“Can guinea pigs eat bananas?” is one of the most commonly searched questions by new guinea pig owners.
Most people already know that guinea pigs shouldn’t eat chocolate. Still, it’s a little harder when it comes to other food items.
Here’s what you should know before you reach for any yellow fruit to feed your guinea pig.
It’s easy to feed pets the wrong things if you aren’t used to owning that type of pet, and it’s one of the most common mistakes for first-time guinea pig pet owners.
If you’ve never had a guinea pig before, take some time to research what their diet should be and what their ideal environment is like.
Any pet owners wants to give their pet the best: Make sure you know what’s right versus not.
Read: Can guinea pigs eat celery?
Why do people feed their pets the wrong stuff?
In most cases, it’s one of two reasons. Either –
- The people don’t know that they’re feeding them the wrong thing, or;
- They find it cute and occasionally feed their pets a “treat” they’re not supposed to eat.
The Short Answer is Yes
The short answer – the tl;dr of this entire article – is yes, guinea pigs can eat bananas.
But it’s also not exactly that simple, either.
While it’s okay to feed your guinea pig the occasional bite of banana, no more than a few bites are considered healthy.
It’s only okay to feed your guinea pig a treat if the rest of their diet is what it should be.
The Longer Answer: Not a Lot
Sure, now you know that bananas are fine for guinea pigs.
That’s the short answer. But there’s a lot more to it than this.
The other question you should be asking as a guinea pig owner is how much is good for your guinea pig to eat.
The answer? Not a lot, and not very frequently.
Guinea pigs don’t eat a lot to start with.
While they’ll probably eat their way through more than they’re able to, if you gave them the opportunity, it’s up to you as their owner to control their diet and make sure it’s a healthy one.
If you want to feed your guinea pig some bananas, only a few tiny bites count as healthy – and only once or twice a week.
Feeding them more than a few bites of any fruit more than a few times per week leans towards being bad for their long-term health – and you’re going to make your guinea pig pretty sick in the long-run.
Bananas in Different Types
Anyone who has ever bought a banana knows that there are different states to find them in.
There are firm (and usually green) bananas, yellow bananas, and black or patchy bananas.
They’re not different types – they’re different states of ripeness.
Close to fresh and harvested off the tree, you’ll find them green and firm – and usually, they aren’t pleasant to eat in this state even for humans.
They’re hard, they taste weird, and they’re almost guaranteed to give you a stomachache. (The same applies to your guinea pig, too!)
A few days to weeks after this, they will slowly turn yellow and progressively softer until they finally turn black.
Yellow to slightly blackened are the state in which people (and usually guinea pigs) prefer them.
Black bananas might go soft, brown, and sweet.
Read: Can guinea pigs eat grapes?
This doesn’t mean they’ve gone bad, but it can mean they’re on the way there. These bananas should be eaten as soon as possible, but they’re also ideal for baking.
Tips for Storing Bananas
There are a few things you should know for storing bananas:
· Store bananas in a dark, cool cupboard.
· Storing bananas together with apples and other fruits (or wrapping them in a newspaper) can make them ripen at a faster rate.
· Check banana skins for mold. Discard if you spot any traces.
· Discard bananas once they go too close to soft, and they’re no longer suitable for baking.
· Don’t have eggs? Soft bananas can be used as a substitute in most baking recipes.
· If you want to keep bananas fresher for longer, tie foil around the ends. Yes, it actually works.
What Can Happen
People that don’t stick to a healthy diet are bound to have health issues.
It’s the same for your pets – and as their owner, you’re in control of what they’re eating.
If you’re feeding your guinea pig too many bananas, fruits, sweet things or snacks, here’s what could happen to their health:
· Guinea pigs can become overweight just like most other mammals and reptiles. If they do, they’re going to get related issues like cellulite and heart issues. You’ll have to put them on a special, reduced-fat diet together with an exercise routine to get them back into shape again.
· Guinea pigs have a higher fat content than their counterparts like mice, rats, and rabbits. This means that their diet has to be controlled more carefully – their intake can easily be pushed so far over the edge that they pick up a lot more weight than they should.
· Guinea pigs can also develop other health conditions that go together with being overweight, including diabetes – especially if they’ve been consuming too many “treats.” In this case, a vet’s visit is going to be the best course of action. From there, you can take the correct steps to whip their health back into shape.
· Guinea pigs have a pretty specific diet, but it’s true that a lot of new pet owners don’t know what that is yet. Do some research if you’ve just adopted a guinea pig or you are about to. There are plenty of free diet plans available on the internet. There are many specialized guinea pig foods you can buy online to have them delivered straight from store-to-cage.
· If you want to treat your guinea pig, you can make many healthy treats at home if you prefer doing things yourself. You can purchase healthy guinea pig-specific treats from most of the places you can order their food from.