March 9, 2023 by Umair Shahid
We see so many delicious fruits and vegetables available in local stores and markets every day. Being a pet parent, it’s exciting to discover which ones are safe for your pet to eat.
According to our research and veterinary experience, I am here to guide guinea pig owners on their guinea pigs’ dietary needs. If you are a strawberry lover, you might want to know can guinea pigs eat strawberries? Yes, guinea pigs can eat strawberries in moderate amounts.
However, make sure not to feed them over 2-3 strawberries a week. Adding things to your guinea pig diet is tasty and fun, but it is also enriching for your furry friend. A healthy and well-balanced guinea pig’s diet should comprise roughly 80% hay and 20% pellets, fruits, and vegetables.
This analysis means that your guinea pig can try new fruits and vegetables every week. However, I will tell you about the benefits of strawberries and how they are beneficial for your little piggy.
Do guinea pigs like strawberries?
The strawberries can be good for the health of your guinea pig. The strawberries are not really rich in sugar.
However, guinea pigs love sweet treats. Every animal loves these fruits because of their sharp taste, beautiful color, and sweet aroma.
The guinea pigs also love eating strawberries. But the question we are concerned about is Can guinea pigs eat strawberries?
Yes, they can. But what are the pros and cons if you feed strawberries to your guinea pigs? Just give this article a read to know in detail.
Nutritional benefits of strawberries:
The strawberries are the only sweet fruit that is not overloaded with sugars. Although, natural sugars are easily digestible and harmless for humans. But even a little overdose can be very harmful to guinea pigs and other rodents with small body sizes.
Following are some health benefits of strawberries in guinea pigs.
Low level of carbs:
The guinea pigs, like other rodents, are prone to digestive diseases. Eating too many carbs can damage the gut health of your guinea pigs. According to research, 100 grams of strawberries contain 7-8 grams of carbohydrates in form of sucrose.
A guinea pig can consume this amount of sugar over two to four days. This amount of sugar is easily digestible because guinea pigs have good physical activity. So, giving one or two strawberries to your guinea pig once a week does no harm.
Rich in Vitamins:
Strawberries are a rich source of vitamins. They contain vitamin C, which is beneficial for the bones of guinea pigs. As guinea pigs are herbivores, their food is low in vitamins.
There are high chances of bone deformities in guinea pigs because of this deficiency of vitamin C. Therefore, feeding the strawberries once or twice a week becomes an excellent source to replenish the vitamins in the bodies of your guinea pigs.
Rich in potassium ions:
The fruit rich in potassium ions is bananas. However, strawberries are also a good source of potassium. This potassium-containing fruit helps in the muscle health of guinea pigs. It also regulates blood pressure by keeping the ionic balance in the body of guinea pigs.
Being small rodents, a slight change in the electrolyte balance of the body can damage the health of your fur baby. The guinea pigs eat hay which is not a good source of some ions like sodium and potassium. Therefore, you can provide these ions through fruit treats.
Rich in antioxidants:
Strawberries are also a rich source of antioxidants. The antioxidants remove harmful radicals from the body. These harmful radicals can damage the organs of the guinea pigs.
It also affects the quality of the hair coat of guinea pigs. The antioxidants are also helpful in reducing inflammation in the body of the guinea pigs. To protect the guinea pigs from health problems, I suggest you provide one or two strawberries to your guinea pigs often.
Lower cholesterol level:
Strawberries are the fruits that lower the levels of cholesterol in guinea pigs. The pink fruits contain two compounds called quercetin and anthocyanin that cut down the cholesterol in the body.
This lower cholesterol protects Guinea pigs from many cardiovascular diseases. High cholesterol in blood vessels can cause arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis in guinea pigs. Using strawberry treats prevents these disorders.
Why should guinea pigs not eat too many strawberries?
Strawberries are a good source of ions and vitamins for guinea pigs. However, the Excess of everything is dangerous. Therefore, I answered the question Can guinea pigs eat strawberries? with a Yes.
However, the excessive use of strawberries can damage the health of your pet guinea pigs. Following are some damages of giving too many strawberries to your guinea pigs as treats.
Growth of dangerous bacteria:
Feeding a high number of strawberries increases the carbohydrate level in the digestive tract of guinea pigs. This high level of sugar disturbs the gut microflora of these animals.
The guinea pigs have a digestive system different from humans. They contain symbiotic bacteria that help them digest the complex carbohydrates in their feed. However, excess carbohydrates alter the Ph of the digestive tract.
The altered Ph increases the acid production in the stomach of guinea pigs. This low Ph and more acid production kill the bacteria in the gut of guinea pigs. Therefore, avoid feeding an excessive number of strawberries to your guinea pigs.
Another potential risk of feeding strawberries to guinea pigs is the use of pesticides. The farmers use pesticides and insecticides to protect the fruits from worm infestation. The residues of these carbamates can damage the gut of your guinea pig.
The strawberries are not toxic to rodents. But carbamate residues can cause gastric ulceration in guinea pigs. Therefore, thoroughly wash and soak the strawberries in clean water before feeding them to your guinea pigs.
Allergies and medication:
Sometimes, the guinea pigs are allergic to any compound present in the fruits. This allergy can appear in any form like vomiting, diarrhea, blood in stool, hypersalivation, or skin rashes in guinea pigs. Therefore, before feeding strawberries, make sure your pet is not allergic to these compounds.
Frequently asked questions:
- How many strawberries can my guinea pigs eat?
You can give two to three strawberries to your Guinea pig every week. However, do not exceed this number. You can feed strawberries to your guinea pigs in any form like mashed, frozen, or chunks.
- Can I feed strawberry jams to your guinea pigs?
No, strawberry jam is rich in sugars. This amount of concentrated sugar is highly harmful to guinea pigs. Therefore, never feed strawberries or any fruit jam to your guinea pigs.
- Can I give strawberry tops to my guinea pigs?
Yes, strawberry tops are also a good source of sodium and potassium ions. These fruit tops are also rich in fibers. This fibrous part helps improve digestion in the guinea pigs.
Can guinea pigs eat strawberries? Yes, your little fur friends can eat strawberries. However, never exceed over two to three strawberries in a week. A low number of strawberries help improve the digestion and muscle health of your guinea pigs.
However, feeding excess strawberries can alter the Ph of a guinea pig’s gut. It destroys the microflora and disrupts the digestion process of guinea pigs. The strawberry tops are a good source of fibers and minerals for these little rodents.
I am a proud veterinarian from Lahore, Pakistan. A passionate animal lover who pursued her passion for animal care as a career.
My eagerness to learn and my love for animals grew stronger even during my teenage days. Having a lovely pet, a German Shepherd, in my home allowed me to bond with animals in the best way.
This bonding with my pet provided me with a firm foundation to research and preach about the best animal care methods.