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One question that keeps popping up amongst pet guinea pig parents is: Can guinea pigs eat peaches?
Guinea pigs are cute, gentle, and easy to take care of.
Don’t be fooled by their size, as these little creatures can eat food worth half their body weight per day.
They are herbivorous animals, also known as domestic cavy and their sensitive tummies require a specially prepared diet of hay.
But can they eat peaches as well?
- Can Guinea Pigs Eat Peaches?
- So why even try to feed guinea pigs peaches?
- Can Guinea Pigs Eat Peaches?
- What is Peach?
- What are the Benefits to guinea pigs by eating Peaches?
- How to introduce Peaches into guinea pigs’ diet?
- What should be the Serving Size of peaches for guinea pigs?
- What to do if my Guinea pig eats too many Peaches?
- How to store Peaches correctly?
- How to prepare Peaches for Feeding to guinea pigs?
- When is the best time for them to eat Peaches?
- Can my guinea Pig eat fermented Peaches?
- What are the hazards of feeding peaches to a Guinea Pig?
- Final Thoughts
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Peaches?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat peaches. Peaches are a great source of vitamin C and other minerals. Like most fruits in the guinea pig diet, peaches should be fed to them in moderation. Overfeeding your guinea pig with peaches can lead to digestion issues.
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So why even try to feed guinea pigs peaches?
It is healthy to have up to 20% of veggies and fruits in their daily diet.
And any owner of this pet knows that they need to be fed consistently throughout the day.
So naturally, you would be searching for new foods to add more variety to the otherwise bland diet and ravenous appetites of these Pac-Man-like creatures.
And this begs the question.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Peaches?
The short answer is yes, of course, they can!
They love to indulge in fruits.
But the long answer is, there are always health risks involved.
There are ways to feed your guinea pig, and there are ways that you should avoid.
Let us first get familiar with this popularly consumed food called a Peach, also known as Prunus Persica.
What is Peach?
Well, Peaches are Fruits!
And, they taste ah-mazing.
We may be familiar with them from the jars of Jam and Fruit Cakes we ate as kids.
But did you know that peaches belong to the family of deciduous trees and are native to the region of Northwest China?
This region lies between the Tarim Basin and the north slopes of the Kunlun Mountains.
These plump fruits are often confused with Nectarines because they belong to the Stone Fruit family and look similar.
Some other fruits that are members of the Stone Fruit family are Cherries, plums, and Apricots, and they are named so because their seeds are enclosed in hard (stone) pits (endocarps).
Peaches have flavors ranging from tangy, sweet, sour, and a combination of all three.
There are many varieties of peaches, each packed with a unique flavor and composition.
But we can group them into three main categories, clingstone, freestone, and semi-freestone / semi-clingstone.
Your guinea pig will probably have a favorite.
Some popularly eaten freestone peaches are Elberta, Flavorcrest, Santa Barbara, Snow Beauty, and Baby Crawford.
As the name freestone suggests, the pit separates from the flesh effortlessly when you cut it.
You can find them easily in your local grocery store, usually available in months between late May and October.
Therefore, the best available option to carry around while traveling and feeding your guinea pig if it gets hungry.
These are the variety of peaches you will most likely find in any Farmer Market.
They get harvested between the months of early-May and August.
Clingstone peaches are juicier, smaller, and sweeter than freestone peaches and are best to feed as treats.
Some popularly eaten clingstone peaches are Arctic Supreme, Strawberry Cling, Desert Gold, and Garnet Beauty.
These peaches are not easy to pit even when ripe, so if you plan on feeding them to your guinea pig, please make sure no pits are clinging to the flesh of the fruit kept on their plate, as it can be a choking hazard.
Semi-freestone or Semi-clingstone Peaches
They are a mix of clingstone and freestone, and as the name suggests, they are easy to deseed when ripe and usually sweeter than freestone peaches.
Gold Dust, Coronet, Florida Crest, and Red Haven are some of the most popularly eaten varieties in this category, rated to have an excellent flavor too.
What are the Benefits to guinea pigs by eating Peaches?
Now that we know what peaches are, what is so good about these brilliantly colored fruits, well, they are life-sustaining powerhouses.
Peaches are high in vitamin C
Guinea Pigs cannot naturally produce Vitamin C.
According to PubMed, this inability is due to mutations in the GLO gene coding for L-gulono-γ-lactone oxidase, a liver enzyme responsible for producing the last step necessary in the vitamin C biosynthesis pathway.
Humans have this mutation too, which is why you might recall your parents urging you to eat your greens.
Vitamin C is necessary to maintain healthy cartilage, skin, fur, and cell function within the body.
A lack of vitamin C in their diet is also known to cause Scurvy.
While you should not make peaches the staple source of vitamin C in their diet, it makes for a fun and healthy snack.
A quick google search will show you that about 100 grams of fresh peaches contain 6.6 mg of vitamin C.
An adult guinea pig requires an average of 20-25 mg of vitamin C per day, while a pregnant guinea pig requires about 30-40 mg per day.
Peaches contain low amounts of Calcium and Phosphorus
Most pet owners fail to realize that pet store snacks contain high amounts of calcium and phosphorus, both known to damage their health in high doses.
With no calcium and low amounts of phosphorus, it makes them safe for consumption.
No Saturated Fat
We know that the diet of a domestic cavy should be low in fat and high in fiber.
Feeding too much fat like nuts can lead to obesity and heart disease.
So your pet is allowed to enjoy this fruit heartily, no pun intended.
Peaches contain 80 percent of water and are very hydrating and refreshing.
If you live in hot climates, your guinea pig will love to eat this fruit.
Rich in Nutrients
With 2 percent or more daily value of vitamin K and vitamin E, manganese, folate, iron, niacin, choline, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, and copper per 100 grams, it stands the test of being nutrient-dense.
A baby guinea pig can acquire the sufficient energy required to grow from eating this calorie-dense fruit.
Good if used to treat a sick or anorexic cavy and help it gain enough energy to survive.
Rich in Antioxidants that can ward off certain types of Cancer
The skin of a peach has the highest concentration of antioxidants, minerals, and anti-cancer nutrients.
According to an article published in the journal of CABI Agriculture and Bioscience, the extracts of peach skin and flesh contain Phenolic compounds, specifically two phenolic acid components called chlorogenic and neo chlorogenic, that are responsible for killing cancer cells but not normal cells.
So if you are one of those people who throw the peel of the fruit away, think again.
One of the antioxidants called beta carotene is present in both the flesh and the peel of peaches, it’s known to give peaches their classic gold and orange color, and gets converted into vitamin A in the liver by guinea pigs.
This same compound is present in carrots, but don’t worry your guinea pig will not turn orange from eating too many peaches.
By the way, yes, guinea pigs can eat the peel of a peach safely, provided it’s washed beforehand to get rid of any residue pesticides on the surface of the skin.
If you don’t already know, you can check out a few ways to clean your produce to remove pesticides and other debris.
It is always good to know how to feed your pet peaches or any fruit for that matter.
How to introduce Peaches into guinea pigs’ diet?
The level of physical activity, nutritional requirements, and any underlying health conditions they might have are all factors you need to consider when considering making peaches a part of their treat stash.
If your guinea pig is on the chubbier side, it’s best to avoid it, and I will later explain why.
When introducing peaches into their diet, begin with small quantities, one itsy bitsy slice per week.
Introducing any food into their diet requires patience, as their digestions can easily get affected negatively.
Your guinea pig will take time to adjust to the new food, maybe even a few weeks or up to a month, and I say this would be the best time to watch how your guinea pig reacts.
Make sure to watch out for loose stools, and any changes in their behavior or eating habits.
A guinea pig’s health should always be a priority, so refrain from feeding the moment you see any negative signs, even if it’s just a loss of appetite.
It’s also important not to go overboard on the number of peaches you feed your Guinea Pig to prevent this issue in the first place.
What should be the Serving Size of peaches for guinea pigs?
Before you start feeding them fruits, you should know how to feed a guinea pig correctly and get the basics of their dietary and nutritional needs down.
It’s safe to feed them peaches about once or twice a week, but not in succession, and only a few slices per serving.
Small animals require a small serving size, and the serving size for an animal the size of a guinea pig just starting on a new food can be as small as a pea.
So don’t stack up on dozens of peaches just yet, as I mentioned earlier, introduce slowly, and keep an eye on any changes in their daily routine.
And be prepared to eat that half-eaten slice of peach if your guinea pig isn’t in the mood to have it.
What to do if my Guinea pig eats too many Peaches?
Usually, overeating peaches is not life-threatening in the short run, plus a guinea pig generally doesn’t overeat.
But as an owner, take responsibility and set a strict limit on how much fruit they can eat.
We all want to spoil our pets with love, petting, and all the treats in the universe, but giving treats and loving them, is not the same.
If you love them, hide the bundle of peaches, especially if they have the habit of parkouring and finding their way to the fruit basket.
Allowing them to eat their treats like food is a no-no and will lead to many Doctor’s appointments from a bad case of stomach flu.
And you do not want them to pack on the pounds as health problems can stack up quite quickly.
Watch your pet for any signs of sickness, and don’t hesitate to carry them to the vet if the occasion arises.
How to store Peaches correctly?
Storing this fruit in a refrigerator is good since it preserves the vitamins and nutrients within the fruit for a longer period.
But keeping them outside at room temperature is fine too.
The fresher the fruit, the longer its shelf-life will be.
Just like any other fruit, it is good to finish a bundle of peaches bought for your guinea pig(s) within three to five days.
The freshness of the fruit should be checked by reading the date of packaging/harvest time, in case you are someone who imports peaches or buys them from the wholesale market.
Don’t feed them peaches stored in the refrigerator for over a week.
Refrigerating the fruit does not stop the decomposition of vitamins and nutrients, but it does delay the fruit from growing soft, mushy, and stale, especially if you live in warmer climates.
And don’t be too hasty to get rid of the peaches refrigerated for over a week, as a quick taste test can help you determine if it’s still safe to feed your guinea pigs.
How to prepare Peaches for Feeding to guinea pigs?
Serve the tasty fruit in thinly cut slices, and if you want to get a little fancy, a sprinkle of oats or a mixed fruit and salad bowl will make for a five-star meal for your little friend.
Always make sure you don’t serve the slices of peaches cold, as small animals are sensitive to extreme hot and cold temperatures.
And after they’ve finished eating, make sure to clean their feeding bowl as it can become a nesting home for fruit flies.
When is the best time for them to eat Peaches?
It’s good to feed them fruit at the start of their day.
By doing so, your pet can burn off those extra calories throughout the day.
And if you haven’t already, please invest in tunnels, dens, and large cages for them to play in because no matter how healthy their diet is, they need physical activity to stay fit.
It’s perfectly fine to feed peaches to your guinea pig when they need a snack at any time of the day, as guinea pigs need a continuous supply of hay and fresh food anyway.
Did you know that the front teeth of a guinea pig never stop growing, but they wear down from grazing on fibrous food all day?
Can my guinea Pig eat fermented Peaches?
Fermented foods are an excellent source of B-Vitamins.
Guinea pigs are Hindgut Fermenters, and they practice cecotrophy, in other words, they ingest the poop fermented in their cecum to re-ingest the microflora and also absorb the B vitamins produced by the fermentation.
Anyone would be curious whether it’s okay to feed guinea pigs fermented foods because, in hindsight, they are very nutritious.
The process of fermentation produces acidic by-products, this is the same process that’s used to make vinegar and one that gives vinegar its sour and tangy flavor.
The presence of yeast and bacteria is required to start the natural fermentation process in fruits.
But the by-product produced from fermenting fruits is alcohol, so if you have already connected the dots, yeah, don’t feed them fermented fruits.
Unless it’s New Year’s Eve and they need a break from the stress of dealing with overbearing owners.
What are the hazards of feeding peaches to a Guinea Pig?
Now, those were some of the benefits, methods, and best practices of feeding peaches to your pet, but there’s also evidence saying that feeding your little pets peaches, or fruits in general can be a bad idea if you aren’t being careful enough.
Your Guinea Pig can get Diabetes
Just like us, pet animals can’t outrun a bad diet.
Peaches contain 8gms of sugar per 100gms, and you must always limit their sugar consumption and provide adequate fiber for proper digestion.
Because fructose and glucose are readily absorbed in their intestines, excessive intake can cause fungal infection or something similar to SIBO in humans.
The common signs of Diabetes in them are excessive thirst and frequent urination.
The Stone and Kernel of Peach can be a Choking Hazard
Peach seeds and fruit are small and firm enough to get stuck in their windpipe, hence why it is vital to deseed and cut a peach before feeding it to them.
Even though guinea pigs nibble on their food, they eat fast and are susceptible to choking.
Peaches usually have one seed per kernel, but the rare double-seeded kernel can exist.
So if you are a busy body or a forgetful person, consider investing in a safer alternative like seedless fruits, fruits with larger seeds, and softer flesh.
Gum & Dental Issues from Eating Peaches
Your pet’s tolerance for sour foods will vary depending on their dental health and preference, so start with a nibble-sized piece, then go from there.
The flesh of a peach is naturally very acidic and can irritate their gums and mouth if overfed or fed too frequently between meals.
Don’t let this scare you away from ever buying a peach for your guinea pig.
They can eat fruits safely.
You can still find a peach that suits your guinea pig’s palette, all you need to know is how to pick the right one based on its appearance and texture.
For example, the golden flesh of a yellow peach is quite acidic but usually mellows out as it starts to ripen.
White peel peaches are comparatively less sour, whether they’re firm or ripe.
Your safest bet would be to treat each variety of Peach as a unique fruit and test it with your guinea pig.
Feeding Peaches Incorrectly can lead to Nutritional Deficiencies
Peaches are packed with nutrients and minerals, so unless you cook, process, or package them, they’re good to go.
Heating or prolonged refrigeration or storage of peaches is a bad idea, as many vitamins and nutrients are unstable and go through a process called thermal degradation.
This degradation reduces the presence of Vitamin K, C, and B-vitamins.
We humans can eat foods both cooked and raw, store-bought, and fresh because we can absorb nutrients from them.
Guinea pigs, on the other hand, aren’t equipped with the same digestive systems or mouths as us.
Hence it is highly recommended you feed only raw fresh peaches to your guinea pig.
Overeating Peaches can cause Obesity
Although guinea pigs aren’t known for overeating foods of any sort, it’s best to keep the peaches out of their reach.
Just like humans, their tiny selves can get addicted to eating too many bad things.
Overeating can increase insulin resistance and lead to weight gain, back problems, heart problems, metabolic dysfunction, and fatigue.
Gut and Digestion Issues
Consumption of foods like peaches can lead to a condition called “dysbiosis.”
This is a condition caused by a microbial imbalance, also known as a “gut upset” according to an article published by The Portland Guinea Pig Rescue.
A Guinea pig’s digestive system just isn’t suitable for digesting these sugars, carbs, and starches.
Here are the top trending guinea pig products right now:
Last update on 2021-03-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Guinea pigs are picky eaters by nature, so their diet should comprise an abundance of fresh foods, and it is necessary to know what they can tolerate when exploring new foods.
The last thing one would want is to make their guinea pig, an actual guinea pig experiment, endangering their innocent and short-lived lives on this planet.
So from the methods, tips, dangers, and precautionary steps listed, I hope the question, ‘can guinea pigs eat peaches’ is not just answered but also clarified.
Be sure to click through the links provided, as they expand on the various topics discussed and brought up.
I hope you feel equipped with this knowledge and information to make a sound dietary choice that promotes a healthy appetite for your little companion.
Remember, a happy and healthy pet lives longer.