Having pets and looking after them is a responsibility; so you might be wondering what types of foods you should include in your guinea pig’s diet, such as – can guinea pigs have pears?
Do you have a guinea pig as a pet or are you thinking of getting one?
In both situations, it’s important to know what a guinea pig can or cannot eat.
And, with so many options of food available, it can be difficult to figure out what you can or cannot feed to a guinea pig.
One thing you might want to feed a guinea pig is pears.
They’re delicious and sweet-tasting fruit that have several health benefits, and we humans love having them as a snack at any time of day, but can a guinea pig have pears?
And if they can have them, are there any side effects to feeding pears to guinea pigs, how much can you feed them, does it have any benefits to the guinea pig?
Do Guinea Pigs Like Pears?
Before answering the question, can guinea pigs have pears, let’s answer one important question first, do they even like pears?
And thankfully the answer is yes, they do they love pears!
Can a Guinea Pig Eat Pears?
In short, yes, guinea pigs can eat pears, but there’s more to the answer than a simple yes or no.
While a guinea pig’s diet mainly consists of hay and fruit such as pears are not a natural part of their diet, it’s perfectly fine to feed pears to a guinea pig.
Though there are a few things to know before feeding pears to a guinea pig, such as serving size, quantity, and frequency.
What type of pears can they eat and whether there are hazards that come with feeding pears to guinea pigs.
These things are important as we want to feed guinea pigs food that will keep them safe and healthy.
It’s important to note that a guinea pig’s life expectancy is dependent on the diet that we feed them, which is why these things are important to know.
Now that we know guinea pigs can have pears, let’s see just how much we can feed them.
While we can eat pears every day, guinea pigs are different; they cannot eat the same amount we do.
For guinea pigs, it’s recommended that the pears are chopped into tiny pieces, instead of big slices, this is so that they can eat the pears in small amounts.
Feeding them small amounts of fruits can prevent them from overeating and becoming overweight.
Yes, you can overfeed a guinea pig, especially if you are serving them too many tasty sweets that guinea pigs love.
How Much Pears Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
As mentioned before, sweet fruits guinea pigs can eat, such as pears, are actually not a natural part of a guinea pig’s diet.
Therefore, if you decide to let your guinea pigs eat pears more than once or twice a week, it is highly likely that this sweet fruit will negatively affect their health.
Besides, your guinea pigs might not like this fruit or might exhibit a negative reaction to it.
If the side effects start showing, then reduce the amount, but if everything is fine, you can continue giving them the same amount, or even try adding the amount.
Also, it’s important to note that when you do feed them pears, don’t feed them other sweet treats on the same day.
Pears already have a high combination of water and sugar, adding more sweet treats on the same day can harm your guinea pig.
What Are the Nutrients in Pears?
Before we dive into the negative effects pears can have on a guinea pig, check out some nutritional facts about pears from the USDA National Nutrient Database.
- Vitamin C – 6 mg/100 g
- Vitamin A – 25 IU
- Vitamin K – 4.4 ug/100 g
- Calcium – 9 mg/100 g
- Phosphorous – 12 mg/100 g
- Potassium – 116 mg/100 g
- Fiber – 3.1 g/100 g
- Sugar – 9.75 g/100 g
- Protein – 0.36 g/100 g
- Carbs – 15.23 g/100 g
- Calories – 57 Kcal
- Fat – 0.14 g/100 g
- Water – 83.96 g/100 g
Side Effects of Acidic Fruit
So what are these side effects, and can they affect a guinea pig’s health negatively?
While pears do have nutrients such as vitamin C and a bit of vitamin A, it’s important to keep in mind that everything needs to be in moderation, even the most beneficial of foods.
Excess of water and sugar
Pears are sweet which means that they have a high combination of water and sugar inside them, excessive digestion of this can lead to digestive issues and mouth sores for the guinea pigs.
The high combination of sugar and water can also lead to the guinea pig overeating and becoming overweight, which is not good as it can shorten the guinea pig’s lifespan.
Diarrhea and Obesity
The overeating of pears can also lead the guinea pigs to get diarrhea.
If you do see your guinea pig behaving differently, such as being less active or showing signs of obesity, then it’s imperative to immediately reduce the number of fruits and sweet treats that you feed to your guinea pig.
In such cases, it’s especially necessary to cut down on fruits and vegetables that contain high amounts of sugar and carbohydrates.
What Are the Benefits of Feeding Pears to Guinea Pigs?
Now that we know of the negative effects pears have, let’s look at some more positive things and see the benefits that pears can provide for your guinea pigs.
As we’ve seen before, pears have a high amount of water in them, 84% to be exact, they also contain several vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K, as well as other antioxidants.
Another benefit it has is that they are rich in fiber, which is essential for a well-balanced diet.
All these benefits are very important because guinea pigs are not able to produce vitamins on their own, and vitamin C is an essential part of a guinea pig’s diet.
A lack of vitamin C can cause an illness called Scurvy, which is one of the most common diseases diagnosed in guinea pigs.
What Types of Pears Guinea Pigs Can Eat?
There are several types of pears available, but that doesn’t mean guinea pigs can eat all of them, it’s important to know which types a guinea pig can eat to ensure they are healthy.
How To Prepare a Pear For a Guinea Pig?
Ensure that the skin of the pear is washed properly, removing any signs of pesticide or chemicals present.
We want to serve the pears with their skins, as it provides extra nutrients for the guinea pigs.
After that, cut the pears into small slices, as mentioned before the size of the pears matters as we don’t want our guinea pigs to overeat, and they can have trouble eating big slices.
An important thing to remember is to always remove any seeds from the pears, the seed contains a small quantity of cyanide which can be harmful to your guinea pig.
There’s also a chance of them choking on the seed if it’s not properly removed.
Put the small slices of pears into a fruit container or a bowl.
If the guinea pigs end up having leftovers, remove these leftovers immediately as they can quickly be infested by flies or even rats.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Frozen Pears?
Pears are often sold frozen in the supermarket, are these safe for your guinea pigs?
Yes, they are safe for guinea pigs to eat.
Though it’s usually considered best to avoid feeding guinea pigs frozen food altogether.
Freezing fruits or other types of food usually breaks the enzymes inside the food, and this causes a loss of essential vitamins inside them.
So while it’s perfectly fine to feed your guinea pigs frozen foods such as pears, it’s better to stick with the fresh fruits as they contain more nutrients, therefore providing more benefits to the guinea pigs.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Canned Pears?
Another type of popular pears is canned pears.
For us humans, they are very convenient as we can store them for a long time and they are usually cheaper than fresh pairs.
But this is not a viable option for our guinea pigs, as canned fruit usually has fruit juices that we should avoid feeding to guinea pigs.
These fruit juices usually have a very high amount of sugars inside them, which is terrible for a guinea pig’s health, and therefore we should not serve them canned pears.
Also, canned pears or any other canned fruits have significantly less amount of nutrients compared to fresh fruit.
The preservatives being used to increase their shelf life can also harm guinea pigs as they contain chemicals that are harmful to a guinea pig.
It’s much better to feed them with fresh vegetables and fruit, as these would contain the most nutrients, and would help supplement their diet.
Alternatives to Pears
Now that we know guinea pigs can have pears, what about other fruits, can guinea pigs eat other types of fruits?
The answer is yes, there are several fruits that a guinea pig can have instead of pears.
A similar fruit to pears is the apple, they are perfectly fine to serve to your guinea pig.
Just like pears, apples are a great source of vitamin C, fiber, and other nutrients that are essential to a guinea pig’s diet, they even provide a little bit more vitamin C than pears.
And just like pears, to serve apples, make sure you cut them up into small pieces.
Leave the skin of the apple intact, as they also contain vitamins and fiber, maximizing the number of nutrients the guinea pig gets.
It’s also important to moderate the number of apples you serve your guinea pigs, and while some types of apples aren’t as sweet as pears, they do contain sugar inside them.
It can be harmful if it’s digested excessively by your guinea pig.
Another alternative that you can provide to your guinea pigs is oranges.
They are quite popular as most guinea pigs love to eat oranges, and they prefer them to any other fruit.
Similar to pears, oranges are a good source of fiber and water, while also having a high amount of vitamin C inside, which we all know are important for guinea pig’s health.
Though they do have similar drawbacks to pears, as they are both quite acidic and contain a decent amount of sugar, which means that they should be served sparingly.
The acidity can cause mouth sores to develop in your guinea pig.
So if you notice any mouth sores developing, make sure to immediately stop feeding oranges to your guinea pigs, or any other acidic fruit for that matter.
Preparing the oranges correctly is also important, make sure to remove the skin, instead of leaving them on as we do with pears and apples.
Also, remove the seeds before feeding them to your guinea pigs.
Strawberries are another popular fruit that people like to feed to their guinea pigs.
One reason for this is the tart flavor that strawberries have.
They have a relatively low amount of sugar inside them they have the lowest amount of sugar content compared to other fruits mentioned previously.
While they do have a low amount of sugar inside them, they do have an abundance of vitamin C, making them even more attractive to feed to guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs owners tend to serve the strawberries with the top still attached, and while this may seem fine, it’s not good practice.
As strawberries are a part of the rose family, the green portions of the fruit contain a small amount of cyanide inside them, just like other members of the rose family.
It means that they can be quite harmful to a guinea pig, which is why it’s recommended to remove the top part of the strawberry before serving them to your guinea pig.
And while you may not have to cut the strawberries into small pieces, doing so can make the strawberries more attractive to your guinea pigs.
Cut-up pieces are smaller which means that it would be easier for a guinea pig to eat them, and small pieces will emit a more appetizing odor than a large whole strawberry.
Just like the other fruits mentioned, you can feed melons to your guinea pigs about once or twice per week.
Any type of melon is perfectly fine for you to feed them, but cantaloupes are the most beneficial ones, as they have the highest amount of vitamin C and calcium.
Melons also have similar benefits to the fruits mentioned previously.
They are high in water which will help with hydration.
They contain fiber which helps prevent constipation and improves gut motility, and they also antioxidants which help prevent cellular damage in your guinea pig.
Make sure that the melons are fresh and room temperature, as this is the best way to serve them to your guinea pigs.
Also, make sure to remove any seeds as well as the rind as both of these things can be harmful to your guinea pig.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Dried Fruit?
Now that we know guinea pigs can have fresh fruit, and how beneficial these fruits are to a guinea pig, what about dried fruit, can a guinea pig have dried fruits as well?
Well, the short answer is yes they can, but there is a difference between whether they could, and whether they should.
Dried fruits, when compared to fresh fruits, contain a higher amount of sugar inside them, which means that they would have more calories as well.
And as we now know, the main concern with feeding fruit to guinea pigs is the sugar, which is why we can only feed them in small amounts, this is even more true for dried fruits.
Feeding them tiny amounts won’t hurt your guinea pig.
But it’s important to note that dried fruits are more of a “special occasion” treat for your guinea pig, and not an essential part of their diet.
Also, fresh fruit is more than enough of a treat for your guinea pig, so even though they can eat dried fruits, sticking to fresh fruits is far more beneficial for them.
Are There Healthy Alternatives to Pears?
We know that we can only feed pears and other fruits to guinea pigs once or twice per week, so what else can we feed them?
And what are the healthier alternatives to pears?
A guinea pig’s diet should mainly consist of high-quality high, pelleted guinea pig food, and the occasional vegetable or fruit.
We’ve covered the types of fruit that guinea pigs can eat, but what about the vegetables?
Unlike fruit, guinea pigs can have vegetables once a day, as vegetables do not have the same high amount of sugar inside them.
Here are some healthy vegetables that you can feed to your guinea pig:
- Green beans
- Carrot tops
- Romaine lettuce
- Sweet potato
- Tomatoes (Remove the stems and the leaves)
- Brussels sprouts
While this may seem like quite a long list, these are just some vegetables that you can feed to your guinea pig, there are more vegetables that your guinea pig can eat.
All these vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to your guinea pig’s health.
Before serving vegetables to your guinea pig, make sure to thoroughly wash them beforehand, removing any signs of harmful pesticides, and serve the vegetables at room temperature.
What Vegetables Guinea Pigs Can’t Eat?
While most vegetables are safe for your guinea pig to eat, there are some vegetables that you should avoid feeding to your guinea pig.
We mentioned tomatoes in the list of vegetables that guinea pigs can eat, but it’s important to note that the stems and leaves of tomatoes can be harmful to your guinea pig, this is the same case for tomatillos.
This is because while the flesh of tomatoes and tomatillos is fine to eat, the stems and leaves are toxic and can harm your guinea pig.
Rhubarb is another vegetable that should be avoided from guinea pigs as they are highly poisonous to guinea pigs.
Here are some other foods that you should not feed to your guinea pig, as they could be poisonous, too high in fat or sugar, contain no nutritional value, or may even be a choking hazard for your guinea pig.
- Peanut Butter
- Dairy products
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Pear Peels?
Yes, guinea pigs eat pear peels without any problems.
The only thing you have to do is wash the pear properly and give it to your pet, and you don’t even have to cut off the pear skin.
Can guinea pigs eat pears?
Guinea pigs can have pears as they are beneficial to your guinea pig’s health.
Pears are high in vitamin C, fiber, vitamin A and other antioxidants.
But it should be noted that guinea pigs can only have pears once or twice per week as feeding them too much of it can have negative side effects.
And it’s better to feed fresh pears to your guinea pigs instead of frozen or canned pears.
Now that we know all of this, go ahead and give some pears to your guinea pig, it’s a nice treat that will surely brighten their day.
If you found this helpful, here are some other articles about guinea pigs and their diets that provide useful information.