Who can resist colorful, aromatic, and delicious fruits? We all love to have berries and strawberries top the list so it is natural for pet parents to feel that their guinea pigs will also enjoy these fruits. Can guinea pigs eat strawberries? Find out the answer and you will see that your pet will remain healthier due to your selection of fruits for them.
Guinea pigs are furry, and active rodents that require a high roughage diet and they have some specific requirements for each day. Once you follow these requirements, the little rodents stay active and healthy. See what strawberries contain and whether they are good for your pet or not.
CAN GUINEA PIGS EAT STRAWBERRIES? COMPLETE GUIDE
Guinea pigs can eat strawberries only once or twice a week. The reason for this frequency is that strawberries have a high water content with a high amount of Vitamin C. There are many antioxidants in this fruit as well, and this component helps guinea pigs fight inflammation. There are numerous befits of strawberries as their fiber content is high too and therefore, make them a favorite fruit for guinea pigs. However, what is in this fruit that you must restrict to only a few times a month?
Guinea pigs are typically fed 80% hays, and the remaining 20% of the diet includes fruits, dry pellets, and vegetables. Sugar content is not good for these rodents and that is what makes strawberries an occasional treat for these furry little creatures. Yes, this news can be surprising for many first-time guinea pig parents who felt that an aromatic berry, like strawberry, cannot have any negative impact on anyone. Also, find out Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apples.
WHAT’S IN STRAWBERRIES FOR GUINEA PIGS
Strawberries contain many nutrients that are favorable for all of us. However, some of these nutrients may not be beneficial for guinea pigs. Nevertheless, here is a list of the top nutrients in this fruit:
Vitamin C: Strawberries are rich in vitamins and Vitamin C tops the list. Since guinea pigs cannot make their daily needed amount of this vitamin, it becomes necessary for owners to ensure that their diet and daily supplements can fulfill their needs well. Moreover, this vitamin prevents many infections and viruses that guinea pigs are prone to catch easily if their diet does not contain enough Vitamin C.
Fiber: The fiber content of strawberries may be lower than many other fruits but it is still enough to make it a suitable fruit for guinea pigs. These rodents depend on high-roughage foods, and these berries qualify as one.
Water Content: The water content of strawberries is high and they have a rich aroma as well. The high water content is also a good property for these furry creatures and their body pH also stays regular due to the good water intake through these berries.
Antioxidants: These anti-aging and body-strengthening agents can help guinea pigs fight various viral infections and reduce inflammation. Therefore, strawberries can be checkmarked for another benefit with antioxidant content.
Sugar: The sweet and delicious fruit has higher sugar content than many other berries as well as fruits in general. This component of strawberries makes all other benefits reduce to a limited dosage because the high sugar level in this fruit can be more damaging to guinea pigs than the magnitude of all the other benefits. So, if you were about to cut up strawberries to feed your guinea pig pet, it might be a bad idea.
DISADVANTAGES OF FEEDING STRAWBERRIES TO GUINEA PIGS DAILY
You must not feed strawberries to guinea pigs daily because it can make them sick. The sugar levels may not be as high as some fruits, but they are high enough to be included in the daily diet. Here are a few unwanted effects that your sweet little pet might experience if you feed it strawberries more than once a week.
Diarrhea: The high sugar in strawberries will cause diarrhea in guinea pigs and they will suffer from an imbalance in their bodies. You will see them get weak and since all animals can sense what makes them sick, if you feed strawberries consistently, they might stop eating altogether.
Digestive Tract Imbalance: The intestinal imbalance may cause a lack of appetite in guinea pigs. The first few days they might enjoy strawberries but as their bodies’ sugar levels remain high constantly, they will feel upset and uncomfortable.
Inactivity And Anxiety: When the guinea pigs stop eating, they will stop running around actively and may even become extremely anxious and restless. Nobody wants to see their pet so upset, and this would only mean that you need to limit their sugar intake through this fruit.
SERVING SIZE AND OTHER PRECAUTIONS TO SERVE STRAWBERRIES
Strawberries in America and many other countries are grown on commercial farms and therefore many harvesters use pesticides and chemicals on these fruit plants. You must ensure that you wash these berries properly to get rid of any harmful chemicals and dust on the fruit. Since strawberries grow close to the ground, they can have dirt and dust stuck on them. Be sure to clean them thoroughly before cleaning.
You do not need to cut the strawberries. These red and attractive fruits will be attractive to guinea pigs and they will come to take a bite. The texture of this fruit is such that it helps the unique dentition of guinea pigs. These rodents have teeth that grow continuously and therefore, they need to eat fruits and vegetables that are crunchy to bite into so that the teeth get eroded and remain trimmed.
The number of strawberries to feed the guinea pigs should be between two and three. Any more than this will mean a higher dose of sugar and you will see them anxious and a little restless due to an overdose of sweetness. One word of caution for all pet owners is that you might feel that your pet guinea pig is enjoying eating certain fruits or vegetables. However, checking the nutritional value, and then matching it with the daily requirements is an integral part of caring for these small and cute rodents. Also, have a look at Can Guinea Pigs Eat Raspberries?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I give one strawberry to my guinea pig every day?
No, adding these sweet berries to the daily palate will kick the sugar levels over the daily limit and you will see your guinea pig pet in discomfort.
Should I pick tangy strawberries for guinea pigs to reduce sugar intake?
The tanginess of some strawberries is not due to less sugar, but it is due to higher Vitamin C content. Instead of picking tangy berries, ensure that you keep the intake of strawberries limited to only once a week or lesser.
Will my guinea pig die if it eats strawberries more frequently?
No the guinea pig will not die due to overdose but it can get ill and if it worsens, it might stop eating altogether. This serious situation must be avoided as a high sugar intake does not only impact these rodents physically but mentally as well.
Can guinea pigs eat strawberries? If you do not know much about their daily needs, you may answer this question with a yes. However, before you add any fruit to the diet of your guinea pig pets, be sure to see if all the nutrients of the fruit match the daily requirements of these rodents.
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