Guinea pigs are big munching pets for small and furry rodents, so you may wonder sometimes: can guinea pigs eat apples? If you came here looking for the answer, we wrote this article just for you!
Apples are among the most common and healthy snacks you’ll come across in the natural world. They grow almost anywhere but most especially in northern countries and hilly places. They have been around for a long time and have been a favorite treat of both humans animals.
As a responsible pet owner, you should know which foods are okay and not okay for your guinea pig. That’s why you may want to read on if guinea pigs can eat apples and how much of it can be fed, if ever.
- Information on apples
- Nutrients in apples
- Can guinea pigs eat apples?
- Do guinea pigs like the taste of apples?
- Are apples safe for baby guinea pigs?
- What happens if my guinea pig eats too many apples?
- How much apple to give to my guinea pig
- How do about green apples for guinea pigs?
- Should I feed the whole apple?
- Is it okay to feed apple leaves to my guinea pig?
- Can I feed the apple skin to my guinea pig?
- Should I remove apple seeds when feeding my guinea pig?
- How about the apple core?
- Are cooked apples okay for my guinea pig?
- Can apples cause mouth sores in guinea pigs?
- Any alternatives to apples?
Information on apples
Grown on trees, the apple is a common fruit that has wide varieties, from the bright red apple to the green apple, as well as the common peachy one. They are known throughout many parts of the world and are used for a wide variety of cuisines, as well as for making cider. They are also known to have medicinal properties.
Nutrients in apples
So what makes apples highly nutritious and enough to “keep the doctor away”, as the old saying goes? Well, let’s take a look at some of its important nutrients:
The fiber content in apples is sought-after by people who are into a healthy lifestyle. Every 100 grams of apple has 4 grams of fiber. For those who want better digestive health, an apple a day will help lessen stomach upsets. Fiber will help keep your digestion flow normally.
Because of its bland taste, it isn’t very sugary so it is okay for diabetics. It has a low glycemic index of 29 to 44 to prove that. Aside from that, apples have simple and natural sugars which, when taken in moderation, is okay for people with glucose management problems.
As with many fruits, the apple is known to have vitamin C that will help with our immune system so we can fend off attacks easily. If you’re lacking immunity and tend to get sick often, you may want to have apples as part of your diet.
To improve heart health, we need potassium in our bodies. Apples are just one of the many fruits that have potassium.
Many antioxidants that will benefit health are also found in apples. Catechin helps with our muscles and brain function, quercetin is linked to anti-cancer properties, awhile chlorogenic acid has been known to help with blood sugar management.
Can guinea pigs eat apples?
The short answer is yes, guineas pigs and apples do mix. The long answer is that it depends on how much you feed them (we’ll get to that in the later sections below).
A guinea pig needs about 10 milligrams of vitamin C in its daily diet. While this shouldn’t replace their entire stack of Timothy hay, it should help minimize their likelihood of getting sick. Moreover, fiber content that is found in apples will help aid their digestion since most guinea pigs tend to have stomach upsets like most rodents.
Do guinea pigs like the taste of apples?
Yes, guinea pigs will like the taste of apples because they are naturally okay with veggies and fruits. As part of the rodent family, they are mostly vegetarians but this doesn’t mean they don’t like to try fruits!
Unless you have a picky eater, nearly any guinea pig will find the taste of an apple just fine because of its crunchy texture. After all, guinea pigs will find anything that will exercise their teeth a good opportunity to take out their extra energy! That’s why giving them a little apple from time to time wouldn’t hurt.
Of course, you shouldn’t just force them to eat an apple if they don’t like it. After all, like humans, some pets just have their preferences in taste.
Are apples safe for baby guinea pigs?
It is not currently recommended that baby guinea pigs eat any solid food. This is because of their delicate digestive system. To avoid stomach upsets, just stick to milk or formula for your baby guinea pigs for the moment until they reach about 6 weeks old.
When your guinea pigs mature and start munching on Timothy hay and pellets, you can start slow when introducing veggies and fruits into their diet, which includes apples. It’s best to have a little taste test and don’t give them too much at a time.
What happens if my guinea pig eats too many apples?
If you do feed your guinea pig more apples than they should be fed, it could lead to diabetic problems due to the sugars present. Always remember that guinea pigs are more suited to a hay diet and that sugary foods should be avoided or lessened to keep them healthy.
There are also cases that your guinea pig could get diarrhea if they eat too many apples because of their delicate digestive system. To avoid this, you should only feed your guinea pig with apples sparingly.
If you suspect that your guinea pig had too many apples, give them lots of drinking water to help lessen the diarrhea symptoms. However, you can also consult your vet if the digestive upsets don’t stop.
How much apple to give to my guinea pig
As with many fruits and veggies served to rodents, guinea pigs work best with only 1/2 cup of apples. Don’t feed them every single day because that’s going to worsen their digestive system. At best, only feed them 1 to 2 times a week.
If you want to know creative ways on how to feed your guinea pig apples, here are some of them:
- Apple chunks. After having washed your fresh apple properly and thoroughly, cut them into bite-sized pieces that you know your guinea pig will easily eat up. You can leave the skin intact as long as you’ve washed it thoroughly.
- Mixed with other veggies and hay. You can make a homemade piggy salad consisting of carrots and apples mixed with their staple Timothy hay. This is ideal for guinea pigs who are picky eaters.
- Dried apple treats. If you’re looking for a way to give them apples but worry about how humidity could rot an apple easily, why not try making homemade dried apple treats?
How do about green apples for guinea pigs?
Green apples might not be the best to feed guinea pigs because of their high acidity. If you taste green apples and compared them with red apples, you’ll notice they’re sourer, and sour isn’t that ideal for guinea pigs.
With digestive upsets more frequent for them, we think that it’s best to steer clear of green apples because they are sour and contain a lot of acids. This will eventually turn into mouth sores and digestive upsets for your little furry friend. Instead of green apples, go for the normal reddish ones instead because they’re less acidic.
Should I feed the whole apple?
No, whole apples are not recommended because there are parts that shouldn’t be given to your guinea pig (more on that below). Besides, not only are some parts choking hazards but they may also contain certain ingredients that are not suitable for our little rodents.
Instead of giving them an entire apple, why not cut the apple into smaller pieces and let them nibble those instead? Not only does it save up on space but it also keeps the apple fresh when eaten. Guinea pigs, like most pets, don’t like the idea of slightly spoiled food so make sure you only give them what they can chew and digest in a day.
Is it okay to feed apple leaves to my guinea pig?
Yes, apple leaves are entirely safe for your guinea pig. For those who have an apple tree in your backyard, you can even cut off the twig and use it as a toy for your little ones because they like to chew anything they see – tree twigs and barks are one of them!
Can I feed the apple skin to my guinea pig?
The apple skin or the apple peel is okay because it does contain fiber. Guinea pigs do need their digestive system health in check so it pays to have a little bit of fiber in their diet.
With that said, you should only give them the apple skin or peel in smaller amounts that they can easily chew. What’s more, keep it fresh and well-washed to avoid leaving behind any fertilizer or pesticide that might have come from the farm, especially if these are grocery apples.
Should I remove apple seeds when feeding my guinea pig?
Absolutely! Always remove the apple seeds when you think about giving apples to your guinea pig. Some small amounts of cyanide are present in apple seeds and that’s why even we, as humans, don’t consume them.
Although a seed or two that’s accidentally ingested is harmless, if it accumulates in the body, it will cause toxicity problems. Just to be sure, always check if your apple slice, chunk, or cube still has seeds intact or not before you give it to your guinea pig as a snack.
How about the apple core?
Apple cores are just fine but make sure you take out all of the seeds. It can be difficult to do if you don’t have a magnifying glass and if you’re in a hurry so to be sure, it’s best to just stick to the regular parts of the apple and save the core for another day.
However, if you do have the patience to look into the apple core and remove the seeds then there’s nothing wrong with giving them the core. Guinea pigs do like to chew and gnaw anything edible so an apple core would be a unique touch to their daily snacks.
Are cooked apples okay for my guinea pig?
Generally speaking, no, cooked apples aren’t ideal for guinea pigs. These little rodents are only suitable for raw food because of their natural diet, which involves wild-found ingredients. Cooking only minimizes the nutrients that they find from raw food.
Instead of cooked apples, it’s better to give your guinea pig raw ones that are thoroughly cleaned and comes from a reputable source. If you have an apple tree, it’s best to get from there and don’t use pesticides or chemicals. If you’re going to buy from the market or stores, make sure you clean them thoroughly.
Can apples cause mouth sores in guinea pigs?
In some cases, guinea pigs could get sore mouths but that depends on the type of apple you feed them and how much you’ve fed. Sore mouths usually form because of food buildup but this doesn’t mean it directly comes from apples. On a side note, the acidity of apples could contribute to the intensity of the sore mouth problem.
Therefore, if you suspect your guinea pig is having mouth sores, keep apples away or consider only feeding them occasionally. Don’t give them green apples because they are highly acidic. Choose apples that are ripe and not very sour.
Any alternatives to apples?
Sometimes, apples won’t always do the trick. Whether your guinea pig is quite picky with the apple taste or you just want something else that’s kind of like apples, here are alternatives you can try:
These should also be eaten once or twice a week due to their sour taste and acidity.
When feeding your guinea pig grapes, always make sure you only do so in small amounts since they are also acidic fruits.
If you are looking for a potassium-rich source, bananas are the way to do it.
Apples are great treats to give to your guinea pigs. In moderate amounts, they will provide your little furry friends a healthy source of vitamin C for immunity and health. However, always supervise them when they feed to avoid choking hazards and bloating. Moreover, make sure you clean the apples thoroughly before you give them such fruits.