Sweet and juicy, the nectarine is the ultimate refreshing fruit to beat the summer heat. While devouring nectarines on a hot summer day, you may wonder if nectarines are safe for guinea pigs. Can you treat your guinea pigs with nectarines?
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Nectarines?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat nectarines. But given that they are high in sugar, you should not offer them more than once or twice a week. While feeding nectarines to guinea pigs, you remove the pit and keep servings small no more than a couple of small pieces.
Guinea pigs love the sweet taste of nectarines and would probably gobble up all you throw in their cage. But you should not just throw a whole nectarine in their cage. While feeding nectarines you have to be a bit careful as there are many caveats attached. Continue reading as discuss the nutrient profile of nectarines and discuss the health benefits and risks of nectarines for guinea pigs.
Nutrient Profile of Nectarines
Below we have listed the important nutrients present in 100 grams of nectarines, according to the USDA FoodData Central.
|Lutein + Zeaxanthin
Are Nectarines Good for Guinea Pigs?
Brimming with water, containing a considerable amount of carbohydrates and proteins, loaded with antioxidants, and containing a lot of useful minerals, nectarines make a healthy treat for guinea pigs. Below we have briefly discussed the health benefits of nectarines for guinea pigs.
1. A Healthy Source of Energy
Nectarines contain a considerable amount of proteins and carbohydrates, which make them a great source of instant energy for guinea pigs. What makes nectarines a great source of energy is that it also contains riboflavin (vitamin B2), which helps with the breakdown of carbohydrates into simpler energy. Besides breaking carbs, riboflavin also helps guinea pig bodies metabolize proteins and fats.
2. Healthy Blood Pressure
Nectarines are high in potassium. 100g of nectarines contains 131mg of potassium. Potassium, often referred to as an electrolyte, is an essential mineral for the proper functioning of the guinea pig nervous system. Potassium also helps guinea pigs maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Besides potassium, nectarines also contain a decent amount of magnesium. Besides maintaining smooth blood flow throughout guinea pig bodies, potassium, and mineral also help guinea pigs maintain better cardiovascular health.
3. Strengthen Immunity
Nectarines contain a variety of antioxidants such as vitamin A, beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants prevent free radical damage in guinea pigs and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer. Besides that, lutein and zeaxanthin also help reduce oxidative stress in guinea pigs and keep liver inflammation in check. They are also good for guinea pig eyes—they are very effective at preventing age-related vision loss in guinea pigs.
Nectarines are brimming with water—there are 89g of water in 100g of nectarines. So besides offering a host of useful minerals and nutrients, nectarines will also help keep guinea pigs hydrated on a hot summer day. But you should keep in mind that, nectarines are high in sugar. So, do not more than a few small pieces of nectarines, once or twice a week.
Are Nectarines Bad for Guinea Pigs?
Besides offering a host of health benefits to guinea pigs, nectarines also pose a few health risks to guinea pigs. This means that you will have to keep certain things in mind while feeding nectarines to guinea pigs.
a) Choking Hazard
Nectarines have a huge pit at the center. If guinea was given a whole nectarine to devour, the pit would pose a huge choking hazard to guinea pigs. Therefore, you must always remove the pit before offering it to your guinea pigs. Not only remove but also safely discard it.
b) High in Sugar
Nectarines are high in sugar and high sugar does not sit well with the guinea pig’s stomach. Guinea pig stomachs are just not designed to effectively process sugar. This is the reason that eating anything high in sugar, guinea pigs start experiencing an upset stomach. Actually, excess sugar increases the growth of bad bacteria in the guinea pig gut while simultaneously decreasing the number of healthy bacteria (probiotics).
How to Feed Nectarines to Guinea Pigs?
- Take a fresh and ripe nectarine
- Thoroughly wash nectarine to get rid of any potential insecticides or pesticides on it.
- Remove the pit and discard it carefully.
- Cut a small slice and offer it to your guinea pig.
- Do not give more than a slice, once or twice a week.
- Tyr coupling nectarines with low-sugar fruits and veggies.
How Much And How Often to Give Nectarines to Guinea Pigs?
Nectarines are safe and healthy for guinea pigs but only as long as it is being fed in moderation like a treat. A small slice of ripe and fresh nectarine with the pit removed would be more than enough for a guinea pig. Given the high sugar content of nectarine, you should try to mix it with low fruits and veggies. To protect against nutritional deficiencies and excesses, you should offer a mix of at least five different fruits and veggies to your guinea pigs. With sugar-rich fruits like nectarines, you should offer low-sugar fruits and veggies. Similarly, if a certain fruit or veggie is high in calcium, you should mix it with low-calcium fruits and veggies.
Do Guinea Pigs Like Nectarines?
Like? Guinea pigs love sweet, juicy, and refreshing nectarines. Throw a slice of nectarine in your guinea pigs’ cage and they will immediately gobble it up. They might ask for more but know that it is high in sugar and is safe as far as it is fed in moderation. Here is a slow-motion video of a guinea pig devouring a piece of nectarine.
Final Verdict: Can Guinea Pigs Have Nectarines?
Yes, guinea pigs can have nectarines, with the pit removed, once or twice a week, in moderate amounts. Nectarines make a healthy energy source, strengthen guinea pig immunity, keep them hydrated, and help maintain healthy blood pressure. That said, nectarines are high in sugar, and eating in excess could upset guinea pig stomachs.
Check out other guides to what guinea pigs can or cannot eat: