Can Guinea Pigs Eat Bananas?

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Are you looking for something different to give your guinea pig as a treat?  Bananas might be a good treat. 

 Guinea pigs need the supplement vegetables and fruits to give their systems the needed vitamins and minerals that they cannot make themselves.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Bananas

Guinea pigs love the sweet, creamy fruit but as with most fruits and vegetables, it has to be done in moderation.  It is one of their favorite treats and some will keep eating bananas as long as you feed it to them.

Nutritional Value

It is known that bananas contain potassium.  Potassium is good to help lower blood pressure along with maintaining normal heart function.  They also can help keep cholesterol levels even.  Bananas are a good source of fiber with one third being a soluble fiber that helps to prevent heart disease.  

Bananas are rich in vitamin A, B-6, and C.  In 100 grams of banana there is 8.7 mg of vitamin C, 4 mg of fiber, and 5 mg of calcium.  Vitamin B-6 that is in a banana helps also with healthy body development and proper food digestion.  If their body does not have vitamin B-6 their body will get weak over time and the activeness of the guinea will go down a lot.  

Vitamin B-6 also helps to keep their skin healthy and their fur soft so a lack of that vitamin could cause them to suffer from skin rashes.  Guinea pigs suffer from many digestive diseases so they need fiber to help keep their digestive system working properly.  The potassium helps with keeping them from having issues with bladder stones.

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The antioxidants found in bananas help to get rid of the free radicals in your guinea pig.  The free radicals are what cause harmful conditions like heart problems and cancer.  The minerals, such as magnesium, helps promote solid bones.

guinea pig eats banana

How to Feed Your Guinea Pig Bananas

If this is the first time you are trying your guinea pig on banana, give them a small slice and see what they do with it.  If they leave it alone, remove it as it does not appeal to them.  If they like it, then give them no more than a slice at a time.  The slice should be about an inch to an inch and a half thick.

Make sure that the banana is firm but not too hard.  It should have a bright appearance with any injuries or bruises and is not green.  The bananas need to be fully ripened.  A guinea pig can eat the skin if they prefer it but some may not like it.  

If you are going to feed your guinea pig some banana skin, make sure that you have washed it well.  You want to make sure that you get all the pesticides and chemicals on it washed off.  Fresh fruit will go bad in a few hours so remove any leftover fruit in a couple of hours.

When you are trying your guinea pig on a banana for the first time, give them a fourth of a slice.  For the next 12 hours, watch your guinea pig for any signs of digestive upset.  If there are no signs of any problems, you can give them a half slice and slowly move up to a full slice.  Only give your guinea pig the banana on the days when you are not giving them other sugary treats.

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How Much Can You Feed Your Guinea Pig

Because bananas are high in sugar content, this treatment needs to be a rare treat.  The high sugar can make your guinea pig sick.  You should only give them a thin slice at a time, once a week.  You can also give them a small bite with the peel on.  The peel has less sugar than the banana so it is good for them.

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Why Are Bananas Not Good For Your Guinea Pigs

If your guinea pig eats too much banana, it can make him constipated with a tummy ache.  The one major drawback of feeding your guinea pig banana is that they have high sugar content at 10% per banana. There is also a lot of starch in a banana, which converts to sugar.  Guinea pigs are prone to diabetes and obesity so they do not need that much sugar in their body.

If they have more than the recommended amount it will increase their chances of getting either of these diseases.  Although a guinea pig needs fiber for a healthy digestive system, too much could make their digestive system act abnormal.  In some, too much fiber could lead to diarrhea or constipation.

The sugar in a banana can have an immediate and negative effect on the gut flora of your guinea pig.  This will lead to the promotion of harmful bacteria.  The peel of a banana is not as harmful as the actual fruit.  The peels should be fresh, never old, or dried.  

Conclusion

  • Fruits should not be more than 5-10% of their diet.
  • A guinea pig can eat dried bananas but fresh banana is better for them.  The others are higher in sugar than a fresh banana.  
  • Some guinea pigs love to munch on the banana skin more than the actual fruit.
  • They cannot eat banana chips because they can make your guinea pig very sick.  Banana chips are generally covered in honey and other things that are not good for your guinea pig.
  • You should never give a banana to a baby guinea pig, only mature guinea pigs.
  • Guinea pigs can get Type 2 and Type1 diabetes so that is why you need to monitor how much sugar they get.
  • A ripe banana peel has the highest antioxidant content but some do not like the taste
  • Although a banana contains vitamin C, there is not enough in it to make it the primary source of that much-needed vitamin.  You need to make sure that you are giving your guinea pig other sources of vitamin C.
SEE NEXT:  Can Guinea Pigs Eat Oranges?

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