Can Guinea Pigs Eat Tomatoes? Is It Safe Or Will They Get Sick? | Kidadl


Can Guinea Pigs Eat Tomatoes? Is It Safe Or Will They Get Sick?

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Are all types and parts of tomatoes safe for these small guinea pigs to feed on?

For every fruit and vegetable, there is a serving size for guinea pigs to restrict over-eating. When guinea pigs eat tomatoes they can gain weight if they eat a lot of tomatoes.

Tomato is an edible berry of the tomato plant, Solanum Lycopersicum. The origins of this berry are central America and South America. The English word was derived from Nahuatl and Spanish terms. Tomatoes consist of less than 1% each of protein and fat, 4% of carbohydrates, and the remaining 95% is water. Tomatoes are an average source of vitamin C. Tomatoes must be kept at room temperature so that they retain their flavor. The ripe fruit is the only safe part of the fruit, not stems or leaves. However, tomatoes must be given to guinea pigs in moderation. The green, unripe fruit, stem, and leaves can be toxic to guinea pigs. When it comes to vegetables and fruits, 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 you change their feeding routine. Some illnesses or complications in guinea pigs due to a poor diet include difficulties with pregnancy, teeth problems, vitamin deficiencies, metastatic calcification, and muscular dystrophy.

In 0.22 lb (100 g) of tomatoes, there are 18 calories, very little fat and protein, 0.002 lb (1.2 g) of fiber, 0.005 lb (2.6 g) of sugar, and 0.008 lb (3.9 g) of carbs. There are several subspecies of tomatoes that differ in flavor and shape. Also, different varieties of tomatoes come in different colors like orange, purple, green, and yellow. Depending on the ripeness and conditions during harvesting, the level of acidity and sweetness of tomatoes varies. The number of seeds also varies from one tomato to another. Tomatoes can be dried, pureed, and crushed and might also have sodium as an added ingredient. There are more products like sun-dried (either packed with oil or sold as is), tomato juice (either part of vegetable juice or sold as only tomato juice), and tomato paste (cooked and concentrated tomatoes). Tomatoes are also used as bases in condiments such as salsa and ketchup.

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 prevent their teeth from growing out of their jaw. This is also the reason they often chew on paper, cloth, rubber, and plastic, if available.

If you enjoy reading these facts about can guinea pigs eat tomatoes, then make sure to read some more interesting facts about can guinea pigs eat potatoes and can guinea pigs eat pumpkin here at Kidadl.

Are tomatoes safe for guinea pigs?

Yes, tomatoes are safe for baby guinea pigs and adult guinea pigs.

Tomatoes contain a number of nutrients like beta-carotene, lycopene, and vitamin K and C, which are necessary for guinea pigs. The primary diet of guinea pigs is grass and hay, like timothy hay. Hay and grass have high fiber and less calcium and they need this food source around them all the time. As we now know that these animals are picky eaters, it is better to give your guinea pig tomatoes or other fruits when it is still a baby. Two weak alkaloid poisons in tomatoes are tomatine and solanine throughout the plant; however, they are more concentrated in the leaves and stems, and in green fruit too. Tomato's green parts are poisonous to both guinea pigs and human beings. The amount of poison might not have any effect on humans but can be harmful to tiny creatures like guinea pigs. Green parts include the stalk, leaves, and unripe tomatoes themselves. None of these should be fed to guinea pigs. Guinea pigs can eat red, ripe tomatoes. Tomatoes have oxalic acid but in low amounts and cannot cause any harm to guinea pigs.

Foods like tomatoes contribute to the overall health and well-being of your guinea pig. You can add a serving size of 1 cubic in (0.000016 cubic m) of tomato with guinea pig food two times per week. If you are using a baby tomato such as a grape or cherry tomato then you can feed your guinea pigs one full tomato. Make sure to introduce vegetables or fruits one by one and let guinea pigs choose their food. If your guinea pig does not like tomatoes then do look for alternative fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens that contain the same nutrients.

Can guinea pigs eat tomatoes' seeds?

Little black and white guinea eating cabbage leaf

Yes, guinea pigs can eat tomato seeds.

In general, seeds of any fruit can be harmful as they can cause choking. It is sometimes recommended to remove the seeds. However, tomatoes seeds are very soft and tiny and guinea pigs will have no trouble chewing them. Tomato seeds are not choking hazards like seeds are in most other vegetables and fruits. A study also states that seeds and the skin of this fruit have more antioxidants and nutrients. Make sure to give only ripe fruit and avoid unripe green tomatoes.

You need to prepare the fruit in a proper way so that your guinea pig receives all the benefits of tomatoes and also enjoys tomatoes. Make sure to pick only ripe fruit to give your guinea pig. Avoid any overripe or unripe tomatoes. You will need to wash tomatoes under running water to remove residue of dirt and pesticides. Not washing them properly or feeding them right out of the bag can be harmful to the guinea pig's health. Cut tomatoes into bite-sized pieces for your guinea pig to feed on easily. The serving size must be small, and only twice a week. Do not over-feed or exceed the serving limit as it can lead to harmful conditions like diarrhea, mouth sores, and stomach upset. Once your guinea pig has finished eating, remove any leftover pieces in the cage after a while. If left in the open, bacteria can act on these pieces quickly and if your guinea pig eats these decaying pieces then it can cause severe health issues.

Types Of Tomatoes Good For Guinea Pigs

Almost all types of tomatoes are safe for guinea pigs including yellow tomatoes, plum tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and grape tomatoes.

Before feeding tomatoes to your guinea pig, it is necessary to know which types of tomatoes guinea pigs can eat. Types of tomatoes for guinea pigs include yellow tomatoes, Roma or plum tomatoes, grape tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes. Smaller than normal tomatoes include cherry tomatoes and your guinea pig can eat cherry tomatoes. These cherry-sized tomatoes are sweet and can be fed to your pet in moderation. Guinea pigs can eat cherry tomatoes as a whole and their seeds are smaller than normal. Give your guinea pig only one cherry tomato per serving. Grape tomatoes are small like cherry tomatoes but more in a shape of a grape, as the name mentions. These tomatoes are not as sweet as cherry tomatoes but are tasty enough for a guinea pig. The skin and seeds are safe to eat. Yellow tomatoes are normally sweeter than red ones and guinea pigs will surely enjoy eating them. These tomatoes need to be sliced before being fed to guinea pigs. They have nutrients like potassium, vitamin A, antioxidants, and vitamin C. Plum or Roma tomatoes are also filled with nutrients that can benefit your guinea pig. There are ripe green tomatoes available too, which are different from unripe green tomatoes and guinea pigs can eat these tomatoes. They are similar to red tomatoes in size and nutrients like vitamin C and minerals.

There are other types of tomatoes that are processed, cooked, sun-dried, and canned. Processed tomatoes can cause some serious digestive problems in guinea pigs. Raw tomatoes have much more nutrients than either processed or cooked ones. Some ingredients in canned tomatoes can be hard for guinea pigs to digest causing digestive problems like diarrhea. Sun-dried tomatoes like other dried vegetables and fruits are high in sugar and can affect the digestive system of guinea pigs.

Some benefits of tomatoes are Vitamin C, lycopene, potassium, vitamin K, calcium, water, and folate. Vitamin C is an immune booster and promotes heart health. Domesticated guinea pigs that are raised in cages can have a weak immune system. By supplying vitamin C, they can stay healthy. Vitamin C helps a guinea pig's body absorb iron. Vitamin C also repairs cells and fights cancer. Lethargy, joint pain, bleeding gums, and mouth sores are symptoms of vitamin C deficiency. Potassium promotes the communication between muscles and nerves. Lycopene fights free radicals. Calcium is important for bone health and the proper functioning of the nervous system. Vitamin K promotes blood clots. Folate is important in your guinea pig's diet as it is required to produce red blood cells. As most of the tomato has water it helps guinea pigs stay hydrated. Beta-carotene promotes the health of the eyes, coat, and skin of guinea pigs.

Risks To Consider While Feeding

Remember that tomatoes may contain pesticides and parasites; can cause kidney stones, calcium deficiency, and stomach upset; are high in sugar and high in acids; and can cause nutrient toxicity.

Where there are benefits there are risks and it is true for tomatoes too. Tomatoes cannot be a staple diet food like hay. This food is recommended to be given as a treat. Over-eating tomatoes can lead to stomach aches and diarrhea. Some guinea pigs might be allergic to tomatoes. Some signs to look for are swelling in the throat and mouth after guinea pigs eat tomatoes. If this happens, take tomatoes away from guinea pigs and give them a lot of water. You will need to visit the vet if the reaction gets worse. The level of sugar content is average in tomatoes; however, if guinea pigs consume way more than required they won't be able to burn it all. This stored sugar then leads to diabetes. Though uncommon there are reports of diabetes in guinea pigs. There have also been reports of guinea pigs getting sore mouths due to eating too many tomatoes. Completely avoid unripe tomatoes for the better health of guinea pigs. As we now know the stalk, stems, calyx, and leaves can be toxic to guinea pigs so these are better avoided. Solanin is the poison present in unripe plants that is a natural defense mechanism against pests and other insects. This is only found in green-colored parts of a plant. This poison can cause fits and convulsions in guinea pigs and in severe conditions, can cause heart failure leading to death.

To avoid such risks it is also important to introduce any treat slowly to help you monitor your guinea pigs for any signs of illness. When you know that your guinea pig actually enjoys a snack without any resulting negative effects, you can gradually increase the serving size slightly. It will be necessary to monitor your pet every time you increase the serving size.

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 tomatoes, then check out can guinea pigs eat spinach or guinea pig facts.

If someone on our team is always keen to learn and grow, then it has to be Arpitha. She realized that starting early would help her gain an edge in her career, so she applied for internship and training programs before graduation. By the time she completed her B.E. in Aeronautical Engineering from Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology in 2020, she had already gained much practical knowledge and experience. Arpitha learned about Aero Structure Design, Product Design, Smart Materials, Wing Design, UAV Drone Design, and Development while working with some leading companies in Bangalore. She has also been a part of some notable projects, including Design, Analysis, and Fabrication of Morphing Wing, where she worked on new age morphing technology and used the concept of corrugated structures to develop high-performance aircraft, and Study on Shape Memory Alloys and Crack Analysis Using Abaqus XFEM that focused on 2-D and 3-D crack propagation analysis using Abaqus.

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