Guinea pigs are becoming a popular pet these days because one cannot get over this cute four-legged creature. These cuties love to eat and chew on everything they see. They love eating vegetables and fruits, especially small fruits like berries that are sweet. The good thing is, fruits are necessary for their overall upkeep because these fruits contain all the essential nutrients and vitamins their body needs.
Without the necessary vitamins from fruits, guinea pigs are prone to various illnesses such as indigestion, kidney stones to even cancer. Blueberries are among the many berries guinea pigs love to eat. As a responsible pet parent, you should know if blueberries are safe for your guinea pig or what are the benefits of eating this fruit and so on. Read on to find more information about this healthy treat.
Can Guinea pigs eat blueberries?
Yes, absolutely!! Blueberries are a healthy source of vitamins and nutrients for your pet, provided they are fed in moderate amounts. Blueberries are rich in vitamin C, which is most needed by Guinea pigs. But, blueberries are also rich in sugars and sugar is extremely dangerous for guinea pigs. In the case of guinea pigs, any kind of fruit that is rich in sugars should not be fed to your pet regularly. They should not be confined to only eating veggies, and hay, but you should incorporate fruits like berries in their diet too. However, not all fruits are considered to be healthy for guinea pigs. Fruits that are healthy for humans don’t need to be good for Guinea pigs too.
Health benefits in guinea pigs eating blueberries
There are several health benefits for your cavy if she eats blueberries. Research studies done on lab animals have shown that when guinea pigs eat blueberries even twice per week, they are protected from health problems such as heart failure, cognitive damage, eye infections, most cancers such as breast cancer, colon, intestine, and esophageal.
One of the main benefits of consuming blueberries is the abundant amount of vitamin C guinea pigs will receive. Vitamin C is a significant nutrient that keeps the Guinea pig healthy and free from diseases. With an adequate amount of vitamin C, your Guinea pig will have healthy teeth and mouth, a good digestive system, and strong bodily functions.
You may know already that guinea pigs cannot synthesize, nor can they store their own vitamin C. Hence, you must supply enough vitamin C to your pet through a proper diet.
Vitamin C is also responsible for making collagen in the body, which helps in maintaining healthy blood vessels, along with bones. It also makes body wounds and injuries heal faster.
In the case of piglets or pregnant Guinea pigs, vitamin C is very important since it helps in the healthy formation of bones. The presence of this vitamin will make the bones grow healthily and protect from any bone-related illness.
Another benefit of vitamin C is its role in keeping your pet’s oral health optimum. Guinea pigs are prone to dental problems since their teeth are constantly growing. With vitamin C, the mouth will be free from sores or itchiness, and the gums will also no longer experience any hemorrhages. Guinea pigs love chewing, and so their dental health is important. Vitamins C help in keeping the teeth healthy by preventing crooked, or aching teeth.
The amount of fiber in blueberries is also high at about 16%. Fibers are essential in your pet’s diet since they help in keeping a healthy digestive system and eliminate the problem of constipation and so on.
Blueberries are also packed with antioxidants such as vitamin C, anthocyanin, iron, and copper. These compounds help in counteracting various diseases in the body and keep the immune system strong.
Negative effects of blueberries on guinea pigs
Blueberries can become harmful to your guinea pig only when you feed them in excess. The fruit does contain a few things that are considered to be harmful to guinea pigs, but the effects won’t be severe if you give them in moderation.
One of the harmful contents of blueberries is the high amount of sugar. There is approximately around 10gms of sugar in 100 gms of blueberries. Sugar is a really harmful ingredient for guinea pigs.
Excess sugar can cause hundreds of problems in guinea pigs. From diabetes to weight gain and obesity, the list is endless. If the amount of blueberries consumed is not monitored, your pet will become prone to many illnesses.
Another factor is the natural acid content in blueberries. Blueberries are slightly acidic in nature, and guinea pigs don’t do well if the acid level increases in the body. If you overfeed your guinea pig, symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, urinary tract infections, and lip sores will be observed.
Can Guinea pigs eat frozen blueberries?
Yes! It is safe for Guinea pigs to eat frozen blueberries. But care should be taken while giving frozen blueberries since you cannot just open one packet and feed them directly. Make sure that are blueberries are thawed properly and brought to room temperature before giving them.
They say that frozen blueberries contain the same amount of nutrients as fresh ones since they don’t lose much of their nutrition. However, if available, it is best to feed fresh ones to your pet.
How to introduce the berry?
Begin by first washing the blueberries thoroughly with clean and fresh water. Make sure that the blueberries are free from pesticides or any other chemicals. Begin by giving just half a blueberry to your pet and see if she likes it—lookout for any reactions that may occur in your pet. If you think all is fine, then give the other half and gradually increase the amount with time.
Blueberries are a healthy food choice for your guinea pigs. Your pet can benefit a lot from this fruit if you keep giving them in moderate amounts. Adding a single piece or two per week is healthy since this fruit is rich in sugars. Blueberries should be given as treats occasionally to make them happy. Take care not to overfeed them out of love since the consequences of overfeeding are dangerous.