your family happen to love cherries as well.

You can only give your guinea pigs one cherry at a time. At the same time, guinea pigs can only eat cherries one or two times a week. Cherries are great for cavies since these fruits have such nutritional benefits, but it must be kept in mind that the diet of guinea pigs can only accommodate a small amount. Too many sweet cherries can cause constipation and negate the benefits that the vitamin c and other anti-inflammatory vitamins and minerals may have given your pets.

Risks To Consider While Feeding

There are some risks when it comes to feeding your guinea pigs any fruits; cherries happen to be no exception to the rule. Since the digestive system of these animals does not have the same amount of organs as humans, guinea pigs can eat and digest only a fraction of the foods that humans can eat.

Common mistakes that pet parents make is that they feed too many cherries. Cherries have a lot of sugar content, and hence, it can be detrimental to their lifespan if the amount of sugar they consume exceeds the required amount. Too much sugar in the form of cherries can cause obesity and diabetes, which can be very harmful to guinea pigs - mainly because of how small they are and how fragile their bodies are. Guinea pigs can also not have any canned cherries.

Canned cherries are often treated with preservatives and added sugars, which can cause serious issues in a guinea pig. Guinea pigs only eat raw food, since their digestive system does not allow any cooked or processed foods. This would also include juices. Juices of all kinds of fruits have a higher concentration of sugars than the fruit itself, and hence, should be avoided entirely when the diet of a guinea pig is being curated. The first step in the preparation of cherries for guinea pigs is to choose the right kind of cherries. Your guinea pigs will definitely love you more if you feed them sweet cherries, and not sour ones.

Look for ripe cherries when you are at the supermarket and make sure that the ripe cherries have a stem on. Sour cherries lose their stems once ripe, while sweet ones do not. Once you have managed to get a few of these fruity pearls home, wash them thoroughly. It is important that you wash the fruits and vegetables before you feed your guinea pigs. This is because farmers often use fertilizers and pesticides, which can harm your dearest rodent friend if included as a part of their diet. If you happen to have a cherry tree, look for the ripest fruits, which look shiny and luscious!

Make sure to always remove the seeds from cherries. Cherry seeds contain cyanide, which is highly poisonous. Even though only traces of cyanide have been found in cherry seeds, it is always best to be on the safe side and your guinea pigs only feed on things that are good for them. It is also important to remember that some guinea pigs may have allergies to cherries and develop a sore mouth. If you notice a swollen mouth or any abnormality, make sure to consult a veterinarian and get your pet tested at the earliest! Now that you know everything about cherries and how guinea pigs love them, make sure to treat your pets with the fruit once in a while!

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for can guinea pigs eat cherries then why not take a look atcan guinea pigs eat bread or can ferrets eat cat food.

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Written by Shirin Biswas

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

Shirin Biswas picture

Shirin BiswasBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

With a degree in English from Amity University, Noida, Shirin has won awards for oratory, acting, and creative writing. She has a wealth of experience as an English teacher, editor, and writer, having previously worked at Quizzy and Big Books Publishing. Her expertise lies in editing study guides for children and creating engaging content.

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