Guinea pigs are herbivorous rodents that not only need but enjoy a variety of hay, vegetables and fruits. Green, leafy veggies and hay should make up the majority of the diet, but some fruits, like peaches, can be offered for some added nutrition and as a treat. Knowing what fruits your guinea pig will enjoy and that are also safe can help you provide a good variety to your pet's diet.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat All Kinds of Peaches?
The short and simple answer is yes, guinea pigs can eat peaches, but that doesn't mean an unlimited amount of this sweet fruit is okay for your guinea pig. If they like them, guinea pigs can eat a small amount of peaches, but they should not be a daily treat, and you should never force your guinea pig to eat them. If you offer different varieties of peaches, you may find that your guinea pig develops a preference for one over another, but any type of peach is okay to offer your cavy.
Are Peaches Safe for Guinea Pigs?
Different types peaches may contain different levels of vitamins and minerals but overall, they are all safe. All peaches are pretty low in oxalates (oxalic acid), high in moisture, and fairly high in natural sugars and acidity. Because of the high sugar and acidity levels, peaches are not safe for guinea pigs to consume on a daily basis. A small piece of a peach is fine to give once a week, but more often than that can result in health issues. If you give your guinea pig too much peach too often, it may result in diarrhea, mouth and dental issues, and other medical problems.
Guinea pigs should be limited to no more than one small slice of a peach each week. For smaller pigs, just a few bites is plenty, but you should only ever offer the fruit of a peach. Peach pits should not be fed to guinea pigs.
Do Peaches Contain Vitamin C?
Guinea pigs need supplemental vitamin C in their diet (10-30 mg/kg per day), so foods that have high levels of this vitamin are great to give them as treats. Peaches do contain some vitamin C, but there are many fruits and vegetables that have more. Peaches have about 11 mg of vitamin C per cup while peppers and parsley have well over 100 mg of vitamin C per cup. Strawberries contain just under 100 mg of vitamin C per cup.
What Other Fruits are Safe for Guinea Pigs?
While hay and leafy, green vegetables should make up the majority of your guinea pig's diet, many different types of fruits besides peaches are safe to offer. All fruits should be considered a treat and should only make up about 2 percent of your guinea pig's diet. Some fruits that you can occasionally but safely offer to your cavy include:
- Apples (without skin)
- Cantaloupe melon
- Grapes (red and green)
- Honeydew melon
- Passion fruit
- Prickly pear
While giving your guinea pig fruit may seem like a healthy treat, limiting the amount you give and how often you give it will help prevent your guinea pig from developing unnecessary health problems. Start with very small amounts of fruit and slowly work up if planning on giving more to see how your guinea pig and their GI tract respond to the fruit and sugar. If you notice any changes in your guinea pig such as a decrease in appetite, energy, or diarrhea, stop giving the fruit and contact your veterinarian.
Pollock C. Basic Information sheet: Guinea pig. Feb 14, 2010. LafeberVet Web site. https://lafeber.com/vet/basic-information-for-guinea-pigs/