Guinea pigs need to supplement their diet of hay and pellet with a variety of fruits and vegetables to get all the nutrients and minerals that their bodies cannot produce naturally.
Are grapes one of the fruits that they can have?
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Grapes?
A guinea pig can eat grapes but of course, only in moderation. There are over 8,000 varieties of grapes so what types can a guinea pig eat. They can have any types of grapes, red, green, black, etc.
It is a known fact that guinea pigs cannot produce vitamin C naturally so they have to get it from supplement fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C is essential for healthy living. There is not a lot of vitamin C in grapes but there is just enough to give their system a sizable boost. They also need vitamin C to help prevent scurvy. If your guinea pig gets scurvy, it can cause lethargy, loss of immunity, weight loss, and weakness.
There is also vitamin B-6 in grapes that will help them become more active during the day. It is a water-soluble vitamin that is needed to regulate normal serotonin, melatonin, and hormone function. All of these will give your guinea pig more energy. Because of this boost of energy, your guinea pig will get some of the much needed exercises that it needs.
If a guinea pig does not get enough exercise, they can experience health problems. With all this energy, they need a cage that is large enough for them to play and exercise in. If they do not have a big enough cage, all this energy will be wasted.
Per 100 grams of grapes, they have:
- Sugars—15.48 grams
- Fiber—0.9 gram
- Protein—0.72 grams
- Vitamin C—3.2 mg
- Vitamin B-6—5%
How to Feed Grapes to Your Guinea Pig
The first thing that you need to do is make sure that you wash the grapes to get rid of any pesticides or unwanted bacteria on the skin of the grapes. To make it easier for your guinea pig to eat grapes, cut them in half. You also need to remove all the seeds because if your guinea pig tries to eat them, it can cause a choking hazard.
How Much Can They Have
Start with one or two grapes if they have never tried them before. Watch your guinea pig for 24 hours to see if you see any changes in their behavior or stool. If you see none of these, then it is safe to give your guinea pig grapes. You should not give guinea pig grapes more than three times a week. For each serving, you should not give them more than two grapes.
Why Are Grapes Not Good For Your Guinea Pig
Even though grapes offer vitamins and minerals that a guinea pig needs, some side effects can make them not good for your guinea pig.
- Stomach pains—this can be caused by high sugar content, which is 15 grams per cup. With too much sugar in their system, it could affect their stomach by over-producing too much bad gut bacteria. This could lead to digestive upset and stomach pains. A guinea pig gut needs the good bacteria for digesting and breaking down complex foods, like Timothy Hay.
- There are 1.8 grams of fiber in grapes, which does not seem all that high but for a guinea pig, it could be bad. Too much fiber can lead to diarrhea. A little fiber is good for your guinea pig but too much can have an adverse effect on them.
- In extreme cases, feeding your guinea pig excessive amounts of grapes can lead to heart failure.
- Too much sugar can cause issues like dental disease, obesity, and diabetes.
- Salt—yes, grapes do contain sodium but just a small quantity. Guinea pigs have a faster metabolism than many animals so if you feed them too many grapes, it can cause excess salt intake. With their sensitivity to excess salt, it could lead to an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea.
- Food poisoning—this would be very rare but it can happen if you do not wash the grapes and get all the chemicals along with grime and dirt particles off the grapes. A guinea pig is more sensitive to toxins than humans so you need to be extra careful when washing grapes that you get them clean. As soon as you bring them home, wash them in clean water.
- Each time you feed your guinea pig grapes you should watch to see if they display any odd behavior changes.
- A guinea pig loves grapes because of their sweetness so this is why you need to limit them in moderation.
- Although grapes are okay for guinea pigs, they can be toxic to cats, dogs, and other pets.
- Grapes are good for guinea pigs of all ages but introduce them slowly to make sure that there is no distress or stomach upset.
- A guinea pig can eat raisins but only a couple at a time. They are dried grapes and are high in sugar.
- Do not cook or mash the grapes you are going to feed your guinea pig as they could cause them to have an upset stomach or indigestion.
- The grapes should be seedless but if not, then remove the seeds before feeding the grapes to your guinea pig.
- In addition to being high in sugar, grapes also contain some acid that can cause stomach upset and weight gain.
- When giving your guinea pig grapes, do not give them another sugary treat. That will be too much sugar at one time.
- Some guinea pigs do not like the taste of grapes so watch to make sure that they are eating them. Remove the grapes after a couple of hours to avoid bacteria from forming.