Garden or wild strawberries are sweet fruits that humans from all races love, and so are guinea pigs. However, strawberries contain a high sugar content that worries most guinea pig owners as these pets have difficulty digesting sugar. Hence, a major concern among guinea pig owners is, “Can guinea pigs eat strawberries?”
Strawberries aren’t toxic to guinea pigs; they regulate blood pressure and lower free radicals and inflammation. But strawberries contain about 5% sugar, so don’t make them your guinea pig’s daily meal but an occasional treat. It’s okay for your guinea pig to eat a small whole strawberry weekly.
But what part of the strawberry is safe for your guinea pig? I’ll answer this and other crucial questions in this article. That’s why you should read to the end.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberries?
Guinea pigs can eat strawberries but in small quantities. Due to the high sugar content in strawberries, your pet may have tooth decay and a stomach problem, which might result in diarrhea if he overeats them. This happens because guinea pigs, unlike humans, are more sensitive to sugar.
So, how much strawberry is enough? Cut a strawberry into two and give it to your adult guinea pig once a week. However, if the strawberry is small, give him a whole one, but cut it into small pieces to make it easy for him to eat.
If you have several guinea pigs, feed them with one whole strawberry chopped into small pieces weekly.
So, though guinea pigs love to eat strawberries with their owners, moderation is key!
Also, thoroughly clean the strawberries before feeding the pets to avoid adverse reactions on your guinea pigs. Cleaning the fruits under clean water is a sure way to wash away the pesticide (if organically grown), which could cause serious health problems to your lovely pet. Better still, feed him organic strawberries if they’re available.
Allow the strawberries to dry well before giving them to your pet. Also, give your guinea pig clean, cold water for drinking.
While they drink, they’ll also cleanse their teeth of strawberries’ sweetness, making their teeth decay-free.
Is Strawberry Toxic to Guinea Pigs?
Strawberries, as I mentioned, aren’t toxic to your Guinea pigs unless given in large quantities or not well washed. Strawberries are rich in many nutrients that your pig needs. For example, they’re a rich source of Vitamin C, antioxidants, and minerals.
Just like peas provide guinea pigs with Vitamin C, so are strawberries. Guinea pigs need vitamin C for healthy joints. Lack of Vitamin C in their bodies leads to a condition known as scurvy, which makes it difficult for the pig to walk due to excruciating pain in the joints.
Therefore, ensure that your Guinea pigs get enough Vitamin C from their food and fewer sugary treats in a day. The recommended amount of Vitamin C your guinea pig should have daily is 30 mg.
While a small-sized strawberry could have about 4 mg of vitamin C, a larger one (medium-sized) has about 7 mg. Larger strawberries could have about 10 mg or more based on their sizes.
This means that one strawberry may not provide your guinea pig with enough vitamin C in a day. That doesn’t mean you fill a bowl with strawberries and feed your pet. Not at all! Remember, the same fruit has a high sugar content.
So, feed him a whole small-sized or medium-sized strawberry and add other veggies, which are a good source of vitamin C.
Vitamins A and K are other nutrients found in strawberries and are great for pigs.
One of the reasons why husky owners love to feed them with strawberries is because they’re rich in antioxidants. Your guinea pig equally benefits from the antioxidants found in strawberries.
The most common antioxidants are called anthocyanin and quercetin. With these antioxidants, there are minimal chances of cancer cell growth. These antioxidants are also responsible for strengthening the cardiovascular health of your guinea pig while lowering cholesterol.
In addition, they fight free radicals in the guinea pig's body and lower inflammation. Your guinea pigs should not have strawberries as their daily meal. They should have them at least once weekly to benefit from their nutrients.
As a result, your guinea pig feels loved due to your caring attitude toward him.
Like water, which guinea pigs love, strawberries contain vital minerals necessary for their growth and good health. The minerals found in this sweet fruit include magnesium, manganese, and folate.
Your Guinea pig is free from cardiac myolysis and anaphylactic shock when he feeds on strawberries because they’re rich in magnesium. Guinea pigs need no more than 40 mg/kg of manganese for all stages of their lives and for normal growth and development.
On the other hand, folate is vital as it helps prevent tyrosyl compounds in guinea pigs' urine. Therefore, you need to feed guinea pigs these fruits for them to reap the key health benefits.
Note: One great thing about guinea pigs feeding on strawberries is that they are low in calcium and calories and rich in potassium. Calories can cause significant health problems, so you should never feed your guinea pig dog food.
Potassium is, however, essential as it lowers blood pressure, reduces the chances of developing kidney stones, and regulates body fluid.
According to Food Data Central, here is a table showing the nutritional value of strawberries.
|Vitamin C||58.8 mg|
|Vitamin K||2.2 µg|
|Vitamin A||12 IU|
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Whole Strawberries Daily?
Because there are lots of health benefits found in strawberries, don’t assume you can give them to your piggy daily.
Apart from the high sugar content in strawberries, organically grown strawberries have pesticide residue on them, and they also have natural acidity.
In less than one minute, I’ll explain further. Keep reading.
High Amounts of Sugar
Every 100 grams of blueberries, carrots, strawberries, and grapes contain 10 grams, 4.7 grams, 4.9 grams, and 15 grams of sugar, respectively. This means that strawberry has the lowest sugar content among these fruits.
Nevertheless, the 4.9 grams is still high for your piggy to eat daily.
While your piggy might love the sugary fruit, his stomach won’t digest it effectively. As I mentioned earlier, he will have stomach pains or diarrhea.
Apart from this stomach issue, your piggy might become obese or have diabetes if you feed him raw whole strawberries daily or many times a week.
Some guinea pigs might have allergic reactions toward strawberries. If you’re just introducing the fruit to your piggy, go slow and only give him a small piece. Wait a few hours as you closely monitor him to see if he will behave abnormally.
A safer method is to consult your vet before feeding him this sweet treat to be sure it’s safe for him.
Daily intake of raw whole strawberries could cause sores in your piggy’s mouth. It’s, therefore, necessary that you lower the intake of these fruits to once a week. Even then, only feed your piggy half a strawberry, not a whole one, unless it’s tiny.
What Part of the Strawberry Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
If you’re a strawberry farmer wondering what part of the plant is safe for your piggy, you’re in the right place.
Read on so I can tell you which other parts, apart from the strawberry fruit, your piggy can have as a treat.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberry Tops?
Strawberry tops are great for your piggy because they’re low in sugar. Hence, your piggy can feed on them several times a week, unlike the whole fruit.
Your guinea pigs will benefit from the tops because they contain fiber. The fiber in the strawberry tops helps to balance bacterial flora found in the piggy’s guts.
Also, fiber helps to stimulate gastrointestinal motility.
Still, fiber helps preserve the right pig teeth length, which occurs when there’s normal grinding motion.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberry Plant Leaves?
The leaves of strawberries are great for your piggy as they’re rich in fiber. Besides, since they’re not high in sugar, you can give them to your piggy several times a week, at least 2 to 3 times. Don’t be shocked; your guinea pig might love them more than the sweet fruit.
Only ensure you clean them thoroughly, just as you clean the fruits. Better still, grow your own strawberries at home if you have a large farm.
Are Strawberry Seeds Safe for Your Guinea Pig to Eat?
I understand Guinea pigs are small pets; hence, the idea of them eating strawberry seeds could be alarming. There’s no need to fret because the seeds are also small.
Therefore, you can safely feed your piggy strawberry fruit with its seed. Your guinea pig won’t choke.
Can Baby Guinea Pigs Eat Raw Strawberries?
Feeding your baby guinea pig raw strawberries is safe, but it must be tiny, the size of your fingernail. Remember, he is still growing, and his digestion system isn’t strong enough to properly digest this fruit's sugar.
So, only feed him a small (fingernail) size once a week. However, it would be better not to feed your baby guinea pig strawberry until he is an adult. A healthy alternative would be collard greens, parsley, kale, and other leafy vegetables rich in vitamin C.
The Do’s and Don’t Before Feeding Your Guinea Pig Strawberries
Before you feed your piggy strawberry fruits, you must take the following measures into account:
As I‘ve mentioned, strawberries might have pesticide residues, making your piggy sick when they eat them. Besides, these fruits grow so close to the ground, collecting a lot of dirt, which isn’t great for the pet guinea pig.
Therefore, you must thoroughly clean the fruits, seeds, tops, and leaves (based on what you’re feeding him). It’s best to use running water or rinse a couple of times to ensure it’s completely free from pesticides if it's organic strawberry.
If your piggy has never eaten strawberries before, please take caution by moderately feeding him the fruit. All guinea pigs aren’t the same. While some might love the strawberry fruit, others prefer the tops and leaves.
Whatever your pig loves, he will want more of it, so guard against overfeeding. If, for example, he loves strawberry fruit, limiting his intake by only having a slice of the fruit is vital in preventing any health complications. Suppose he loves the leaves; good for you; you can give him several leaves to chew instead of chewing toilet rolls.
Keep an eye on his behavior after introducing the fruit or any other part of the strawberry plant.
If he remains playful with no traces of complications, the fruit is good for him. If he looks sickly, avoid giving him more strawberries and look for an alternative treat.
Avoid Cold and Frozen Strawberries
Cold strawberries are not ideal for your guinea pig despite the weather because they’re hard to digest. Since strawberry fruit is already hard to digest due to the sugar content, giving cold ones to him will only make digestion more difficult, which exposes him to severe stomach problems and diarrhea.
If your strawberries are cold, give them time to warm before feeding your piggy.
Frozen strawberries, on the other hand, are also unhealthy for your piggy. When you freeze strawberries, they lose vital nutrients necessary for your piggy's normal and proper growth.
Hence, avoid giving frozen strawberries as treats to the pet guinea pig.
Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods are entirely unhealthy for your guinea pig pet, and so is strawberry jam. Not only does it have unhealthy preservatives for your pet, but it also contains too much sugar, way more than the fruit itself.
So, avoid entirely strawberry jam and any other processed food/treat. Let your guinea pig eat raw strawberries if no complications are noticed and if the right quantity is considered.
Strawberries are rich in vitamins C, K, and A, antioxidants, and minerals; they’re excellent for feeding guinea pigs. However, they should only be offered to him as treats, not daily meals.
In a week and based on his age, your guinea pig should only eat one small strawberry fruit or a medium-sized one. For the guinea pig baby, only offer him a small (finger-nail) size.
Whether it's an adult or a baby guinea pig feeding on the fruit, seeds, tops, or leaves, closely monitoring his reaction. The strawberry treat is good for his health if he remains highly spirited. If he looks sickly or you notice abnormal behavior, like oversleeping, withdraw the strawberry treat from him.
Always thoroughly clean strawberries to prevent a stomach infection that would cause your piggy to have diarrhea. In addition, never give your piggy frozen or cold strawberries and strawberry jam.
If you take all the safety precautions into account, your guinea pig should enjoy the treat without any health problems.