Is if Safe for Guinea Pigs to Have Blueberry?

Most humans love to have a pet at home. Dogs and cats are some of the most popular pets that can be found in our homes, however, the choice of pet varies from one person to another. Some even prefer exotic pets like snakes and other forms of reptiles.

Having a guinea pig as a pet may not be as popular as dog and cats but it is equally very common. These little furry friends love to try out every meal in your refrigerator. Even though they love to eat many things, it may not be healthy for them to have certain meals which will result in digestive challenges.  In this article, we will be examining if Blueberries are safe for consumption by guinea pigs.

Blueberries: What are They?

Blueberry is a perennial plant that can survive from year to year.  It produces blue or purple berries, small and round which is how its name “blueberries” was coined out from.  The berries are usually very small at infancy but grow bigger over time and turn blue once ripe.  

They are typically juicy and sweet when fully ripe. Blueberries are characterized by low calories but rich in fiber and vitamins C and K. Blueberries contain the highest amount of antioxidants among all vegetables and fruits. Antioxidants protect the human body from free radicals, which cause cancer.  

What is a Guinea Pig?

They are a species of pets belonging to the cavie family. Contrary to the mental image that the name may paint in the mind of anyone who hasn’t seen one, they do not live in a mire neither do they look anything like pigs. In fact, they look more like rabbits. 

These little animals grow up to 10-11 inches in length and weigh up to 2.5 pounds in adulthood.  One of these pets’ most common features is the need to file their teeth by chewing constantly. This is because the teeth grow at a fast rate.

What do Guinea Pigs Eat?

Guinea pigs eat a lot to stay healthy and happy.  About 10% of their diet can consist of vegetables and fruits. Any fruits and vegetables 12-24 hours are discarded as soon as possible. They need anywhere between 30-50 mg of vitamin C daily in their diet. These pets give good results when they are fed with a low fat and sugar diet.  

Can Guinea Pigs eat Blueberries?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could immediately feed your pets with some blueberries after reading about the health benefits online? Well, even though blueberries have a high amount of nutritional benefits, you can only feed them in moderation. Otherwise, it will end up affecting the health of the animal.  As a rule of thumb, 1-2 berries are enough for a guinea pig.  

Since blueberries contain much sugar, you should not give them too much to the guinea pigs. Otherwise, it can cause obesity. In general, you should feed your guinea pig with about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of fresh fruits and vegetables daily.  And these cups shouldn’t consist of blueberries because they are only suitable as occasional treats. 

If the pig refuses to eat any berries, it will become spoiled, and as a result, it will be dangerous to them if consumed later.  Therefore, take out any left-over fruits from its enclosure after about 24hours.

Are Blueberries Healthy for Guinea pigs?

Blueberries contain important nutrients like phosphorous, calcium, and vitamin C, helping keep the pet cavity healthy.  Calcium and phosphorous are essential for tooth growth, proper bone growth, and other nervous system needs.  Guinea pigs have other health benefits:

  • Inflammation: Several studies indicate that strawberries are an excellent source of anti-inflammatory compounds that help fight inflammation.=
  • Vitamins: Even humans need some daily vitamins to function well. Blueberry contains vitamins C and K, which are both needed by Guinea pigs to stay healthy and function well.  Vitamin C helps protect the animal from disease and boost the immune system.
  • Diabetes: The blood sugar level that is required for the full body functionality of the Guinea pigs can be supplied by Blueberries. This can help with blood sugar levels and glucose metabolism.
  • Fiber: Fibers are known for their nutritional value. They make defecation easier. Blueberry is a good source of dietary fiber, which is important for Guinea pigs’ digestive health.

What to do With Blueberry Stem

There is no way your guinea pigs wouldn’t enjoy chewing strawberry stems.  These cavies always love to have little things to chew in their mouths and keep them busy and entertained all day long. The root tissue is not very sticky, so as long as the stem is short and thin, it is a good idea to stick a little bit of the branch to the stalk until it flaps.  But like everything they can put in their mouths, it can be a choking hazard, so look at pig while you snack on its berry flavor!

How to Give Blueberries to Guinea Pigs

There is no reason why your guinea pigs should not enjoy chewing strawberry stems if they do not like blueberries.  They love to have little things to chew in their mouths and keep them busy and entertained on busy days!  The root tissue is not very sticky, so as long as the stem is short and thin, it is a good idea to stick a little bit of the branch to the stalk until it flaps.  But like everything they can put in their mouths, it can be a choking hazard. 

How Many Blueberries Is Safe for Guinea Pigs?

If you are offering your guinea pig something new, you will always want to be slow and very careful.  Start offering just a small berry to your pet for the first time, check out for disease that could through the digestive system, diarrhea, energy depletion, not eating, etc.  Monitor for approximately 12-24 hours for any adverse reactions.  

If your pig portrays signs as like anxiety, you may want to stop feeding the berries and consult your veterinarian about the current situation for additional guidance.  Most guinea pigs are said to accept blackberries.  As long as your guinea pig shows no signs of negative reactions, you can gradually increase the number of strawberries they serve and use a whole serving – it’s still not the size of a berry!  

It is best to give blueberries one or more times a week and not skip it.  You should not bite one or two small grapes on your guinea pig more than once or twice a week.  It would help if you also separated those multiple times a week – not two consecutive days.

Are Blueberries Harmful to Guinea Pigs? 

Yes, blueberries can pose a health hazard to your pet if not properly prepared and monitored.  Pieces that are too large can cause choking. If blueberries are not cleaned properly, your pet may be exposed to dirt, chemicals, pesticides, pathogens, etc., which can all result in harmful side effects.  There are several problems with feeding many blueberries to your pet.

Guinea pigs may suffer from lethargy, diarrhea, loss of appetite, dehydration, etc.  It can also indicate the digestive system, leading to more serious health problems if your vet does not address them.  Guinea pigs tend to gain much weight when consuming high substance with high sugar content due to their small body weight. Suppose they eat a lot of fruits and snacks like blueberries.  Fruit, even berries, contain acids that can cause uncomfortable side effects in guinea pigs.  High acidity can cause mouth ulcers and medical problems.  

If you observe that your Guinea pigs develop any of these symptoms after introducing new foods into your guinea pig’s diet, you need to pay a visit to your local vet.

Other Food for Guinea Pigs

There are different fruits, vegetables, and greens that are good for both the guinea pig and you!  Unfortunately, some foods are poisonous to guinea pigs and do us no harm.  Thus, it is highly important to carry out comprehensive research into the new dish you plan to give to the guinea pig and choose the appropriate portion size.  Given below is a list of other foods that can be eaten by guinea pigs:

  • Mangoes 
  • Zucchini Pumpkin 
  • Melon such as cantaloupe
  • Grapes 
  • Butternut Squash 
  • Pineapple 
  • Oranges 
  • Squash 
  • Cilantro

Every fruit on the list is safe for consumption by the guinea pig but as the caregiver, you need to learn about the appropriate portion that is safe for them and the frequency of feeding.

Finally, before tossing a yummy fruit snack of blueberries into the mouth of your Guinea pigs, be sure to consider the pros and cons of her diet and remember that if you choose to give them tasty food, it’s only safe when properly moderated.  

If you observe a rapid change in the animal’s daily activities, such as sleep patterns, withdrawal, or other behavior after they had a new food like blueberries, pay a visit to your veterinarian to seek professional help and advice.

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