The community of guinea pig owners has been slowly growing over several decades, with considerably faster development in the last three years or so. Like everything else, the more people who are interested in a specific pet, the more individuals who contact us with various concerns about how to best care for that particular pet as well as what they should feed them. We usually see individuals contacting out and asking queries like “What can guinea pigs eat?” but we’ve noticed a steady increase in the more specific “Can guinea pigs eat strawberries?”
As a result, we’ve chosen to make this the topic of today’s post because we know a number of our readers have guinea pigs and we always strive to help our readers as best we can no matter the query. Before we go any further, let me state unequivocally that your pet guinea pig can consume strawberries in moderation without experiencing any significant health consequences! Strawberries, like most other foods that guinea pigs may eat, should be consumed in moderation.
Although we do not recommend that our readers feed their guinea pigs more than one strawberry each week, we have seen some individuals say that they have been able to feed their guinea pigs two or even three in one sitting, but this might cause problems, especially if their diet is not balanced. However, for a one-time treat, a strawberry may be a tasty, healthful treat that the great majority of guinea pigs appear to appreciate.
But, in our opinion, there are undoubtedly better choices out there, especially if you’re seeking for a daily treat for your guinea pig. Because strawberries have a restricted serving size for your guinea pig and a short shelf life, picking up another high-quality guinea pig treat is probably a better alternative.
Aside from the small serving size, there are more balanced meals with a higher nutritional profile than strawberries.
Although strawberries may be used to complement a diet and offer several advantages, they are not nutrition complete, and overfeeding your guinea pig on strawberries might result in problems. This is why we always advise our users to give their guinea pig no more than one strawberry each week. Because guinea pig owners like their pets, we will now take a more in-depth look at strawberries and what they can provide your guinea pigs when incorporated as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Content of Solid Fiber
One of the most important benefits strawberries provide for your pet guinea pig, in our opinion, is the fast and simple fiber content, which is crucial for keeping your guinea pig regular and encouraging good bowel movements. Although many different types of fruits provide fiber to humans, some fruits, such as apples, have fiber that is more difficult to digest owing to the structure of the apple skin, where the majority of the fiber is found.
On the other hand, the skin of a strawberry is much easier for your guinea pig’s digestive tract to consume and provides some solid fiber.
The typical strawberry has around 2% fiber, which helps to supplement the fiber provided by the rest of your guinea pig’s food and ensuring that it is as healthy as possible.
Although two percent may seem like a small amount, the seven percent of fiber in an apple is mostly squandered since it is more difficult for your guinea pig’s digestive tract to utilize. On a net basis, your guinea pig gets more useable fiber from a strawberry than the same quantity of apple, despite the fact that the percentile breakdown of fiber on paper favors the apple.
Although impaction is less common in guinea pigs than in other pets, it may become a serious problem in elderly guinea pigs, and ensuring that your pet has sufficient of fiber in their diet will help decrease the chance of this happening. Although providing enough of fiber to your guinea pig does not ensure impaction, it may surely assist avoid the condition and prevent this possibly life-threatening issue from developing in your guinea pig in its later years.
Although the great majority of respectable, commercial guinea pig diets on the market today include adequate amounts of fiver, we know that some guinea pig owners prefer to feed their pets kitchen scraps of fresh food. Although there is nothing wrong with this in general, and many people will do it, providing a balanced nutritional profile, particularly in terms of fiber and vitamin B6, can be a challenge. Fortunately, a single strawberry has adequate amounts of both and can help your guinea pigs meet their required consumption requirements.
Contains a lot of water
Although dehydration and water issues are not as common in guinea pigs as they are in some reptiles kept as pets, some older guinea pigs or those with health issues may not drink as much as they should, so the fact that a strawberry is just over 90% water can be a quick and easy way to top up their water intake without them knowing or fussing about it.
Although this is not a replacement for their major water supply, the sweet flavor of the strawberry may frequently encourage your guinea pig to eat it without even thinking about it.
If your guinea pig has a health problem or is just not drinking enough water, your local veterinarian will be able to provide particular recommendations for its case.
Depending on the circumstances, a variety of fresh fruits, including strawberries, may be advised to assist your guinea pig drink as much water as possible.
Again, unlike some of the reptiles that people keep as pets, over-hydrating a guinea pig is a much lesser concern, but if your guinea pig’s excrement becomes watery or runny, or if your guinea pig appears more dosile than normal or is having difficulty with balance, they may be over hydrated.
Keep in mind that this is not the only probable reason of these symptoms, but if you believe that it is related to dehydration, you should switch them to dry food for a day or so and see whether the symptoms improve.
If the symptoms persist, it is likely that the problem is due to something else, and you should get help from your local veterinarian as soon as possible.
Sugar Content Is Only Moderate
Unlike a cat, which is an obligate carnivore and has evolved to thrive on a diet of meat and protein, guinea pigs have evolved to be herbivores and will eat almost any plant-based meal you provide them. As a result, they have developed to be able to digest sweets and should consume sugar as a significant component of their diet.
Although guinea pigs sometimes have difficulties with foods that contain too much sugar, strawberries are about 8% carbohydrate with just 5% of that being true sugar, making them suitable for your guinea pig’s suggested macronutrient breakdown.
As previously said, strawberries should only be given to your guinea pig as a rare treat and as part of a balanced diet, but the sweeter flavor of the sugars in a strawberry can be a pleasant change from the typical complex carbs that most high-quality guinea pig chow is built on. Although there is some dispute about how much of the sugar in a guinea pig’s food should come from complex carbohydrates, it is widely believed that ten to twenty percent of the sugar in a guinea pig’s diet should come from simple carbohydrates like those found in strawberries is good.
Contains a Very Low Fat Content
As previously stated, guinea pigs evolved to be strict herbivores, and while a very tiny amount of fat is necessary in their diet, it is utterly negligible when compared to their carbohydrate and protein requirements. Because strawberries contain only 0.3 percent fat, giving your guinea pig a strawberry once a week or so will not cause stomach problems. We’ve seen some individuals give their guinea pig treats with a much greater fat level, which can cause diarrhea, but the minimal fat amount in a strawberry is much below the limit for these concerns to arise.
Protein Content Is Low
Although guinea pigs only require around 20% of their food to include protein, as you might expect, a strawberry falls well short of this requirement, with a protein level of only 0.7 percent. This is why we have highlighted throughout the post that you should provide your pet with a balanced diet comprised of a variety of appropriate foods to provide your pet with a balanced and nutritionally complete diet in order to maintain it as healthy as possible. The great majority of high-quality guinea pig meals available today provide a good nutritional profile that you can then supplement with treats as needed to keep your pet’s diet interesting.
There are a lot of vitamins and minerals in this food.
Strawberries provide a plethora of vital vitamins and minerals that can benefit your guinea pig greatly, including vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, different B vitamins, potassium, folate, manganese, iron, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus. All of this contributes to keeping your pet as healthy as possible, with some of the most prominent vitamins and minerals in a strawberry being excellent for combating the following concerns in your guinea pig:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Inflammation Caused by Oxidative Stress
- Cardiovascular Problems
- Lipid Profiles That Are Low
- Bad Cholesterol Oxidation Is Harmful
On top of this, there are also a number of general health benefits that these vitamins and minerals in a strawberry can offer your pet guinea pig too. These include but are not limited to improve eye sight, healthier skin, a healthier coat, improved cognitive function, and healthier muscles to name a few. As you may have guessed, you can definitely get these vitamins and minerals from other sources but due to so many guinea pigs seeming to really enjoy strawberries, this may be one of the more enjoyable sources for some of these, especially Potassium that can be harder to find in sufficient quantities in some of the dry foods.