With the surge of popularity in keeping guinea pigs as pets over the last year or so, we have noticed more and more people reaching out for advice after adding a guinea pig to their family. We are happy to see so many people looking to ensure that they are offering the best possible care for their pets as possible and we have seen more and more people reaching out and asking questions based around the optimal food for guinea pigs.
Although we have a number of articles going over a few foods that guinea pigs can eat already, we have seen a steady increase in the number of people reaching out and asking if guinea pigs eat bell peppers so we have decided to focus on this for today’s article. As bell peppers are not hot or spicy, they can be used as a treat for feeding your guinea pig a healthy snack to supplement a well-balanced diet based around a reputable healthy primary food source for your guinea pig.
Now, although some people do use bell pepper as a daily treat for their guinea pigs, we usually only recommend that our readers let their guinea pig eat bell pepper twice or maybe three times a week at a maximum and that it is used as a treat in small portions too. Additionally, there are the following colors of bell pepper available:-
- Green Peppers
- Yellow Peppers
- Orange Peppers
- Red Peppers
Most guinea pigs tend to eat green bell peppers without issue whereas a fair few guinea pigs eat red bell peppers without issue but some guinea pigs can be very picky when it comes to getting them to eat yellow or orange bell pepper. This is down to the subtle taste differences between the different colors of the pepper so if you test your guinea pig with a yellow or orange bell pepper then don’t be disheartened if your guinea pig turns its nose up to it, try a green or red bell pepper as you will likley have a higher chance of getting your pet to eat it.
We are not going to be taking a look at the various health benefits that letting your pet guinea pig eat bell peppers offers you. We have lost count of the number of people who offer their pets treats without knowing the benefits of them and all foods are not created equally. Some are much better options than others when it comes to taste and the nutritional profile of the food but thankfully, bell peppers are one of the more nutritionally dense options that you can get your guinea pig to eat.
Vitamin And Mineral Content
In this section, we are going to be specifically focusing on green bell peppers being used as a guinea pig food but the other colors of bell peppers contain very similar nutrients to the green peppers. Also, keep in mind that this is for fresh peppers as the provide the best nutritional content as the longer a pepper is left sitting and not being eaten the more the nutrient profile will degrade too.
Just like many other fruits and vegetables that are often added to a guinea pigs diet, bell peppers offer a ton of vitamins:-
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B6
- Pantothenic Acid
One specific thing that we do want to touch on is that bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C for your guinea pigs and are one of the best vegetable sources for the essential vitamin. The older your guinea pig gets, the more important it is to ensure that they are getting plenty of vitamin C in their diet to help reduce the chances of health issues occurring too. Although it is still probably better to use a guinea pig vitamin C suppliment to ensure that your pet is getting its recommended intake, using some bell pepper as a treat food for your pet can definitely help to keep your guinea pig healthy.
Bell Pepper also comes jam-packed with the following minerals too:-
Another advantage of bell pepper over some of the other vegetables and fruits that people often use as a supplementary food option for their guinea pigs diet is that it does not have a high sugar content. This helps to prevent blood sugar spikes in your pet that can sometimes lead to health issues if high sugar foods are used as a treat too often. As you can see, bell peppers can offer your guinea pig a ton of essential vitamins and minerals that can help your pet live a long, healthy, and happy life for many years. Again though, we would only recommend that our readers use bell pepper as a treat food in moderation at a maximum of three times a week.
Decent Water Content
Although the majority of younger guinea pigs will not have issues with their water intake, older guinea pigs can sometimes stop drinking the water intake they should have. Although this is usually only a drop in water intake of around twenty percent, you can often offset this by offering your pet treat foods such as bell peppers that are high in water. Getting your pet to eat foods that are high in water is a common trick use amongst a large number of pets that develop this same issue in their older age with it being a more serious issue for reptiles.
Although the water content of bell peppers will change depending on a number of factors, the majority are around sixty to seventy percent water allowing you to use them as a nice little way to top up the water intake of your guinea pig and prevent any issues with dehydration. That said though, if you have noticed that your guinea pig seems to be going off their water, you should never resort to just getting water into them via high water food sources such as bell peppers and should seek advice from your local veterinarian as soon as possible.
Great Source Of Fiber
Although bell peppers are only around two percent fiber, they can often help to increase your guinea pigs fiber intake by enough to minimize the chances of your guinea pig having any issues with either constipation or impaction. Constipation is pretty common for guinea pig due to their diet and although impaction is less common, it is a far more serious issue that can often be difficult to diagnose before it is too late.
Although getting enough fiber into your guinea pigs food does not offer any guaranteed that your guinea pigs will be free from these conditions, they can help to reduce the chances. Bell peppers can serve as a nice way to top up the fiber in your guinea pigs diet as most guinea pig will eat both the green and red bell peppers without issue due to having a more pleasant taste to them and help you get more fiber into their diet.
Similar to the vitamin C point we made earlier in the article, the older that your guinea pig gets the more important it is to ensure that they are getting plenty of fiber in their diet to help minimize the chance of impaction occurring. This is why more people turn to treat foods such as bell peppers and increase the frequency they will be added to their guinea pigs diets too. Additionally, some guinea pig owners also choose to switch older guinea pig over to a high in fiber primary guinea pig food to further reduce the chances of impaction occurring in their pet.
How To Prepare Bell Peppers For Your Guinea Pig
The main thing to remember when preparing bell peppers for your guinea pigs is to make sure you remove the seeds. Other than that, ensure that you slice the peppers into small, safe cubes that will not choke your guinea pig when eating the pepper. A cavy can often wolf their favorite foods down without giving it a second thought so the smaller the cubes that you cut the pepper into the better.
Depending on where you source your bell peppers, you might also want to wash them under cold water to remove any chemicals, preservatives, or pesticides that may have been used on them during the farming or shipping process. Although these are tested and fine for human food, a guinea pigs digestive system is much more delicate than ours so we need to take extra care with the foods we give them
That’s pretty much it when it comes to preparing the bell peppers for your guinea pigs to eat. Provided the seeds are removed and the serving size is small slices you are pretty much good to go. Just remember, some guinea pigs will not like the taste of the yellow or orange bell peppers so try them with green first as they seem their favorites and red that come in as a close second.
Alternatives To Peppers For Your Guinea Pig
There are a ton of alternative fruit and vegetable options to bell peppers out there that you can try with your guinea pig. Common options that guinea pigs can eat include grapes, pears, apples, broccoli, green beans, and sweet potatoes to name a few. They all have a high amount of vitamins and minerals and it is easy enough to quickly and easily Google the health information for each of them before you add them to your guinea pigs diet.
Implementing some of these additional foods into your guinea pigs diet can allow you to use peppers as a treat once, twice, or even three times per week while rotating these other options in with your guinea pigs diet too. This ensures that you are able to quickly and easily keep the vitamin and mineral intake in your guinea pigs diet high while alternative the actual treat food types to keep your pet guinea pigs diet interesting.
That brings our article going over guinea pig eating peppers to a close and we hope that you have found it helpful. Peppers are one of the more vitamin-packed treats that guinea pigs can eat that are cheap and easy to source and like we said earlier, they tend to prefer either green bell peppers or red bell peppers so try and priorities those when shopping. We know that many shops will bundle peppers into bags so if you do end up with any yellow or orange peppers you can use them in a meal for yourself if your guinea pigs don’t like them.