Apples are delicious, juicy, and packed full of nutrients. But can you share this popular fruit with your guinea pigs? Let’s find out!
Apples are safe for guinea pigs in moderation. They are high in sugar and should be fed in small quantities no more than once a week. However, the seeds are poisonous, so be sure to remove these first!
Apples contain many nutrients that are beneficial to guinea pigs. But there are a few things you should know before making them a regular addition to your piggy’s diet. I’ll cover everything you need to know in this article.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Red and Green Apples?
Guinea pigs can eat both red and green apples. However, green apples taste more sour, so most guinea pigs prefer the sweeter red varieties. In addition, green apples are a bit more acidic and can cause mouth sores if fed in excess. However, as long as you’re only feeding small amounts of apples as an occasional treat, there’s nothing to worry about.
Benefits of Feeding Apples to Guinea Pigs
Apples contain only a small amount of Vitamin C, but they are high in fiber and water content. In addition, they contain trace amounts of potassium, vitamins K, A, E, manganese, and copper.
They are a rich source of polyphenols, which act as antioxidants and boost health in numerous ways. Studies show that apples reduce the risk of heart disease (1), and they can also lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
This juicy fruit also contains pectin, which acts as a prebiotic, feeding the good bacteria in the gut. (2) This can help protect the body against many diseases, including obesity and diabetes.
Studies have shown (3) that apples can help protect the stomach lining from damage by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). This means that apples can be beneficial to feed while your guinea pig is on painkillers such as Metacam, especially if they are on it long-term.
Risks of Feeding Your Guinea Pig Apples
Apples are high in sugar, which can cause all kinds of problems for your guinea pig if fed in large quantities.
Guinea pigs’ digestive systems are not designed to digest sugary foods, so too much can cause diarrhea or stomach pain. If too much sugar is fed over time, it can cause obesity and more serious problems like diabetes.
Apples from stores usually contain pesticide traces. They are also waxed to give off a shiny gleam in supermarkets. If you can avoid these chemicals by purchasing organic or straight from an orchard or farmer’s market, that’s a bonus.
If not, be sure to wash the apples thoroughly. Rinsing for several seconds under warm-hot water can help remove some of the waxy substance.
Like with other foods, there is always a chance that your guinea pig is allergic or has a bad reaction to strawberries. This is rare, but it’s always important to introduce new foods gradually and keep an eye on your guinea pig in case they have an adverse reaction.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apples With Skin?
Guinea pigs can eat apple slices with the skin intact. They can also eat apple peels.
Apple skin contains even more nutrients, a higher level of polyphenols, and more fiber than the flesh of the apple itself.
Be sure to rinse them thoroughly if they’re not organic, as apple skins are often exposed to pesticides and waxing.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apple Seeds and Cores?
Guinea pigs can eat the apple core but remove all the seeds first. Apple seeds contain amygdalin, which turns into a toxic compound called cyanide when chewed and digested.
If your guinea pig eats the odd seed, it’s unlikely to cause too much harm, but it can be dangerous if your guinea pig eats multiple. If you’re concerned about missing a couple of seeds, feed a thin slice of apple to your piggy instead of the core.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Appletree Leaves and Sticks?
Guinea pigs can eat leaves from an appletree, and they also love to chew on sticks and branches from these fruit trees. The sticks make a great chew toy to help wear down teeth. If you have your own organic appletrees, this is the best place to get sticks. You can also buy pre-packaged apple sticks for small animals if you don’t have access to a tree.
Appletree leaves are healthy and don’t contain the high sugar levels found in the fruit. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the appletree hasn’t been sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals before feeding any leaves to your guinea pig.
Do Guinea Pigs Like Apples?
The majority of guinea pigs do like apples. There are many different flavors and varieties, so if your guinea pig doesn’t like one, they may take to another type better.
Some guinea pigs prefer apple peels, while others like the juicy fruit the most.
To see how it turned out in real life, I put red gala apples to the test with my six guinea pigs, and here were the results:
TJ: *Munch, munch, munch* “I could go for more.”
Willow: *Nibbles* “What is this? I’m going to squeal for better food.”
Peach: *Tentatively takes bites. Tries to decide whether she likes it or hates it*
Daisy: *Stuffs face*
Poppy: *Grabs piece and runs to her house*
Pansy: *Nibble Nibble. Nibble. Nibble Nibble*
How Often Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apples?
Since apples are so high in sugar, it’s best to feed a small chunk or a very thin slice once or twice a week at most.
Apples are best as an occasional treat and should not be fed daily or included as a staple food in the diet.
They are not overly high in Vitamin C, so be sure to balance the diet with plenty of foods that are high in Vitamin C.
How to Safely Prepare and Feed Apples to Your Guinea Pig
Before feeding apples to your guinea pig, wash them thoroughly. If they are from a supermarket, rinse them in warm water for several seconds to break down the wax coating. Cut a small slice or a piece of skin to offer your guinea pig. Be sure to remove all seeds first.
Give your guinea pig a tiny piece or a couple of bites initially. You can offer it by hand or leave a small piece in the cage to try at their own pace.
Be sure to remove any uneaten fresh food after a couple of hours, so it doesn’t go bad in the cage.
Observe your guinea pig for several hours after they try the apple for the first time. If they seem fine, you can gradually increase the amount you feed each time.
However, remember to stick to small amounts, as apples are quite high in sugar.
Can Baby Guinea Pigs Eat Apples?
Like adults, young guinea pigs (older than four weeks) can eat small amounts of apples.
Start with a very tiny piece, and offer it very occasionally. Too much sugar can give them a stomach ache.
Keep in mind that baby guinea pigs need plenty of Vitamin C and calcium in their diet, so it’s best to prioritize high calcium foods like leafy greens and herbs over fruit.
This ensures that they get all the nutrients they need for healthy growth.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Applesauce?
Guinea pigs should not eat applesauce. This food is processed, contains added sugar, and is generally not healthy for guinea pigs. It can also cause problems like indigestion, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.
More Fruit That Guinea Pigs Can Safely Eat
Did you know that guinea pigs can also eat pears, watermelon, and strawberries?
These popular fruits contain many great nutrients that are beneficial for guinea pigs. They can also eat various types of melon, oranges, and so much more!
For a complete list of all the fruits that guinea pigs can and can’t eat, check out our article, What Fruits Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
You can also find a complete list of all the foods, including vegetables and herbs that guinea pigs can eat, in this article, Complete List of Safe Foods for Guinea Pigs.