Apples are mostly safe to give to guinea pigs, but there are some caveats that pet owners should be aware of. These beautiful creatures need a specific diet, and although it might be varied, it should never contain too much fruit as it can cause digestive imbalances and other symptoms.
Read on to find out more about giving apples to your guinea pig!
Benefits of giving apples to guinea pigs
This is perhaps one of the most important nutrients that your guinea pig is likely to enjoy if you incorporate this fruit into their diet.
Fiber is important for cavies, and while they do get the majority they need from pellets and fresh hay, it doesn’t hurt to provide them with a little variety every now and then.
One area where apples truly shine is their vitamin C content. You might have heard before that vitamin C is important for the immune system and that it makes it possible for an animal’s body to put up with infection a lot better – and the last thing you might want would be for your guinea pig to get sick.
Other vitamins that can be found in this fruit range from vitamin K, which makes it possible for your cavy’s blood to clot properly, to vitamin E, which is essential when it comes to maintaining the health and quality of your guinea pig’s skin.
A few nutrients that are part of the B-complex system are present in apples, and they are thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin B6.
The three main minerals that apples contain are calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. These three are very important when it comes to making sure that your cavy’s bones are strong and that the exchange between the cell membranes in their body’s tissues happens properly.
Phosphorus, for example, is also very useful in ensuring that your guinea pig’s body is capable of adequately using the other nutrients they get from their diet and produce (such as carbs and fat). It’s also in charge of repairing cells and tissues.
Potassium regulates the heartbeat and makes it possible for your cavy’s nerves and muscles to function correctly.
Can apples put your guinea pig’s health in danger?
The only thing that can be a bit problematic about apples, especially when it comes to this animal species, is the fact that they do contain some amount of sugar.
As you probably know, there are wide varieties of apples, and they contain different amounts of sugar. If you give your guinea pig too much apple over the course of one day, you might see them drink more water than usual just because they’re indirectly trying to regulate their blood sugar.
Large amounts of fruit, in general, and apples, in particular, can be risky for cavies because they are genetically made to eat more hay and veggies rather than anything else.
How much apple can I give my guinea pig?
One slice every now and then isn’t going to cause any harm, but you should also consider your guinea pig’s age and overall health. If your vet clearly instructed you to avoid fruit, you shouldn’t risk your cavy’s health just because you know that they love apples.
Young guinea pigs should not enjoy such snacks until they are at least three months old – to make sure that they don’t risk experiencing digestive distress.
You should not give apples to your guinea pig every single day. Moreover, the first time you want to try adding this fruit to their diet, you should make sure that the quantity is very low. Some cavies tend to be more sensitive than others, so they might become bloated and might even experience light diarrhea.
Another important aspect that we have to note here is that you should never give your guinea pig any slice of apple with seeds. Unfortunately, the seeds contain a small amount of cyanide – which might not risk putting a healthy human adult’s health in danger, for example.
However, that amount can be risky for a small cavy. Plus, they always pose a choking hazard, so there’s no point in you risking that.
Frequently asked questions
Can guinea pigs eat the skin of apples?
In theory, the skin should only provide your guinea pig with benefits because it has much more fiber than the flesh of the fruit itself. However, these days apples can be sprayed with pesticides and other chemicals – so we suggest that you always get organic varieties if you want to give your cavy a little of an apple.
Can guinea pigs eat apples daily?
There’s only one answer to this question, and it’s a clear no. Apples should always be considered a snack rather than a main source of food. Your guinea pig’s diet should still largely consist of pellets and hay.
What fruit can guinea pigs eat daily?
Blueberries and bananas are two examples of fruits that are not going to cause a lot of problems in guinea pigs. Blueberries even contain plenty of antioxidants, so they can protect against cell damage and other processes even as your cavy ages.