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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Banana Peels? Vet-Approved Nutritional Science & Info

Chantelle Fowler

By Chantelle Fowler

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Banana Peels

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Dr. Luqman Javed

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Bananas are one of the most convenient and healthiest fruit options. They’re rich in nutrients like vitamin C and potassium, nutrients we need as humans and ones your guinea pig will benefit from, too. But what about the banana peel? Can you save your peels from the compost and offer them to your piggies? Yes, guinea pigs can eat the peels, but there are some things you should know before offering some to them.

Divider Guinea Pig

What Are the Benefits of Offering Banana Peels?

Banana skin, much like the fruit’s flesh, contains vitamins and minerals your guinea pig needs. The nutritional value of banana peels varies based on the cultivar and maturity stage of the banana fruit itself. On average, dried banana peels contain 6–9% protein and 20–30% fiber1. The main benefits of banana peels are the following

Fiber

Guinea pigs thrive best on a high-fiber diet. Fiber is necessary for maintaining a well-balanced bacterial flora and boosting the motility of the gastrointestinal system. Though banana peels are high in fiber, it is important to note that their staple diet of hay contains much more fiber.

guinea pig banana
Image Credit: I Wayan Sumatika, Shutterstock

Vitamin A

Studies show that guinea pigs have a high vitamin A requirement 2. It is necessary to maintain vision and reproductive health, and optimal growth. Those with a deficiency in this vitamin may show poor growth, weight loss, eyelid incrustations, and skin irritation.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C. It is common knowledge that guinea pigs require supplemented dietary vitamin C as they cannot manufacture it on their own. This vitamin is necessary for the normal development and maintenance of your pet’s skin and joints. It is also essential for wound healing and can provide some layer of protection against diseases 3.

Though bananas and their peels do contain Vitamin C, they aren’t the best fruit by-product for this job.

Banana Peels
Image credit: vicran, Pixabay

Are There Downsides to Offering Banana Peels?

As healthy as the banana peel can be, there are some things to consider before offering it to your pet.

Fiber Content Versus Requirements

We know we just said that the peel’s high fiber content benefits guinea pigs, but you shouldn’t rely on fruit to meet your pet’s fiber needs. Your piggy will get most of the fiber it needs from the hay.

Sugar

Banana peels, like the fruit, are high in sugars. A diet high in sugar isn’t recommended for guinea pigs, because it can lead to dental problems, blood glucose level inconsistencies, and obesity. Obesity itself can lead to a plethora of other issues as well.

Pesticide Risk

Banana farmers often see pesticides as critical to the success of their crops. Banana peels are an excellent biological protectant and they don’t allow pesticides to make their way into the banana flesh, but the peels may have residue. Of course, there are pesticide limits for safety, and even with the residue on the peels, they are still safe for humans to consume. However, your piggy may be more sensitive to pesticides, so it’s best to thoroughly wash bananas if you plan to feed your pet the peel.

Guinea Pig eating a banana
Image Credit: Simon Markhof, Shutterstock

How to Offer Banana Peels to Your Guinea Pig

Choose organic if possible. Organic bananas may contain fewer pesticides, heavy metals, and other agricultural chemicals.

  • Wash the banana. Though organic bananas may have fewer pesticides than their non-organic counterparts, it is still essential that you wash the fruit before offering it to your piggy. It is a good habit to get into washing all the produce you give your pet, anyway.
  • Keep the skin and flesh together. The easiest way to offer a banana peel to your pet is not to peel the fruit at all. Cut a slice or two of the whole fruit—peel and all—and put it in your guinea pig’s bowl so they can get a taste and reap the benefits of both the flesh and skin.
  • Don’t make it a daily snack. Bananas, along with other fruits, are best offered as an occasional treat. Fruit is high in sugar, increasing your piggy’s risk of becoming overweight.

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Final Thoughts

Banana peels are rich in nutrients beneficial to your guinea pig, provided you prepare them properly and offer them in appropriate portions. Guinea pigs shouldn’t have too much fruit in their diets as it’s high in sugar, but offering it as an occasional treat is okay.

Remember that it is best to choose organic bananas if you plan on feeding the peel to your piggy, and don’t forget to give it a thorough wash before cutting it.


Featured Image Credit: t_watanabe, Pixabay

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