Apples are without a doubt a delicious and healthy snack for anyone thanks to their high dietary fiber content. Throw in their combination of special flavonoids, and you are not only looking at a healthy snack, but you are looking at a healthy snack that is an actual pleasure to eat. Something healthy that tastes good, who would have thought? Even many animals will love and benefit from snacking on apples. However, that doesn’t mean that they’ll all be able to do so. Luckily, the guinea pig is one animal that can, but there are some things that you’ll want to consider before just slicing up one and tossing it in his cage. Can guinea pigs eat apples?
Guinea pigs can eat apples, but it must be fed in moderation due to the high amounts of sugar within it. Apples have a high sugar content and could upset the guinea pig’s stomach. Whatever the situation is, you never want to feed any pet a bad or rotten apple. Usually, this is something that you can determine by looks alone, but there are those special times when some apples just don’t taste right but look fine on the outside.
Most people don’t know it, but guinea pigs are extremely picky eaters. They won’t just eat anything you put in front of them. This likely has to do with their super-sensitive digestive systems. And, that is why you have to be extremely careful when feeding your buddy apples.
This is why you’ll always want to perform a taste test before the feeding. Of course, just because you like it and it tastes good to you, that doesn’t mean that it’ll suit your guinea pig.
In fact, you should never force your guinea pig to eat apples because they are nutritious or because they are one of your favorites. Like most fruits, vegetables, and foods the apple can be an acquired or preferred taste. Sure, they are hard not to like, but they certainly aren’t for everyone.
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The Piece By Piece Method
Now that you know the apple is good, you’ll be ready to perform a little test with your buddy. You’ll want to start by cutting the apple into small slices and placing them in your pet’s food bowl. Maybe just scatter them around the cage.
Depending on your bond with your pet, it’s entirely possible that you might even be able to hand feed them. Whatever the situation is, you’ll want to start with small pieces, and this step is just to see how your buddy takes to the apple.
Sometimes, they’ll go right after it and munch it up quickly. Sometimes, they might just nibble at it. Maybe, he’ll take it and run off with it to his hideout. Regardless, these could all be good indicators that your buddy likes apples.
However, that is not completely the case. Maybe he took the apple and ran off because he was nervous. It is entirely possible that it’ll sit in his or her cage untouched. Just keep an eye out over the coming days to see if the apple has been eaten or not.
Just because your guinea pig doesn’t touch the apple or nibbles on it and backs away, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he doesn’t like it either. Maybe he is just new to his environment and being cautious. Maybe he or she doesn’t feel so good today.
There really are a number of reasons for not wanting the apple. Perhaps, you need to gain their trust beforehand feeding. Just place the apple in the cage and see if it does uneaten for the next couple of days or not.
What To Consider When Adding Apples To The Diet
When it comes to apples and guinea pigs, you have to be extremely careful and cautious. Not only do you have to be cautious that you might be hurting the little guy’s stomach with these sweet treats, but you have to be careful that you aren’t overfeeding them as well.
Regardless of the situation, an apple is not a meal substitution and should by no means be considered a significant part of a nutritious routine. It doesn’t matter how much your buddy loves them, they simply are treats and should be given like you would any other treat.
The most important thing to remember is that a guinea pig’s diet should consist mainly of Timothy hay, pellets, and occasionally fruits and vegetables. Small portions are also the way to go here.
You’ll always want to cut the apple into small slices and avoid throwing the whole thing in the cage. You might see a cute little video where the owner throws an entire apple in his or her pet’s cage. The guinea pig might even play around with it, but this could be a lethal choking hazard. Don’t forget about the seeds as well.
There are usually three or four seeds in the center of the apple. These will probably pose the biggest risk and threat of all.
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Checking The Feces
No one likes getting their hands dirty, especially when it comes to feces, but if you want to keep your little guy as healthy as possible, that’s what you going to need to do in this situation. After an apple meal, you’ll want to check your guy’s droppings.
If you notice that things are softer or more discolored than usual, it could be entirely possible that the apple upset his or her stomach. It could be entirely possible that you feed him too much as well.
Whatever the situation is, you’ll want to scale back on the dosage and reexamine the droppings again in a few days.
Don’t Forget About The pH
There is no denying that apples are nutritious. However, even with all their nutritional benefits, these delectable items can be considered acidic. Combine this with the sensitivity of the guinea pig, and you could end up in trouble.
Heavy consumption will not only likely end up hurting your little guy’s stomach, but they could cause mouth sores. As a side note, most average apples contain pH levels of anywhere from 2.8 to 3.3.
If your little guy starts to enjoy apples and takes to them on the regular, you’ll want to make sure that you keep consumption to once a week.
While doing so also be extremely cautious. Watch their behavior, feces, and their mouth. Look for sores in the mouth as well as moisture in the feces. If sores are present and the droppings are wet, it is likely a cause of apple consumption.
You’ll either want to scale even further back on the apples or do away with them altogether, It is entirely possible that they are just too much for the little guy’s stomach, as guinea pigs do have sensitive digestive systems.
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Dealing With Diarrhea Or Moisture In Feces
You already know that you have to be extremely careful with apples. However, you might not know that it is because of the fiber. Fiber no doubt plays a vital role in the diets of both humans and guinea pigs, but too much is not a good thing.
In fact, it will likely be the very cause of diarrhea or moistened feces. This might seem like a minor issue, but you have to consider the size of the guinea pig. These guys are incredibly small and too much fiber means the expelling of too much water, which simply translates to dehydration.
Believe it or not, dehydration can eventually lead to death.
When your little guy starts exhibiting diarrhea, you’ll want to stop giving them fruits and vegetables while also increasing their overall intake of Timothy hay. Hay is good for the intestines, as it promotes healthy digestion and will likely cure the symptoms.
Succulent, delicious, nutritious, yet still lethal. This is especially true when it comes to guinea pigs, given their unique size and overly sensitive digestive systems. Apples are good nutritious snacks and can benefit your pet in many ways, but you can clearly see that they can also be a bad thing.
It all comes down to the pet itself, the apple, and the rate of consumption. You now know what to look for, so you can feed your little guy as many apples as you want until he starts exhibiting those negative unwanted symptoms.