Guinea pigs are amazing little creatures that make great pets. Part of being a good pet owner is knowing what your guinea pig can and cannot eat. So, can guinea pigs eat strawberries? Dr Elly answers.
Can guinea pigs eat Strawberries?
Yes, you can feed strawberries to guinea pigs! Strawberries are a favorite fruit of my children and a great treat for guinea pigs. A big bonus is that strawberries are packed with nutrients like Vitamins C, fiber, and folic acid, which are all important for guinea pig health.
However, it’s important to remember that strawberries, while they have a low sugar content, still contain some sugar so they need to be given in moderation. When feeding your guinea pig strawberries, be sure to wash them first to remove any nasty pesticide residues.
Do guinea pigs like Strawberries?
Do guinea pigs like strawberries? Yes, they usually adore them! In fact, guinea pigs often eat strawberries in preference to other fruits.
Strawberries are a great source of Vitamin C for guinea pigs, and they also provide a number of other essential nutrients that are essential for guinea pig health. Plus, they’re just plain delicious! So if you’re looking for a healthy occasional treat for your guinea pig, look no further than a juicy strawberry.
Health Benefits Of Strawberries
When it comes to healthy fruits for guinea pigs, strawberries top the list. These little red berries are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, making them a great choice for your precious pet. Here are some of the health benefits of strawberries for guinea pigs:
- Strawberries have less sugar compared to other fruits, so they won’t cause spikes in blood sugar levels.
- They’re an excellent source of vitamin C, which is essential for a healthy immune system.
- Strawberries can help regulate blood pressure and reduce inflammation.
- The antioxidants in strawberries help to protect against free radicals, which can damage cells and lead to disease.
Risks of Feeding Strawberries: Are Strawberries Safe For Guinea Pigs?
Strawberries are a safe treat to feed to guinea pigs and there are minimal risks. There are a couple of important points to note:
- Strawberries and other berries are notorious for being sprayed with pesticides. It is really important to wash the berry thoroughly to remove any residues – the same goes if you want to feed the strawberry stems and leaves of the strawberry plant. If you want to avoid this risk buy organic berries. Organic strawberries are not sprayed with pesticides.
- While strawberries are known for being a low-sugar fruit compared to most other fruits, they still need to be fed in moderation. Too much sugar in your cavies diet can lead to tooth cavities and weight gain – neither of which is good for your piggie!
Serving Size and Frequency of Feeding Strawberries to Guinea Pigs
Since guinea pigs need a lot of variety in their diet, they shouldn’t eat too much of a single fruit and that includes strawberries.
- The recommended amount is one small strawberry 2-3 times per week.
- You can choose whether you want to cut up the berries into little pieces or give the berry to your little guy to nibble on. Both options are fine and it is up to you to choose the best option for your furry friend.
You should stick to a diet that closely resembles what they would naturally eat. According to the authors of “biology of the Guinea Pig” your guinea pig’s diet should include:
- 90% of your guinea pig’s diet should be made up of grass hay such as timothy hay or alfalfa hay and quality guinea pig pellets.
- 1/2 cup of fresh leafy vegetables as part of their daily diet. Guinea pig owners should try to buy dark green leafy greens which are naturally high in Vitamin C and dietary fiber.
- 1/4 cup of fresh fruits 2-3 times per week as a treat cut into small pieces. Fruit generally has a high sugar content and should not be given every day.
- Fresh water should be available at all times. Preferably given from a pet-specific sipper bottle.
- No human processed food of any kind.
- It’s always a good idea to introduce new foods slowly as they have sensitive digestive systems.
How Many Strawberries Can my Guinea Pig Eat?
One small strawberry is all I would recommend.
How Often Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberries?
No more than 2-3 times per week.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberries Every Day?
No guinea pigs should not eat strawberries every day (or fruit every day). Fruits contain a lot of sugar that can lead to dental decay and weight gain. Stick to feeding fruits as treat 2-3 times per week.
Buy Organic Strawberries If You Can
When you shop for strawberries, always opt for organic berries that have been grown without the use of harmful pesticides or chemicals if you can afford to. These chemicals can be toxic to your Guinea Pig and may cause health problems down the road. If you cannot buy organic strawberries, make sure to wash them thoroughly before giving them to your pet.
Strawberry Nutritional Facts
Below are some of the nutritional stats on strawberries per 100grams
- Calories per cup: 32 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 7.68g
- Protein: 0.67g
- Fiber: 2g
- Fat: 0.3grams
- High water content at 91% water
Some of the key essential vitamins and minerals per 100 grams:
- Vitamin C: 58.8 mg
- Vitamin A: 12 IU (very low)
- Vitamin K: 2.2 micrograms (very low)
- Calcium: 16 mg (low)
- Magnesium: 13mg (low)
- Phosphorous: 24 mg (moderate)
- Potassium: 153 mg (low-moderate)
- Folate: 24 micrograms (low)
Are Strawberries a Good Source of Vitamins for Guinea Pigs?
The main Vitamin strawberries contain is Vitamin C – they are pretty low in all other vitamins.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an essential Vitamin for guinea pigs as they don’t synthesize their own – 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).
What Are The Alternatives To Strawberries?
If you like the idea of feeding strawberries to your furry friend but don’t have any at home, there are a few alternatives that you can give them.
Some other safe fruits for guinea pigs include:
- Berries including blackberries,, raspberries, and blueberries
- Citrus fruits (rind removed)
- Squash and butternut squash (yes they are technically fruits)
- Banana and mango (in small amounts)
- Cantaloupe and other melons such as watermelon
Can baby guinea pigs eat strawberries?
No baby guinea pigs can’t eat strawberries. Strawberries are only recommended for adult guinea pigs as baby guinea pig’s digestive tracts are not developed enough.
Can Guinea Pig Eat Frozen Strawberries?
As long as the strawberries are thawed to room temperature (cold fruit can cause digestive upsets) they should be fine if fed in small amounts. However, it is unlikely your guinea pig will appreciate the soggy texture!
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberry Tops?
Yes absolutely. Strawberry tops are high in fiber and other vitamins and minerals. Just make sure to wash them thoroughly to remove any pesticides. Or even better buy organic and just give your guinea pig the whole strawberry.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberry Stalks/Stems?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat the strawberry stalks. Just make sure to wash the strawberries to remove any dirt or pesticides.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberry Leaves?
While some fruits require you to remove their leaves, this is not the case with strawberries. In fact, the leaves of a strawberry are actually quite nutritious and can be a good source of fiber for your guinea pig.
Just be sure to wash the leaves thoroughly before giving them to your little guy, especially if feeding store-bought berries that may have been grown with pesticides.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Dried Strawberries?
Generally not. Dried strawberries may have added sweeteners or preservatives so it is best to stick with fresh strawberries. Dried strawberries are also concentrated in calories and sugar so your guinea pig would need far less.
Can My Guinea Pig Have Strawberry Jam?
No. Strawberry Jam in chockablock full of sugar – definitely not something your guinea pig needs or would have access to in the wild. Steer clear of jams of any kind.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberry Seeds?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat strawberry seeds. They are teeny tiny (and impossible to remove anyway) and pose no risk to your guinea pig.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Canned Strawberries?
Canned strawberries are often preserved in a sugar-laden syrup so avoid giving them to your guinea pig. It is doubtful your guinea pig would like the texture anyway.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Wild Strawberries?
Yes, they can just treat them the same way you would regular strawberries. That is wash them thoroughly!
References: Wagner, JE. Manning, PJ. The Biology of the Guinea Pig 2014
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!)