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There is nothing compared to a sweet, juicy, freshly harvested ripe strawberry. Strawberries are one of the world’s most popular berries because of their sweet flavor, deep color, and versatility and they’re loved and enjoyed by many. But what about pets? Can guinea pigs eat strawberries too?
Can guinea pigs eat strawberries?
Strawberries offer a plethora of health benefits compared to other fruits. This has to do with the inherent nutrition of strawberries and their relatively low sugar content compared to other fruits.
So, can guinea pigs eat strawberries? Yes! They can! Strawberries are good for them, too. They are nutritious and offer a range of health benefits for your guinea pig. There are some risks you should keep in mind, but they are relatively harmless as long as you remain watchful.
Can guinea pigs eat strawberries? – The Benefits
To understand why the benefits of feeding strawberries outways the adverse effects or risks, one would need to understand what makes strawberries nutritious and tasty.
Strawberries have less sugar than other fruits.
Although strawberries are juicy and sweet, they don’t contain that much sugar. For example, 100 grams of strawberries contain about 7-8 grams of sugar, while the same amount of bananas contains about 15-17 grams of sugar. That’s about twice as much sugar! In many cases, strawberries look sweeter.
So if you are looking for a fruit to feed to your guinea pigs with minimal chance of diabetes progression or obesity, then strawberries may be the fruit you have been looking for.
Apart from their low-sugar content, these berries come packed with loads of other nutrients too as we’ll learn below.
Strawberries are high in vitamin C
What do your cute little guinea pig and Captain Blackbeard have in common? They are both very susceptible to scurvy, a disease caused by a vitamin C deficiency. Pirates used to experience this condition because of the lack of fresh food onboard. Scurvy is characterized by excessive gum bleeding and the opening up of previously healed wounds or injuries.
Since guinea pigs biologically aren’t able to produce their own vitamin C, unlike vitamin K and or D, they are more susceptible to scurvy, hence requiring the adequate consumption of foods rich in vitamin C.
For this same reason, vitamin C is a crucial nutrient for guinea pigs! Thankfully, strawberries have so much of it. In fact, in equal quantities, strawberries contain more vitamin C than oranges.
They can help regulate guinea pigs’ blood pressure
While strawberries don’t have as much potassium as bananas, they contain about 18mg per berry, although relatively little, however, it contains enough potassium to keep your guinea pigs happy and active. This potassium is a great way to help regulate your guinea pig’s blood pressure.
Strawberries help reduce inflammation and free radicals in guinea pigs
These small berries are rich in antioxidants, similar to leeks, they help reduce inflammation and eliminate free radicals in your guinea pig’s body.
Strawberries are heart-healthy food for guinea pigs
Anthocyanins and quercetin are two compounds found in strawberries that help lower cholesterol in guinea pigs. This promotes better cardiovascular health and ensures that your pet is living its best life.
Can guinea pigs eat strawberries – The risks
While the concern about the sugar in strawberries may be frightening, but since strawberries have a relatively lower amount of sugar content when compare with some other sweet fruits, it’s not enough to really warrant concern.
Strawberries also contain calcium which is known to increase the formation of kidney stones or bladder stones. But again, really worrying too much is not enough.
The biggest adverse effects and risks associated with guinea pigs eating strawberries are easily avoidable, and we’ll discuss how shortly.
Feeding strawberries to your guinea pig – The Tips
Only buy organic – if you can
One of the most significant issues with strawberries is the use of pesticides. Before feeding any strawberries to your guinea pigs or yourself, you must wash the fruit thoroughly every time. Another way to avoid pesticide residues is to buy organic foods that do not use pesticides.
Is your guinea pig allergic to strawberries?
Guinea pigs are prone to some food allergies, and strawberries are on the list. But how do you know if your guinea pig is allergic to it?
First, you want to give them a small bite or two and then monitor their behavior. Are they reacting strangely or poorly? If so, stop feeding your guinea pig strawberries. But if there is no response, slowly increase the amount they eat to make sure there is no problem.
Do not feed your guinea pigs strawberries if they are being treated with a beta-blocker. The drug may adversely affect your guinea pig’s ability to handle potassium intake.
Can my guinea pig eat strawberry tops?
Some guinea pigs find strawberry tops more enjoyable than the actual fruit. in addition, contain more potassium and fiber than fruit and much less sugar. However, your guinea pig may prefer fruit, so it’s just a matter of their unique preference in taste.
Can my guinea pig eat strawberry jam?
Do not feed your guinea pig with any type of jams, including strawberry jam. Strawberry jam is heavily loaded with many unhealthy ingredients and at a wildly unhealthy amount!
These ingredients would cause many health issues and should be avoided by all means. unsurprisingly, sugar is one of them.
They can cause serious health problems for them. Your guinea pig should not eat any processed food.
How many strawberries can my guinea pig eat?
You should only give your guinea pig strawberries once a week. They should not be used as a meal replacement – only as a snack.
The best way to feed them is to slice a strawberry thinly and give them a few slices. You don’t want to overfeed them as this can lead to upset stomachs and indigestion. Don’t be irritated by their cute begging faces and succumbing to overfeeding them.
Can guinea pigs eat strawberries – The Conclusion
Strawberries can really be a superfood for your guinea pigs! They help prevent a host of diseases and promote your overall health. However, you just need to make sure you don’t overfeed them, wash the fruit thoroughly first, and check for allergies.
If possible, promote eating the tops, leaves, and stems. They are all perfect for your guinea pig to eat and cause fewer problems than the fruit itself.