Can Guinea Pigs Eat Nectarines?
If you’ve ever tasted a nectarine in the heat of the summer, you know how refreshing it can taste. In the article to follow, we’ll let you in on whether your guinea pigs can eat nectarines along with you. We’ll provide you with the details of how to prepare nectarines so they are safe for your guinea pig and how much nectarine to feed your guinea pig.
Guinea pigs can in fact, eat nectarine and like for humans, nectarines are a tasty refreshing treat for your pet. If given the chance, your guinea pig will eat as much fruit as he can gobble up and that’s not healthy at all for your pet.
A member of the peach family with smoother skin, nectarines can be found beginning as early as May in warmer climates. The best ones can be found in August and early September in California. Make sure to thoroughly wash your fruit to get rid of any pesticides before feeding to your guinea pig.
Are Nectarines Good for Guinea Pigs?
Like with other fruits, like peaches and plums, the problem with nectarines for guinea pigs is about the sugar content. The recommended everyday diet for your guinea pig includes fresh drinking water, unlimited grass hay such as timothy, and up to an eighth cup of pellets. Guinea pigs should be fed just small pieces of nectarines once or twice per week as part of their standard daily diet.
Always remove the pit or stone from the nectarine and then cut it into small pieces before feeding to your pet. You may find it works best to remove the pit, cut the nectarine into very small pieces and then freeze it or even dehydrate it. This will extend the shelf life of the nectarine so you can feed several small pieces to your guinea pig as an occasional treat. Never feed frozen food to your guinea pig, let it thaw thoroughly first.
Guinea pigs can eat the skin of the nectarine but take care that your guinea pigs never eat the leaves of “stone” fruit trees like cherry, plums, nectarines, peaches, or red delicious apples. The danger with these leaves and branches is the possibility of cyanogenic glycosides which when eaten by your guinea pig can turn into hydrogen cyanide.
How Much Nectarine Should I Feed My Guinea Pig?
If you are feeding other fruit in addition to nectarines, the total fruit portion should be no more than a couple times per week due to the high sugar content. To help balance your guinea pig diet, think of fruit as the dessert portion. Even humans don’t have dessert with every meal, we may only splurge on dessert a couple times a week and less if we’re concerned about weight gain.
You should take a similar tactic with your guinea pig. If your guinea pig is eating too much nectarine or other fruit, you may not even see any signs or symptoms that anything is wrong right away. It’s up to you to make sure fruits like nectarines are only available in moderation.