Guinea pigs are a great addition to any household, but there are a lot of questions you’ll have to ask yourself before getting one. At the top of most people’s list is whether guinea pigs can eat kiwi or not. They’re a tricky little creature, and while it looks like they could eat it, what about the seeds? What about the skin? Well, there is more information than you thought when it comes to guinea pigs eating kiwi and that information is found in this article!
Can guinea pigs eat kiwi? Guinea pigs can eat kiwis. They are a great source of Vitamin C, which boosts the immune system of cavies. Kiwis provide several health benefits to your pet, but you should be aware of the high sugar content in them. In excess, kiwis can cause problems such as obesity and diarrhea, so be careful about how much you feed your cavy.
Kiwis are a nutritious treat for your cavies when fed in moderation. The seeds present inside these fruits are also harmless to your pets. However, due to its high sugar content, overfeeding kiwis can cause several health problems in your guinea pigs, including diarrhea, stomachache, and even obesity in the long run. In addition, Kiwi’s high calcium content can also be detrimental to their health.
In this article, we will talk about everything you need to know about kiwis before you add it to your pet’s diet.
- Can guinea pigs benefit from eating kiwi?
- Risks involved in overfeeding kiwi to guinea pigs
- Is the outer skin of kiwi safe for guinea pigs to eat?
- What about the seeds inside the kiwi? Are they edible to guinea pigs?
- Is dried kiwi safe for guinea pigs to eat?
- Preparing kiwi for guinea pigs: things to remember
- Conclusion: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Kiwi?
Can guinea pigs benefit from eating kiwi?
Before you introduce any fruit or vegetable to your pet’s diet, it is essential to learn how it can contribute to their health. The same is true for kiwis.
Now, before we move ahead to talk about the health benefits of eating kiwis for your guinea pigs, let’s explore the nutritional value of these fruits in the table given below:
|Vitamin A||87 IU|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.027 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.025 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.341 mg|
|Vitamin B4 (Choline)||7.8 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.183 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.063 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folates)||25 mcg|
|Vitamin C||92.7 mg|
|Vitamin E||1.46 mg|
|Vitamin K||40.3 mcg|
|Calcium, Ca||34 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.31 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||17 mg|
|Potassium, K||312 mg|
|Sodium, Na||3 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||34 mg|
|Zinc, Zn||0.14 mg|
|Manganese, Mn||0.098 mg|
|Copper, Cu||0.13 mg|
|Selenium, Se||0.2 mcg|
|Dietary fibers||3 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
As you can see in the table, kiwis are rich in carbs and protein, which are the building of energy for your pets. And since guinea pigs are active little rodents that rarely spend a dull moment, eating kiwi can keep them energized throughout the day.
Kiwis are also an excellent source of Vitamin C, a vitamin that your cavies cannot synthesize by themselves but need desperately. But why do guinea pigs need this vitamin? Vitamin C boosts their immune health and protects them from Scurvy, a Vitamin C deficiency disease that is very much prevalent among the cavies. Following are some of the major Scurvy symptoms that you look out for in your pets:
- Loss of appetite
- Internal bleeding
- Rough coat
- Swollen joint
Both Vitamins A and E can promote your cavy’s eyesight, make their skin appear younger and healthier, and improve their overall health. Additionally, Vitamin E can also prevent them from inflammatory diseases and certain kinds of cancer.
Kiwi also contains a moderate amount of Vitamin K, improving their blood clotting mechanism and preventing them from bleeding to death from minor cuts and wounds.
You can find many minerals in kiwis, all of which serve different purposes for your cavies. Let’s take a look at how these minerals can help your pets:
- Calcium contributes to the healthy growth and development of their bones and teeth.
- Magnesium is responsible for their muscle formation and can also prevent muscle pain and soreness in their body.
- Potassium keeps them hydrated, maintains the fluid balance in their body, and regulates their blood pressure levels.
Kiwis have low-fat content and zero cholesterol, which means that your cavies will not gain any unnecessary weight by eating these fruits. And since guinea pigs are prone to obesity, a low-fat treat can be very beneficial for both their cardiovascular and overall health.
Lastly, kiwis are fiber-rich fruits that can contribute to the healthy digestive system of your pets. The fibers in these fruits can regulate the bowel movements of your cavies and improve the nutrient absorption capacity of their intestine.
Risks involved in overfeeding kiwi to guinea pigs
As a pet owner, you might have often come across the term “moderation” for your pet’s diet. This is because guinea pigs, being much smaller in size than us, have a small diet and must not overeat to lead a healthy life. When it comes to treating these rodents, following moderation is even more important.
Here are some of the health problems your cavies might suffer from if you overfeed kiwis to them:
The risk of urinary tract stones
You can see in the table given above that 100 grams of kiwi contain 34 milligrams of calcium. While this might not be much for us, for your guinea pigs, it is too much. Once the guinea pigs reach adulthood, they need a minimal amount of calcium in their diet. And if they’re consuming more calcium than they need, all the extra calcium gets deposited in their urinary tracts.
Over time, the excess calcium build-up can lead to stones in their kidney or urinary bladder, which is an excruciating condition for them. Some of the common symptoms of urinary tract stones in guinea pigs include painful urination and the appearance of blood in their urine.
Most of you might already know this, but the ideal diet for guinea pigs should have high fiber and low sugar content. However, in kiwis, the situation is reversed, as these fruits have much more sugar than fibers. Since cavies cannot digest a large amount of sugar properly, overeating kiwis will lead to digestive problems like stomachache, loose stool, and diarrhea.
It is now abundantly clear that overfeeding kiwis to your guinea pigs would be unwise. Therefore, you should feed them these fruits only once a week. However, if your pets have stones in their urinary tracts, stop feeding them kiwis right away.
Is the outer skin of kiwi safe for guinea pigs to eat?
The outer skin of kiwis is brown and hairy and is discarded when we eat kiwis. So if you’re wondering whether this discarded skin can be fed to your guinea pigs, let us tell you that it is a bad idea.
While there are some nutrients in the kiwi skin, its rough and hairy texture makes it highly unpalatable, even for guinea pigs. Kiwi skin can, at times, also be tough enough to act as a choking hazard for your pets.
Lastly, unless you’re purchasing only organic kiwis for your cavies, there’s always the risk of toxic chemicals being sprayed on their skin, which can be lethal to them.
What about the seeds inside the kiwi? Are they edible to guinea pigs?
Whenever you’re eating kiwis, their seeds are hard to miss. Although these seeds are soft and small, their black color against the green flesh of kiwis makes them quite noticeable.
But are these seeds safe for your cavies to eat? Yes, they’re perfectly safe for them. They’re far too soft to pose a choking threat to the guinea pigs and contain no compound that can harm their health. Therefore, while feeding kiwis to your pets, you needn’t worry about their seeds.
Is dried kiwi safe for guinea pigs to eat?
Dried kiwi is the dehydrated version of these fruits that have a longer shelf life. Although they’re fine for us to eat occasionally, feeding dried kiwi to your pets is a bad idea.
It is because the sugar content of these fruits gets more concentrated due to the loss of water. And guinea pigs, which already struggle with digesting sugar as it is, can face some serious health issues if they eat dried kiwis.
Preparing kiwi for guinea pigs: things to remember
We have already established that kiwi is a healthy treat for guinea pigs so far. However, let’s not forget that how we pick and prepare these fruits for our pets also plays a key role in impacting them.
For your guinea pigs to make the most out of their treats, here are some tricks and tips that can keep in your mind.
The first step of the process involves purchasing kiwis. When you’re picking out kiwis for your pets, make sure they’re fresh and fully ripened. Remember that your cavies have a delicate digestive system, and eating underripe or stale kiwi can upset it.
If you have mistakenly brought home kiwis that are underripe, give them a couple of days to ripen and feed them to your pets. Moreover, you should also look for organic kiwis for the guinea pigs since these are grown in a safe environment and are a safer alternative than commercially grown kiwis.
Washing the kiwis is the next step. Wash the fruit you’re going to feed them under running tap water thoroughly. Your kiwi is now ready to be peeled; you can do it either with a peeler or a knife, whichever seems convenient to you.
Slicing kiwi comes next; since kiwis are already small fruits, you don’t chop them into much smaller pieces. Instead, you can simply cut the fruit into four equal parts. Some pet owners remove all the seeds present inside at this point, just to be extra cautious.
However, there’s really no reason to do it, as the seeds are harmless to your cavies. Therefore, when you serve these slices to your pets, only offer two slices per cavy.
Conclusion: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Kiwi?
If you take good care of your guinea pig and you want to give them some “lush” food, then an occasional dose of kiwis won’t hurt.
And guess what? We’ve reached the end of this guide. Thanks so much for reading and I hope you have found the information helpful.
There’s always more to learn, though, so don’t stop here. To keep at your best at guinea pig ownership, make sure you get really involved with guinea pig forums and meet-ups where there are plenty of like-minded enthusiasts who can help answer questions you may have and you can offer advice for when they need it.
We hope you obtained some useful information, either about guinea pigs, kiwi fruit or about the science of animal nutrition. We hope you have fun experimenting with different foods and trying out new recipes!
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