Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberries? Fun Food Facts For Your Little Pet

Arpitha Rajendra
Feb 29, 2024 By Arpitha Rajendra
Originally Published on Oct 24, 2021
Funny guinea pig eating grass in the garden outdoors
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 10.5 Min

Sweet and juicy strawberries can be given to your guinea pig a few times per week.

Strawberries have a high amount of vitamin C so they make nutritious snacks. Strawberries also have fiber, potassium, and manganese.

A strawberry or a garden strawberry is a hybrid fruit grown widely across the world. Raw strawberries have a negligible amount of fat, 1% protein, 8% carbohydrates, and 91% water. There are so many vegetables and fruits for guinea pigs to snack on. Guinea pigs can eat strawberries for added health benefits but in moderation. Their diet must contain food with low sugar and low fat. The sugar content in strawberries can make guinea pigs obese and the acid in strawberries can cause mouth sores if fed excessively. Too many strawberries will also cause other serious health problems. The acid present in strawberries will also have the same effect if fed in excess. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, guinea pigs are fickle eaters, and once they have learned to choose their food, it is hard to change that habit when they grow old. So, they can be stubborn about trying new foods, and they can even starve if their feeding routine changes. Illnesses or complications due to a poor diet in guinea pigs include difficulties with pregnancy, teeth problems, vitamin deficiencies, metastatic calcification, and muscular dystrophy.

Guinea pigs need a constant supply and serving of fresh hay or other similar foods because these animals feed continuously. If they do not find food around then they will develop bad habits like chewing on things like hair. Like human nails, guinea pigs' teeth grow continuously, so they will constantly gnaw on things to avoid their teeth growing out of their jaw. This is also the reason they often chew on paper, cloth, rubber, and plastic, if available.

There are certain foods that your guinea pig should not eat like regular potatoes. These foods have starch that is easily absorbed by the guinea pig's body and converted into fat that guinea pigs do not burn in any way. Guinea pigs will definitely love the taste of bakery food, chocolate, cake, cheese, and other dairy products but they are not healthy and are not recommended to be included in a guinea pig's diet. Your guinea will need water 24/7 and the water must be clean all the time. It is better to create a routine time to feed your guinea pig starting at a young age. You can build up the diet slowly as it will help your pet eat all the given food without leaving any behind. The feeder in the cage must stay in one place; do not allow your pets to drag it around. You can regularly add hay with green fodder. With proper maintenance and care, your pet will have a healthy life.

If you enjoy reading these answers for can guinea pigs eat strawberries, then do make sure to read some more interesting facts about can guinea pigs eat lettuce and can guinea pigs eat pumpkin here at Kidadl.

Are strawberries safe for guinea pigs?

Yes, strawberries are safe for guinea pigs.

Guinea pigs are herbivores feeding mainly on greens and grasses. Guinea pigs do not do very well with too much sugar. So, you can feed strawberries or other fruits only as an occasional treat with a serving size of a little less than the total length of a human's thumb. Some fruits might also be toxic like leaves of tomatoes or avocado skins. Guinea pigs might also have sweet teeth like many of us. Some guinea pigs might not like strawberries. You can feed guinea pigs leaves and tops of strawberries. However, it is necessary to maintain a routine to feed your pet, which is twice a day. Treats can be added to this routine. Due to high quantities of calcium, acid, and sugar in strawberries if over-consumed by your pet then it can cause diarrhea, stones, and obesity. When you try to get your pet to eat strawberries, make sure to give it a small piece with the leaves and monitor your guinea pig and look for signs of an upset tummy before giving more.

As per vets, fresh fruits must make up 5-10 % of your guinea pig's diet. Tops and stems of strawberries are totally safe for your pet although there is no particular research that indicates that strawberry leaves are safe. There are also dried strawberries, which are normally high in sugar and calories. So, it is not ideal to feed them dried strawberries or any other dried fruits like dried bananas or dried apricots. Technically, guinea pigs can eat dried fruits but vets recommend not to feed them dried fruits to avoid health problems like an upset stomach. Most of the time your guinea pig will choose fresh fruit over dried ones. You can also provide your guinea pig strawberries in the form of juice. It must be homemade, pure, and diluted with water. Other store-bought juices are a big no-no for guinea pigs. Frozen strawberries must be given to these animals after defrosting or else they can cause digestive and stomach issues. Frozen food will also damage your guinea pig's teeth. Guinea pigs can eat many types of flowers but there are no studies and reports that states strawberry flowers are safe for guinea pigs. Seeds of strawberries are also safe, unlike watermelon and apple seeds.

Although guinea pigs love to eat strawberries every day, limit the treat to twice a week.

Can you feed strawberry jam to guinea pigs?

Little black and white guinea pig eating cabbage leaf

No, feeding your guinea pigs strawberry jam is not a good idea.

A balanced diet for guinea pigs includes mostly hay, which makes up 80% of the guinea pig's diet. 15% of the diet should be vegetables or leafy greens, and the remaining 5% should consist of pellets made especially for guinea pigs. All this food consists of low or no sugar whereas strawberry jam is filled with sugar. Strawberry jam is not toxic to your pet and your guinea pig will readily accept it if you offer jam. However, there is too much sugar in strawberry jam compared to the fruit. Your guinea pig should not eat strawberry jam as it can cause health problems. Strawberry jam contains too much sugar and can upset your guinea pig's stomach as it's gut flora will be affected. Not only can jam cause stomach issues but it can also cause diabetes and obesity. Jams must be avoided completely for the better health of guinea pigs.

These perennial plants have almost around 200 seeds and these fruits are the first ones to ripen every spring. Strawberries were used as medicine by ancient Romans. China was the leading producer of strawberries in the year 2019 followed by the United States and Mexico. There has been an increased demand for commercial products made from strawberries. When you buy strawberries, ensure they are big, heart-shaped, and firm with a glossy exterior. Choose ones that aren't overripe so you can store them longer. Ground transportation of strawberries is an easier option and strawberries should be consumed within the first two weeks of harvest.

It is better to keep your guinea pig on a healthy diet. Instead of buying strawberry jam for guinea pigs, feed them the actual fruit a couple of times a week. Make sure to wash any chemicals or pesticides off the strawberry before giving it to your guinea pig. Then you can either cut the strawberry into thin slices or tiny pieces. Also, make sure the cutting board and the knife are food safe.

Benefits Of Strawberries For Guinea Pigs

There are multiple health benefits of strawberries for guinea pigs: they boost immunity, they may reduce inflammation, they improve digestion, they regulate the level of blood sugar, they improve eyesight, they are a good source of vitamins, they eliminate free radicals, and they decrease the risk of heart attacks.

Strawberries have many health benefits as they are nutritious fruits. Guinea pigs can neither store nor synthesize vitamin C on their own. With an adequate amount of vitamin C, their immune system stays strong to fight infections and diseases. Guinea pigs are susceptible to scurvy if they don't get the required amount of vitamin C in their body. Scurvy causes skin, joint, and bone problems and interferes with the blood clotting process. Guinea pigs will regularly need vitamin C in their body. Strawberries might reduce inflammation. Antioxidants in strawberries may suppress molecules that produce inflammation in the body called free radicals. Strawberries help with maintaining the health of the gastrointestinal and digestive tracts. These fruits also improve heart health and a study in 2019 stated that they also reduce the risk of stroke. Strawberries regulate blood pressure, improve eyesight, and promote the growth of bones and teeth. Strawberries help in digestion due to their high fiber content.

There are possible risks involved with eating too many strawberries. Make sure to keep these risks in mind before feeding strawberries to guinea pigs. Strawberries have a moderate sugar content of around 5%. This much sugar is quite low for humans but for small guinea pigs, this amount of sugar might be an overdose. Guinea pigs will probably like strawberries for this reason. Too much sugar consumption can cause diabetes and obesity. The presence of pesticides on many fruits and vegetables is common. If pesticides are consumed, they can alter humans' and guinea pigs' health. Some side effects are stomach aches, diarrhea, food poisoning, and vomiting. Strawberries can easily decay if not stored properly. Overfeeding strawberries to guinea pigs is a big problem. It can cause lethargy, obesity, and diabetes due to excessive sugar, and mouth sores due to the acid in strawberries. Make sure to monitor your guinea pig when feeding and keep track of how much sugar they are eating. If your guinea pig is sick and is already taking beta medicine blockers, it is best not to feed it strawberries. While on this medication, strawberries can interfere with the processing of potassium. Like humans, guinea pigs are allergic to many things. To check whether or not your guinea pig is allergic, give it a small piece of strawberry and monitor your pet. Your guinea pig will either not touch the piece or act strangely after eating. If either of these things happen then stop giving strawberries immediately.

Nutritional Facts About Strawberries

Strawberries have carbs, fiber, manganese, vitamin C, minerals, potassium, folate, antioxidants, and plant compounds.

The nutritional value in 0.22 lb (100 g) of strawberries is 32 calories, 91% water, very little fat and protein, 0.004 lb (2 g) of fiber, 0.016 lb (7.7 g) of carbs, and 0.01 lb (4.9 g) of sugar. Almost 26% of the carb content in strawberries is fiber. 0.004 lb (2 g) of fiber contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. This dietary fiber will help with digestion and improve good gut bacteria. Fiber helps prevent many diseases and promotes weight loss. Strawberries are a rich source of vitamin C, which is needed for skin health and the immune system. Strawberries also have manganese in them, which is also found in legumes, whole grains, veggies, and other fruits. It aids in many processes taking place in your body. Potassium in strawberries regulates blood pressure. Fresh strawberries contain magnesium, copper, iron, phosphorous, and vitamins E, K, and B6. Ellagitannins are turned into ellagic acid in the gut and have several health benefits. Strawberry seeds and the flesh have procyanidins that may benefit health. Most anthocyanins are pelargonidin which give the red color to the fruit and benefit heart health.

There are alternative fruits for strawberries that are both beneficial and tasty for guinea pigs. You can give your guinea pig apple slices as an occasional treat. Apples are also rich in vitamin c and prevent scurvy. The fiber in peels of apples is also great for your pet's digestion. Bananas have vitamins B1, B6, C, and A which will maintain the immune system, eyesight, and reproductive system of guinea pigs. Potassium in bananas will regulate nerve signal and fluid balance. Antioxidants and flavonoids in plums can reduce their bind to toxins and inflammation. Plums are immune boosters with vitamins K, E, C, and A. Guinea pigs can also eat small pieces of blueberries as they have vitamins K and C and antioxidants. Vitamin C-rich oranges also keep guinea pigs healthy.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestion for can guinea pigs eat strawberries, then check out can guinea pigs eat radish or guinea pig facts.

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Written by Arpitha Rajendra

Bachelor of Engineering specializing in Aeronautical/Aerospace Technology, Master of Business Administration specializing in Management

Arpitha Rajendra picture

Arpitha RajendraBachelor of Engineering specializing in Aeronautical/Aerospace Technology, Master of Business Administration specializing in Management

With a background in Aeronautical Engineering and practical experience in various technical areas, Arpitha is a valuable member of the Kidadl content writing team. She did her Bachelor's degree in Engineering, specializing in Aeronautical Engineering, at Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology in 2020. Arpitha has honed her skills through her work with leading companies in Bangalore, where she contributed to several noteworthy projects, including the development of high-performance aircraft using morphing technology and the analysis of crack propagation using Abaqus XFEM.

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