If you own a pet guinea pig, then you know these little herbivores love munching on fruits and vegetables.
They are especially fond of foods that are high in vitamin C because their body isn’t capable of generating it.
You have to make sure their diet is well-rounded and they’re getting all the that their body needs.
If you’re thinking of feeding your little pet pal some fresh blueberries, then here are a couple of things you need to consider.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Blueberries?
You can feed blueberries to your pet cavy but they should only eat them in moderation.
Since blueberries contain high sugar content, they can be damaging for your guinea pig’s health if given in excess.
It’s advisable to only feed them fruit about once or twice a week.
If you start including fruits in their diet almost daily, then you’ll be putting them in serious danger.
It’s true that not feeding them foods that contain vitamin C can also be detrimental for their health. They can get scurvy or even die due to deficiency.
So it’s understandable if you feel compelled to add little treats like berries or other fruit in their diet.
But if you’re not careful with the quantity, your pet may get a stomach ache, diarrhea, develop diabetes, and even gain a lot of weight.
Dried and frozen blueberries that you’ve bought from the store may have additives that can put your pet’s health at risk.
That’s why, to stay on the safe side, you should only feed them fresh blueberries.
If you’re already giving them other fruits as part of their diet, then there’s no need to add blueberries to the mix.
Keep an eye on their sugar intake to make sure they stay healthy enough to keep you company for a long time.
Let’s take a look at some nutrition facts, health benefits, and risks associated with blueberries in more detail.
As you already know, blueberries are packed full of vitamins as well as sugar.
They offer great health benefits to guinea pigs but their owners shouldn’t feed them more than 2 to 3 berries in a single meal.
If this is your first time treating them to blueberries, then you need to proceed with caution.
Give them a very small quantity and keep a watchful eye on their health to make sure their body is able to handle it.
Consuming them in excess can cause mouth sores in guinea pigs because the fruit acid is too strong for them.
When they’re getting their recommended intake of vitamin C from other foods, then there’s no reason to treat them more than twice a week.
It’s still unclear whether frozen blueberries are okay for them or not.
Some people prefer to feed frozen berries to their cavies because they have a higher content of antioxidants which is always good for the body.
Others prefer feeding them fresh blueberries only because frozen food can be harsh for their digestive system and can also cause diarrhea.
Dried blueberries can have a lot more sugar than regular blueberries so it’s safer to avoid them.
The following are some nutrition facts about blueberries.
A single cup of blueberries contains:
- 84 calories
- 15g of sugars
- 1g of protein
- 4g of dietary fiber
- 14g of vitamin C
- 28mcg of vitamin K
- 0g of cholesterol
- 0g of total fat
In addition to this, they also contain vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 and vitamin E.
Minerals like sodium, zinc, calcium, phosphorus and iron are also present that provide great health benefits.
Health Benefits of Blueberries for Guinea Pigs
We know that blueberries have a wealth of health benefits for humans. Let’s see if the same can be said for our cavy friends.
Consuming blueberries two times a week will protect guinea pigs from eye illnesses, heart failure, cognitive issues, and most types of cancers, including breast cancer, colon cancer, intestinal cancer, esophageal cancer, etc.
The main benefit of eating blueberries for guinea pigs is that they’re a great source of vitamin C and taste delicious too.
They need vitamin C to stay healthy. It keeps their teeth and mouth in perfect condition, aids in digestion, and makes sure their body functions optimally.
It also produces collagen that prevents any issues from occurring inside their blood vessels, making sure their blood circulation and cardiovascular system functions normally.
It also significantly helps with faster healing of wounds and broken bones.
It’s extremely important for pregnant guinea pigs or little pups to have strong and healthy bones.
They need to have a sufficient intake of vitamin C to make sure their bones won’t get damaged easily.
Vitamin C will also take care of any issues related to their internal organs and body tissues and make sure they have excellent eyesight.
Guinea pigs also encounter complications related to their oral health. Because their teeth undergo constant growth, they’re susceptible to a lot of dental issues.
Vitamin C will make sure that all the tissues inside their mouth stay healthy and don’t become itchy.
It will also make their gums stronger and prevent hemorrhages.
It will keep their mouth from getting sore and their teeth from growing crooked, allowing them to chew food in a normal way.
To make sure your pet doesn’t have vitamin C deficiency, you need to feed them blueberries (or some other fruit that’s rich in vitamin C) in moderation.
If you notice any strange differences in their behavior or health, then you may have to consult your vet before continuing with this diet.
Risks Associated With Feeding Blueberries to Guinea Pigs
Even though blueberries seem harmless for humans, they can be detrimental for your guinea pig’s health.
You need to feed it to them in controlled quantities to make sure you’re not putting their health at risk.
If you don’t take caution, then your furry friend may get severely ill.
Some of the common side effects of feeding too many blueberries to your guinea pig are digestive issues and diarrhea.
Even a handful of berries can be too much for their stomach to handle.
Even if you can’t resist it and feel like they deserve a treat, keep it to 2-3 blueberries per meal or less.
Blueberries contain a lot of fiber that can damage their little intestines.
They can have gasses and their stomach can also get bloated. It can also cause abdominal pain or discomfort to them.
Risk of Obesity and Diabetes
Blueberries are packed full of sugar and feeding them in excess to your furry pet can create a lot of complications, like sudden weight gain.
They can also increase your cavy’s risk of diabetes.
Oral Health Complications
Guinea pigs have a very sensitive mouth.
It’s very fragile and prone to a lot of health complications.
Eating too many blueberries can irritate the inside of their mouth, cause soreness because of fruit acids, and significantly affect their delicate tissues as well.
High acidity can also cause enamel damage which can make it extremely difficult for them to eat and chew in a regular way.
Can You Feed Blueberries to Pregnant Guinea Pigs?
Avoid treating your pregnant guinea pig to a lot of blueberries.
Even though it contains a lot of nutrients and the vitamin C is especially good for their brittle bones, you may end up harming both the mother and the unborn pup.
Get in touch with your vet and ask them about the recommended diet for pregnant guinea pigs so you’re able to give them all the nutrients they need.
Instead of giving in to their innocent eyes and letting their cuteness get a hold of your senses, you need to treat them to fruits like blueberries and other delicious snacks sparingly.
If you don’t think you can control the amount, then it’s best to avoid taking your chances and give them supplements instead to take care of any deficiencies.
If you want your pet cavy to live a long and healthy life, then you need to take special care of their diet and make sure they’re getting all the nutrients their body depends on.
It’s okay to let them indulge in something sweet every now and then, but you need to keep their eating habits in check.
Moderation is key. Treats can wait. You need to make sure they’re getting their nutrition from the best kind of hay first and always keep water within reach so they can stay hydrated.
Consider giving them vitamin C-fortified pellets before considering fruits high in sugar and acids.
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