Guinea pigs are sweet critters that love to have a varied diet and this is going to keep your furry friend healthy. Indeed, they can be convincing when it comes to sweet treats and it can hard to resist giving them a bite of what you are eating.
A juicy piece of cantaloupe can be a refreshing snack on a warm summer day. If you share a love for melon, you may be wondering; can my guinea pig enjoy this juicy fruit?
As we know, not all food is going to be safe for your guinea pig to eat. So, let’s take a closer look at whether cantaloupe can be a good choice for your guinea pig.
Can My Guinea Pig Eat Cantaloupe?
First of all, there are several types of melon available at the farmer’s market or in local stores. This includes cantaloupe.
But it can be called different names that you should be aware of. For example, it can be named muskmelon, rockmelon, and sweet melon. You can identify it as a round and orange-colored fruit, which has a green rind.
Is the cantaloupe safe for guinea pigs? The answer is yes, according to the Daisy Street Veterinary Centre. Your furry friend can tuck into some of this fresh fruit. It is a safe food for small critters.
But cantaloupe melon should only be enjoyed as a treat and fed in moderation. In other words, you want to be careful with the amount you feed your guinea pig and how often.
In this article, we are going to look at what cantaloupe can offer your guinea pig and how much you should be feeding them.
Learn About Cantaloupe Nutrition for Guinea Pigs
Here is a useful video that can allow you to learn more about cantaloupe and why it is a good snack for your guinea pig. This can give you a good rundown of what you need to know about the fruit.
What Nutrients Can Cantaloupe Provide My Guinea Pig?
Cantaloupe can be a very nutritious snack for your guinea pig. Here are some benefits that you need to know about.
High in Vitamin C
It is packed with vitamin C, which is an important mineral your critter needs to stay healthy. When your guinea pig consumes enough vitamin C, this is going to help keep its immune system strong. It can also prevent scurvy.
Good Water Content
Another reason why melon is a good snack for guinea pigs is that it also has a high percentage of water in it. This is going to help keep your guinea pig hydrated and it means that you do not have to worry about them drinking so often.
According to Healthline, one cup of this melon contains around 90 percent water. So, when they eat a piece, they are going to be consuming water, as well as a tasty snack.
There is fiber in cantaloupe and when this is combined with water, it is good for the gut, according to Live Science. In other words, it can help prevent constipation for your guinea pig and allow their digestive system to work properly.
Since there are not large amounts of fiber, there should not be any adverse effects when your guinea pig eats it in moderation.
Some people do not realize that cantaloupe even contains antioxidants. This is something that is going to be good and help lower the risk of your guinea pig developing cancer.
How many cantaloupes Should I Feed My Guinea Pig?
Cantaloupe should only be fed to your guinea pig as a treat. This means once or twice a week and not every day as regular food. It is not something they should get on a daily basis due to a few reasons.
Here are some other things you need to know about cantaloupe and why to limit it:
High in Sugar
However, something important you must be aware of is that cantaloupe melon has high sugar content. This is not going to be good for your guinea pig to have on a regular basis.
Namely, it can mean they gain fat and the gut flora can be affected. You should always control the sugar in your guinea pig’s diet. If they are consuming other fruit that is high in sugar, it will be best to avoid feeding them cantaloupe at the same time.
High in Phosphorus
Unfortunately, cantaloupe is quite high in phosphorus. This can be a bad thing for guinea pigs and when they consume too much, this can increase their chances of developing bladder stones.
According to Ark Veterinary Centre, the way to avoid this happening is to limit their consumption of fruit high in calcium and phosphorus. In other words, limit cantaloupe servings.
When you serve the cantaloupe to your guinea pig, they might not eat all of it at once. You can leave it in their cage for a few hours to allow them to snack on the melon when they want to. But make sure that you remove it from them at the end of the day.
The reason that you need to remove the cantaloupe is that it will begin to spoil and go off. They might become sick if they eat the melon. You will know when it is spoiled because it will no longer look juicy.
As we have mentioned, cantaloupe contains fiber for your guinea pig. But you can know you are feeding them too much because this will lead to excess gut mobility.
In other words, their stools can be too loose and this is going to be even in their cage.
Keep an eye on this as the amount of cantaloupe a guinea pig can eat comfortably will be down to them individually. While some critters will be able to eat a lot without any side effects, whereas some guinea pigs can have sensitive stomachs.
Should I Feed My Guinea Pigs Cantaloupe Seeds?
Cantaloupe is a fruit that contains seeds. While they are safe for us to eat and do not cause any problems, the same cannot be said for guinea pigs.
The seeds are slippery and they may be too big for your critter. They could become dangerous and get stuck in their throat. The last thing you want is for your guinea pig to choke.
There is nothing toxic in the seeds of a cantaloupe. They should only be removed because the guinea pig has a small esophagus.
Therefore, it is recommended that you remove any cantaloupe seeds before you serve them to your guinea pig. This is going to make the pieces easier and safer to swallow. It will also mean you can enjoy peace of mind when you leave your guinea pig unattended.
How Do I Prepare Cantaloupe for my Guinea Pig?
First of all, you want to wash the cantaloupe. This is going to remove any chemicals and pesticides. Then make sure that you cut off all of the rinds from the cantaloupe. This is the thick skin of the melon and it can become hazardous for small guinea pigs.
Therefore, the rind should not be served as part of their snack, as well as removing the seeds.
Simply cut the cantaloupe into a few small cubes or thin slices. This is going to allow your guinea pig to enjoy eating the fruit and for it to be a safe snack in moderation.