Persimmons are a type of fruit that is enjoyed by many people. There are a variety of persimmons but the two commonly known are fuyu and hachiya persimmons.
They can be eaten hard and crunchy like apples or left to ripen until they are soft and squishy. Some are bitter while others are very sweet.
Hachiyas are really tart when unripe but they become deliciously sweet when they are left to ripen.
The fruits are nutritious and you may want to give your guinea pet some. But are they really safe for them? Can they bring problems to your pet? Let’s look into that.
Can guinea pigs eat persimmons?
Guinea pigs can eat persimmons. Persimmons are highly nutritious fruits filled with good nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin BC, antioxidants, fiber, and manganese. These nutrients are important and they help in digestion, to lower inflammation, reduce blood pressure, and prevent diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Benefits of guinea pigs eating persimmons
Persimmons have many nutrients that are beneficial to guinea pigs like:
Persimmons are fruits that are rich in fiber which is an essential nutrient for guinea pigs. Guinea pigs have a delicate digestive system that can easily get upset by the slightest of foods.
This makes fiber an important addition to their meals so as to enable smooth digestion processes and prevent constipation.
Guinea pigs do not have the ability to produce or even store their own Vitamin C just like humans. This makes it essential to feed them with foods that are rich in the vitamin.
Vitamin C pellets can be bought as supplements but the vitamin deteriorates fast so the pellets may easily lose their potency. Feeding guinea pigs fruits like persimmons that have the vitamin is a great way of providing the vitamin in its raw fresh form.
Vitamin C prevents scurvy and helps in faster healing of wounds. It also protects cells from damage.
Persimmons have antioxidants like carotenoids and flavonoids that work in preventing diseases like cancer and heart diseases.
Vitamin A is good in promoting healthy eyesight which is good for guinea pigs who naturally have poor eyesight.
Magnesium has anti-inflammatory properties and reduces blood pressure.
Potassium helps in reducing blood sugar in guinea pigs.
Side effects of guinea pigs eating persimmons
Just as the fruit has its benefits, it has negative properties like:
High calcium content
Calcium is a good nutrient that is required by pregnant guinea pigs and young guinea pigs for the development of strong bones. However, it is not needed by adult guinea pigs.
Persimmons have a high calcium content. In high quantities, calcium is harmful to guinea pigs. It leads to the formation of kidney and bladder stones which bring about urination problems.
This makes guinea pigs feel pain while urinating and may bring about blood in the urine.
High sugar content
Persimmons when ripe contain a lot of sugar that may cause several problems to guinea pigs like diabetes, tooth decay, obesity, and stomach upsets.
Some persimmons have a tart taste. When fed to guinea pigs the acid in them may lead to painful mouth sores.
How to feed persimmons to guinea pigs
Persimmons can be fed to guinea pigs either fresh or dried. However, dried fruits are not recommended for guinea pigs as they contain high sugar content that is harmful to guinea pigs.
Always choose fresh fruit over dried fruit when it comes to your pet. Guinea pigs can eat persimmon leaves because they have Vitamin C.
First, choose a nicely ripe persimmon. It may be a little overripe as it will be sweeter and juicier that way.
Wash it carefully to get rid of chemicals, pesticides, and bacteria that may be on the peels. All fruits should be washed well to avoid poisoning your guinea pig.
You can either peel it or feed it with the peels. Slice it up and remove the seeds.
Seeds are usually hard and they can present choking hazards to your guinea pigs. If it’s the first time you are feeding the fruit, start with a small slice.
Give it to your guinea pig and wait for 12 hours while observing them for any reactions. If they experience stomach upsets or diarrhea, then you should not feed them the fruit again. Instead, opt for alternative fruits.
When you feed persimmons or any other foods to guinea pigs, always ensure that you take away any uneaten and leftover foods after one hour of offering them. This is to prevent bacteria, growth of mold, flies, and stinky smells in the cage.
Guinea pigs should live in tidy environments at all times to prevent them from getting sick or having an infestation of rodents like mice and rats.
Do guinea pigs love persimmons?
Most guinea pigs love persimmons due to their sweetness. They provide delicious treats.
The fruit should be fed occasionally due to its properties which may cause negative side effects to guinea pigs.
If your pet doesn’t like persimmons or they have adverse reactions when they eat them, you can always offer alternative fruits like;
- Mangoes – they make for sweet treats that contain Vitamin C and Vitamin A.
- Apples – they should be eaten seedless as the seeds are toxic. Apples contain fiber, antioxidants, and Vitamin C.
- Pears – they have Vitamin C and are rich in fiber.
Persimmons are delicious fruits that are enjoyed by both humans and guinea pigs. Some are bitter while others are sweet.
The bitter types are highly acidic and may bring about mouth sores in guinea pigs. Persimmons also contain high calcium and sugar content which are both harmful to guinea pig health.
However, they are also nutritious with fiber, Vitamin C, antioxidants, and potassium that maintain guinea pig health.
Like with all other fruits, introduce the fruit moderately and if your pet doesn’t have any severe reactions, you can feed them more of it.