Guinea pigs need to have a balanced diet to stay healthy and strong. If you have pet guinea pigs at your home, you must pay close attention to their diet. You can never be too careful about their food.
The health of these fur babies depends quite a lot on what and how much you are feeding them. But sometimes, it can become confusing as to what you should and should not allow them to eat.
Can guinea pigs eat lemons?
Guinea pigs shouldn’t eat lemons. Since lemons are too sour, most of the guinea pigs don’t even like the taste, but some might like to eat them. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t feed them lemons since the acidic content of lemons is too high and can cause sore mouth, weak teeth, and stomach issues.
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Acidic food is not recommended for the cute little fur babies. As for, you should not feed lemons to the guinea pigs. But, is all lemon food prohibited for them?
Guinea pigs can eat lemon balm. They are quite beneficial for them. Lemon balm is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. At the same time, there’s no fat or cholesterol in lemon balm hence they make a fantastic treat for your babies.
Moderate intake of lemon balm can help boost their immune system, nervous system, and improve digestion.
Guinea pigs can eat lemon leaves but it’s still best to avoid. Since lemons are too acidic for the cavies and cause stomach issues, feeding lemon leaves may result in causing similar problems to some.
Lemon leaves are not toxic for them but feeding too much can cause gas and stomach bloating. So it will be safe to just skip.
Guinea pigs can eat lemon peels. But you should feed them lemon peels only once a month.
Lemon peels are acidic too, but not as much as the fruit flesh. If you feed them too much, they might end up having mouth sores and digestive issues.
Some guinea pigs may like the taste of lemon verbena. Guinea pigs can be allowed to eat some fresh herbs.
Some of the most common herbs that they can eat are cilantro, basil, and parsley. Lemon verbena is not toxic for the cavies but since there aren’t enough studies on this, it is wise to give it in moderation and not that often.
Is lemon bad for guinea pigs? Do guinea pigs like lemons?
Lemons are not good for guinea pigs. Guinea pigs have delicate mouth and sensitive digestive system.
Lemons contain phosphorus, calcium, fiber, and sugar. All of the mentioned element can cause serious health problems to the guinea pigs. While Vitamin C is important for these fur babies, you should look for other safe ways to fulfill that need.
Even though guinea pigs’ taste buds can stand sour foods, most of them don’t like the taste of lemons. The acidity of lemons disturbs their palate.
Since just like humans or any other animals, every guinea pig is different, their taste as well as the tolerance can vary. But the majority of them don’t like the taste of lemon since it is too sour for them.
Can baby guinea pigs eat lemons?
You should not give baby guinea pigs lemons. The acidity of lemons can be too much for even adult guinea pigs.
Whereas, the babies are more prone to health problems and often can’t handle the acidity of lemons. The sugar content of lemons is also harmful for their health.
The digestive system of a baby guinea pig can’t process sugar that can cause gassy and bloated stomach, pain and discomfort in the stomach, and loose stool. Therefore, you should not feed a baby guinea pig lemons.
4 reasons why you should not feed lemon to guinea pigs
There are several reasons why you should not feed lemons to the guinea pigs. Let’s get to know them.
Lemon is bad for a guinea pig’s teeth. It can weaken their teeth. The acid content of lemons slowly damage the teeth’s enamel.
Since healthy piggies are always chewing, grazing, or foraging, weakened enamel can make all of these harder for them to do.
Weak teeth can result in causing serious health problems in guinea pigs. They need to always eat healthy to maintain a good health.
When they find it hard to chew, they lose interest in eating and start losing health. Damaged teeth can make it hard for them to even chew hay.
A guinea pig’s digestive system can’t digest sugar hence they are not allowed to eat sweet food.
Also, too much fiber upset their digestive system. Lemons have both fiber and sugar that can interrupt a healthy digestive system causing stomach issues like loose stool and stomach pain.
The acid in the lemons are bad for their stomach. It can damage the stomach lining that can lead to a guinea pig starving itself to avoid the pain while eating.
A starving cavy can’t make it very long in life. Their digestive systems have to keep running for other systems to work properly.
Guineas pigs have very soft mouth tissues. If they consume too much lemons, they can develop mouth ulcers due to the high acid content. These ulcers take a long time to heal. During that time, the piggies find it hard to eat or swallow.
The discomfort takes a heavy toll on them as these sores can be very painful. Also, bacteria tends to infest on skin breakage. These ulcers can get infected by bacteria creating a more serious problem.
So it’s very important to pay close attention to what you are feeding the guinea pigs.
Lemons can cause urinary discomfort to the guinea pigs. Lemons contain phosphorus and calcium.
If guinea pigs consume too many lemons, it can result in calcium deposit causing urinary infection, bladder stone, kidney stone, or blood in the urine.
You can give your guinea pigs food that has calcium along with other nutrients, but make sure to give it in moderation. Urinary problems can lead to more serious problems that can be fatal to them.
What if guinea pig eats a lemon?
Most guinea pigs can tolerate lemons in a little amount. While not all guinea pigs detest the taste of lemons, if they consume too many of them, they can end up having upset stomach.
Also, regular consumption of lemons can create digestive issues, teeth corrosion, and mouth ulcers.
If your guinea pig eats a lemon, it’s okay. Just don’t let it have another one anytime soon.
It is wise to feed these fur babies lemons only once or twice a year. The vitamin C needs can be fulfilled by other citrus fruits and vegetables that they can eat.
How much lemon is too much for guinea pigs?
In real, guinea pigs shouldn’t be treated to lemons at all. The vitamin content of lemons are very good, but they do a lot more harm to the cavies than good. Any more than once or twice a year is too much lemon for guinea pigs.
Many pet parents prefer to avoid giving their guinea pigs any lemons. The risks are not worth taking since you wouldn’t want to ruin their teeth and mouth.
You can rather give them tangerines or oranges. These are sour but not as much as lemons and also a good source of vitamin C.
What are the health benefits of guinea pigs eating lemons?
It is not like the lemons are always bad. There are also some benefits of feeding lemons to the Guinea pigs. Let’s get to know them.
Protection against scurvy:
Guinea pigs go through a lot from scurvy, a disease that makes them weak, causes hair fall, dental problems, joint pain, bruising, and swollen joints. Vitamin C has the potential to fight against the symptoms of scurvy and help prevent it.
Since lemons are loaded with vitamin C, eating lemons can benefit the guinea pigs in combating scurvy.
Helps to maintain a healthy weight:
Lemons are good for promoting healthy weight. Since lemons are low in calories, they can keep the weight in check. But, guinea pigs are not likely to eat as many lemons to promote a healthy weight as they won’t be able to stand the acidity.
Also, it’s not a good idea to feed them lemons for the weight management as the sugar in lemons are bad for the cavies and even cause obesity if the digestive system fails to process it properly.
A boost in the immune system:
Lemons are full of antioxidants and vitamins that help to boost the immune system in guinea pigs.
Especially, the vitamin A and B6 in lemons help to keep theirs skins and bones healthy, promote good blood circulation, and improve eyesight.
Vitamin C in lemons work to keep the cells together and protect from damage. Vitamin A combats free radical damage that is the prime cause of many disease and premature aging.
Vitamin B6 functions to improve the condition of blood vessels and liver and can help to cure anaemia.
Some guinea pigs can eat lemons. But guinea pigs shouldn’t actually be fed lemons. Lemons are too acidic that can cause several discomfort and health problems to these fur babies. If you feed them lemons, it has to be in moderation like only once or twice a year.