Oranges are generally available year-round, and it’s hard to pass through a grocery store without seeing a pyramid of them. You may ask, “Can guinea pigs have oranges too?” whenever you see them.
The Short Answer: Can Guinea Pigs Have Oranges?
The short answer to “Can guinea pigs have oranges?” is that yes, they can. However, giving oranges requires moderation since they are relatively high in sugar and can lead to a vitamin c overload.
Considerations with Oranges for Guinea Pigs
The sugar content is one of the chief reasons to moderate the amount of orange that ends up in your guinea pig cage. Too much sugar can stress your guinea pig’s system and can cause health problems.
Another issue is vitamin C. While vitamin C is good for guinea pigs, too much can stress their systems, even though most don’t absorb it well. This phenomenon can happen if you feed oranges several days in a row.
Part of An Orange Guinea Pigs Can Eat
Guinea pigs can eat the flesh and the peel of oranges but not the seeds. Most piggles will happily eat both flesh and peel since they are sweet. If your guinea pig does not eat any part of the orange after an hour, you should still remove it from the cage.
Serving Sizes for Guinea Pigs
The serving size of oranges for guinea pigs is a single segment or roughly the length of your thumb. You can give your guinea pig this amount once or twice a week as part of a varied diet to meet their nutritional needs.
You may want to find organic produce or not feed the peel. Unfortunately, many peels contain residues of pesticide or wax used in transport, which can hurt your guinea pigs. If you don’t have the option of organic, only give your guinea pigs the flesh of the orange.
Remember, guinea pigs should never be fed canned products or juices.
Nutrients in Oranges for Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs can’t make their own vitamin C, so they need it regularly in their diet. Oranges offer the guinea pig a high concentration of vitamin C in a small serving, so it’s an excellent option. Vitamin C is necessary for healing.
Calcium is also a multitasker. It helps build strong bones, muscles, and nerves so that your piggle’s body functions properly throughout their life. It works just like it does in your body for overall health.
Phosphorus is a trace mineral, so not much of it is needed. Oranges offer enough for your guinea pigs to metabolize their food correctly. It’s also part of body repair, including DNA, so everything works together.
Magnesium is another mineral where a little makes a big difference. Magnesium supports muscle and nerve function throughout the body. Your guinea pig is at risk for chronic health problems without proper amounts.
Oranges generally have a high water content, and that’s good for guinea pigs. Some guinea pigs struggle to drink enough, so feeding high-water-content treats can help keep them healthy. Plus, a little water doesn’t hurt.