Are apples safe for guinea pigs to eat? Yes, apples are safe for guinea pigs to eat, but should only be offered as an occasional treat.
While most guinea pigs love the taste of a fresh, crispy apple, they’re also high in sugar which is likely to cause obesity if not fed in moderation.
Summary – all you need to know
Amounts displayed per 100 grams.
|Vitamin C||4.6 mg|
|Calcium (Ca)||6 mg|
|Phosphorus (P)||11 mg|
|Ca:P Ratio||0.55:1 (Recommended: 1.5:1 to 2:1)|
Nutrition data source: USDA
Guinea pigs and apples
While most guinea pigs love apples and they can certainly eat them, it is advised to never feed more than a quarter of an apple once or twice each month.
Although apples are healthy, they contain high amounts of sugar that could cause your guinea pig to become obese.
Apple varieties such as Red Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious are not only sweet and crispy, but also loved by most guinea pigs.
As always, we recommend that you choose Apples that are organic and untreated. If they were treated, we suggest that you peel the apples before offering them to your guinea pig. According to Consumer Reports as well as other sources, there’s a risk of finding pesticide residues trapped on the surface of your apples.
Health benefits of apples
Fresh apples that are neither too sweet nor sour, offer many great health benefits for guinea pigs.
Apples contain some vitamin C as well as a high amounts of riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin B-6.
The peels contain high amounts of fibers too, and if they’re cut into strings they’ll help wear down their teeth and aid the digestion process.
If you can get hold of apple leaves too, they’ll offer a good amount of minerals that are also beneficial for your guinea pigs.
FAQ about apples
Below are some frequently asked questions about apples for guinea pigs. Read on if you’re interested in learning more about apples and how to make the most of them when offered to your guinea pigs.
How to select the best apples for guinea pigs?
Always select ripe apples that are freshly picked. In order to determine the freshness of an apple, you need to look at it and hold it.
If the skin is firm and there’s no softness when slightly pressing the apple, it’s fresh. If it’s soft on the other hand, it has most likely been on the store shelf for more than a week.
Another great way to get apples for free, is to reach out to the local community and ask if someone has an apple tree with an abundance of apples during the fall season. Most people can’t eat all those apples anyway, so they might be willing to let you pick some of them for free.
How to feed apples?
We recommend that you cut apples into quarters, and offer a maximum of one quarter of an apple per guinea pig.
Apples are considered a treat rather than a staple food, and they make great healthy treats that you can offer as a reward during training or taming.
Are apples good for guinea pigs?
Apples have high sugar contents, and therefore should be fed in moderation.
However, they do contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals and fibers, so they make for a nutritious treat.
Do guinea pigs like apples?
Yes, most guinea pigs like apples that are fresh, slightly sweet, and crispy. However, if the apples are sour, guinea pigs might not like them as much.
Leaves, stem, skin, flesh, and core – are they safe to eat?
If the apples are organic and/or properly washed, all of it is safe to eat. Skins hold the highest amount of nutrients, and the core is rich in fibers and we therefore recommend that you feed offer all parts of the apple.
However, you might want to take out the seeds first, as we’ve seen quite a large amount of conflicting information about them. Some claim they’re poisonous and pose a choking hazard, while others claim they’re perfectly safe.
For that reason along we’d advice you to rather be safe than sorry, and remove the seeds/pips before offering the rest of the apple to your guinea pigs.
Are cooked apples safe for guinea pigs?
No, apples should neither be cooked or fried. Guinea pigs are herbivores, and they should only be offered raw produce. If apples are cooked or fried, the nutrients are broken down.
Are frozen apples safe for guinea pigs?
You should never serve any frozen produce to your guinea pigs, especially not if it was store bought. Some of the frozen produce you buy in bags has been blanched before freezing to remove bacteria, but unfortunately it also causes a loss of nutrients and alters the texture.
There aren’t any proper studies or evidence that guinea pigs can eat apples that have been frozen, and we wouldn’t recommend it unless there’s scientific proof that it’s safe.
Are dried apples safe for guinea pigs?
Dried apples are not as nutritious and healthy as fresh apples, and they should only be offered as very small treats.
When drying an apple, the sugar content increases while nutrients decrease. So it’s basically transformed into a candy instead of a food item.
As part of our editorial process we use high-quality sources only, and strive to keep our content accurate and trustworthy by constantly keeping up to date with the latest knowledge.
- Laurie Hess, DVM; Rick Axelson, DVM: Feeding Guinea Pigs – VCA Hospitals
- Rosemary Norman; Alison P. Wills: An Investigation into the Relationship between Owner Knowledge, Diet, and Dental Disease in Guinea Pigs (Cavia porcellus) – Animals 2016, 6(11), 73. MDPI
- The Humane Society