Can Guinea Pigs Eat Oranges? Types, Benefits, and Risks

Oranges are one of the healthiest, most refreshing fruits available. Yet, you might be wondering: can guinea pigs eat oranges as well? Are guinea pigs allowed oranges in different forms? If your guinea pigs eat oranges, what are the do’s and don’ts that you should be aware of? What are some alternatives to consider? Let’s find out…

Can guinea pigs eat oranges?

Yes, guinea pigs can eat oranges. In fact, they enjoy chewing on most fruits, and oranges are near the top of their list of favourites. Oranges contain important vitamins and nutrients that guinea pigs need daily to survive and thrive.

There’s no exception or specific months of when guinea pigs can enjoy oranges as treats but these fruits are perfect during warmer months. It’s because oranges become refreshments as well that help in keeping your guinea pig’s temperature stable through the heat. 

Can guinea pigs eat oranges or tangerines_

Do guinea pigs like oranges?

Guinea pigs are no different to humans when it comes to their taste for food. It’s possible that one guinea pig’s preference for oranges will not be the same as another. 

In history, guinea pigs are related to rodents but they’re domesticated. If guinea pigs are still born in the wild up to this day, there are possibilities that they might not like oranges. However, that’s not the case. Thanks to the Incas who pulled them out from the wilderness more than 3,000 years ago and trained them as pets instead.

Still, there are 13 common species of guinea pigs and they exhibit varying behaviors too, especially when it comes to the food that they eat. So, if you offer your guinea pig a tiny piece of orange but it gets ignored, don’t worry about it and simply try other fruits instead.

Are oranges good for guinea pigs? 

The good news is most of the time, guinea pigs will whole-heartedly accept an orange with squeals of joy. In that case, your next mission is to know how to prepare oranges for your furry pet. You should also know the critical health considerations that you need to watch out for, so keep reading and we’ll touch base on that in a minute or two.

What’s even better news is that oranges are good for your guinea pig’s nutritional needs. They contain an essentially high amount of vitamin C at 165% which is even more than lemons. Guinea pigs need vitamin C for healthy growth of cells and mostly, to fight common diseases such as scurvy.

Recommended Article: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Grapes: The Complete Guide

Aside from vitamin C, oranges also possess vitamin B1 (11%) and vitamin A (8%) which are responsible for converting carbs into energy and protecting organs from free radicals that can bring diseases. In addition, oranges also promote a healthy cardiovascular system for your guinea pig because it contains 10% of potassium which fights fatigue and dehydration.

are oranges good for guinea pigs

Oranges also provide your guinea pig with a great amount of calories. In fact, one piece of large orange has 86.5 calories but of course, your guinea pig won’t eat the whole fruit in one day so that’s pretty much sufficient but not excessive. Calories are king when it comes to keeping your guinea pig’s energy up for play time.

One big orange also contains 21.6g of carbs and 1.7g of protein. Together, these are the two main powerhouses of energy that any organism needs for survival and for moving around to do daily routines.

Moreover, oranges are low in fat. An orange only has 0.2g of fat in it which makes it an even better choice to prevent your guinea pig from being obese if they’re not active in playing and they just like to lay around most of the time.

An orange also contains 4.4g of fibers which play a vital role for food digestion and the prevention of constipation and irregular bowel movements. Moreover, it also has 18.4g of magnesium which ensures that the heart muscle is strong and healthy. 

Are oranges bad for guinea pigs?

All the nutritional facts seem to be hazard-free so why bother asking, “Are oranges bad for guinea pigs?” The answer is no, but of course, what comes in excess can be potentially dangerous.

First of all, oranges also contain minerals that can be bad for your guinea pig’s health. One big orange contains 73.6g of calcium which is too high for guinea pigs. Eventually, excessive deposits of this mineral can cause urinary problems for your guinea pig. Sugar (17g) is another problem that you should never give your guinea pig excessively because it can cause digestive problems.

These are the main reasons why you should only feed your guinea pig with orange in moderation. Never give your pet one whole orange or even half of it. A small slice or two in one day is already enough to make your guinea pig full and happy. 

Serving a large portion of the orange can increase the risks of complications for your guinea pigs such as obesity, diarrhea, lethargy, diabetes, anorexia and acid poisoning.

Signs of acid poisoning among guinea pigs

Acid poisoning is one of the most common complications that guinea pigs can have due to eating too much orange and other fruits and vegetables. Look out for physical signs such as ulceration in the mouth, drooling and squinting of the eyes. Your guinea pig may also experience behavioral changes such as vomiting, difficulty swallowing and breathing, and refusal to eat.

It’s always best to call your local veterinarian immediately if you see these signs in your guinea pig.

Can you give guinea pigs oranges everyday?

You’ve already learned that guinea pigs can eat oranges but in moderation of only one to two small slices in a day. Anything that goes over that limit can potentially lead to diseases that you don’t want your guinea pig to have, of course.

Now, the answer to the question, “Can guinea pigs have oranges everyday?” is a big no. Guinea pigs can’t eat oranges everyday. In fact, fruits and vegetables should only compose 10% of a guinea pig’s daily diet. The remaining 90% should come from guinea pig food, grass and hay. With that said, you should limit feeding your guinea pig oranges to only two times a week.

What kind of oranges can guinea pigs eat?

The rule of thumb to this question is as long as you eat a certain type of orange yourself and it’s safe to you, you can also share a piece to your guinea pig. The most common types of oranges that might be available in the nearest store to your location include lychees, mandarin oranges, and clementines. Just make sure to pay close attention to the serving size you are giving to your pet.

What kind of oranges can guinea pigs eat_

How to prepare orange for guinea pigs

The first thing that you need to know in preparation for feeding oranges to your guinea pig is that you have to introduce it slowly. Don’t start with one whole slice of orange. Instead, cut an extremely tiny portion or a chunk. Guinea pigs have a sensitive digestive system that’s why you need to be cautious with diet changes.

Observe your pet after giving it a small chunk of orange, especially its stool. If your guinea pig seems satisfied with the food and doesn’t show any negative reactions like the ones mentioned above, that means orange is a safe and compatible fruit for your pet. Now, here are three simple steps that you need to take note of before finally treating your guinea pig with orange.

  1. Start with choosing an orange at its best age. Pick a ripe orange, not green and more importantly, not rotten either. You want to carefully select just the rightful ripeness since unripe oranges tend to be too acidic which, again, isn’t good for your guinea pig.
  1. Always thoroughly wash any fruit or vegetable that you will give your guinea pig. This ensures that you’re getting rid of any pesticide or chemical substances used to treat oranges and other fruits or veggies.
  1. Peel off the orange, remove the seeds and slice one or two smaller pieces for your guinea pig. After your pet’s meal time, get rid of any leftovers if there are any as your guinea pig might occasionally eat these unhealthy pieces.

What about the peels and seeds? Can guinea pigs also eat these parts of the orange, too? That’s actually a good question in the name of resourcefulness, and you’re about to find out the answers right now.

Can guinea pigs eat orange peels?

Yes, guinea pigs can eat orange peels and it’s absolutely safe for them. As a matter of fact, orange peels contain three times more vitamin C than the inner part of the fruit. However, preparing orange peels for your guinea pig requires intensive washing as it’s the most exposed part of the orange.

The serving limitation also applies to orange peels, however, the actual flesh part of the fruit is still more suggested for guinea pigs. It’s because orange peels have a rough texture that can irritate your guinea pig’s mouth tissue during the chewing process.

can guinea pigs eat mandarins

Can guinea pigs eat orange seeds?

No, guinea pigs can’t eat orange seeds. You should strictly remove seeds from any portion of the orange that you will give to your guinea pig. The same goes to other fruits with seeds, not just oranges. It’s easy to remove the seeds. Some portions of the orange might not contain any seeds at all. So, don’t forget to miss it before handing out the orange piece to your pet. 

Can guinea pigs choke on orange seeds?

Yes. The main reason why seeds should be removed from oranges before feeding your guinea pig is because they are a choking hazard. Your guinea pig’s narrow throat might just can’t handle the size of orange seeds. 

Can guinea pigs eat orange leaves?

Yes, guinea pigs can eat orange leaves. Owners have attested to the fact that orange leaves are safe with guinea pigs. Consider it as a special snack for your part. You can give a tiny portion of a leaf fresh to your guinea pigs after carefully washing it. Orange leaves still contain nutrients but give it to your guinea pig in moderation as well.

Can guinea pigs have orange juice?

Yes, guinea pigs can have orange juice but only natural juice. Avoid processed orange juices that you can buy in food markets. We are talking about fresh juice that you squeeze from a ripe orange. 

Processed orange juices include orange marmalade and orange concentrate which are simply orange at its deadliest forms to guinea pigs. Avoid these orange juices as they contain added sugar which can be fatal for guinea pigs.

The only way you can provide orange juice to your guinea pig is extracting it from the actual fruit and mixing it with fresh water in a 50:50 ratio. Don’t add sugar or anything else because you want to make sure that you’re balancing the amount of sugar in the juice using the water.

Can guinea pigs eat canned oranges?

No, guinea pigs can’t eat canned oranges. Just like orange concentrate, canned oranges have been subjected to intense processing and preserving which increase its sugar and sodium content. 

Can guinea pigs eat blood oranges?

Yes, guinea pigs can eat blood oranges. They look very similar to oranges from the outside but their fleshy fruit inside is distinctively red, hence its name. Blood oranges have slightly different taste and smell than regular oranges and actually, some guinea pigs even prefer the variations. Still, just follow the serving size of one to two slices, once or twice a week.

Can guinea pigs eat clementines?

Yes, guinea pigs can eat clementines. However, it contains more sugar than the regular orange so might as well lessen the amount of tiny slices you will give your guinea pig just to be safe.

can guinea pigs eat clementines

Can guinea pigs eat mandarin oranges?

Can guinea pigs eat mandarins, too? Yes! In fact, they contain more vitamin A than the regular oranges which is good in keeping your guinea pig healthy.

Can guinea pigs eat tangerines?

Yes, guinea pigs can eat tangerines. Actually, they are almost the same with mandarin oranges when it comes to the nutrient punch it can give to your guinea pig. Tangerines also have more vitamin A than regular oranges but more calories and less vitamin C.

What can guinea pigs not eat?

Not all fruits and vegetables are good for guinea pigs, so don’t be fooled by these following foods that will only bring disaster to your guinea pig:

  • Peppers
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Avocados
  • Meat
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee

What fruits can guinea pigs eat?

How about fruits related to oranges? Can guinea pigs eat tomatoes? Can guinea pigs eat blackberries? Can guinea pigs eat strawberries? Can guinea pigs eat bananas? The answer to all these questions is yes! Creating diet variations is great for your guinea pig but make sure to introduce them slowly but surely. Other alternatives include:

  • Pears
  • Blueberries
  • Kiwi
  • Papayas
  • Peaches
  • Honeydew melon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Apricots
  • Apples

Final thoughts

Can guinea pigs eat oranges? Absolutely! Just be responsible with the proper serving size and the process of preparing oranges for your furry pet. While other orange parts such as peels and leaves are good snacks too, it’s still best to dig straight into the flesh and have your guinea pig get the tastiest portion of it all.

References:

  1. World Atlas, ‘Most Popular Fruits In The World’, https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-most-popular-fruit-in-the-world.html, Accessed – 18 May 2021
  2. Live Science, ‘Guinea Pig Facts’, https://www.livescience.com/50658-guinea-pig-facts.html, Accessed – 18 May 2021
  3. Healthline, ‘Can You Eat Orange Peels, and Should You?’, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/can-you-eat-orange-peels, Accessed – 18 May 2021

Posted by Veronica Jones

My name is Veronica Jones, owner and the writer of VetGuru. For as long as I can remember I have had pets! I have had so many pets during my lifetime, and many more to come I hope. For the most part, I will be writing about dogs and cats, but I also have experience with other pets as well.

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