Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apples? – We all know that apples, which are high in dietary fiber, are one of the healthiest foods that you can add to your diet, but what effect will they have on your pet?
Specifically, we are talking about guinea pigs. Is it okay for your cavy to chow down on this delicious fruit. The simple answer is yes, but there are some things you should be aware of.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apples?
Obviously, the digestive system of a guinea pig differs from that of a human. Guinea pigs need foods high in fiber and low in fats and sugars, as well as needing foods rich in vitamin C.
This all adds up to the fact that apples are fine for your guinea pig to eat, but before you go crazy and start loading them up with apples, there are some things you should be aware of. First and foremost, apples should only be used as treats as opposed to the main part of the guinea pig’s diet.
The key elements of the diet of a guinea pig should be vitamin C pellets, fresh hay, and a steady supply of fresh, clean water. A good amount of leafy green vegetables is also good.
While fruits and vegetables are healthy, the should be served in moderation, and used solely as treats. Guinea pigs love apples, but there are more important things in their diet. They should be eating much more fiber than sugar.
Guinea pigs do not have the ability to make their own vitamin C, which is why they need it as a supplement. Apples can provide that, but they also come loaded with sugar, which is not good. The sugar in apples is natural, but still hard for a guinea pig to digest, which can in turn lead to digestive issues. Too much sugar being added to the diet of a guinea pig is unhealthy, just as it would be or you if all you ate was candy and sugary snacks.
A single apple of medium size contains roughly 18 grams of sugar.
Apples for Guinea Pigs: The Pros and Cons
Feeding apples to your guinea pig comes with several pros and cons. One of the positives is the vitamin C that apples provide, especially since guinea pigs cannot produce their own. The biggest downside is the amount of sugar found in apples.
While that sugar is natural, it is still not healthy for guinea pigs to have too much of it in their diet. Too much sugar is probably the worst thing that a guinea pig can have in their daily diet.
Read More: Is Your Guinea Pig Sneezing?
Are Apples Good for Your Guinea Pig?
We are all well aware of the food that are bad for us, but most of us still go ahead and eat them. Guinea pigs will absolutely do the same, and they will devour apples any time you add them to their food bowl.
While apples are certainly healthy for adults, they are not quite the same for guinea pigs. The amount of sugar in an apple is akin to giving them sugary snacks at every meal. Apples are fine when used as an occasional treat for your pet, but not as a part of their everyday diet.
The good news here is that you are in total control of how they eat, but just as you can sometimes spoil your kids with sugary snacks, you can do the same with your guinea pigs. We understand that you want your pet to be happy, but the best way to do that is to feed him a diet that is good for his digestive system. That means sticking to the proper daily foods and saving apples for special treats.
The proper diet for a guinea pig consists of vitamin C pellets, fresh hay, and dark greens, as well as a fresh supply of clean water.
Putting Apples to the Test
Generally speaking, guinea pigs will love apples when you offer them up as a treat, but it’s also worth noting that not all pigs are the same. Some will crave apples while others will turn up their nose at them.
Any time that you introduce a new food into the diet of your guinea pig, it’s always a good idea to do a test run. Guinea pigs have a tendency to be a little picky with food, which testing is recommended.
Start out by cutting your apple into small pieces and placing them in his cage. Alternatively, you can also feed by hand if your guinea pig is comfortable with that. Pay attention to how he reacts to the fruit. Does he gobble it up, or does he sniff it and ignore it?
If he eats the apple right away, or drags the pieces into his hiding spot, chances are he likes it. Ignoring the food or nibbling on it and then leaving it are signs that it may not be his thing.
Where things might get a little tricky is f your guinea pig is still new and a little shy. Avoiding the treat in this instance is not necessarily a sign that he doesn’t like it. This may well be a sign that you have yet to earn his trust, so perhaps wait until he gets a little more comfortable in your presence and then try the apple treat again at a later date.
Adding Apples to the Diet
Again, we need to reiterate that apples should be used as nothing more than treats. Even if your guinea pig is obviously in love with the sweet treats, they cannot be considered a regular part of the diet.
Hay and pellets should make up the majority of the diet for your guinea pig, with apples served as treats. When you do serve up apples, be sure that they have been cut into very small pieces, as they are easier to digest that way. Placing a whole apple in the cage means running the risk of creating a choking hazard for your pet.
We have spoken about the problems with sugar when feeding them apples, but we also need to mention the acidity of the fruit. Feeding apples to your guinea pig too often can lead to mouth sores, as well as other issues, caused by the acidity of apples.
When you test the apples and find that your guinea pig loves them, slowly add them to his diet, feeding him small amounts once per week. Keep an eye on his behavior, and keep an eye out for the development of mouth sores. If you notice that he is experiencing diarrhea after eating apples, you need to consider cutting back the amount that you are feeding him, or perhaps even consider removing apples from his diet altogether.
What to do if Diarrhea Becomes an Issue
Your guinea pig will get diarrhea if there is too much fiber in his diet. Given the size of these animals, diarrhea can be a really big issue. It can result in them becoming dehydrated, which in turn can be fatal.
If you notice that diarrhea is becoming an issue for your furry friend, stop feeding hi fruits and vegetables, and instead, increase the amount of Timothy hay in his daily diet. This will help improve his digestive process, and should also help stop the diarrhea rather quickly.
Apples can eventually be added back into his diet, but you should wait until such times as his stool returns to normal. If you have been feeding him apples with the skin still on, think about peeling it off in future. Most of the fiber in apples is found in the skin, so taking that out of the equation may help prevent future outbreaks of diarrhea. He will still get the vitamin C in apples without the skin.
What Are the Best Types of Apples for Guinea Pigs?
As long as the apples are fresh, your guinea pig should be able to eat all varieties. One thing to make sure of, though, is that the apples are ripe, otherwise they will have a sour taste that he will not enjoy.
You should also make sure that the apple seeds are not in there, as they contain levels of cyanide that can be harmful to your pet, as well as being a choking hazard.
As mentioned, the skin may be an issue, so watch to see how he reacts. Apple leaves ae fine in moderation, as they contain a little bit of calcium, which is good.
Give your Guinea Pig Apple Salad for a Real Treat!
If you want to give your guinea pig an extra special treat, perhaps on his birthday, think about serving an apple salad.
- Start out by cutting up the apples into really tiny pieces and placing them in a ceramic bowl.
- Since vegetables are also good for your guinea pig, have spinach or other dark greens included as a base. Steer clear of romaine and iceberg lettuce, as these are no particularly good for him.
- Think about other treats that are also good for your guinea pig, adding items like celery, watermelon, carrots, and other healthy fruits and veggies into the apple salad.
- If you really want to make it a special treat, make homemade applesauce and add that to your ingredients. Do not buy applesauce sold in stores, as they tend to come with a lot of added sugar.
- Stir up all the ingredients and serve up your delicious apple salad.
Let’s Talk About Other Apple-Related Treats
Can guinea pigs eat un-ripened apples?
It’s probably best if you only serve apples that are fully ripe. The reason for this is because un-ripened apples tend to have a sour taste that your guinea pig is not going to enjoy. This may lead you to believe that he doesn’t like apples at all, which may not be the case.
Can guinea pigs eat apple seeds or pips?
Absolutely not. The seeds or pips that come in the apple core have traces of cyanide that are not good for your guinea pig.
Can guinea pigs eat apple skin?
Yes, apple skin is fine, although the fiber may cause diarrhea, so watch for that.
Can guinea pigs eat apple leaves?
In small amounts, apple leaves are fine. They tend to have a lot of calcium in them.
Can guinea pigs eat apple branches?
This is not a good idea, although the chances that your guinea pig would try to eat them seem pretty slim. One thing they might try to do is chew on the branches, and that could lead to a choking hazard.
Can guinea pigs eat apple peel?
Yes, he will almost certainly enjoy this treat.
Can guinea pigs eat apple sauce?
If you are going to feed applesauce to your guinea pig, make sure that it is homemade, as there will not be as much sugar in there as there would be in store bought applesauce.
Can a guinea pig drink apple juice?
Yes, a little bit of apple juice is fine, as long as it is only given on a very occasional basis. Once a month or so is fine, and no more than half a cup, as giving them more can lead to them getting sick.
Guinea pigs have a different digestive system that humans, and as such, they need to be fed a diet that will ensure that they will be healthy and happy. The key elements of the guinea pig diet is fresh hay, vitamin C pellets, dark greens, and a steady supply of fresh, clean water.
Apples are a great little treat for guinea pigs, but they should certainly not be an everyday treat. Given them apples in moderation and watch how they react to this treat. If all is well, then continue doing what you are doing.
For those of you who prefer a visual, the following video that we took from youtube. Have a good time watching.