Who doesn’t love guinea pigs? They’re some of the cutest animals on earth and they provide for some great companionship.
However, they’re also a handful when it comes to feeding time. They eat a lot of vegetables and fruits and a lot of grains.
So they can eat a lot of leafy greens and juicy fruits. However, the question is: can guinea pigs eat grape tomatoes?
What Do Guinea Pigs Love to Eat?
Guinea pigs have some specific dietary requirements.
For example, they need to eat a lot of food rich in vitamin C.
They don’t formulate their own so they need to eat pellets and leafy greens to keep healthy.
They also love bananas, parsley, cantaloupes, tomatoes, and watermelons. Hence, they love some great veggies and fruits. They also love to eat grape tomatoes.
In fact, not only do they love grape tomatoes, they’re just the right size for the guinea pigs to consume.
However, the question remains: are tomatoes okay for guinea pigs? The answer is a resounding yes.
They can eat grape tomatoes in all sizes and it will only help them get healthy.
However, there are a few things that you need to remember when feeding your guinea pigs grape tomatoes.
Remember to NOT feed them grape tomatoes without reading the caveats first. Their lives can depend on it.
Benefits of Feeding Grape Tomatoes to Guinea Pigs
First, let’s talk about some of the biggest benefits of eating grape tomatoes.
Not only are they rich in nutrients and minerals and vitamins, but they’re also delicious to eat.
However, as far as the nutritional content goes, the guinea pigs will love them.
Low in Fat and Calories
Grape tomatoes have the advantage of not having too many calories. They also don’t contain a lot of fat so they’re perfect for consumption.
They’re great for guinea pigs that need to be put on a diet, or otherwise.
As a food item, this makes them extremely light and easy to ingest. This is something that the guinea pigs can over-indulge in if they want. It won’t harm them.
Better for the Heart
Since the grape tomatoes aren’t high in calories or fat, they’re also not high in cholesterol.
There is no cholesterol in the grape tomato at all. It’s the perfect food for the cardiovascular health of guinea pigs.
There’s also potassium in the grape tomato so it’s great for the electrolytes of in the body.
They will improve the movement of limbs as well as the internal movement of the organs.
Hence, any kidney problems, stress, stroke, blood pressure, etc will all be mitigated due to grape tomato consumption.
Provide Energy Boost
The grape tomato is a great source of carbohydrates and proteins. Hence, it’s a good source of energy for the guinea pigs.
Depending on the serving that you allot your pet guinea pigs, you can get a lot of energy from them.
There are also fibers in the grape tomatoes that can improve their digestive cycles.
It’s a known fact that more fiber increases the regularity of bowel movements.
Hence, the guinea pigs will be healthier if they eat more grape tomatoes. Their organs will also have the best exercise.
Provide Iron and Vitamin C
There is a lot of vitamin C in the grape tomato.
As mentioned earlier, the guinea pig doesn’t innately manufacture any vitamin C so they need to ingest it regularly.
A deficiency in Vitamin C can result in scurvy which is very dangerous for the guinea pig.
It can lead to joints swelling up and internal bleeding. Essential processes like excretion can also develop because of loose stool and rough fur.
Finally, grape tomatoes are also a good source of iron. It’s important to ingest them for healthy blood.
You need to cure anemia and other blood-related issues in your pet guinea pigs.
Keeping them on a diet of grape tomatoes does improve their health and keep it that way.
The Caveats of Feeding Guinea Pigs Grape Tomatoes
You need to understand that while grape tomatoes are great to feed your guinea pig, there is a fatal caveat.
You can’t afford to ignore it.
The Stem and Leaves of the Grape Tomato Plant are Poisonous
The stems and the leaves of the grape tomato contain a poison called solanine glycoalkaloid. This is toxic to guinea pigs.
Hence, the stem and the leaves of the grape tomato need to be completely separated from the flesh.
Before the guinea pigs are given the grape tomatoes to eat, they shouldn’t have any of the stem and leaves.
If they do, they could die. This same toxin is also seen in potatoes and eggplants.
The second caveat of the grape tomato is that it is filled with sugar. No fruit or vegetable is completely bereft of this of course.
All of them have carbohydrates after all.
That being said, over-indulgence in grape tomatoes can be fine up to a point. However, overdoing anything can result in very bad side effects.
Hence, eating grape tomatoes in moderation is probably the best.
Grape Tomatoes Serving Sizes for Guinea Pigs
The serving sizes of grape tomatoes are already very small.
They come in such small form factors that you may think it’s alright to just toss them to your pet.
However, since everything is well received in moderation, it’s better to control portions.
The frequency of the servings that you give to your guinea pigs isn’t strict. Hence, let guinea pigs eat grape tomatoes every other day.
If you control the portions enough, you can even slip some grape tomatoes to your guinea pigs every single day. 2-3 small grape tomatoes per day is a pretty generous serving every single day.
However, if you’re measuring the bare minimum that you want to serve, a quarter of a normal tomato is fine.
Preparing Grape Tomatoes for Your Guinea Pigs
If you want to go the extra mile, and you should, these tips should help you prepare grape tomatoes.
Remember to pick out tomatoes that are bright in color and very tight. They shouldn’t be wrinkled.
Grape tomatoes are also very firm to the grip. Hence, any squishy tomatoes should never be picked for consumption.
The fruit is also ideal when it’s free of bruises, blemishes, or cracks.
Grape tomatoes shouldn’t be chilled when stored. They are the best room temperature, away from direct sunlight.
However, if the temperature is well above 25 C, they should be stored in the refrigerator at a moderate setting.
That being said, they should be stored in a plastic clamshell or a paper bag. This is to preserve their flavor and texture and keep out moisture.
Don’t store them for more than five days. They have the best flavor when eaten within 3 days of storage.
Otherwise, they will begin to spoil.
The tomatoes have to be rinsed and cleaned properly before they are sliced. They should be rinsed in a colander bowl with cool, running water.
Don’t wash them in a basin with collected water. They should also be washed individually if possible.
Next, they should be placed on a paper towel to dry.
If you follow these tips, then you should pick out the best grape tomatoes for your guinea pigs.
Facts About Grape Tomatoes
Here are a few facts that you need to know about grape tomatoes.
These will help especially when you’re picking them out for guinea pigs.
- Guinea pigs are very fond of grape tomatoes
- The edible parts of the grape tomato include the flesh, the skin, and the seeds
- The toxic parts of the grape tomatoes include the stem and the leaves. Remember not to leave any trace of them even when you’re putting the servings within the cages
- The grape tomatoes contain a small amount of calcium which is great for their health.
- Grape tomatoes have a lot of vital nutrients for guinea pigs like vitamin C and iron. It’s a source that they love to eat so it’s ideal for their daily doses.
- Cavies can ingest 2-3 grape tomatoes every single day
Stick to these tips and you should be fine feeding your guinea pigs their fill of grape tomatoes.
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