Can Guinea Pigs Eat Pumpkins?12 min read
What comes to mind at the mention of pumpkins? – a smooth and silky pie! Add to the list – muffins, grilled pumpkins, muffins, and pancakes, etc.
The goodness in taste and versatility of pumpkins that we know of almost seems unreal.
Have you ever considered feeding pumpkins to your guinea pigs but doubted if they will like the taste? Well, the good news is your cavie pets love pumpkins.
Read this well-researched article before your start feeding pumpkins to your little furry pets right away.
It covers a whole range of serving sizes, safety, and feeding habits to inculcate when introducing pumpkins to your cavie pets.
Can guinea pigs have pumpkins?
If you wonder about the safety of guinea pigs’ consumption of pumpkins as part of their meals, the answer is a big bold “YES.”
With all the goodness of taste & nutrients that come naturally with pumpkins, it becomes an ideal healthy meal treat for cavies.
Pumpkins have about 92% water content. So it aids in keeping the little pets well hydrated. However, that should not compensate for feeding fresh and clean water to the guinea pigs every day.
Now, the bigger question is– Are pumpkins a healthy option for guinea pigs to eat? Let’s find out in the next section below-
Are pumpkins suitable for guinea pigs?
There is one key factor to keep in mind when preparing a guinea pigs’ meal. That is, to add diversity of fruits and vegetables. Doing so ensures that your pet receives all its essential nutrients and maintains a healthy diet.
Hence, pumpkins make up for added variety, taste, and texture to the little furry pets. In addition, it also supplements a moderate amount of daily nutrient requirements of the pigs.
Pumpkins belong to the variants of squash and are known as winter squash. Winter squashes find their harvest period during winter seasons and therefore are an ideal winter snack treat for furry animals.
While pumpkins come packed with essential nutrients, the vets’ recommendation is to feed pumpkins to your furry pets in moderation. The reason being –
- The nutritional content in pumpkins may sometimes exceed the daily/standard dietary limit.
- In some cases, for example, pumpkins alone do not meet the daily vitamin C requirements of the guinea pigs.
Therefore, pumpkins are only exemplary and make for a healthy treat occasionally. It is not safe to make pumpkins for a daily/primary food source for your cavy pets.
It now leads us to discover more about its serving size and eating habits to inculcate using pumpkins. The following section will cover this query for you.
What is the serving size of pumpkin for guinea pigs?
Did you know that baby guinea pigs are born with fully formed teeth?
It means they can, and they start eating as barely as a day old. While their primary source of food supplements comes from their mother’s milk, they eat some alfalfa hay.
Can you feed pumpkins to baby guinea pigs? What about guinea pigs that have weaned? What is the ideal serving size for adult guinea pigs?
The answers to all these queries are here in the table below.
|Pet Age||Serving size|
|Baby guinea pigs||None|
|Weaned guinea pigs||An inch size cube of pumpkin once a week|
|Juvenile guinea pigs||2 inch pumpkin once a week|
|Adult guinea pigs||2 inch pumpkin once/twice a week|
The serving size above follows a moderate feeding pattern and, therefore, will be safe and healthy for your little companion pets.
The main reasons for feeding pumpkins to guinea pigs is done in moderation are –
- Calcium is present in a quantity level exceeding the standard requirement of pigs. Therefore, excess calcium can cause urinary problems or urinary stones.
- Sugar content is relatively high, as evident in the natural sweet-tasting pumpkins. The high sugar content can enhance the chances of diarrhea and other digestion problems.
Precautions to keep in mind when feeding pumpkin to guinea pigs
You can start introducing raw pumpkins to weaned guinea pigs. Adult guinea pigs can also eat an inch or two inch-sized cubes of pumpkins every once or twice a week.
However, the precautionary points to remember are –
- Pumpkin Seeds –
Although pumpkin seeds come packed with healthy nutrients, they are not safe for guinea pigs. The reason being its rugged texture, and it has sharp edges. Biting on to the seed by young guinea pigs may be hard to chew. It, in turn, may cause choking or may get stuck on their throat.
In addition, there is high-fat content in pumpkin seeds, which may be unsuitable for the overall health of the little ones.
- Pumpkin parts – rind, vines, leaves, and stems
Do you grow your pumpkin in your backyard or kitchen garden?
Let’s tell you one thing – nothing goes to waste when you have cavy pets at home.
You heard that right. Cavy pets eat almost every part of the pumpkin plant.
However, moderate feeding is the keyword to remember when it comes to feeding pumpkin plant parts. Never provide all of these at one go. Nor feed them in excess.
Lastly, some varieties of pumpkins or much-matured pumpkins have tough rind (skin). If it is very hard, do ensure that you remove the skin and feed only the fleshy part of the pumpkin.
- Cleanliness –
A clean meal is a requisite when it comes to feeding these little furry pets.
Before feeding the pigs, thorough cleaning of the pumpkin ensures its free from pesticides/dirt/soil germs and microorganisms.
Always clean the pumpkin, and slice it up with a clean knife before serving your furry companions.
Health benefits of pumpkins to guinea pigs
- Vitamin C – It acts as an instant immunity booster. Found in adequate amounts in pumpkin, it aids in the overall health of the pigs.
- Potassium – Pumpkins have a pretty fair amount of potassium in them. It protects the guinea pigs from chances of bladder stones; something pigs are prone to develop.
- Beta-carotene and Vitamin A – With a high content of beta-carotene and vitamin A in pumpkins, the consumption of raw pumpkins enhances the pigs’ overall eyesight.
- Fiber – Fiber content in a pumpkin eases the digestive tract and system of a guinea pig.
Be it sweet treats, tasty mid-day meals, or winter treats – pumpkins serve their purpose well as healthy food for guinea pigs.
Like in any healthy eating plan, feeding in moderation is what works best for the overall health performance of these little pets.
However, one thing to keep in mind is never to feed cooked/processed pumpkin food to your furry companions.
All said, now get those furry pets nibbling and munching on fresh raw pumpkins.