Yes, guinea pigs are able to eat strawberries but should only eat small portions.
Strawberries are a delicious fruit that contains a high water content, vitamin C and plenty of antioxidants making them great for guinea pigs.
Read on below what parts of the strawberry are best, how much is too much and the benefits guinea pigs can get from strawberries.
Are Strawberries Safe for Guinea Pigs?
Yes, strawberries are safe for your guinea pig as long as you feed them in moderation. Most guinea pigs aren’t over-eaters so you’re safe if you give them a little bit more during feeding time. It’s best to use strawberries as more of a treat compared to other fruits.
Even though strawberries contain less sugar than other fruits they can still be dangerous for your guinea pig in large quantities. Any excess sugar can lead to obesity, diarrhea or other common health problems in guinea pigs.
Benefits of Strawberries for Guinea Pigs
The best way to look at food for guinea pigs and their benefits is to think of yourself. Is this something you would eat for nutritional value? If the answer is yes, there is a good chance it can be beneficial for your guinea pig as well.
Strawberries can help fulfill some of the nutritional requirements your guinea pig needs, such as Vitamin C. Guinea pigs need around 10mg of Vitamin C every day to stay healthy and they get most of this through their foot intake and vitamin supplements.
By feeding your guinea pig a strawberry you can fulfill all of their Vitamin C requirements with just a few chunks. Strawberries also contain several antioxidants which help with inflammation and balance in their digestive tract.
The stem and leaves of a strawberry are good for your guinea pig as well and in most cases healthier for your guinea pig. They have less sugar and more fiber than other fruits. Just like feeding your guinea pig apples, a strawberry is considered a super fruit for guinea pigs.
Hazards to Feeding Guinea Pigs Strawberries
Even though there are quite a few health benefits in strawberries for guinea pigs, there are some things you should watch out for.
Strawberries aren’t as high in sugar as some other fruits but eating too many can still lead to some bad results, like diarrhea in your guinea pig. Guinea pigs aren’t the best at processing sugar so too many fruits can lead to obesity and even diabetes.
However, it’s not just guinea pigs, but other animals like hamsters and rabbits, can’t process sugar as well as humans can. It can make them very ill if they consume too much and can lead to other harmful diseases common in guinea pigs.
Make sure you fully clean the strawberries before you feed them to your guinea pig. Strawberries are one of the most common fruits to contain pesticides or chemical residue from them growing on a farm. Depending on the chemicals used this can be deadly for your guinea pig.
When Can Guinea Pigs Start Eating Strawberries?
You shouldn’t feed newborn or baby guinea pigs strawberries as they are continuing to develop. A general rule of thumb is to wait until the guinea pig is at least 6 months old for small chunks and amounts and over 1 year for anything larger than a few chunks.
As a newborn guinea pig they should only be eating hay, pellets and drinking their mother’s milk. Food high in sugar can hurt their developing digestive system.
Recommended Serving Sizes & Methods
It is very important to not overfeed your guinea pig. You should not feed your guinea pig strawberries every day. Instead you should save them for a special occasion such as a treat for doing something good or while training your guinea pig.
A guinea pig’s digestive track won’t have enough time to digest and store all the sugar provided in strawberries. If you continue to feed them strawberries the sugar will compound and they will gain weight leading to health issues.
You should begin by feeding your guinea pig a strawberry chunk about the size of your fingernail and give them more from then on. You’ll want to keep an eye on them for choking or any immediate diarrhea as their body processes it.
If your guinea pig gets diarrhea or bloating after eating strawberries it shouldn’t last long. If it lasts beyond a normal time period you should speak to your vet. Make sure your guinea pig is drinking plenty of water as they eat the strawberry to help digest it.