Can Guinea Pigs Eat Watermelon? The Truth About This Fruit

If you’ve ever seen someone enjoying a slice of juicy watermelon on a hot summer day, you may have wondered if it’s safe for guinea pigs to eat. The answer is both yes and no – watermelons are mostly safe for guinea pigs to eat, but there are a few things to watch out for. Read on to learn more

Can Guinea Pigs eat Watermelon?

Watermelons are a member of the cucurbit family, which also includes gourds and pumpkins. The most common type of watermelon has dark green skin with red flesh inside but there are also seedless watermelons and yellow watermelons as well! Watermelons are very sweet with a high sugar content, juicy fruits that contain a lot of water – they’re mostly comprised of 92% water! They’re usually eaten sliced into wedges or chunks, but can also be juiced.

can guinea pigs eat watermelon? yes they can

What are the nutritional benefits of watermelon?

Watermelons are an excellent source of vitamin A and C, as well as potassium. They also contain antioxidants that can help protect your guinea pig’s cells from damage. All these nutrients work together to keep your guinea pig’s eyesight sharp and their immune system working properly.

Below is the nutritional value for watermelons per 100 grams:

  • Calories: 30kcal
  • Protein 0.61g
  • Dietary fiber 0.4g
  • Sugar: 6.2g
  • Vitamin C 8.1mg
  • Vitamin A: 569IU
  • Potassium 112mg
  • Magnesium10mg
  • Essential Fatty Acids.15g
  • Carbohydrates 7.55g
  • Calcium 7mg
  • Phosphorus 11mg
  • Sodium 1mg

Some of the top nutrients include:

Vitamin C

Guinea pigs do not make their own vitamin C, just like primates (including humans). Scurvy is a disease caused by a lack of vitamin C that leads to symptoms such as reduced appetite, swollen joints, and ribs, poor movement, slowed bone and tooth development, and spontaneous bleeding from the gums into muscles. This illness can be life-threatening if left untreated. Interestingly other rodents can synthesize (make) Vitamin C such as rats and mice.

Watermelon is one of the poorer sources of Vitamin C for fruits and veggies. Mainly due to the high water content of the fruit. See a list of alternatives below if you want to feed fruits and veggies with a higher Vitamin C level

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is important for their immune system and is an important Vitamin for vision development and good eyesight. Watermelon has a moderate amount of Vitamin A

Phosphorus, calcium, and potassium

Watermelon has a decent amount of these three minerals – similar to other melons such as cantaloupe.


Watermelon is a deliciously sweet fruit and is naturally high in sugar and low in fiber. Guinea pigs are prone to obesity and dental problems to limit their watermelon to once to twice per week as a treat


The flesh provides very little fiber – which is important for guinea pigs’ digestive function and health. However, the rind is a great source of fiber and we will discuss this in a moment.

Is it safe for guinea pigs to eat Watermelon?

Guinea pigs can safely eat small amounts of watermelon flesh as an occasional treat. However, you should avoid feeding them canned slices (as these may have sugar added) or dried pieces (which often contain salt). It’s best not to feed your guinea pig watermelon every day, as it can make them a bit overweight.

Guinea pig eating watermelon - it should only be give as the occasional treat

How much watermelon can I feed my guinea pig?

  • A good serving size for your guinea pig 1-2 small pieces or cubes: approximately 1/2 inch
  • No more than twice per week. It should only be fed in moderation as it is high in sugar and lower than other fresh fruits and vegetables in Vitamin C (see below for a list of alternatives
  • A great alternative is the watermelon rind if you want a lower sugar – higher fiber treat (see below).
  • Do not feed them cold watermelon as it can cause digestive problems. Feed it to them at room temperature.
  • It is a good thing to remember to introduce new foods slowly and start with a very small portion – one cube at the most

What should I feed my guinea pig?

Guinea pigs can eat a wide variety of different foods, but what should you feed them?

  • Grass hay is the most important part of your little friend’s diet. It should make up about 80% of what they eat every day! Grass hays like Timothy hay, orchard grass, and alfalfa hay all have plenty of nutrients for your guinea pig. They’re also high in fiber which helps keep their digestive tract healthy.
  • Guinea pig pellets can make up around 10% of their daily diet – make sure they are high quality, don’t contain cereals and are supplemented with Vitamin C
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables make up the last 10% and are another great source of vitamins A, B-complex (Vitamin B6), and C as well as minerals such as calcium and magnesium. These can help keep your guinea pig’s immune system strong and their bones healthy! You can feed them any type of fruit or vegetable except those listed below.
  • Make sure your little furry friend has access to plenty of fresh water at all times in an appropriate sipper bottle to avoid it being contaminated. Make sure to change it every day as who likes stale water?

What are some alternative options to watermelon I can feed my guinea pig?

Here is a list of fresh fruit and veggies that you can feed as a tasty treat as part of your pet’s diet. Fresh fruits and veggies should make up around 1/4 to 1/2 cup per day with the majority being veggies as some fruits can have too much sugar. Remember veggies can be very high in Vitamin C as well as fiber – both essential nutrients for your guinea pig!

Can guinea pigs eat watermelon rind?

Even the rind of the watermelon is edible to guinea pigs and is a nice choice to help them wear down their continuously growing teeth. The rind is white or yellowish, with less sugar, and has less vitamin C than the pinkish to red flesh of the watermelon. It’s high in potassium,  magnesium, and phosphorus.

The rind, unlike the flesh of the watermelon, is high in fiber so is better for their digestive health

If you do offer your furry friend the rind (and some guineas just adore it), here are a few pointers:

  • Remove the majority of the pink, fruity flesh to leave more rind for them to consume – still a treat, but healthier.
  • Ensure that all the seeds are removed as they can be a choking hazard for your precious pet (see below)
  • Make sure to wash the rind thoroughly before feeding as it may have been sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals

Overall if you are choosing between the rind and the flesh – go with small pieces of the rind with a little of the flesh intact.

guinea pig eating a piece of watermelon

What happens if a guinea pig eats too much watermelon?

Like most fruits, eating large amounts of watermelon can increase the risk of weight gain and obesity in your guinea pig as it is high in sugar. If they eat too much at once (like any fruit really) it can cause digestive upsets and an upset stomach and may cause them to have diarrhea. If your little guinea appears unwell or has diarrhea for more than one day seek the advice of your local pocket pet vet (that is – a vet with special knowledge of guinea pigs).

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Watermelon Seeds?

You should always remove the seeds before giving this delicious fruit to your guinea pig, as the small, slimy seeds can be a choking hazard.

Summing Up

So, what’s the verdict? Can guinea pigs eat watermelon? The answer is yes – but in moderation! Fresh fruits and vegetables should make up around ¼ to ½ cups per day, with the majority being veggies. Remember that some fruits (like citrus) are acidic so only offer small amounts. And always remove the seeds before feeding! Watermelon makes a great addition to your furry friend’s diet, it is high in water, moderate in Vitamin C, potassium, and phosphorus, and if you are going to choose – choose the rind with a little flesh to increase the fiber content.

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