When grabbing one of these fruits to slice, have you ever wondered if your guinea pig can share in the tastiness of a kiwi? If you have, you aren’t alone. Raising guinea pigs leaves many of us questioning which fruits we enjoy they can safely have. Can guinea pigs eat kiwi? Actually, yes, they can if fed in moderation. Not only are kiwis tasty snacks for your guinea pig, but they also offer health benefits to your little companion. If you’re considering sharing a bit of kiwi with your guinea pig, we have you covered. Read on to learn more about the nutritional facts of kiwi and how much you can allow your guinea pig to enjoy.
The Benefits of Feeding Kiwi to Your Guinea Pig
First off, let’s take a look at a few of the healthy benefits kiwi provides for guinea pigs. This will tell you why they are healthy snacks for your pet to enjoy, when fed in moderation.
Did you know that guinea pigs can’t make enough vitamin C? Due to this, your pet will need a supplement in their diet to get the vitamin C they need. If not, they can suffer from scurvy or vitamin C deficiency.1 Unfortunately, scurvy is life-threatening to your guinea pig if it isn’t caught in time. So, offering your guinea pig foods that have vitamin C inside is important. Most of the vitamin C will come from their pellet food but it can be supplemented with fresh foods. Luckily, kiwi contains a lot of vitamin C. In 100 grams of kiwi, you’ll find 92.7 milligrams of vitamin C.2 This will help your pet avoid suffering from a lack of this important vitamin.
Here are a few signs of vitamin C deficiency every guinea pig owner should be aware of. If you notice your guinea pig dealing with any of these issues, take them to the veterinarian immediately.
- Rough or patchy hair
- Wounds that have difficulty healing
- Poor appetite
- Weight loss
- Sore teeth
Fiber is just as beneficial to your guinea pig as it is to any pet in your home, if not more so. Fiber is great for balancing the digestive system and keeping everything on track. It helps maintain the correct amounts of water in your guinea pig’s intestines. By doing this your guinea pig will be less likely to suffer from diarrhea and constipation. It also provides nutrition to gut bacteria which are very important for overall health.
Potassium is beneficial for helping your guinea pig maintain a healthy heart.3 It helps lower blood pressure and reduces the potential of heart-related issues later in your guinea pig’s life. Ensuring your guinea pig gets a healthy amount of potassium in their diet is a great idea, and kiwis offer this.
Carbs are a slippery slope for your guinea pig. They need carbs to be active and energetic. This helps avoid having a guinea pig that spends most of its time sleeping. Unfortunately, too many carbs can be troublesome. Too many carbs can lead to obesity which increases the risk of other health issues for your pet. Kiwis have carbohydrates for your guinea, but should only be fed in moderation to avoid issues with too many carbs in their diet.
More Vitamins and Minerals
Kiwis provide your guinea pig with several other vitamins and minerals that can promote a healthier lifestyle. Having enough vitamins and minerals can help the clotting of your guinea pig’s blood. They can also boost the immune system. Other vitamins and minerals found in kiwi include vitamins K, E, and B6. Iron and magnesium levels can also be improved by providing your guinea pig with kiwi as a snack now and then.
Potential Issues of Feeding Kiwi to Your Guinea Pig
While kiwis are a good snack for your guinea pig, like with many foods, there are also potential issues with feeding your pet too much of a good thing. As we said, the key is to provide kiwi in moderation and not as a staple of your guinea pig’s diet. Let’s take a look at a few of the issues of feeding your pet too much kiwi.
Kiwi, like other fruits, contains natural sugar. This is potentially the biggest downside to including these in your pet’s diet. If fed too much fruit, your guinea pig could suffer from obesity. An overweight guinea pig can suffer from issues such as shorter life spans and several health problems.
It’s important to keep a close eye on the amount of oxalate your guinea pig gets due to bladder stones. Yes, guinea pigs are prone to these and will require surgery to have them removed. Fruits and vegetables containing higher oxalate amounts could contribute to the formation of calcium oxalate bladder stones.
Kiwi has a lot of water inside. While this can be a great thing if your guinea pig doesn’t drink enough or has been dealing with constipation, it can also lead to a bit of diarrhea or upset stomach if too much water is in the diet. This is why you should always start slowly when offering your pet a bit of kiwi. Offer small pieces to see how your pet reacts before increasing the amount.
Safely Feeding Kiwi to Your Guinea Pig
As we just mentioned, it is always best to start with small amounts of kiwi to see how your pet reacts to it. You’ll need to remove the skin before offering the kiwi. The seeds can be eaten by your guinea pig and are considered safe. If you try kiwi and your pet doesn’t have any adverse reactions, you can slightly increase the amount you give them. However, to avoid issues such as bladder stones and obesity, it is best to only offer your guinea pig a serving of kiwi once a week.
Kiwi is a great way of ensuring that your guinea pig gets a tasty treat with lots of benefits. However, like with many of the foods we offer our pets, kiwi should only be given in moderation. Make sure it is only a treat or snack for your guinea pig and doesn’t replace their normal diet needed to keep them happy and healthy.