Cantaloupes are loved by people all over the world, especially during hot sunny days because of their juiciness and sweet flavor. This fruit is enjoyed during summers because of its refreshing taste. But, can this fruit make a guinea pig feel the same? Is it safe for my guinea pig to eat this fruit and stay refreshed?
Here’s the good news! Your guinea pig can eat a cantaloupe melon without any trouble, but it should be fed in moderation. The reason this fruit is a healthy choice for your pet is that it is filled with vitamin C. You should know by now that guinea pigs cannot synthesize their own vitamin C and hence they need to extract this vitamin from a regular diet.
Therefore, there is no reason that you should keep this delicious fruit away from your guinea pig. But, remember that the melon should be fresh, and the portions should be moderate. Just a few cubes of melons will be enough for your pet.
Nutritional value of cantaloupe melon
You must know the nutritional values of this fruit before introducing it to your guinea pig’s diet. While numerous nutrients are beneficial for your pet, there can be some that are not. You must know them all. Following are the nutrients present-
- 90% of water
- 36 calories
- 0.84 gms protein
- 0.19 gms fat
- 0.9 gms fiber
- 7.86gms sugar
- 9mg calcium
- 15mg phosphorus
- 12mg magnesium.
- 267mg potassium
- 16mg sodium
- 37.7mg vitamin C.
As a whole, cantaloupe is a fairly balanced fruit with the right essential nutrients for your pet. While its sugar content is high, if fed in moderation, it is totally safe.
Benefits of cantaloupe melon in guinea pigs
Excellent source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds
One of the most important benefits of cantaloupe is that it is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. It contains a wide range of phytonutrients which are great in eliminating the harmful effects of oxidative stress in the body. It also helps in preventing infections that can cause inflammation in the body.
Thus, there is clear evidence that the consumption of cantaloupe can protect the body against harmful oxidative stress along with various forms of inflammation.
The orange color of the fruit is due to the presence of a pigment called beta-carotene, which is known to have many health benefits. This pigment is found in vegetables or fruits rich in color such as carrots.
Beta-carotene is considered to be a powerful antioxidant and can protect the body from various diseases. Though common lifestyle diseases are not very commonly found in guinea pigs, one cannot ignore them altogether. There are high chances that even guinea pigs will develop diseases such as heart issues or chance just like humans.
Snacks or treats for guinea pigs can be dangerous when consumed in large amounts. Eating too much of any food can be dangerous for your guinea pigs, and fruits, in particular, can cause a lot of harm due to their high sugar content. Fruits should be given in moderation to avoid obesity and other problems.
In this regard, cantaloupe is a very good fruit. It is sugary and should be given as a snack, but regular feeding of this fruit to your pet can help in managing your pet’s weight. This is because, unlike other fruits, cantaloupe is very low in calories. It only contains 36 calories per 100 grams which makes it a healthy alternative to other snacks. Your guinea pig’s weight can be successfully managed if you switch to cantaloupe from your other snacks.
Health risks of cantaloupe in guinea pigs’ diet
Calcium to phosphorus ratio
Calcium is known for its harmful effects it can cause on guinea pigs. It can lead to the formation of bladder stone along with oxalates and so on. However, the important thing here is the ratio of calcium to phosphorus in the fruit. Guinea pigs require a higher amount of calcium as compared to phosphorus in their diet. Otherwise, they become prone to the formation of phosphate stones in the body.
As mentioned above, cantaloupe contains 15 mg of phosphorus and only 9 mg of calcium. The difference between the two is high and can lead to health issues. However, since both their quantities are low, you can nullify the effects of this ratio imbalance by incorporating other fruits or vegetables in your guinea pig’s diet. It would be better if you choose fruits that have a higher content of calcium than phosphorus.
The calorie content in cantaloupe may be low but is not as low as other food choices. Therefore, feeding moderate amounts should be the aim, and it should be fed as occasional treats and not as a regular meal. Guinea pigs can also become obese or overweight by consuming too much sugar.
Feed this fruit alongside other vegetables to balance the effects of too much sugar.
Are the seeds of cantaloupe safe for guinea pigs to eat?
No!! make sure that you have removed all the seeds before feeding cantaloupe to your guinea pig. Guinea pigs have small digestive tracts and a tiny throat and feeding the seeds may pose a threat to their health. The seeds may even get stuck in the throat and lead to choking.
What about the skin?
Yes! You can safely give the cantaloupe skin to your pet. The skin has no toxins present and is actually a good source of fiber. Your pet will end up eating only the soft parts since the hard parts are tough to chew for them. However, make sure that the skin is washed properly and free from any pesticides or chemicals before giving it to your pet.
Cantaloupe can be safely fed to guinea pigs, but like any other foods, eating too much can have negative impacts on their body. There are many benefits to eating cantaloupes, but you should be careful of overfeeding your pet because of the high sugar content of the fruit.