Guinea pigs love fruits because of the sugar content in them. They are always looking forward to their next treat and they will wheek and popcorn delightedly when they see you pop up with a piece of sweet fruit.
Oranges are citrus fruits that are high in both sugar and acid. You may be at a fix whether it is safe to offer them to your pet or not to offer them at all.
Sit back and relax as we look more into this fruit and find out whether guinea pigs can eat it or not.
Can guinea pigs eat oranges?
Guinea pigs can eat oranges because they are high in Vitamin C in comparison to most fruits and veggies. Vitamin C is a vital vitamin that guinea pigs cannot produce and need to get it from their foods and supplements. Oranges also contain fiber which aids in digestion and prevents constipation. Guinea pigs can eat the whole fruit including the peels, but always remove seeds because they are hard and could choke them.
Are oranges good for guinea pigs?
Oranges are good for guinea pigs because they are packed with nutrients. Mainly, they are a good source of Vitamin C which can amount to 78% in one fruit.
Beneficial nutrients in oranges are:
As stated, guinea pigs cannot make or store Vitamin C, just like us humans. This makes it essential for them to acquire the vitamin from foods that have rich in it.
Oranges are generally recognized as high in Vitamin C making them a great source of the vitamin. Vitamin C ensures that the health of guinea pigs is in check and enable fast healing of wounds.
Oranges do prevent scurvy which is common in guinea pigs and can be fatal.
Oranges contain fiber that guinea pigs need. They have delicate digestive systems and fiber aids in digestion processes preventing constipation.
Vitamin A is great for eye health and protection from free radicals that cause damage to body organs.
Oranges are high in calcium which is especially good for young guinea pigs and pregnant mothers. Calcium is needed for developing strong bones and teeth.
Potassium and magnesium
These two nutrients enhance muscle functioning and maintain blood pressure.
Are oranges bad for guinea pigs?
Oranges are great treats but they also have downsides that could make them not so good.
These downsides include:
High sugar content
Most fruits contain sugar that is quite high for guinea pigs due to their small sizes and oranges are no exception. A lot of sugar brings about obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay in guinea pets.
High acid content
Oranges have a tart taste due to their high acidic content. They can bring about mouth sores and affect the digestive tract and guinea pig stomachs.
High calcium content
Oranges are one of the fruits with high calcium content. Calcium is required by young guinea pigs but adult guinea pigs do not need it.
High calcium levels cause urinary problems and can lead to bloody urine. The mineral brings about kidney and bladder stones which make urinating painful.
Can guinea pigs eat orange peels?
Some guinea pig owners will give orange peels to guinea pigs while others will opt to throw them away. Orange peels are safe and good for guinea pigs and there is no problem feeding them.
The peels actually contain almost three times more vitamin C than the flesh. They are also high in antioxidants and low in sugar.
However, the peels have more acid and some could contain traces of pesticides if not washed properly.
Is it safe to give guinea pigs orange juice?
Orange juice that has been freshly pressed or the one that has been bought from the store will either have high acidic content or contain a lot of sugar.
It could also have little nutritional value making it best to just provide fresh clean water instead as a drink to your pet. If you want them to have a taste of orange juice, provide juicy orange slices instead.
How to feed oranges to guinea pigs
Like all other treats, you should provide oranges once or twice a week due to their sugar content. Ensure that you only give a small slice too.
Choose fresh ripe oranges and avoid unripe ones that have more acid.
- Wash the fruit thoroughly to clean it of pesticides and bacteria.
- Decide whether you will give it with the peels or not.
- Remove seeds which are a choking hazard.
- Slice it into small easy-to-eat sizes.
- Offer your guinea pig a treat they’ll love you more for.
Always remove any fruit leftovers after an hour to avoid flies and bacteria that could cause diseases if ingested later on.
Best oranges for guinea pigs and their alternatives
Oranges have a wide variety to choose from. Best oranges for guinea pigs are mandarins and clementines although you should try different varieties to know which type your pet loves more.
If you are just introducing the fruit to your guinea pig, give a small slice first and watch for any reactions. If they have diarrhea or seem to have trouble eating, that could mean trouble in paradise.
Diarrhea is the sign of an upset stomach and trouble eating could mean that the mouth has developed sores. Whether the fruit has adverse effects or they just don’t like it, you can avoid it altogether and opt for alternatives.
Red bell pepper is a great option because believe it or not, it has almost three times more Vitamin C than oranges. It’s also good for healthy eyes. Other alternatives are strawberries, blueberries, and pineapples.
Guinea pigs can eat oranges and will enjoy having them as a treat. Orange peels are safe for guinea pigs and you can offer the fruit with peels or decide to remove them.
Although they may need Vitamin C in oranges, you should give the fruit in small quantities and twice a week because of high sugar and acid contents.