Guinea pigs are enthusiastic eaters. They tend to especially love the foods that they get less frequently, such as fresh fruits.
Fruits like raspberries can provide some healthy vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. But fruits can also be high in sugar and this can lead to obesity and nutritional imbalance.
Can guinea pigs eat raspberries? This is the question we will look at in this article.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Raspberries
As Vet Explains Pets highlights, raspberries can be a safe and healthy occasional treat food for your guinea pig.
However, you don’t want to feed raspberries – or any fruit – too frequently or in too large quantities.
Read on to learn why fresh berries like raspberries should be offered as a treat food only.
Watch a Happy Guinea Pig Eat Raspberries
This YouTube video is worth a thousand words – clearly, the guinea pig star is very happy about the delicious raspberry treat!
In the rest of this article, we will take a closer look at how often your adult guinea pig can eat raspberries. We will also explore the best portion size and what nutrients guinea pigs get from eating raspberries.
Are Raspberries Bad for Guinea Pigs
As this popular Guinea Pig owners forum points out, raspberries are not bad for guinea pigs when fed in moderation.
In fact, berries are one of the only fruits that a wild cavy, or guinea pig, might expect to encounter seasonally while foraging for food.
According to Four Paws International, wild guinea pigs mostly feed on hay, grasses, roots, seeds, herbs, plants, twigs, and bark.
Fruit would be a very occasional and seasonal treat for a wild guinea pig! Because berry plants fruit low to the ground, berries are one of the fruits a wild guinea pig might actually find and feast on at certain times of the year.
However, since your guinea pig has not evolved to eat a fruit-rich diet, feeding too many raspberries can lead to indigestion, diarrhea, and illness.
Can Raspberries Be Good for Guinea Pigs
Raspberries can be a good occasional treat food for guinea pigs.
Medical News Today outlines all of the major nutrients that one cup of fresh raspberries has to offer.
- 105 grams of water.
- 64 calories.
- 1.5 grams of protein.
- 14.7 grams of carbohydrates.
- 8 grams of fiber.
- 30.8 milligrams of calcium.
- 27.1 milligrams of magnesium.
- 0.8 milligrams of iron.
- 35.7 milligrams of phosphorus.
- 186 milligrams of potassium.
- 0.5 milligrams of zinc.
- 0.1 milligrams of copper.
- 0.8 milligrams of manganese.
- 0.2 micrograms of selenium.
- 32.2 milligrams of vitamin C.
- 25.8 micrograms of folate.
- 15.1 milligrams of choline.
- 1.1 milligrams of vitamin e.
- 9.6 micrograms of vitamin k.
- 167 micrograms of lutein/zeaxanthin.
- 19.7 micrograms of alpha-carotene.
- 14.8 micrograms of beta carotene.
As you can see, this is a whopping list of nutrients, vitamins, trace minerals, and antioxidants.
Of course, the amount of each nutrient represents eating a whole cup of fresh raspberries. This is about the same size as your guinea pig’s head! So you definitely cannot feed this many raspberries to your guinea pig at one time.
According to How Much Is In, there are about 38 raspberries in a one-cup serving. So divide the nutrients above by 38 to get a sense of what your guinea pig gets in a single berry.
Is It Safe to Feed Raspberries to Guinea Pigs
As long as you are only feeding fresh, washed raspberries that do not have any seasoning, sugar or sauces added, it is safe to feed raspberries to your cavy as a periodic treat food.
This may make you wonder if it is okay to feed raspberries in any form, such as cooked or frozen raspberries.
It is not advisable to feed cooked foods of any kind to your guinea pig. Your pig’s digestive system has evolved to only digest fresh foods. Cooked foods may cause loose stools or diarrhea.
In the case of frozen raspberries, if you are not able to get fresh berries in your area and you want to feed raspberries as a treat, it is safe as long as the raspberries are thawed first and do not contain any added sugars or other ingredients.
How to Feed Raspberries to Your Guinea Pig
In the YouTube video you watched earlier here, you saw a cute guinea pig eating a fresh raspberry right out of their owner’s hand.
This is one way you can feed fresh raspberries to your guinea pig. It is a nice way to bond with your pet and you can also make sure your cavy doesn’t eat the fresh fruit too fast.
You can also serve fresh raspberries diced up in a fruit or vegetable medley if you prefer.
The best way to feed raspberries to your guinea pig is to make sure the berry is at room temperature before feeding. Then wash it well to get rid of any pesticides, herbicides, or other toxins that may be present.
Then you can offer it to your guinea pig by hand, in a dish, or in a treat food medley.
How Often Can Guinea Pigs Eat Raspberries
Because raspberries can be high in sugar, feeding them too frequently or in too great quantities (or both) can cause weight gain and health issues.
Since guinea pigs do need fresh foods, raspberries can represent an important part of a complete and balanced food plan.
And since raspberries are high in vitamin C, which guinea pigs definitely require to stay healthy, they are a worthy addition to a regular treat food rotation – especially since berries are one of the few fruits a guinea pig might forage in the wild.
However, because of the high sugar content in raspberries, the best plan is to offer a single berry no more than once per week. Here, determining the frequency will depend on what other fruits you are offering and the quantity.
According to PDSA, a full 80 percent of a pet guinea pig’s diet should come from appropriate hay and grasses.
Another 10 percent should come from an appropriate pelleted food that offers complete and balanced nutrition for guinea pigs.
The remaining 10 percent should come from fresh produce – mainly fresh vegetables with a very small amount of fresh fruit. This portion is where you can add in raspberries as part of a regular treat rotation.
How to Offer Raspberries to Your Guinea Pig for the First Time
The first thing to know before offering your guinea pig raspberries for the first time is that you only want to offer the fully ripe berry. Don’t offer them when the berries are still green and bitter or your guinea pig may be put off or get gastric distress.
The very first time you offer your cavy a fresh raspberry, offer the fruit alone (not with a medley of other fruits or vegetables).
Let your guinea pig try a small portion of raspberries as a treat. Then wait at least 24 hours and just see how your pet responds. Look for signs of stomach upset or loose stools or any other signs of intolerance.
If all goes well, you can start to add raspberries to your guinea pig’s regular rotation of fresh produce once per week or once every two weeks.