Every pet owner wants to know what foods are safe for their pets to eat. The Internet is filled with information on the do’s and don’ts of giving your pet fresh fruit, but it can sometimes be hard to find clear answers that are based on scientific research. Can guinea pigs eat oranges? If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me that question I would be rich. It is one of the most common questions that people ask me because they want to know if their guinea pig can eat and enjoy oranges.
Can guinea pigs eat oranges? Yes, they can. Oranges have copious amounts of Vitamin C which guinea pigs do not produce Vitamin C naturally so they need to get it from their diet. Orange skin and flesh are both healthy and edible for guinea pigs, but the seeds are poisonous for them and must be removed thoroughly beforehand.
In addition to regular oranges, guinea pigs can also eat mandarins, blood oranges, clementines, and tangerines safely in moderation.
Are you familiar with the health benefit of oranges for your pet cavies? Or do you want to learn about the risks involved with overfeeding these fruits? Whatever your queries are, you will find their answers in this article.
- Are oranges healthy for guinea pigs?
- Why shouldn’t you overfeed oranges to guinea pigs?
- What about orange peel? Can guinea pigs eat it?
- Are the seeds present in oranges safe for guinea pigs?
- Can guinea pigs eat blood oranges?
- Can you feed mandarin oranges to guinea pigs?
- What about clementine? Is it edible to guinea pigs?
- Is it okay to feed tangerines to guinea pigs?
- Conclusion: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Oranges?
Are oranges healthy for guinea pigs?
If you have been wondering if great taste equals great nutrition for your furry pals, take a look at what beta-carotene and Vitamin C can do for your guinea pig’s diet!
All citrus fruits, including oranges, have an abundance of Vitamin C that plays a key role in strengthening our immune health. But what about your cavies? Can oranges benefit their health as well? Let’s find out.
Take a look at the table given below to learn about the nutritional value of oranges:
|Vitamin A||225 IU|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.114 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.052 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.369 mg|
|Vitamin B4 (Choline)||11 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.328 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.079 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folates)||39 mcg|
|Vitamin C||69.7 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.24 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.1 mg|
|Calcium, Ca||40 mg|
|Sodium, Na||0 mg|
|Potassium, K||169 mg|
|Copper, Cu||39 mcg|
|Magnesium, Mg||10 mg|
|Zinc, Zn||0.08 mg|
|Manganese, Mn||0.024 mg|
|Dietary fibers||3.1 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
Following are the health benefits that oranges can offer to your guinea pigs:
- Oranges have a high calorific count and contain carbs in abundance, and both of these can provide your pets with energy and warmth.
- The low-fat content of oranges can unclog the blood vessels in their body and keep their weight in check. Eating oranges is also good for the cardiovascular health of your cavies.
- The dietary fibers present in oranges can maintain their digestive health. Without fibers in their diet, guinea pigs can suffer from constipation and indigestion.
- Vitamin A in oranges can enhance their eyesight and improve their reproductive as well as overall health.
- Oranges have Vitamin C in abundance, which great for building the immune health of your pets. It also protects them from Scurvy, a disease that is quite common among guinea pigs. Moreover, since they cannot synthesize this vitamin independently, they’re completely dependent on external sources for it.
- Oranges contain potassium, a mineral that maintains a healthy fluid balance in their body and improves their blood pressure. The deficiency of potassium in guinea pigs can lead to fatigue and dehydration.
- Calcium and Magnesium can together strengthen your pet’s bones and muscles.
Why shouldn’t you overfeed oranges to guinea pigs?
Despite all that oranges can offer your pets, they’re still fruits and, therefore, cannot be a part of their daily diet. We agree that these fruits are healthy for them when fed as a treat. However, too many oranges can impact your pet’s health negatively.
Following are the reasons why you shouldn’t overfeed oranges to your pets:
The risk of urinary problems
As you might have noticed in the table above, oranges are rich in Calcium (100 grams of oranges contain 40 mg Calcium). If your guinea pigs are eating too many oranges, they will have more Calcium in their body than they need.
This means that all the extra Calcium will get deposited in their urinary tracts and can cause urinary tract stones, which can be extremely painful for them. Here are some urinary tract stones symptoms that you should look out for:
- Constant pain in their abdomen
- Frequent urination, small amounts of urine
- The appearance of blood in their urine
Too much sugar
Oranges are fruits, which means that they would have high sugar content. And while natural sugar can be healthy for your guinea pigs in moderation, too much of it is not good for them. Guinea pigs often struggle to digest excess sugar, which can often lead to digestive issues like loose stool and diarrhea.
If you want to prevent the high sugar and Calcium content of oranges from harming your little pets, you must practice moderation while feeding them oranges. Giving a whole orange to a single pet is a bad idea; they should only eat 1-2 slices of it at once. As far as the frequency is concerned, you can safely feed them oranges twice a week.
Moreover, guinea pigs can benefit more from a diverse diet. So, make sure oranges are not the only fruits they’re eating. Other fruits that you can add to their diet are apples, bananas, watermelons, etc.
What about orange peel? Can guinea pigs eat it?
While we don’t eat orange peels because they are unpalatable, your little pets share no such reservations and have often been seen eating unpeeled oranges in the wild. In fact, these peels are both edible and healthy for your cavies; they’re rich in vitamin C, fibers and also contain healthy citrus oils.
If you’re thinking of feeding orange peels to your pets, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind:
- Avoid feeding unpeeled oranges to your cavies since it can be difficult for them to eat it. A whole orange should never be fed to them at once anyway.
- Purchase organic oranges for them because their peels are safe from all kinds of toxic chemicals like pesticides and insecticides.
Are the seeds present in oranges safe for guinea pigs?
Unlike the flesh and peel of oranges, the seeds of these fruits are not safe for your guinea pigs to eat. These seeds are tough and can pose a choking hazard to your pets.
Moreover, they also contain a small amount of amygdalin inside, which can degrade into hydrogen cyanide when broken and prevent oxygen from reaching their blood.
Therefore, carefully remove all the seeds from oranges before you feed them to your cavies.
Can guinea pigs eat blood oranges?
Named after its dark, blood-red flesh, the blood orange is a variety of orange that is said to be grown of natural mutation. The reason behind the dark flesh of these fruits is the presence of anthocyanins in them.
Those of you who haven’t heard of anthocyanins are a type of flavonoids usually found in flowers and non-citrus fruits. These oranges are most commonly used in marmalades and gelato.
If you’re thinking about feeding blood oranges to your pet cavies, go ahead. They’re rich in Vitamin C, folates, and fibers. Not to forget the anthocyanins that have powerful antioxidant properties.
Moreover, because these oranges have a different smell than sweet oranges and taste slightly like raspberries, some guinea pigs might prefer these to regular oranges.
However, blood orange’s sugar content is slightly higher, so you might want to watch out for the quantity you’re feeding them.
Can you feed mandarin oranges to guinea pigs?
Mandarin oranges are a distinct orange species that are smaller in size than the regular oranges and have a slightly oblate shape. These oranges have a sweeter and stronger taste than regular oranges and are less sour. Usually grown in tropical and subtropical areas, these oranges do not do well in colder climates.
Although mandarines do not contain as much Vitamin C as regular oranges, their Vitamin A content is higher. These oranges are also safe and healthy for your cavies to eat.
What about clementine? Is it edible to guinea pigs?
Clementines are a tangor (a citrus hybrid between sweet and mandarin oranges) with sweet and juicy flesh and are less acidic than regular oranges. Their peels are smooth and easy to come off, with about 7-14 segments inside.
Just like blood oranges, the sugar content of clementines is also higher than regular oranges. Therefore, these are only safe for your guinea pigs in strict moderation.
Is it okay to feed tangerines to guinea pigs?
Tangerines are a hybrid between mandarin oranges and pomelo. In taste and appearance, these oranges take after the mandarins and are smaller and sweeter than regular oranges.
The nutritional value of tangerines is also more or less similar to mandarins, with lesser Vitamin C and more Vitamin A. You can feed tangerines to guinea pigs just as safely as mandarins.
Conclusion: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Oranges?
The answer is yes. In fact, these fruits are high in Vitamin C, which guinea pigs cannot produce on their own. This means that they rely on their diet to get it from outside sources (such as oranges).
If you have raw organic oranges, the flesh and peel are healthy for your guinea pig but DO NOT give them the orange seeds, they can be lethal to them.
So there you have it – everything you could ever need to know about can guinea pigs eat oranges! Whether you’re a current pig owner (or guinea pig parent as I like to say) or are an aspiring pig owner, hopefully, this has given you the answer you were looking for.
I hope this post was helpful for you, as I always try to make my content useful for my visitors. If you have any other ideas, or if you have any questions regarding how to take care of guinea pigs, please feel free to contact us.