Guinea pigs are the best choice if you look for a cheerful, cute and not so demanding pet. But, first of all, guinea pig is not a pig. Etymologists are not sure about the origin of the guinea pig name. According to animal classification, this small furry animal belongs to the family of rodents known as Caviidae in Latin. They are domesticated rodents that originally come from South America. Domestication happened a long time ago, perhaps even before the Incas era. Guinea pigs were brought to Europe shortly after the discovery of America. Now they are some of the most popular pets in the world.
They are very popular with people who want to have a pet, but do not have time for animals like cats or dogs. Unfortunately, they are also common experimental animals in research laboratories.
How to feed your guinea pig?
Guinea pigs are strict vegetarians. You can feed them with almost all of the available vegetables and fruits which are used for human consumption. Very few sorts of plants should be omitted from the guinea pig’s menu, such as rhubarb and summer seasonal lettuce salad, because these two plants are heavy for their delicate bellies.
The most important part of guinea pig nutrition comes in a form of granules, which you can buy in specialized pet shops. Commercial dry guinea pig food is important because it contains all the necessary elements they need daily. It is commonly considered that guinea pigs do not need water, if you feed them with a lot of fresh vegetables and fruit. But since it needs to eat a dry, commercial food, you should also provide them a resource of fresh and clean water.
Be creative and give your pet a variety of food. Some good suggestions on vegetables and fruits are spinach, beets, cucumbers, peas, pears, grapes, peaches, apples, fresh herbs etc.
Always keep in mind that guinea pigs are extremely voracious animals and they would likely eat virtually anything you give them, no matter if it is good or bad for their health.
Can you give your pet a kiwi fruit?
When it comes to fruits and some sweet vegetables, like carrots, you should be careful because of the high sugar content. Piglets can be real gourmets and many of them prefer apple, melon, cherries, strawberries and other sweet fruit. Fruit can bi given once in a while, a small amount every few days. What about kiwi? Let us check its nutritional fact.
One medium kiwi fruit contanis:
- 46 total calories
- 11 gr carbohydrates
- 2 gr dietary fiber
- 7 gr total sugars
- 0 gr total fat
- 3% calcium
- 11% copper
- 4% magnesium
- 4% phosphorus
- 5% potassium
- 94% vitamin C
- 34% vitamin K
- 4% vitamin B6
- 7% vitamin E
- 2% riboflavin
- 2% niacin
If you consider giving a kiwi fruit to your small friend, be careful. Kiwi is an amazing resource of vitamin C, which is essential in a guinea pig’s nutrition, but it is also high in sugar.
Be extremely disciplined if you give your pet kiwi fruit and keep to a really small amount only once in a while. Guinea pigs can be so charming and persuasive when it comes to sweet fruits, so do not fall for their wits. Just think of kiwi fruit as a treat, not a regular food.
Too much kiwi affects a guinea pig’s health in a bad way. If you give it a lot of kiwi in the short run, it will cause digestive issues. It could also lead to obesity and other serious health problems.