Every person who owns a Guinea Pig worries about their health and diet a lot. They are cute little creatures, and we don’t really know what thing can harm them. That’s the reason; the pet owner is always on a searching spree so that they can learn more about their pets. Many people have asked can guinea pigs eat squash or not. Well here is your answer.
What is Squash?
Squash is an edible fruit which grows as a species of Cucurbita plant. There are two types of squash, i.e., summer squash and winter squash. Acorn and Pumpkin lie under the Winter squash category whereas Cocozelle, Crookneck, Scallop, Straightneck, vegetable marrow, and zucchini lie under the summer squash category. Luckily Guinea Pigs can eat a variety of food that is high in vitamin C and vitamin A.
How is Squash good for Guinea Pigs?
Both the vitamins that are found in Squash are very essential for guinea pigs health. The Vitamin C regulates ad metabolize proteins and perform other bodily functions too. Vitamin C also helps them to fight various infections. Vitamin A helps in the development of a healthy immune system.
As Guinea Pigs are unable to produce these two vitamins on their own, squash acts as a vital source of vitamin and helps them to maintain their health.
How much Squash must be given?
This question is very doubtful. Just like humans, guinea pigs also have their own taste and liking and diet. No two guinea pigs eat the same amount of food. But the vets have specified a fixed amount of the food that can be given to a guinea pig. Usually, the cavies can eat squash multiple times a week. The ideal amount of squash that must be given to the guinea pigs is 100 grams.
You must ensure that the squash is uncooked, clean and fresh. Some people also suggest that it will be better if you peel off the skin of the squash before feeding it to your pet. The most important factor that you need to consider is to ensure that the fruit is naturally grown. Not even a small amount of pesticide or any other type of chemical was used on the prior squash feeding. Only the organic squash will be healthy for your cavy.
How to introduce squash in a Guinea Pigs diet?
You must remember that every guinea pig has its own taste and preferences. Although squash is healthy food, but may not suitable for every guinea pigs. Usually, guinea pigs don’t like the taste and try to avoid eating squash. So, before you give your pet a large amount of squash, ensure that they love the taste of the fruit. Just give them a small amount and observer whether they finish it or not. If they finish the piece, then you can give them another one, but if not then don’t directly add it up in their diet. Mix the fruit with another vegetable so that guinea pigs will start eating it.
What if Squash is overfed to guinea pig?
Squash has a very high water content in it. So if the guinea pig is eating an excessive amount of the fruit, then it will result in diarrhea. So, be careful and never overfeed squash to your cavy. Squash contains calcium and phosphorus too which are helpful for pig’s health. But remember that you don’t combine foods which have a high level of oxalate acid and calcium as it can form bladder stones which can be very painful for them.
What should be remembered about the cavy’s diet?
Although most of the food items can be eaten by guinea pigs, some key points must be remembered about their diet.
- The fruits contain a lot of sugar hence they must be fed in moderate amount. A large amount of sugar will affect their teeth badly.
- Similar to fruits you can’t overfeed vegetables to your cavy. Vegetables are a rich source of vitamin C which is significant for Guinea Pigs. But you have to ensure that they don’t get a large amount of calcium, phosphorus, and oxalate in their diet.
- Never give cooked food to your cavy. The guinea pig can’t digest cooked food as it upsets their tummy. Hence, make sure that your cavy doesn’t get their hands on cooked food.
- One more thing to consider is that you can’t feed the lawnmower clippings to your pets. They are also bad for their health.
- Their diet should contain more calcium as compared to phosphorus.
What are the foods that must be avoided for the Guinea Pigs?
There are some food items which are healthy for humans but can seriously affect the cavies. The foods which are unsafe for the guinea pigs that must be avoided are listed below:
- Avoid all types of cereal and their varieties too
- Guinea Pigs are herbivores animals so don’t ever give meat to them
- Cooked food must be avoided too
- Unripe food
- Tomato leaves and stems
- Plants that contain toxins like Rhubarb can be harmful too
- Fruits pits, seeds and cores
- Buttercup contain acrid poison which can lead to intestinal problems hence must be avoided
- Dairy products including milk, yogurt, cheese, etc.
- Garlic, leeks, and onions as they cause intestinal disturbance
- Nuts should be avoided too
- You should also avoid giving juices to your cavy
You can never know which food can be harmful to your cavy. Surely they can eat squash but there is a big list of the food items that must be avoided. So, even if you are thinking of adding squash in their diet, consult a vet and then come to a final decision.
Yes, you can give squash to your guinea pig. However, Guinea Pigs are a small and sensitive creature, and that’s why you can’t be careless with them. They need proper care and diet to survive. Thus, it is entirely up to you how you manage their diet so that they will stay healthy and fit.
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