Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apples?

Posted May 28th, 2013 in Can Guinea Pigs Eat...? by WhatCanGuineaPigsEat

What is the answer to Can guinea pigs eat apples? Apples are a tasty desert for guinea pigs, but should not be eaten regularly. Guinea pigs, also known as cavies, eat apples with great vigor and joy; but too many apples could make them unhealthy. Apples are surprisingly lacking in nutrients and are fairly high in sugar. Guinea pigs eat mostly fiber and high nutrient, low calorie foods; or at least they should. Apples do not satisfy these requirements, but they are fine to feed every once in a while. Apples do not contain very large amounts of nutrition.

The answer is yes, guinea pigs can eat apples. They contain, on average, about 8mg of vitamin C. Compared to an orange, which contains around 55mg, they do not fare well; however, they have a little bit. It is necessary for guinea pigs to consume vitamin C, as they cannot make their own.  Apples also contain a decent amount of fiber. Each apple has 5 grams of fiber, which is better than the orange’s 4 grams. The hay cavies eat should contain enough fiber already, but adding some more will not hurt. Fiber is what allows cavies to retain food long enough to absorb the nutrients from it. Fiber is also essential for the production of caecotrophs, which are a concentrated source of nutrients that the cavy produces and then consumes.  It is the sugar content of apples that is the real problem.

Each apple has around 20 grams of sugar, which makes it high in calories as well. A cavy consuming too much sugar will gain unwanted weight, and may become unhealthy. Fruits, such as berries or citrus, would be better options for a treat due to their lower sugar content and higher nutrient value. Guinea pigs eat apples occasionally; and if your cavy enjoys them, they are a good treat for special occasions. There are healthier options, but apples are not a bad choice for guinea pigs.

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