Can Guinea Pigs eat cantaloupe and other types of melon? Yes! Guinea pigs can eat melon! Just like kids, guinea pigs adore melon and it makes a good snack. In fact, they should eat melon as part of a healthy diet. Melons are a great source of Vitamin C and other essential nutrients that guinea pigs need. In this blog post, we will discuss the best types of melon for guinea pigs and how much they should eat.
Can Guinea Pigs eat melon?
As a guinea pig owner, the question often comes up as to what can you feed as treats. Melons are a great source of Vitamin C and other nutrients that guinea pigs need and make a great treat! In fact, I always recommend feeding melon as part of a guinea pig’s healthy diet. The best types of melon for guinea pigs are cantaloupe, watermelon, and honeydew melon. They can eat the rind and seeds of these melons, too.
Can guinea pigs eat cantaloupe?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat cantaloupe. Cantaloupe is a great source of Vitamin C and other nutrients that guinea pigs need. Cantaloupe is an orange color that is also known as muskmelon or rockmelon by our Australian and New Zealand friends. I have to be honest – I really hate rockmelon but I have always found that my guinea pigs simply adore it.
It has a round shape and is typically orange or yellow on the inside. Cantaloupe has many health benefits for guinea pigs, including being a good source of Vitamin C and other nutrients that guinea pigs need.
The nutritional content of cantaloupe:
Below are some of the nutritional stats on the cantaloupe flesh per 100grams
- Calories per cup: 53
- Carbohydrates: 8g (sugar being 7.1 grams and the remaining 0.9g as dietary fiber). Cantaloupe has a fairly high sugar content
- Protein: 0.84g
- Fat: 0.2grams
- High water content at 90% water
Some of the key essential vitamins and minerals per 100 grams:
- Vitamin C: 36.7 mg
- Vitamin A: 3382 IU
- Calcium: 9 mg
- Phosphorous: 15 mg
- Potassium: 267 mg
- Folate: 21micrograms
Vitamin A is important for their immune system and is an important Vitamin for vision development and good eyesight.
Antioxidants from vitamins A, E, and C; Antioxidants help combat free radicals and oxidative stress that occurs within our bodies.
Phosphorus and Calcium: These tend to go hand in hand are very important for strong bones and teeth
Vitamin C is an essential Vitamin for guinea pigs as they don’t synthesize their own Vitamin C – unlike other rodents such as rats and mice who can synthesize vitamin C. Deficiencies lead to scurvy which causes weak and brittle bones and teeth and sudden bleeding.
Vitamin C is necessary for guinea pigs at a dosage of 10 mg per day (20 mg if pregnant).
This can be achieved through fruits and veggies (such as berries, broccoli, carrot, spinach, and sweet potato) or through eating guinea pig-specific pellets, which are supplemented with Vitamin C.
How much cantaloupe to feed your Guinea Pig: Cantaloupe serving size
You can feed your gorgeous guinea a small amount of cantaloupe 3-to 4 times per week as a treat
- The recommended amount is one or two 1/2 inch little cubes of cantaloupe or small pieces as a treat 3-4 times per week
- Only recommended for adult guinea pigs as your furry friend can have sensitive digestive tracts so it is not recommended for baby guinea pigs
- Your guinea pig’s diet should include 1/4 to 1/2 cup of fresh fruit and veggies as part of their daily diet – the vast majority of this should be made up of vegetables.
- The remaining 90% of your guinea pig’s diet should be made up of fresh hay and quality guinea pig food
- it is always a good idea to introduce new floods slowly as they have sensitive digestive systems.
Can guinea pigs eat cantaloupe seeds?
Cantaloupe and other melon seeds are very slimy and can cause choking in guinea pigs when getting lodged in their small throats. Don’t stress too much if they eat a couple of seeds as they are not toxic but also don’t offer them a clump of seeds.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cantaloupe Rind?
The cantaloupe skin is high in fiber, but it has a hard and scratchy texture that makes it difficult for your guinea pigs to chew and digest and can harbor harmful bacteria such as Salmonella. As a result, it can lead to indigestion, bacterial infections, and diarrhea as well as other digestive problems in your little friends. The rind of the cantaloupe could also be a choking hazard for your pet.
Can feeding cantaloupe harm my Guinea Pig?
All fruits should be fed as a treat and the old saying “everything in moderation” goes here. Too many high sugar fruits can cause digestive issues, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and obesity.
If your little guinea is showing any signs of distress such as curling up, a firm stomach that is painful to the touch, or diarrhea it is important to take them to a vet that has a special interest in pocket pets as soon as possible. Bloat can be life-threatening in these little guys.
Can guinea pigs eat honeydew melon?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat honeydew melon. Honeydew is a type of muskmelon that has a round shape and is typically light green in color (hence the name “honeydew”) on the inside. Like cantaloupe, it has many health benefits for guinea pigs including being a good source of Vitamin C and other nutrients that guinea pigs need. The nutritional content of honeydew melon is almost exactly the same as cantaloupe, except for two important points:
- Cantaloupe has twice the Vitamin C of Honeydew melon
- There is almost no Vitamin A in Honeydew melon
So if you are going to use one melon or the other I highly recommend that you choose cantaloupe as the best choice as it has more antioxidant benefits and twice the Vitamin C!
Can guinea pigs eat watermelon?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat watermelon. Watermelons are a great source of Vitamin A and C as well as other key nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, and even some iron. It is a fairly sweet melon and quite different from cantaloupe so check out this article
How should I feed melon as part of my guinea pig’s diet?
Melon is a great treat that should be fed in small quantities and up to three times per week. It is recommended not to feed guinea pigs more than one ounce of melon at a time. Always remove the rind or skin before offering it as this can cause digestive problems for your pet.
Other great fresh fruits or treats for your guinea pig include:
- Berries including blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries
- Apple (seeds removed)
- Citrus fruits (rind removed)
- Squash and butternut squash
Guinea pigs can eat cantaloupe and other types of melons, but should only have it as a treat and in moderation. The best types of melon for guinea pigs are cantaloupe and honeydew melon in that order. These fruits should be offered as an occasional treat and in small amounts. make sure to always remove the rind or skin and always remove the seeds from any type of fruit before offering it to your pet as they can be a choking hazard for these little guys. Lastly, make sure that at least 90% of your guinea pig’s diet consists of fresh hay and quality guinea pig food – with only a small percentage being made up of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Dr. Elly has always loved animals, and she knew from a young age that she wanted to be a veterinarian. After studying hard in veterinary school, she practiced in several different countries before moving to North Carolina with her husband and young family. She currently works part time as a veterinarian while caring for her 4 busy children and writing this blog. Dr. Elly genuinely cares about the welfare of her patients. She currently has three dogs, two cats, 5 chickens and 2 rabbits (yes a bit of a zoo!)