Guinea pigs also known as the cavy belongs to a species of South American rodent. They are one of the best choice as a pet to own by many people. Every 1 out 4 house in the US has a guinea pig.
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They are loved due to their energy and cute looks. Keeping a guinea pig can be challenging. The owner must provide them with a diet to keep them healthy and energized all day long.
It is important to make sure the things you are feeding them should provide them with nutritional benefits. Many people who have guinea pigs wonder if they should feed watermelon to them or not.
We will provide you with all the relevant information to give a better understanding about the consumption of watermelon by your guinea pig.
Guinea Pigs Diet
It is recommended to feed a guinea pig high quality guinea pig food in its regular diet. However, feeding them just the guinea pig food would decrease their energy. An assortment of various fruits and vegetable in their diet would keep them healthy and happy.
According to many pet nutritionists, up to 10% of guinea pigs diet can be made up of various fruits and vegetables. A guinea pig requires around 30-50 mgs of vitamin C from their daily diet. Now it is on the owner if they provide this by vitamin supplement or by natural fruits.
Guinea pigs are healthy and happy if they are fed with food low in fats and sugars. Sugar is as bad for guinea pigs as it is for humans.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Watermelon?
This is one of the most asked question by many guinea pigs owner. Guinea pigs love fruits such as grapes not that mean every fruit would suit their diet. As every fruit has different content it is important to understand what you are feeding them.
Yes, guinea pigs can eat watermelon. It can be any watermelon, green or yellow but in moderation. However, you should only feed small amount of seedless watermelon once a week to your guinea pigs.
There is should be a limit on the quantity of watermelon you are feeding guinea pigs. Overfeeding can lead to health problems as a watermelon is high in sugar content.
Is Watermelon Safe To Feed A Guinea pig?
It is recommended to feed guinea pigs seedless watermelon. As the seed can be a choking hazard for them. It is better to be on the safe side. The reason it is said to feed watermelon in moderation as it is high in sugar.
Otherwise it is safe to feed watermelon and can be beneficial to their health and body functioning.
Benefits of Feeding Watermelon
Watermelon can work as an alternative to provide guinea pigs with the vitamin and nutrients they weren’t getting from their regular diet. Many nutrients and vitamins are available in watermelon can be a perfect weekend snack for your guinea pig.
Other than vitamin C, watermelons are a rich source of vitamin A, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. All these nutrients are essential for a healthy body functioning.
Vitamin C is essential for guinea pigs through their diet as their body can’t produce its vitamin C. The vitamin C can help boost their immune system and oral health and has been proven to prevent the scurvy disease found in many guinea pigs.
The major symptoms of scurvy include fatigue, loss of appetite, loss of coat, bleeding and diarrhea. This is why many guinea pig owners should try to prevent scurvy by their natural diet.
Additionally, watermelon contains 92% of concentrated water. Feeding guinea pigs watermelon can help them hydrate their body and level the water needed by their system.
Why is Calcium and Potassium Found In Watermelon Important for Guinea Pigs?
Calcium is as important for guinea pigs as it is for humans. Having calcium in the system of guinea pigs help them grow and strengthen their body. It is crucial for your guinea pigs to have as much calcium as they could.
This would develop their bones and body at a sufficient growth rate. For pregnant guinea pigs calcium plays a very important role. All they need is a calcium rich diet as it helps improve the teeth and bones of their babies.
On the other hand, sufficient amount of potassium leads to a healthy kidney system. Potassium can help prevent kidney stones in guinea pigs.
Should Guinea Pigs Be Given the Watermelon Rind?
Guinea pigs love munching on the watermelon rind. The rind can be better for their diet as it has a lot less sugar than the flesh of watermelon. It is safe to feed the guinea pig rind but make sure to check that there aren’t any seed sitting deep in the rind.
However, don’t feed the guinea pig rind in high quantity. The rind is rich in fiber which is essential to improve gut motility. If overeaten, it can be a burden on the gut motility and cause hygiene problems.
All you need to do is to feed the rind is wash is thoroughly. Then cut it in bite sizes and serve your little friend.
Difference Between Watermelon and Its Rind
The rind may be just an outer part of flesh of the watermelon but both have their nutritional value. Flesh of the watermelon and the rind have their own health benefits for your guinea pigs. They enjoy both the parts of the watermelon equally.
However, the flesh is quite high in sugar and water level. This is why the rind can be a better option. If you feel that your guinea pig is constipated due to less discharge, feeding them rind would be perfect as it is rich in fiber.
Risks of Feeding Watermelon
If not carried out carefully, feeding watermelon to your guinea pig can create many health issues. This is why many people recommend to only feed watermelon occasionally or once a week. There is no doubt that feeding watermelon to guinea pigs can be beneficial but the risks can’t be ignored as well.
The risks don’t exist all the time but only when if you are feeding watermelon without proper guidance and understanding the fruit. As the watermelon is high in sugar it brings many problems with it.
If the watermelon is fed regularly to guinea pig it can cause obesity and lead to tooth decay. Guinea pigs are known for their energy and speed, but the sugar rush can bring it down.
If consumed too much watermelon, it can cause diarrhea to your guinea pig. You wouldn’t want this to happen at all costs so make sure to understand the fruit you are feeding them.
What Type of Watermelon is Best For Guinea Pigs?
Watermelon comes in various types and colors. There are red, yellow, seedless watermelon and so many in the market. Yellow watermelon is much sweeter than red watermelon due to lack of lycopene.
However, it is best to feed them seedless watermelon. Seeds are slippery and they can choke on them so it is better to feed seedless watermelon.
Can We Serve A Slice Of Watermelon To Guinea Pig?
You can serve a full slice of watermelon but that would contain a lot of sugar for them to digest. It would be better to cut watermelon is small bite size cubes and serve. This would also ensure that there aren’t any seed that would can be harmful.
Can Baby Guinea Pigs Eat Watermelon?
When a guinea pig is born they only feed on their mother’s feed for couple of weeks. After three weeks guinea pigs can start consuming alfalfa hay and water. The alfalfa hay is a great source of protein and calcium as it helps in their development and growth.
By the time the guinea pigs start eating alfalfa hay, these animals can only eat a little amounts of fruits. However, as the watermelon is rich in sugar content it is recommended to introduce guinea pigs watermelon when they are only a few months old. This would keep their system safe and healthy.
Watermelon is a great source of many vitamins and calcium but the sugar content is the main factor which can also be a risk factor.
What Fruits and Vegetables A Guinea Pig Shouldn’t Eat?
Talking about watermelon, many readers may have this question in their mind. Guinea pigs are herbivores so green plants are their best friends. Being herbivores there are still some fruits they shouldn’t eat.
Some of these fruits and vegetables include, garlic, beans, iceberg, paprika, potatoes, olives and Christmas pepper. You may be thinking what is wrong in feeding these items to guinea pigs.
The reason is due to these items being toxic and cause health problems in the long run. They may enjoy it at start but the symptoms of their health getting worse will show up with time. Keep these fruits and vegetables away from your guinea pig at all costs.
You should completely avoid giving any fruit or vegetable that contains fat. It can be harmful to your pet and cause obesity.
Never give your guinea pig any type of seed or herb. Seeds can be hazardous and they can easily choke on them.
How Much Watermelon Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
Guinea pigs diet shouldn’t depend and compose just on fruits and vegetables. Only 10% of their diet should compose of vegetables and fruits. Other 90% should include guinea pig food and other essential items.
It is recommended to feed small quantities of fruits and veggies to your little friend. There is a rule that one should never forget. A guinea pig should only consume ½ of a cup of assorted fruits and vegetables. Make sure to cut them into small bites size chunks.
How Often A Guinea Pig Should Consume Watermelon?
As the watermelon is rich in sugar, feeding it every day to guinea pig would ruin their health. The diet of guinea pigs recommends items with low sugar. A guinea pig should only be fed watermelon once a week or once in two weeks.
That also in small quantity. Therefore, never serve a big portion of watermelon to your guinea pig. They would eat it but the effect on their health would be really bad.
What If a Guinea Pig Never Had Watermelon before?
If your little friend never had watermelon it can be a bit tricky to make them used to it. What you need to do is cut a small piece of watermelon and keep it in front of them. The guinea pig will assess it at first and try to taste it.
If they eat the small piece in the start you are good to offer another one. If your guinea pig doesn’t like the watermelon it’s okay, it can happen.
Try introducing them with the watermelon rind. Cut the green part of the rind and only serve the yellow part in small pieces. Many guinea pigs owners claim that their pet likes rind more than the flesh of watermelon.
However, wash the rind thoroughly before feeding it. It can sometimes contain different elements which can be harmful to their health.
Is Watermelon Juice Safe For Guinea Pigs?
No, never ever feed your guinea pig watermelon juice at any cost. By feeding watermelon juice you won’t be able to control the sugar to be given in the quantity.
Consuming the watermelon juice can cause hypertension, obesity and etc. The juice is extremely bad for the health of your guinea pig. Feeding the juice will only create more problems.
That is why you should never feed the juice to your pet. Cutting watermelon pieces is also easier to do and feed.
Now you know that guinea pigs can eat watermelons. The reason we provided additional information as we knew how important it is for you to know. We hope we made it easier for you to understand how watermelon should be fed to your furry friend.