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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cherries? Vet Approved Nutrition Facts & FAQ

Grant Piper

By Grant Piper

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cherries

Vet approved

Dr. Lorna Whittemore Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

MRCVS (Veterinarian)

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

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Guinea pigs enjoy eating a variety of fresh foods. Fruit is an excellent and important part of a healthy guinea pig diet but only in moderation. There are some mixed messages online about some kinds of fruit, such as cherries. Some people say cherries are dangerous and have drawbacks, and other people swear by cherries for their guinea pigs. Can guinea pigs eat cherries? Are they safe? Do they actually have benefits, or do they have dangers? Guinea pigs can eat cherries as long as you remove the pits from them. This brief guide will cover everything you need to know about feeding your beloved guinea pig cherries.

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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cherries?

Yes! Guinea pigs can absolutely eat cherries. In fact, they often love cherries. Some people report that their guinea pigs go absolutely nuts for cherries and have even shown signs of favoritism and even addiction when it comes to cherries. Cherries are tasty and have some seriously good health benefits for guinea pigs. However, you do need to do some preparations before giving your guinea pigs cherries. Cherries are safe to eat, but the whole cherry is not. You must remove the stone before feeding your guinea pig a cherry.

Cherries should also only be given in moderation. Like most things in life, cherries are best enjoyed sparingly, less than 10% of their diet should be fruit.

Fresh cherries fruit on plate
Image Credit: nadie_if, Shutterstock

How to Safely Feed Cherries to Your Guinea Pig

Guinea pigs love cherries, but you can’t just chuck full cherries into your pig’s cage. You need to first remove the stem and the pit to make them safe for guinea pigs. Cherry pits can be a choking hazard and will prevent your guinea pig from safely eating the cherry. Cherry pits, and the stems, to some extent, have cyanide in them, which is toxic. You want to avoid feeding your guinea pig any stems, leaves, or pits from a cherry.

When you are planning on feeding your guinea pig cherries, you should remove the pit. Pull off the stem. Throw those things out. Next, you want to slice the cherry into small pieces and put the pieces into your guinea pig’s food bowl. You can add cherries to any safe fruit salad for your guinea pig.

It is important to remember that the vast majority of what guinea pigs should eat daily is good quality Timothy hay (around 85% of their diet), a tablespoon of guinea pig pellets, and a cup of fresh vegetables. As part of this cup of vegetables, you can include some fruits occasionally.

Cherry Nutrition Facts

These are the nutrition facts for a single standard cherry.
  • Calories: 5.17 Kcal
  • Sugar: 1.05 gram
  • Protein: 0.087 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 1.31 grams
  • Total Fiber: 0.17 grams
  • Vitamin C: 0.57 mg
  • Potassium: 18.2 mg
  • Calcium: 1.07 mg
  • Magnesium: 0.902 mg

From FDA FoodData Central

Divider Guinea PigWhat Are the Benefits of Feeding Cherries to Guinea Pigs?

Cherries have a bevy of helpful traits that are great for guinea pigs (and people). Feeding your guinea pig cherries can provide these amazing benefits.

Antioxidants

Cherries are chocked full of antioxidants. Antioxidants help boost your guinea pig’s immune system and provide anti-inflammatory properties. This can help keep your guinea pig happy and healthy.


Vitamin C

Guinea pigs share an interesting trait with humans. Neither guinea pigs nor people can create their own Vitamin C. Guinea pigs must get their vitamin C from their diet. If you do not give your guinea pig enough vitamin C, they can actually get scurvy. Scurvy is potentially fatal, and it is the same disease that so famously used to affect human sailors and pirates. Giving your piglet cherries can stave off scurvy and provide much-needed vitamin C. Guinea pigs cannot store vitamin C either and need a constant supply. Vitamin C degrades fairly quickly so it is important that they have both fresh vegetables and fruits but also guinea pig pellets.

Cherries in the orchard
Image Credit: teestock, Shutterstock

Fiber

Cherries also have a good amount of fiber per cherry. Fiber helps keep guinea pig bowels moving, which is good for a healthy digestive tract. Guinea pigs can be susceptible to bloat, which happens when gastrointestinal gas builds up inside your pet, and it can be dangerous or even fatal. Fiber helps keep your guinea pig’s intestines moving and their gut bacteria healthy, so that gas and fluids don’t build up and cause problems.

How Often Should You Feed Your Guinea Pigs Cherries?

Despite all of the benefits, you should still feed your guinea pigs cherries sparingly. They do not need to eat cherries every day. In fact, feeding your guinea pigs too many cherries can cause issues. Experts suggest feeding your guinea pigs cherries twice per week maximum. You should not feed your guinea pig cherries more than three times per week. Even if your pig thinks it wants cherries every single day, it is up to you to properly regulate its cherry intake so that they get all of the benefits without any of the negatives.

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Conclusion

Guinea pigs love cherries, and cherries have a lot of great benefits for Guinea pigs. However, they need to be fed sparingly. Your guinea pig should not eat cherries every day. Supplementing their food with a cherry twice a week is more than enough to give them the benefits while avoiding any potential downsides.

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Featured Image Credit: 1195798, Pixabay

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