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For guinea pigs to remain healthy, happy, and playful and lead a long and fulfilling life, pet parents often include various foods in their diet and often wonder, can guinea pigs eat strawberries.
Guinea pigs are trendy pets.
Good-natured, quick-witted, cute, and rather unpretentious, adults and children like them.
Guinea pigs are easy to manage, not picky about foods, and take up very little space.
- Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberries?
- Where Do Guinea Pigs Come From?
- History of Guinea Pigs
- General Feeding Rules of Guinea Pigs
- Is It Safe To Give Guinea Pig Strawberries?
- Final Thoughts
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberries?
The key to their long life is proper care and the right nutrition.
Let us find out more about nutrition for guinea pigs, and strawberries can be part of their diet.
Where Do Guinea Pigs Come From?
Guinea pig (Latin Cavia porcellus) (often called guinea pig or cavy) is a species of domesticated rodents from the genus of pigs in the mumps family.
Despite the name, they are not associated with either the pig family or guinea and are not marine animals.
They were domesticated by the Incas and used as a source of valuable meat and decorative purposes.
According to one version, they have descended from the Cavia cutleri, according to another – from Cavia aperea tschudii, both supposed ancestors live in Peru.
History of Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs were domesticated in the 5th millennium BC.
Tribes of the Andes of South America (modern territories of southern Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia) for food, several thousand years after the domestication of camelids in South America.
Statues dating from 500 BC.
Before 500 AD BC, depicting guinea pigs was found during archaeological excavations in Peru and Ecuador.
The people of the Mochica culture worshiped guinea pigs and depicted them in art.
From 1200 until the Spanish conquest in 1532, breeding work was carried out, which made it possible to breed many guinea pig breeds, some of which are the basis for modern domestic guinea pigs.
The comparison between pigs and pigs is not entirely clear.
Perhaps because of animals’ characteristic sounds and the head’s proportions to body, tight neck, and lack of waist.
They also eat constantly and can live in small pen pens, which are usually used on ships for keeping pigs.
In the homeland of guinea pigs, local Indian tribes used them for food.
Currently, almost everywhere in South America, guinea pigs are eaten (for example, there are about 65 million animals per year).
In taste and nutritional value, guinea pig meat is close to rabbit and chicken, dietary.
Guinea pigs appeared in Europe during the age of discovery when Spanish, Dutch, and English traders brought pigs to Europe.
They soon became popular pets in the ruling establishment’s homes (including Queen Elizabeth I of England).
Basic Appearance of Guinea Pigs
The body length is from 25 to 35 cm depending on the breed, the tail is hardly noticeable, and the pedigree has hanging ears, a wide blunt muzzle.
An adult male guinea pig weighs 1000-1500 g, and the female weighs 800-1200 g.
The natural color is brownish-grayish, with a lighter belly.
Many breeds have been bred, differing in structure, length, and coat color.
Breeds of domestic guinea pigs are divided into short-haired (self, crested, smooth-haired), long-wire-haired (Abyssinians, American Teddy, Rex, etc.), breeds without wool, and with a little wool.
Domestic guinea pigs’ body structure differs significantly from their wild counterparts’ body structure in more rounded shapes.
How Many Years Do Guinea Pigs Live In Home Environment?
At home, guinea pigs live on average from 5 to 7 years.
It is longer than other indoor rodents: decorative rats, mice, and hamsters that rarely live longer than 3 years.
Several factors affect the lifespan of mumps.
Depending on the breed, treatment, care, and feeding, it can live over 10 years.
The record is 14 years and 10.5 months.
In the wild, guinea pigs live less: only 1 to 4 years.
However, due to selection, these representatives differ significantly from domesticated ones.
How To Make A Guinea Pig Cage?
A spacious cage, aviary, rack cage of at least 80 x 50 cm or 100 x 50 cm is suitable for a guinea pig.
After all, this is an animal with a wide soul.
A large cage is not a luxury but a necessity; pigs need a lot of space for a good life, as nature is destined for them to move a lot.
Boys are more active: they need more space; in this case, a rack cage is perfect.
The main rule when choosing: the larger the cage, the happier the guinea pig.
It is better to place the purchased dwelling at the height of a coffee table, away from heating appliances and windows.
It is strictly forbidden to put the pig cage in the sun to avoid overheating.
The animals need their own house made of wood, woven from vines or grass.
A good “House-Bridge” – you can climb on it, you can run under it or have a good rest, and you can even nibble!
As under a canopy, you can hide under it from the sun on a summer walk.
It is ideal to use a spacious house with at least two exits and a flat roof for viewing.
If you have two or more pigs, you should not put houses with one exit.
This can provoke a conflict between the pigs due to the inability to give way because another pig will block the exit.
Pigs love warmth.
Therefore, fleece blankets, couches, hammocks, and special sleeping bags are useful.
General Feeding Rules of Guinea Pigs
Before composing a diet, you need to understand how to feed your guinea pigs properly.
Here is some simple and easy-to-follow advice to feed your fellow pet.
Try to feed your pet regularly at the same time; animals quickly get used to it, manage to work up their appetite, so they eat all the food fresh and without residue.
Regular pets should be fed twice a day – morning and evening.
It would help if you didn’t have any snacks – it will kill their appetite and harm the general feeding regimen, but pregnant and lactating females need to organize four meals a day at approximately the same intervals.
Be sure to wash tomatoes, cucumbers, and fruits before feeding, but do not peel them.
On the contrary, the thin film should be removed with sweet pepper because it does not chew well and can clog the guinea pig intestines.
If any part of the food remains uneaten half an hour after feeding, it should be thrown away.
Put hay with green fodder in a special feeder – do not allow the rodent to drag them around the entire cage.
Try to give fruits, vegetables, and herbs only fresh – they contain more trace elements and vitamins.
As you can see, these rules are straightforward – even a child will easily remember them.
And strict observance of these requirements will provide your pet with excellent health.
How To Feed Your Guinea Pig
Organizing food for guinea pigs at home is much more difficult than it might seem at first glance.
It must be balanced and contain all the necessary substances.
In nature, rodents take care of themselves and usually easily find exactly the food they need.
But in the cage, their diet is minimal, so the owner must take on these responsibilities.
Try to make the selection large enough so that your pet can easily find foods containing the vitamins he needs.
Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs
Rodents willingly eat most vegetables and fruits at home; simultaneously, the animal has its own preferences.
For example, it can happily eat apples and eat carrots without pleasure; in this case, no need to insist; look for an alternative to the unloved ingredient.
Although the guinea pig is not too picky about food choices, not all fruit and vegetable components can be fed.
Some fruits contain a lot of sugar, and it is better to offer your pet to eat them as a treat.
These juicy and tasty foods are a must in your pet’s diet; however, try to give them only exceptionally fresh.
Some experts even recommend giving up those foods that are imported from afar.
Usually, they are sprayed with various chemicals for better storage.
If they harm a person, it is small, but the guinea pig is a very gentle creature, sensitive to harmful substances.
Therefore, such food may well do them much more harm than good.
Veterinarians advise feeding your mumps with fruits – apples (pruning), oranges (not too often), bananas without peels, and vegetables – pumpkin, broccoli (not too often), parsley, peppers, tomatoes.
Do not include iceberg lettuce, cabbage, and cauliflower in the rodent’s diet.
Foods can cause painful bloating, diarrhea, and other disorders.
To organize a balanced diet at home, you can use special pelleted food to buy at pet stores.
This is an easy way to ensure that your pet gets enough nutrients, vitamins, and calories.
Veterinarians advise making good food an essential part of your daily diet.
When it is almost impossible to buy high-quality fruits in winter, you cannot neglect the food that will allow the rodent to eat right, stay in shape, and avoid many diseases.
Considering how much a guinea pig eats, its appetites are difficult to satisfy.
At the same time, it is necessary to feed the animal following the diet, give it fresh water to drink, and strictly control portion sizes to avoid obesity and other health problems.
The recommended daily allowance that an adult pig eats is about 40 grams of a granular composition; the rest of the nutrients should come from other products – dry grass and other plant ingredients.
Most guinea pigs are very fond of sweet dried fruits.
This is a great habit – dried fruits are low in calories but high in vitamins.
Therefore, it will be useful to give your pet once a day: pears, apples, and rosehip.
The main thing is not to give too many pears – some varieties contain a small number of tannins, leading to intestinal disruption.
Speaking about the proper nutrition of guinea pigs, one cannot fail to mention hay.
Make sure it is always in the cage; thick, hard stems are desirable.
On the one hand, it contains useful substances that the rodent may not receive from the main food, but more importantly, your pet will grind the incisors on the rough straw.
Rodent teeth grow throughout life; in the most advanced cases, they become so long that the animal cannot eat normally.
If you can, it is best to store hay yourself – away from cities, in the forest.
Herbs such as plantain, clover, dandelion, nettle, chamomile, highlander, sweet clover, tansy, blooming Sally.
In addition to straw, a mineral-salt stone should always be in the cage.
It allows the guinea pig to grind its teeth and compensate for the lack of salts – there are clearly not enough of them in plant foods.
The easiest way to get it is at any pet store – it is relatively inexpensive.
Some guinea pig owners, not wanting to rack their brains over a balanced diet, prefer to buy ready-made mixtures.
In theory, they are good because they contain all the essential minerals and vitamins; this is not always the case in practice.
Often, the package contains seeds and cereals that are practically free of vitamins.
It is possible to feed guinea pigs with such mixtures, but not for months or regularly enriching the diet with additional feed.
The drinking bowl is the most important item from the list of mandatory attributes in a cage.
Drinking bowls for pigs are presented in 2 versions: a ball and a ceramic bowl.
When choosing, focus on the nature of the pet and the conditions of detention.
With a spacious cage, divided into a play and dining area, a bowl will do, and if the animal is modest or small in age, give preference to a ball sippy cup.
Also, make sure your pet always has fresh water.
The main diet consists of dry food – grain, cereals, nuts, hay.
Of course, for normal digestion, the rodent must drink them with plenty of water.
If good water flows from the tap, which does not contain any iron, salts, and other impurities, you can use it – buying bottled water, as some animal lovers do, is not necessary.
You can boil and cool the tap.
It is best to use auto-drinkers – they keep the water clean and fresh for a long time.
In this case, it is enough to change it two to three times a week, but if you use a regular bowl for drinking, then the water needs to be refreshed every day.
Fodder, hay, dust, and wool – all this gets into unprotected water and spoils it.
You can add a drop or two of vitamin C to the water if it is impossible to feed the rodent with dry rose hips.
Taboo Food You Should Never Give To Guinea Pigs
We have already told you how to feed your guinea pig – the list of food items is given above, but certain restrictions cannot be included in the diet in any case.
For example, regular potatoes.
It practically consists of starch, which is easily absorbed during feeding and instantly turns into subcutaneous fat, which the guinea pig has nowhere to burn.
Restrictions on other products were also discussed earlier.
In addition to plant origin components, other foods can negatively affect the pet’s well-being.
Among them, mixtures and prepared feeds intended for other animals, bakery products, pastries, chocolate, even though the pigs love it very much, cheese, cottage cheese, and other dairy products, and meat should not be given.
Be careful when introducing new foods into the rodent’s diet; the pet should not eat untested ingredients, exotic fruits, or products of questionable quality.
Is It Safe To Give Guinea Pig Strawberries?
Yes, it is safe.
Guinea pigs may eat small amounts of strawberries from time to time and in moderation but whether your guinea pig will eat them is another matter.
Each guinea pig has its own taste for food, just like humans.
If your guinea pig loves this fruit, he may ask you for help.
Be strong and only offer him/her a small amount, such as a couple of slices once or twice a week.
Feeding extra strawberries can lead to several health problems.
A healthier option is for pigs to have strawberry stems and tops that are completely safe.
There is no definite conclusion whether the leaves are safe for guinea pigs to consume.
Benefits Of Giving Guinea Pig Strawberries
We need to include strawberries in guinea pigs’ diets because they are high in nutrients and high in vitamin C.
The nutrient C in strawberries is very high compared to various ground-grown foods.
Consuming vitamin C helps improve your pet’s overall health by boosting immunity and protecting against harmful free radicals.
The fruit is loaded with manganese, fiber, and potassium.
Eating this fruit can also reduce inflammation.
Nutrient C is an essential part of their diet as it prevents diseases such as scurvy in guinea pigs.
Preferred Amount Of Strawberries For Guinea Pigs
You shouldn’t give large amounts of strawberries to your guinea pig because of their high sugar and high calcium content.
Strawberries have a decent sugar supply of about 5%, 5 grams / 100 grams.
This is probably not going to be a significant figure for us at this time, but it is a concern for guinea pigs.
Excessive sugar consumption can lead to digestive problems, including upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting, which is fatal if left unchecked.
Too much sugar can also lead to weight problems; bell peppers are also high in vitamin C but with half the sugar than strawberries, making them a much better food for guinea pigs.
Keep in mind that a diet high in calcium can lead to bladder stones in guinea pigs; strawberries are also acidic in nature and contain folic acid.
Having an excess of acidic food can often cause mouth ulcers and other underlying health problems in guinea pigs.
Another problem is related to pesticide residues, and strawberries are fruits on the “hazard” list for storage.
Ensure you wash your strawberries thoroughly beforehand to remove any pesticides or chemicals that may have gotten on them.
Strawberries should be served once a week or somewhere nearby.
The number of servings should not exceed 1 strawberry, cut into pieces.
About 1 tablespoon or so would be best for serving our guinea pigs.
If it is not possible to feed the animal with a berry grown at home, you can occasionally offer a purchased one.
These strawberries should be rinsed several times to remove any chemical residues that may have been used in mass gardening.
Also, some breeders believe that it is not the berry itself that is more useful for the animal, but its leaves, which should be given along with raspberry and strawberry leaves.
Some individuals enjoy eating strawberry tails.
Subject to these measures, the rodent will be cheerful and healthy, and the owner will occasionally share his own meal with the pet.
For a final thought, guinea pigs can eat strawberries, and they are a great source of vitamin C.
However, as a warning, guinea pig owners should be aware that they must be careful when giving guinea pigs too many strawberries.
In massive amounts, it could be dangerous for their pet animal and even because of death.
If the amount of strawberries is controlled by the owner and are given in recommended amount, it could be quite healthy for guinea pigs.