Guinea Pigs are pets that like to graze, so their diet mostly consists of foods like grass, hay, herbs, and pellets. But you can supplement your guinea pig’s diet with other foods, like green veggies (which are especially good because they help your pet stay hydrated). And speaking of green veggies, does that mean guinea pigs can eat cucumbers?
Indeed, it does! However, you need to be a bit careful about how much cucumber you give your pet and be aware of a couple of other important things. Here’s what you should know about guinea pigs and cucumbers!
Do Cucumbers Offer Nutritional Benefits to Guinea Pigs?
To be honest, cucumbers don’t offer your guinea pig a lot nutrition-wise, particularly not when compared to the grass and hay that makes up most of a guinea pig’s diet. But one nutritional benefit they do provide is tons of vitamin C! And vitamin C is an essential nutrient for your guinea pig, as scurvy can be quite common in this animal.
The other main nutrient cucumbers can provide your guinea pig is calcium, as for every 100g of cucumber, there is 16 grams of calcium. However, though calcium is a needed nutrient for your tiny friend, there is a limit to how much they should have in their diet. You’ll be able to tell if your pet is getting too much calcium by small white granules (calcium deposits) in their urine. If you see those, contact your veterinarian. Perhaps it’s time to dial back on the calcium, as too much calcium can have an adverse effect on your pet.
Cucumbers also help your guinea pig to stay hydrated, especially in hotter weather. So, your pet gets a tasty treat and some extra water!
Are There Any Downsides to Feeding Your Guinea Pig Cucumbers?
There can be downsides to feeding your guinea pig cucumber, of course. One is the above-mentioned downside of too much calcium in the diet. Too much calcium for your pet can lead to bladder stones, which are already a common occurrence in guinea pigs, particularly older ones.
The other downside to giving cucumbers to your pet is that too much of this veggie at once can lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea due to the high-water content. But, so long as you’re not overdoing it on the cucumbers, your pet should be alright!
How to Feed Cucumbers to Your Guinea Pig
While it’s safe for guinea pigs to consume the entirety of a cucumber (skin, seeds, etc.), it doesn’t mean you want to actually give your pet a huge chunk of cucumber. Besides the whole “moderation is key” mantra, a larger-sized cucumber might find both younger and older guinea pigs having difficulty getting through the skin because it’s too tough for their teeth.
There are other ways you can feed your pet cucumber, though. Just a few are:
- Spirals: Use a spiralizer and make long, thin, spiral cucumber “noodles” for your guinea pig.
- Cubes: Tiny cubes are an excellent way to get some cucumber into your pet’s diet; just toss some in with their regular veggies and food.
- Via toys: You can also put those tiny cubes into interactive toys, which will leave your pet feeling entertained and satisfied.
What Other Veggies Are Okay for Guinea Pigs?
Since variety is the spice of life (and diets), you’ll want to keep your pet’s veggies switched up. But what other vegetables are safe for guinea pigs to eat? There are quite a few, including:
- Turnip greens
Guinea pigs can absolutely eat cucumbers and will probably find them delicious. However, cucumbers should only be fed in moderation as they are high in calcium and water content; overdoing both of these can negatively affect your pet. And be sure to switch up your guinea pig’s veggies to provide variety, too, with any of the many safe-for-guinea-pig veggies!
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