Guinea pigs are adorable little creatures. If you have got one, then you must want them to have the best food. However, you cannot simply feed them what you eat, no way! Guinea pigs are herbivores, which means that they can eat plants and vegetables only.
Since peppers are a part of the herbivore diet, therefore, the question, “can guinea pigs eat pepper?”, might come to your mind. Today, you are going to get the answer to the question. However, the word “pepper” can be confusing to some, considering that there are several types of peppers. And yes, each one is different from the other.
So, can you feed your guinea pal a pepper? Yes, but the answer is not that simple. While some peppers will be nourishing to them, others can cause serious stomach problems. Therefore, this guide is a must-read for someone who has a guinea pig for a pet or even a friend, they’re so endearing you can’t help it!
Different types of pepper
Thus far, you know that guinea pigs can eat peppers, however, not all the peppers are good for them. First, let’s discuss the different types of peppers out there. You have got bell peppers, jalapenos, and chili peppers. Out of these, you should take away the jalapeno and chili peppers from the food list because they are flaming hot. You would not want your little buddy to have gut problems.
Now, let’s focus on the peppers which the Guinea pigs can eat: the bell peppers. Here are the different kinds of bell peppers:
- Green Bell Pepper: The green bell peppers are the most common ones, and they are quite conspicuous on a trip to the grocery store. Farmers harvest the green bell peppers before their ripening. Therefore, you get a bitter and less sugary taste out of them. These bells are excellent sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, and folic acid.
- Orange Bell Pepper: Orange bell peppers have a fruitier taste. Unlike the green ones, they are completely ripe and have greater sugar content. Also, the orange bells are a rich source of iron, folic acid, and antioxidants.
- Red Bell Pepper: Since a red bell goes through the complete process of ripening, it is the sweetest bell pepper among all the colors. Hence, it has a fruitier flavor than an orange bell pepper. Also, red has more quantity of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and antioxidants.
- White Bell Pepper: These bell peppers are quite uncommon. Like the other bell peppers, except the green ones, it is one of the sweet peppers.
- Purple Bell Pepper: Purple bells are also rare. They have a sweet taste along with a little bitter sensation.
What is the best type of bell peppers to feed the guinea pigs
?While feeding your guinea pig, you might want to go low on the sugar content. Hence, your best bet would be to serve your pet a green bell pepper. You can also feed them orange and red bells, however, in fewer amounts due to the high amount of sugars. Nonetheless, you can give the red and orange bell peppers as treats to your guinea pig. So, if you are serving a regular meal, then a green bell would be the one to pick from all the colors.
How to serve peppers to guinea pigs
There is not much to do while feeding peppers to a guinea pig. Make sure that you wash the bell peppers thoroughly and remove the seeds. Cut two or three thin slices of the bell and present it. However, it is best to mix it up with other veggies, preferably the leafy ones. You can serve the bell peppers daily, however, considering the sugar content, it is better to go with 3 to 4 servings a week.
Why you should feed bell peppers to guinea pigs
As I mentioned above, bell peppers are a rich source of different nutrients. Moreover, bell peppers have greater fiber content. However, you should keep in mind the amount of sugar you are giving to the guinea pig, as it can cause problems in digestion. Nonetheless, these guys find the bell peppers delicious and enjoy eating them.
What is in a pepper
The bell peppers can be a great addition to your guinea pig’s diet. Why? Well, here are the healthy nutrients that you will find in bell pepper.
- Carbohydrates; On average, bell peppers have 6.3 grams of carbs and 4.2 grams of sugar. Although it might be little for us, it suffices the energy needs of the guinea pigs well.
- Proteins; Not a rich source of proteins but 1 gram is plenty for the little creatures.
- Fibers; A good amount of fibers are present in a bell pepper averaging at 2.1 grams. Thus, you can expect your little buddy to have a better digestive system.
- Low fat; Bell peppers contain a negligible amount of fat.
- Riboflavin; improves digestion.
- Vitamin A; Vitamin A helps in preventing diseases and acts as an antioxidant.
- Vitamin C; This vitamin keeps the guinea pigs healthy and prevents diseases like scurvy.
- Vitamin E; is beneficial for the cavy’s skin.
- Calcium; Calcium makes sure that the bones stay healthy. Growing guinea pigs need a good amount of calcium.
- Iron; Iron keeps the blood healthy.
- Zinc; is beneficial for wound healing
- Magnesium; Reduces fatigue and keeps the rodent healthy.
Benefits of peppers
Peppers are an excellent source of different nutrients and fibers. They are a fine addition to our diet and, also to the menu of guinea pigs. Here are the benefits of feeding bell peppers to your little buddy.
- Improved digestion
- Healthy cardiovascular system
- Presence of antioxidants
- Prevention of several diseases
Risks of feeding peppers to guinea pigs
Although bell peppers are great for the guinea pigs, you should be cautious about a few risks of the serving.
- Guinea pigs can choke on the little seeds of the bells. So, to remove the choking hazard, make sure that you remove the seeds before feeding the cavy.
- You might have heard before that an excess of everything is bad. Therefore, keep a balanced diet which includes leafy vegetables in a major part. Too much bell pepper can cause tummy problems.
- Also, beware of the amount of sugar you are feeding to the little guy. If it’s a red or orange bell, then do not feed more than twice or thrice a week.
Fun Facts about peppers
A lot of people put peppers in the vegetable category. Although it might seem a fit there, bell peppers are fruits. Also, if your local market guys are cool, then you’ll find a packing of red, yellow, and green pepper bells labeled as traffic light peppers. Now that’s a good one!
So, if you want to give your cavy friend a pepper, then make sure you give them the right one. You should keep the hot peppers away to prevent any stomach problems, now that leaves you with bell peppers. Out of all the colors, the green ones are more commendable because of their low sugar content. It should make a healthy meal mixed with leafy vegetables. Also, don’t forget to take out the seeds!