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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Watermelon Rind? Vet-Approved Risks & Benefits

Krysha Thayer

By Krysha Thayer

Guinea Pig Eating Watermelon on grass

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Amanda Charles

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Derm) MRCVS

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

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Guinea pigs can eat fresh fruit as a small part of a balanced diet. If you’re wondering whether they might enjoy nibbling on watermelon rind, the answer is yes! In fact, due to its lower sugar content than the flesh of the watermelon, it is often considered a healthier treat for your piggy.

Read on to find out more about how to feed your pet this yummy snack, as well as the nutritional benefits and risks of feeding it.

Divider Guinea Pig

Nutritional Benefits of Watermelon Rind

A guinea pig’s diet should mostly consist of hay, fresh vegetables and guinea pigs pellets. Fruit, including watermelon rind should only be fed as an occasional treat. Watermelon rind can be healthier for your guinea pig than the red, fleshy part of the watermelon. It contains more concentrated nutrients and less sugar, so you know they are getting more out of their snack. Lets take a look at some of the nutritional benefits your guinea pig may get from this crunchy snack.

watermelon slices
Image Credit: Any Lane, Pexels

Vitamin C

Watermelon rind contains vitamin C, although it is not as high as in many other fruits. Vitamin C is especially important for guinea pigs as, like us humans, they cannot produce it on their own and require it in their diet. It is essential for the growth and repair of tissues of skin , joints and mucosal surfaces like gums. It also plays an important role in wound healing.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps to support eye health as well as a healthy immune system. While you’ll find higher levels of Vitamin A in other foods, like carrots,  watermelon is also a source.


Lycopene is an antioxidant that helps the body repair and protect itself.


Watermelon rind contains more fiber than the flesh. A high fiber diet is essential for guinea pigs to maintain their gut health as well as keeping their teeth worn down. Hay should be the main source of your piggy’s fiber though.


As its name suggests, watermelon is 92% water and, although the rind contains less water than the red fleshy part of the fruit, it still contains quite a bit of water that can offer hydration.

Risks of Feeding Your Guinea Pig Watermelon Rind

While there are some benefits to feeding your Guinea pig watermelon rind and many love it, there are also risks you should be aware of when doing so.

white crested guinea pig
Image Credit: Bad_Bear_Pictures, Pixabay

Sugar Content

All fresh fruit contains high amounts of sugar. Too much sugar can cause weight gain and obesity as well as upsetting guinea pigs’ delicate gastrointestinal tract and causing diarrhea.

High Water Content

Because your Guinea Pig will likely enjoy the taste of their watermelon rind treat, they might overindulge! Filling up on watermelon means they won’t consume all the nutrients they need to stay healthy. Consuming too much water can also lead to diarrhea. Be sure to monitor how much you give them.

Gastrointestinal Upset

Introduce any new food, including watermelon rind, to your guinea pig very gradually and carefully monitor them after feeding. If your guinea pig develops any adverse effects after eating watermelon rind such as diarrhea, stop feeding it. Always consult with your veterinarian with any health or diet concerns.

veterinary doctor holding guinea pig on hands
Image Credit: Tatyana Vyc, Shutterstock

How to Feed Watermelon Rind to Your Guinea Pig

Guinea pigs should be fed fresh, raw watermelon rind. Cut watermelon rind into 1-inch cubes, remove any seeds, and feed 2–3 cubes per serving. You may feed watermelon rind up to a maximum of two times per week as part of a balanced diet. Be sure to wash the watermelon thoroughly to remove any pesticides before feeding it to your piggy.

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Watermelon rind should only be fed to your Guinea Pig as an occasional refreshing treat, and only if they do not suffer from any adverse effects after eating it. Although many piggies enjoy it and it does provide some nutritional benefits, they should be getting all the nutrients they require from hay, fresh veggies and guinea pig pellets. Of course, if in doubt, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian before feeding watermelon rind to your guinea pig.

Featured Image Credit: JumpStory

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