Can guinea pigs eat cucumbers?
If you have ever had one, you might also be aware of this well-known fact that food is their ultimate weakness.
These tiny pets with huge appetites refuse absolutely nothing in the world that is even remotely edible.
While cucumbers are certainly edible, the big question is are they safe for cavies; so let’s find out!
READ MORE: Types of Fruit Guinea Pigs Love to Eat
Cucumbers, the Fleshy Treats
Cucumbers are a favorite during the hot summer months as they are cool, light, refreshing, and hydrating.
A lot of weight-loss diets include these as an essential ingredient as they fill up the stomach and manage appetite.
But can guinea pigs eat cucumbers?
Yes, they can! The crunchy peel and the juicy pulp of cucumbers make for a perfect snack for guinea pigs.
Not only that, it has multiple health benefits. Read on to learn more about cucumbers and their importance in your cavy’s daily diet.
Cucumber contains trace amounts of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K.
These vitamins are an essential part of the diet and they help in boosting immunity, preventing bleeding disorders, improving their eyesight, and have anti-oxidant effects.
Research shows that cucumbers have various health benefits and introducing them in our daily routine is beneficial for our overall health as well as for fighting age-related changes in our bodies.
Cucumbers are enriched with antioxidants which are beneficial for guinea pigs as they help prevent various chronic diseases of the heart, lungs, and immune system.
|Nutrient||Amount||% Daily Values|
|Total Fat||0.33 g||0%|
|Saturated Fat||0.102 g||1%|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||0.16 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat||0.0096 g|
|Total Carbohydrates||10.93 g||4%|
|Dietary Fiber||1.5 g||5%|
|Vitamin A||15 mg||2%|
|Vitamin C||8.4 mg||9%|
Serving size: 1 Cucumber
READ MORE: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Banana Peels?
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cucumbers?
Cucumbers make for a perfect fleshy treat for your guinea pigs. Not only is it safe for them to consume, but is also packed with several health benefits and nutritious properties.
Let’s dig deeper and find out what they are.
Are Cucumbers Safe for Guinea Pigs?
- First and foremost, cukes are rich sources of water, which helps keep your guinea pig hydrated.
- Cucumbers are also a good source of vitamin C. As you know, cavies can’t make this vital nutrient on their own, so they need to get it from their food.
- The calcium and phosphorous content helps keep your piggy’s teeth and bones healthy.
- They’re a low-sugar treat, unlike so many fruits.
- At the same time, cukes are a rich source of fiber, which helps keeps cavies from getting constipated.
Source of Vitamin C
Cucumbers do contain certain vitamins in trace amounts, including Vitamin C and K but their quantity is not sufficient to meet the needs of the guinea pig.
Introducing it in their diet helps in the augmentation of nutrient provision but you cannot rely on cucumbers alone to fulfill their dietary needs.
Vitamin C is not synthesized naturally in the body of the guinea pig and it relies on external sources for it, and cucumber contains Vitamin C in small amounts.
Controls Blood Sugar Levels and Blood Pressure
A study claims that cucumber has a role in lowering blood sugar levels and blood pressure.
The subjects of this study were human, but experts believe that these beneficial effects of the vegetable are implemented on guinea pigs.
By maintaining blood sugar levels in the blood in a balanced range, also helps in preventing diabetes.
High Fiber Content
While serving it to your pet, make sure not to remove the peel as it is the most fibrous part of the vegetable and an ideal diet for guinea pigs must contain a lot of fiber.
According to another study, cucumbers have a cooling effect and can be used as a home remedy for the relief of corneal burns in the guinea pig.
As far as hydration is concerned, it is true that it helps to keep the guinea pig well-hydrated, but there is no evidence that suggests that cucumbers can treat severe dehydration.
Additionally, guinea pigs actually enjoy the crunch of the peel.
The good thing is that cucumber seeds can also be given safely and do not have to be picked out as in the case of some other fruits and vegetables as they are moist and soft, which means that there is no risk of choking on them.
For further guidance regarding the consumption of cucumber in guinea pigs in the form of a visual demonstration, you can watch this video.
It is suggested to incorporate cucumbers in small quantities in the diet of your guinea pig, but only as a refreshing and watery treat rather than a source of nutrition.
READ MORE: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cilantro Flowers?
How to Safely Feed Cucumbers to Your Guinea Pigs
What is the Safe Quantity?
While feeding the guinea pigs, we need to keep in mind that their gastrointestinal tract is not as tolerant to food as ours, and neither is their immunity as strong.
It can get tough to resist serving all sorts of delicacies to your pet, especially when they seem to demand them with their cute, dewy eyes but you have to be responsible while serving them anything to eat, including cucumbers.
Although they are not actually toxic for the pet, owing to their high water content, cucumbers must be fed in a limited amount to the guinea pigs.
Their quantity must not exceed two to three slices twice or thrice a week, otherwise, the risk of developing gastrointestinal issues will increase.
It can be served in the form of slices, small chunks, or as an ingredient of a veggie salad.
Risks Associated with Excessive Cucumber Consumption
You must be well aware of a few noteworthy things before feeding cucumbers to your tiny rodents.
Cucumber normally available in grocery stores is mostly coated with wax and pesticides to prevent rotting and pest infestation, which can prove to be hazardous for your pet,
So it is extremely important to buy the organic ones and to wash them thoroughly before consuming or serving them.
Cukes produce an element known as cucurbitacin, which is responsible for the bitter taste of cucumber (occasionally) and it is synthesized as a defense mechanism against herbivores.
Feeding it in excess to the guinea pig exposes it to cucurbitacin which is a poison for the guinea pig if the quantity consumed is high. However, its consumption in small amounts is not toxic for the pet.
Overfeeding of cucumber leads to an imbalance in the digestive system.
This results in diarrhea. If diarrhea gets severe, it can lead to severe dehydration and electrolyte disturbances which present in the form of lethargy, weakness, irritability, and in a worst-case scenario, altered state of consciousness or death.
FAQs About Feeding Pineapple to Guinea Pigs
Is cucumber safe for guinea pigs?
Yes, it is safe is given in a restricted quantiof is about one to two slices twice or thrice a week. In excess quantity, it can cause GI problems, increased urination, and even poisoning due to the presence of cucurbitacin.
Why do Guinea pigs need an external source of Vitamin C?
Like humans, guinea pigs are unable to produce ascorbic acid in their bodies and hence it has to be supplemented through diets or pellets. It is an anti-oxidant and is also required for the production of a protein called Collagen which is a primary component of connective tissue and cartilage. Its deficiency can cause scurvy.
Do cucumbers fulfill the nutrient requirement of Guinea pigs?
Cucumbers contain a very small amount of nutrients as water constitutes 97% of its composition so cucumber alone is not enough to fulfill its mineral and vitamin requirements. Hence, it can be used to offer your pet a refreshing and delicious veggie snack but it cannot be relied upon as a nutrition source.
What happens if guinea pigs consume one whole cucumber?
Cucumbers are not actually toxic for guinea pigs but the recommended quantity for the pet is two to three slices twice or thrice a week. Consuming a whole cucumber will result in the development of bloating and an upset stomach.
I forgot to remove seeds before feeding cucumber to my guinea pig. Should I be worried?
Not at all, cucumber seeds are soft and moist, hence they are safe for the guinea pigs to swallow. They will not cause a choking hazard and pulmonary obstruction.
Should I remove the cucumber’s peel before feeding it to my guinea pigs?
Cucumber peel contains a lot of fiber plus certain vitamins and minerals. Also, the guinea pigs love the crunch of the peel and enjoy it more as compared to the fleshy part, so to let your pet utilize the maximum nutritious content of the vegetable along with a better taste experience, it is advised to offer them the vegetable without removing its peel.
Why is it often advised to wash the cucumber before consuming it?
Cucumbers purchased from the market have wax and pesticides on their surface to prevent rotting and pest infestation, which can cause health risks to humans as well as pets, that is why it is advised to wash them thoroughly before consuming or serving.
I fed my guinea pig cucumbers in excess and it has developed diarrhea. What should I do?
Feed it plain yogurt with active cultures, give it probiotic supplements according to instructions and withhold his greens until diarrhea settles. Make sure he drinks an ample quantity of water to make up for his lost fluids. If the diarrhea is watery and severe, take it to the vet right away.
It can be concluded that cucumber is a refreshing and healthy vegetable, especially for consumption in summers, and offers various health benefits.
Its skin, fleshy part as well as seeds can be consumed safely by the guinea pig.
It contains traces of vitamins and minerals which help to supplement the primary dietary items of the guinea pigs but they are not sufficient to meet the nutritious needs of the pet alone.
Hence, they can be offered to the pet as a treat in small quantities but not as a source of nutrition.
Moreover, if it is served in excess, it can do more harm than good as the digestive system of the guinea pig cannot tolerate it in a large quantity so the serving size has to be small and its inclusion in the diet should be occasional.
Additionally, special care should be taken before serving it regarding washing it thoroughly with water to cleanse it of any harmful pesticides or wax that might be present on its surface.
- “Feeding Guinea Pigs.” n.d. Vca_corporate. Accessed July 28, 2021. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/guinea-pigs-feeding#:~:text=The%20preferred%20basic%20diet%20for%20guinea%20pigs%20is.
- Jess, Author Dr. 2020. “Can Guinea Pigs Eat Squash?” Vet Explains Pets. October 28, 2020. https://vetexplainspets.com/can-guinea-pigs-eat-squash/.
- “Vitamin c Deficiency in Guinea Pigs.” n.d. Www.petmd.com. https://www.petmd.com/exotic/conditions/cardiovascular/c_ex_gp_vitamin_c_deficiency.
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