Grapes contain a range of nutrients from vitamins A, D, B6, and C, to magnesium, calcium, and iron. They’re also rich in antioxidants, so they are considered to be some of the healthiest fruits for people.
But can guinea pigs eat grapes? Are they dangerous for them? We’re answering these two questions and more in today’s post, so keep on reading!
Can I Give My Guinea Pig Grapes?
While small amounts of grapes are usually safe, you should avoid feeding too many grapes to your guinea pig. There haven’t been enough studies done on what potentially negative health effects grapes might have on these animals’ health, so we advise you to be cautious.
Guinea pigs should eat a lot of other foods besides fruits, especially since the latter contain a lot of calories and carbohydrates, raise their blood sugar, and also predispose them to obesity.
So even though one piece of grape might be relatively safe, it’s best to avoid giving this treat to your guinea pig on a regular basis.
Can Grapes Be Dangerous to Guinea Pigs?
Yes. Organic grapes are the safest option you have at your disposal, so make sure to purchase a variety that hasn’t been exposed to weed killers or pesticides.
Unfortunately, guinea pigs are quite small, so the amount of pesticides that people regularly ingest from a range of foods might not affect their health too much, but it can be quite risky for cavies.
Seedless varieties are also a safe bet. As you know, seeds can cause a number of health complications in this species, especially consisting of gas and digestive imbalances.
Do Guinea Pigs like Grapes?
Very small amounts of fruit can be fed as treats once or twice a week, but the rest of your piggy’s diet should be composed of hay and hay pellets.
Guinea pigs should not have foods such as nuts, avocados, mushrooms, onions, and garlic, as well as potatoes. Chocolate, which is a no-go for cats and dogs, too, should never be fed to guinea pigs or any other small animals, for that matter.
Other types of food that can cause health problems in this species are dairy products, peanut butter, pickled foods, bread, crackers, as well as biscuits. Grains aren’t well-tolerated by a guinea pig’s digestion, either, so if you come across a brand of guinea pig food that contains a lot of grains, you should avoid getting it.
Different Types of Grapes
There are roughly two kinds of grapes now available for sale, whether in the supermarket or at the Farmer’s Market — red and green. Red grapes contain a variety of antioxidants that can’t be found in their green counterpart, but they are also richer in sugar. For this reason, they should be fed in smaller amounts or less often.
Green grapes, on the other hand, are lower in calories and also less sweet. As such, your piggy might not even show that much of an interest in them, especially if they’ve had red grapes before.
What about frozen grapes? Although they might be the favorite treat of many people and even some pets, guinea pigs should never have frozen grapes. They can cause an upset stomach, not to mention that most animals aren’t even going to be that thrilled about them.
Another type of grapes that you should avoid feeding to guinea pigs are cotton candy grapes. These have a much higher sugar content, so they pose the risk of increasing your guinea pig’s blood sugar too much all of a sudden.
Seedless, organic, green, or red grapes are the best bet when it comes to giving this occasional treat to guinea pigs.
Grape Vines, Leaves, and Stems
These ones are all a no-go, which is why we urge you to avoid leaving them anywhere around your pet guinea pig. The grapes that you do feed him or her have to be cleaned properly, and if you’ve purchased a variety that has seeds, they should be removed, too.
In fact, we’d argue that the safest part of a grape for guinea pigs would be the skin. It’s also the best in other respects as it has less sugar and contains the most antioxidants in the whole fruit. The pulp isn’t that nutrient-rich, by comparison.
However, the skin is the first part that gets exposed to chemicals such as pesticides, so always get organic grapes if you need them as a snack for your guinea pig.
Both green and red grapes are rich in sugar. Like other types of fruit, grapes aren’t the best type of food to give to guinea pigs, especially on a regular basis. Try to look at it as a treat, which means that the weekly diet of your pet shouldn’t contain more than 2-3% in fruit, in general.
Guinea pigs should eat hay and hay pellets as they are the healthiest food option for them. Organic cucumber and bell pepper make two other great treats, and they aren’t that rich in sugar as fruits, either.
If you have any doubts whatsoever about the foods you should give your guinea pig, talk to your veterinarian before adding one to his/her diet.