There are several reasons why the guinea pig (cavy) belongs to one of the most popular pets in the world. Why? Because the guinea pig is hardy, easy to care for, lives longer, and is unique. But if ever you decide to have a guinea pig, it will be best to consider the essential factors to know when rearing a guinea pig. One such factor is its diet. As a responsible pet owner, you would not want to feed it with anything you can get out of your fridge, like frozen grapes from your fridge.
As a seasoned owner of multiple guinea pigs, I would say that guinea pigs love to eat grapes the same way you and I would love to eat grapes. Grapes are sweet, juicy, and are pretty attractive to guinea pigs. And when guinea pigs gobble up grapes, the grape juices usually get splattered all over their beards and whiskers, making them look even cuter. But is it healthy to feed your guinea pigs with grapes? You will learn the answers to this question as you read on.
Should Grapes Be Included in the Daily Diet of Guinea Pigs?
Grapes are addictive. If you bloat your guinea pig pets with lots of grapes, they may end up with too much sugar in their systems, leading to obesity. Grapes come with higher sugar content. So, you better refrain from turning your guinea pig into grape addicts. Just let them eat grapes as an occasional treat.
Moreover, it will be best to feed them with seedless grapes, for they may accidentally ingest the seeds. Likewise, it will be best to keep your cavies from luxuriating in the sugary grapes for their own sake to keep them healthy.
Besides, before feeding your cavies with grapes, it will be best to ensure that you rinse the grapes with water to do away with the bacteria and chemicals that come with the grapes. Furthermore, you should remove the stalks when you feed your guinea pigs with grapes.
As a rule, you should only feed the cavies with any fruit like grapes on an occasional basis. Besides, grapes should not always be a part of their daily diet, nor should they be the day’s main dish.
Are Grapes Healthy for Guinea Pigs?
Grapes are healthy for most animals. But you would be surprised that not all pets benefit from grapes. The reason for this is because grapes can be toxic to some animals. Grapes, for example, can be harmful to dogs. Nevertheless, grapes are safe for cavies, and you can feed them occasionally with grapes. Yet, you may be asking if grapes are healthy for your cute guinea pigs. Yes, grapes can be beneficial to your guinea pigs, for grapes come with many micronutrients.
A thorough evaluation of the nutrients of grapes shows that for 150 grams of grapes, your pet will get 1.09 grams of protein, 0.54 milligrams of potassium, and 15 milligrams of useful calcium. Other micronutrients your guinea pigs will get from a 150-gram dish of grapes include the following:
- Sodium————————————3 mg
- zinc—————————————–0.11 mg
- vitamin C———————————-4.8 micrograms
- vitamin K———————————-22 micrograms
- iron—————————————–0.54 micrograms
- magnesium——————————–11 micrograms.
- phosphorous——————————-30 micrograms
- fiber—————————————-1.5 grams
It will be best to remember that you should not give 150 grams of grapes to your guinea pig, for you will surely bloat your guinea pig. However, if you are bent on feeding your guinea pig with grapes, it will help to know the best ways to provide your guinea pig with grapes.
Vitamins and Trace Elements that Your Guinea Pig will Need
Grapes are rich in micronutrients, and you will find trace elements like magnesium, phosphorous, iron in grapes. These trace elements can be beneficial to your guinea pig. Yet, it can also be fatal to your guinea pig when given in large doses. Your pet only needs a trace of these elements, and for this reason, they are called “trace elements.”
Iron, for example, is necessary to enable oxygen to move onto the different parts of the guinea pig’s body, including the brain. Lack of iron may lead to iron deficiency. There are other trace elements and vitamins present in grapes, and it will be best to know these vitamins and trace elements:
Vitamin C is beneficial to the human body as well as to the body of your guinea pig. It is a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin C, of course, strengthens your guinea pig’s immune system, protecting it from viruses and bacteria, and if your guinea pig lives outside your house, it may be susceptible to these viruses.
Vitamin C also occasions the intense production of serotonin, a hormone responsible for happiness. With enough Serotonin, your pet will be lively and in a good mood more often.
Vitamin C also increases the production of nitric oxide and testosterone. Testosterone enables your guinea pig to be energetic, while nitric oxide is valuable for its vasodilation capability. It relaxes the blood vessels’ muscles, causing them to expand and increase blood circulation.
Magnesium comes in handy for building strong bones. With strong bones, your guinea pig will not get easily injured. Moreover, magnesium is known to enhance mood. It also encourages learning and improves sleep. Plus, magnesium relaxes the muscles and enables you to reduce anxiety. Lastly, magnesium also raises the level of testosterone.
Another element that is helpful to your guinea pig’s overall health is calcium. Calcium helps your guinea pig build strong bones and complements the work of magnesium. It also helps in building stronger muscles. So, if you continuously supply your guinea pig with calcium, you can ensure that its muscles and bones will not atrophy quickly.
Iron is known for its presence in the blood cells. Oxygen needs iron to move around the body. With less oxygen in the different body cells of your pet, its body cells would not be healthy. So, your pet will need iron to help your guinea pig oxygenates its cells.
Another antioxidant molecule present in grapes is resveratrol. Resveratrol has been often discussed recently because of its link to the popular Mediterranean Diet that seems to be very healthy and responsible for longevity. You will find resveratrol in red grapes. It is responsible for the increase of mitochondrial efficiency.
If you recall your biology class, you will remember that the mitochondria are considered the cellular energy factories, converting sugar to ATP. With the resveratrol in the cell, your guinea pig will have more energy and a longer lifespan.
Why Should You Monitor Your Guinea Pig’s Diet?
As a responsible pet owner, you should check your pet’s diet. This is essential because your pet is part of your family. Hence, you should ensure that you monitor your guinea pig’s diet. Your guinea pig will indeed become active, happy, and healthy if you regularly monitor their diet.
Guinea pigs, of course, are widely studied animals. Moreover, a lot of scientific experiments were conducted on guinea pigs for the benefit of human beings. So, if you search online, you will discover tons of information about how to take care of guinea pigs.
Their diets, however, necessitate certain ingredients to ensure that they function well. It is not enough to provide your guinea pig with the same diet that you eat, for we usually eat processed food. So, this food will never be healthy for your guinea pig pet.
If you feed your guinea pig with the same diet that you eat, chances are your pet will become obese because most of the beneficial nutrients are already gone from the processed food. Hence, if you are a responsible pet owner, you should ensure that you feed your guinea pig with a nutritious meal.
Frequently Asked Questions About Grapes for Guinea Pigs
If you are desirous of feeding your guinea pig with grapes but is having second thought about it, you can check out the following frequently asked questions about feeding grapes to guinea pigs:
Can I feed my guinea pigs with lots of grapes?
Grapes, as mentioned above, come with many nutrients. Yet, anything that is excessive is usually harmful to health. Similarly, if you feed your guinea pig with tons of grapes, chances are, your guinea pig will get bloated and become obese. It is not healthy to provide your guinea pig with grapes every day.
Of course, occasionally, you can provide your guinea pig with two pieces of grapes, and it will be enough for your pet to gain the needed nutrients for its health. But, unfortunately, grapes are rich in sugar. And too much sugar may be harmful to health. For example, it may cause stomach problems. So, you need to ensure that your pets don’t get excessive sugar in their body.
Can a guinea pig eat grapes every day?
As mentioned above, grapes are rich in sugar. So, if you stuff your guinea pigs with grapes every day, chances are, they will have increased sugar in their blood. We all know the side effect of excess sugar in the bloodstream. It may lead to various maladies and diseases. So, it will be best not to make your guinea pig dependent on grapes.
Is it good to provide guinea pigs with frozen grapes?
We usually freeze fruits like grapes to keep them fresh and maintain their nutrients. So, it will be logical to ask whether you can feed your guinea pig with frozen grapes. Yet, it’s also logical to think that frozen grapes are hard to eat, for they can be very cold. Moreover, frozen grapes can cause stomach problems, and when your pet has a stomach problem, everything is affected.
So, you need to defrost grapes before you feed these grapes to your guinea pig. Nevertheless, it will be best to provide your guinea pig with fresh grapes.
Can guinea pig munch cotton candy grapes?
Another question which I often get asked by guinea pig owners is whether they can feed their guinea pigs with cotton candy grapes. Well, this may sound like an absurd question, but this question often gets asked. It will be good to note that cotton candy grapes have 12% more sugar than ordinary grapes.
So, if I were you, I wouldn’t let my baby guinea pig eat cotton candy grapes. Besides, some nutrients you would find in fresh grapes are already gone in the cotton candy grapes. Hence, cotton candy grapes are not healthy for your guinea pig. Moreover, cotton candy grapes taste like cotton candy and come from hydridized grapes. So, giving cotton candy grapes to your pet is not advisable.
Can I feed baby guinea pigs with grapes?
Guinea pigs, even if they are only babies, will surely enjoy munching grapes. But it is not advisable to feed them with grapes. Instead, settle for their mother’s milk, water, and alfalfa hay during the first weeks of their lives. Then when they have grown up already, you can feed them with other types of food like fruits and vegetables. Of course, you can also let them have grapes occasionally.
Despite being always the subject of scientific experiments, the guinea pig is still one of the most popular household pets in the world. This is because they got so many similarities with humans psychologically, and for this reason, they are always used in scientific experiments. Their hearing, for example, immune system, and respiratory system, are somewhat similar to humans. Hence, they are perfect likewise as pets and companions.
Now, if you are bent on having a guinea pig pet, it will be good to know what is suitable for a guinea pig. Grapes, as described above, may contain valuable micronutrients for a guinea pig. Yet, if you let your guinea pig consume more than what they need, it is no longer healthy. So, you need to make sure that you follow the tips and pointers mentioned above when taking care of your guinea pig and when feeding your pet with grapes.