Can Guinea Pig Eat Apples?
Guinea pigs, also known as cavy, have a different digestive tract than other animals aside from them being true herbivores. Unlike rabbits, they need high levels of folic acid and Vitamin C and they are typically obtained through consumption of different fruits and vegetables.
Apples are especially high in Vitamin C, so can guinea pigs eat apple safely?
Yes, apples are safe for guinea pigs to eat as long as they are given in moderation. They are high in sugar, specifically called fructose, which can cause obesity in guinea pigs at high levels inside their body.
They may also cause upset digestive system because guinea pigs cannot fully synthesize sugars. Take note that there are about 11g of sugarin a cup of apple slices.
Apples should be listed under the treats category of your guinea pig food list. They can be given any type of apples from the market as long as they are not pre-ripe or rotten.
Avoid feeding them sour apples as well because they may cause sores and irritation around their mouth. It is also important that you do not give apples to guinea pigs that have dental malocclusion or lip grind.
Feeding Guidelines for Guinea Pigs
Firstly, do not force feed apples to your pets even if they are tasty and nutritious. It may be that your guinea pig doesn’t like apples since some of them are picky eaters. It is also possible that some guinea pigs are allergic to them.
You may initially give them a piece or slice and observe if they will nibble at it away or reject the treat by turning their backs on it.
If you find that your guinea pigs love this particular treat, start by giving them a few cubes in their food dish together with other fresh foods in a week. Cut them into small pieces for easy chewing and digestibility.
You may be able to increase the amount as the weeks pass by and as they get accustomed to eating them. Always remember though that apples should be given occasionally and this means about 1 to 2 times only in a week.
Observe your guinea pigs for symptoms of diarrhea as apples can possibly cause wet stool. If this happens, reduce the number of apples you feed them because it might be a sign that you are giving too much.
If further wet stools are seen, let their stomach return to their normal flora by increasing their hay intake as it usually helps symptoms of diarrhea. Remove the skin of the apples prior to feeding them to your pet again as they contain a lot of dietary fiber that triggers diarrhea in guinea pigs.
Watch out for sores and scabs as well in and around their mouth since apples are acidic. Apples given in high amounts may lead to breaks in the skin around their mouth and this will cause infection.
Infection may range from bug bites or bacterial contamination. If not treated early, this may cause changes in their eating habit resulting in weight loss.
Another important thing to consider is to not give them the apple seeds because of possible cyanide poisoning. Apple seeds contain amygdalin which is a substance that releases cyanide when digested.
Chewing the seeds will cause the amygdalin to be released into a guinea pig’s stomach and produce the cyanide. Its small body wouldn’t be able to handle the toxicity compared to humans who need about 200 apple seeds to get a fatal dose.
Try to avoid giving them the apple core as well, even if you have already removed the seeds. It might become a choking hazard to your guinea pig because of its texture.
If you also happen to have an apple tree in your backyard, you may feed your guinea pigs some apple leaves. It is known that apple leaves contain Calcium as this particular mineral does not migrate to other parts of the apple tree.
Calcium is an important mineral in some of the bodily functions of guinea pigs. Calcium deficiency can usually be seen in lactating mothers and obese guinea pigs.
To keep the apple diet interesting, you may offer the treat as an apple salad. Start by cutting the apple into bits then adding the greens such as kale or celery pieces. Boost the color by adding carrot pieces or baby carrots into their ceramic dish.
If you have any homemade applesauce at home, add a few drops to function as a dressing and it is all ready to be served to your beloved pet.
Always wash the fruit before giving it to your pig to remove any residual chemicals or other dirt on its skin. Ensure that you always give your pet fresh fruits and remove any rotten apple in its dish. You would typically leave out fresh food about 2 hours in the open before checking if you need to throw it out when left unfinished.