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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Green Peppers? (Benefits, Hazards & More)

Tim Rhodes
Written by Tim Rhodes Last Updated: Sep 18, 2022

Bell peppers come in a rainbow of colors, including green, yellow, orange, and red, and all are high in vitamins and minerals equally beneficial for guinea pigs and human beings. Can guinea pigs eat green peppers?

Guinea pigs can eat green peppers and they are the best choice for piggies as they contain less sugar than bell peppers of other colors.

In this article, we’ll explain whether guinea pigs can eat green peppers and what is the best serving size for these small animals.

Peppers Fun Fact

Here are a few interesting facts about peppers you probably have never heard of.

1. Peppers (just like tomatoes) are technically a fruit

Botanically, fruit contains at least one seed and develops from the plant’s flower.

Therefore, peppers are a fruit because they have tiny seeds in the middle and grow from the pepper plant’s flower.

They are native to Central and South America and are also known as sweet peppers and capsicums.

2. The color of a pepper depends on its ripeness

Green peppers, yellow peppers, orange peppers, and red peppers are all one fruit!

The color simply varies depending on how ripened a pepper is.

In other words, green peppers are just unripened red peppers.

Sweet peppers are available in a range of colors, including purple and brown, but they are far less common.

As green peppers need more time to produce, oftentimes they are cheaper compared to peppers of other colors.

Now here comes the best part: the DNA of each individual pepper determines the maximum amount of pigments a pepper can produce, which results in color variation.

3. As it ripens, a pepper changes its nutritional value

There are also differences in flavor and nutritional value among the various colors.

You can eat peppers at any stage of development, but the vitamin C and carotenoid content of bell peppers increase as they ripen.

Red bell peppers, for example, are sweeter than green bell peppers and contain significantly more vitamin C.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Green Peppers?

Guinea pigs can eat all colors and variations of bell peppers.

As a matter of fact, green bell peppers are the greatest choice for guinea pigs because they contain less sugar compared to all other colors of peppers.

However, you can feed your guinea pig any sort of bell pepper in moderation because they’re high in vitamin C and low in calories, making them a healthy treat.

How To Prepare Peppers for Guinea Pigs?

Before feeding a slice of pepper to your guinea pig you must wash it thoroughly and remove the seeds.

Bell pepper seeds present a choking hazard, so you must always remove them before feeding your guinea pigs. 

Slice the peppers.

Feeding sweet bell peppers guinea pigs is a great idea, as long as you stick to the recommended serving size.

1-3 tablespoon-sized slices of the pepper once a week is sufficient for your piggy.

In other words, feed your guinea pig just one to two slices of peppers and observe your guinea pigs eat this healthy treat.

The serving size is smaller for a dwarf guinea pig. In this case, feed your dwarf guinea pig with only 1/2 tablespoon of pepper per week as a healthy treat.

What Are the Nutrients in Bell Peppers?

Sweet bell peppers of all colors contain a variety of essential vitamins in large doses such as:

  • Beta-carotene
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Folate

1 cup (150 grams) of raw green pepper also contains:

  • Calories: 30
  • Protein: 1.3 grams
  • Carbs: 7 grams
  • Fiber: 2.6 grams

To provide an appropriate diet for guinea pigs, combine sweet peppers with other vegetables such as carrot, spinach, cucumber, broccoli, and fruits.

You shouldn’t let your guinea pigs eat two vegetables with high calcium content at the same time.

Also, although peppers are nutritious and low in calories, you shouldn’t give your guinea pigs more peppers.

Stick to the recommended serving size as your guinea pig may suffer from bloating and diarrhea.

1. Benefits of Peppers

Guinea pigs cannot produce vitamin C on their own, so they must have a vitamin C-rich diet.

Sweet bell peppers, fortunately, are a good source of this vitamin, which can help avoid scurvy.

Green bell peppers are a healthy snack and a fantastic way to add nutrients to your pet’s diet because of their low-calorie level.

They are also antioxidant-rich food, with loads of vitamin A that’s a beneficial antioxidant and is helpful in reducing inflammation.

Finally, peppers are rich in fiber which promotes digestion and aids in the absorption of sugar.

As you can see, your guinea pig will benefit from a slice of green peppers once or twice a week.

Which Bell Peppers Are Best for Guinea Pigs?

Feeding your guinea pigs yellow, orange, and red bell peppers is absolutely safe.

However, if you opt for green peppers, you are choosing the best option for your guinea pig pet.

Although green peppers are actually unripe, they don’t contain as many nutrients as red peppers, which are best for human consumption.

However, a slice of green peppers still contains just enough nutrients for your guinea pig.

What makes green peppers stand out is the low amount of sugar compared to bell peppers of other colors.

How Much Bell Pepper Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

One or two slices a week of green bell pepper are the perfect serving size for most guinea pigs.

Some guinea pig owners will increase this amount to three slices a week.

If you are feeding your piggies with yellow and orange peppers, stick to the recommended serving size of two slices per week.

However, if you want to give your piggy a healthy treat in the form of red pepper, don’t exceed one slice a week.

Red peppers contain the maximum amount of nutrients but are also the richest in sugars.

Sugarier sweet bell peppers in larger amounts pose a health hazard for guinea pigs because they lead to diabetes and gastrointestinal issues.

What Are the Dangers of Bell Peppers for Guinea Pigs?

When giving bell peppers to your guinea pig, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Pepper seeds present a choking hazard, so never give seeds of any kind to your guinea pigs. Therefore, remove them before feeding them to your cavy.
  • Don’t overfeed your piggies with peppers and watery vegetables. Your guinea pig’s diet should consist of fresh hay and leafy greens. 
  • Green peppers can be part of a balanced diet, but they should never be the sole source of nutrition, so stick to the recommended serving size. Too many peppers can cause bloating and diarrhea.
  • Sugar concentration in red bell peppers is very high. The sugar content of red bell peppers is higher than that of green peppers, so green peppers are the best option for your guinea pig.

Although guinea pigs prefer sweeter tastes, try to feed green bell peppers to your guinea pigs more often than peppers of other colors.

Letting your guinea pigs eat whole pepper is very dangerous because of the digestion upset it will cause.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Spicy Peppers?

Here’s another fun fact about peppers.

Sweet bell peppers and many chilly peppers are the same species.

If so, can guinea pigs eat peppers that are spicy or hot?

Guinea pigs mustn’t eat spicy pepper varieties, not even jalapenos that are not as hot as other chili peppers.

Although sweet bell peppers and hot peppers are the same species, the DNA of sweet peppers has a mutation that prevents them from producing the chemical capsaicin, which gives chilly peppers their taste.

Therefore, never give your guinea pig hot peppers or chili peppers.

Cavies can’t have spicy foods such as jalapenos and other chili peppers, which might upset their stomachs.

Apart from capsaicin that’s dangerous for guinea pigs, chilly peppers are high in sugar.

These will undoubtedly upset a guinea pig’s delicate stomach, and cause digestive and urinary issues.

So guinea pigs can eat regular bell peppers but never the spicy kinds.

They can also eat mini sweet peppers. 

However, spicy peppers should be avoided at all costs.

Final Thoughts

While peppers are nutritious and low in calories, you should not feed them to your guinea pigs in excess. 

Bell peppers of various colors are perfectly safe for guinea pigs, but green peppers are the healthiest option because they are low in sugar when compared to orange bell peppers or red bell peppers.

Before offering a bell pepper to your cavy, thoroughly wash the pepper and remove the pepper seeds and stem.

Slice them and feed bell peppers to your piggies one to two slices a week. You can feed guinea pigs green peppers up to three times a week because of their nutritional value.

Stick to the recommended serving size as too much bell pepper trigger bloating and diarrhea in your guinea pig.

Author

Tim Rhodes
Tim Rhodes

Hi there! My name is Tim Rhodes and I'm a guinea pig enthusiast through thick and thin. My mission is to teach others useful tips and tricks about these cute creatures. When I'm not writing, I enjoy kickboxing and work as an animal trainer.

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Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API