Guinea pigs are notorious in the animal community for being great starter animals. They are great for beginners and have been kept by millions of people all over the world. Yet that doesn’t answer all questions, especially those about diet.
So here I am, answering a question that has probably been asked by the world over, can guinea pigs eat raspberries?
Can I Feed My Guinea Pig Raspberries?
Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: It depends.
You see raspberries have a lot of essential vitamins and nutrients that are a requirement for your guinea pig’s diet. These include, but aren’t limited to Vitamin C and Fiber. However, at the same time raspberries are also extremely sugary and contain a lot of other vitamins that your guinea pig simply does not need.
Let’s not forget that if the raspberries aren’t from a reputable place, then it could have pesticides and other things on it. Stuff that’s harmful to humans in large doses, so imagine what it’d do to an animal as small as guinea pigs who have much lower tolerances for these sorts of things.
Expert Tip: So yes, guinea pigs can eat raspberries, but you should be very careful about where you are getting the raspberries and how many you are feeding them.
Benefits of Feeding Your Guinea Pig Raspberries
There are many benefits to feeding your guinea pig raspberries. One of these benefits is the aforementioned large amount of Vitamin C. You may know Vitamin C is what you get from oranges and what causes scurvy. More symptoms of Vitamin C deficiency in humans are random bruises, gum and dental issues, dry hair and skin, and even anemia.
Now, these might just be symptoms in humans, but guinea pigs are no different. When lacking Vitamin C a guinea pig may get swollen joints, which makes it hard for them to walk, they could also start bleeding under their skin, almost like a less clotted bruise.
They could appear weak and lacking energy and their fur could become very rough and matted much easier. Their appetite will vanish which causes massive amounts of weight loss and diarrhea. All of this compounded with potential internal bleeding and excessive bleeding from wounds can lead to sudden death.
As you can see Vitamin C is very important in the diet of all animals, not just humans and guinea pigs. Raspberries are rich in Vitamin C, in fact, about 9.5% of a single raspberry is Vitamin C as in there is about 0.5 mg of Vitamin C in a single 1.9 gram Raspberry.
That may not sound like a lot but for an animal as small as a guinea pig, and for as little as raspberry is it truly is a large portion of an animal’s Vitamin C intake.
A guinea pig needs 10 to 50 mg of Vitamin C every day, which means you only need 20 raspberries to meet the minimum requirement, that’s really not a lot when you think about just how small a raspberry is. The next helpful part of a raspberry that a guinea pig may need is fiber.
Fiber is known to be an indigestible mineral in most foods for humans. Now you may be asking, if it’s indigestible, then why is it so good for you?
Well, it’s because it cleans out your intestines and promotes excellent gut health by making sure there is no excess waste left in your upper and lower intestines that could lead to constipation or gut infection. It also makes using the bathroom really easy as a whole.
Just like in humans, guinea pigs have the same effects. A lack of fiber leads to constipation, diarrhea, and gut infection. I should also mention that fiber helps most animals, including humans and guinea pigs, regulate blood sugar and cholesterol. Both things we know are very important.
In 123 grams of raspberry, equal to about one cup there are about 8 grams of dietary fiber. So you can see fiber is very common in raspberries as well. I bet this really makes you want to eat a cup full of raspberries.
There are more nutrients that are in raspberries that promote your guinea pig’s health, but these are the ones that I am most interested in personally. However, you can find a plethora of research on the benefits of raspberries in your, or your guinea pig’s diet.
Risks of Feeding Your Guinea Pig Raspberries
Now despite all the pros of feeding your guinea pig raspberries, there is a fair share of cons as well. A few of these are relatively minor and easy to monitor, and others are a bit harder to spot. The first is urinary issues, there is a lot of Calcium in raspberries.
While normally, this isn’t a problem, we all are familiar with Calcium from those “Got Milk?” ad campaigns when we were in school. It’s good for strong bones and promotes growth. However, when gully grown a guinea pig just doesn’t need that much Calcium, they’re not growing as much as they used to.
Now when Calcium gets to be too much it causes severe issues and can cause things like UTIs and stones. Both of which are very painful and uncomfortable for humans, never mind guinea pigs.
The next problem which is a bit easier to handle is digestion issues. Do you remember the fiber I mentioned earlier, well, too much fiber can cause stomach pain. You know that saying “too much of a good thing still can have bad consequences?”. Yeah, the same thing can be said here.
Fiber can cause a lot of pain when digesting something if in too high of a quantity. The other thing is sugar, this can also cause severe stomach pain. Now people will go on and on in the modern-day about how bad sugar is for everyone, but it really isn’t that bad for you.
Yes, in high doses it is extremely unhealthy, but it is one of the vital nutrients that people need in order to function properly. However, it can cause stomach pain. We’ve all seen the children who ate too much sugar on Halloween and had a stomach ache the rest of the night. Not good!
Another issue is both Hypoglycemia and Diabetes. We are all very familiar with Diabetes with the world being in what is known as a diabetes epidemic, so I won’t go too in-depth on what Diabetes is and what it can do to your guinea pig. What I can say is that Diabetes is much rarer than Hypoglycemia in guinea pigs.
Regardless both can be caused by a large daily intake of sugar. Hypoglycemia is essentially when your blood sugar level takes a massive dive and your body cannot process it as effectively. Considering all living organisms need sugar to survive, you can understand why this could be a large problem.
Feeding your guinea pig too many raspberries could be giving it way too much sugar and could make it hard for them to process it all. There’s also the very obvious weight gain. Too much of anything can cause anyone to gain weight. Guinea pigs are no different.
The high amounts of sugar and calories of raspberries can cause your guinea pig to take on a lot of unnecessary weight. Lastly, there are pesticides. Pesticides are used oftentimes to grow most produce.
While in small amounts, it isn’t too terrible for humans, but guinea pigs are much more susceptible to these things due to their smaller size.
Expert Tip: If you want to give your guinea pig any raspberries, make sure they are from farmers that use natural pest repellent instead of chemical-based ones.
How Many Raspberries Should You Feed a Guinea Pig?
If your guinea pig is healthy and not a baby, then you can give them about one or two raspberries per serving. Just make sure you also give them lots of their recommended diet, hay to balance this all out. You don’t want to give them too much of something like this. Act as if this was a treat for your guinea pig.
Just like you shouldn’t eat a king-sized chocolate bar every meal, your guinea pig shouldn’t eat raspberries every meal either.
How Often Should You Give Raspberries to a Guinea Pig?
I would say giving your guinea pig raspberries once or twice a week is the best decision and not multiple days in a row just in case too much of one vitamin enters their system at a time. I wouldn’t go any more than twice a week, and honestly, I would personally do less than that for my own guinea pigs.
There are healthier treats out there, but there really is no harm in a little variety I suppose.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Fresh Raspberry Leaves?
Believe it or not, Yes! Guinea pigs can eat raspberry leaves without any issue. There’s nothing really outstanding with them. They shouldn’t be used as a daily diet, and they shouldn’t replace hay, but they can work very well otherwise. Provided you ensure that there are no pesticides on them before you give them to your beloved pet.
Can Guinea Pigs Also Eat Blackberries?
Just like the raspberry, guinea pigs can eat blackberries. However they suffer from the same issues as the raspberry, so too much of them can make your guinea pig extremely sick, so make sure you feed them in moderation.
Once again just once or twice a week is a good idea for these berries, and only two or three every time you give your guinea pig some. While blackberries aren’t as unhealthy as raspberries can be, they still aren’t good for their daily diet.
Guinea pigs love blackberries and yes they are allowed to eat it with seed and skin but in moderate measure. This is because blackberries contain a large amount of sugar. This could lead to digestive and dental issues and worse cases scenario it can be fatal if your guinea pigs are obese or have diabetes.
Blackberries contain high content of fiber which helps in better intestines movement and help in controlling weight and sugar levels. It also contains a high level of antioxidants to fight radical cells like cancer. Another benefit of blackberry is keeping a healthy brain for guinea pigs. It also has:
Vitamin A – prevent disease, strengthen bones and teeth.
Vitamin C – keep healthy eyesight, help in healing wounds, and absorb iron.
Vitamin K – boost the immune system.
Manganese – better cardiovascular system and control sugar level.
Expert Tip: Blackberry is very good for everyone but for guinea pigs, it should be used at a moderate level. Recommended is serving only twice a week.
Can guinea pigs eat fresh raspberry leaves?
If you have a guinea pig you should know that they are strictly vegetarian animals, their favorite food is vegetables, for their good health they should be fed a well-balanced diet, they can be made up of fresh vegetables, hay, salt, and enough water. If you are wondering if can guinea pigs eat fresh raspberry leaves?
The answer is that it should be in moderation because they have low proportions of calcium and phosphorus. These leaves despite having multiple beneficial properties for the health of humans.
Should be administered to a guinea pig with great caution, no more than once a week, these leaves are related to the bramble and its consistency is not so smooth, which can cause irritation in his mouth.
There are other alternatives if you want to give him gifts, they like fruits, although you should not exceed the doses you give him, a few apple slices a week would be enough, and if you want other alternatives, be clear that they love foods such as green alfalfa, cauliflower, celery tips, lettuce, green corn, grass clippings, and spinach.
So the question of ‘can guinea pigs eat raspberries?’ has been answered. The answer is a resounding yes. Just don’t get too excited about giving them such a tasty treat. Just two berries twice a week is more than enough for their little itty bitty selves.
If you have any questions feel free to comment, and we will see you next time!