Are you wondering whether guinea pigs can eat grapes or not? Yes, guinea pigs can eat grapes and they’re perfectly safe for them. In fact, most guinea pigs love grapes because of their sweetness.
However, because of the sugar content you shouldn’t feed them more than a few grapes every once in a while.
If you want to know more about grapes, their benefits and how to feed them to your guinea pigs, read on below.
Summary – all you need to know
Amounts displayed per 100 grams.
|Vitamin C||3.2 mg|
|Calcium (Ca)||10 mg|
|Phosphorus (P)||20 mg|
|Ca:P Ratio||0.5:1 (Recommended: 1.5:1 to 2:1)|
Nutrition data source: USDA
Guinea pigs and grapes
Guinea pigs love grapes and would happily munch on them at any time, but we recommend that you only use grapes as an occasional treat or reward.
While grapes contain lots of beneficial nutrients, such as vitamin C and B6, they contain high amounts of sugar too. If they get too much sugar it could potentially lead to obesity, which comes with a lot of other health related problems.
Some of the most popular varieties, which guinea pigs usually love, are the Thompson seedless, Flame seedless, Concord, Ruby seedless, Moon Drop, and Cotton Candy.
According to the Dirty Dozen list, grapes are the number six crop that farmers normally use the most pesticides on, which means there’s a risk of residual pesticides on their skin. While you cannot peel grapes, we recommend that you either get organic grapes or wash them thoroughly before offering them to your guinea pigs.
As with other produce, we recommend that you shop for grapes that are not only organic, but also locally grown. Depending on where you live, you might have a farmer’s market nearby and we strongly suggest that you go there and see what they have on offer.
Health benefits of grapes
Fresh grapes, whether they’re green or red, contain a lot of nutrients that will benefit your guinea pigs health.
They contain a considerable amount of vitamin C and B6, as well as some minerals such as potassium and phosphorus.
Unfortunately, the high sugar content outweighs the benefits and for that reason we cannot recommend grapes as a staple food.
They work very well as treats, though.
FAQ about grapes
Below are some frequently asked questions about grapes for guinea pigs. Read on if you’re interested in learning more about grapes and how to make the most of them when offered to your guinea pigs.
How to select the best grapes for guinea pigs?
We recommend seedless grapes of all colors, because they’re available in most areas and easy to prepare.
Because grapes grow in clusters, you’ll usually get one or two of these in a box or a bag.
You’ll have to look at the branches as well as the grapes to determine their freshness: Fresh grapes should still be attached to the stem and have a firm texture, and the stem shouldn’t be withered.
How to feed grapes?
We recommend feeding no more than one or two grapes at a time, and you can either offer them whole or cut into halves.
Because grapes are soft and easy to chew, guinea pigs will have no problems whatsoever when eating them.
Are grapes good for guinea pigs?
While grapes contain some nutrition, they are high in sugar too. A few grapes make a great occasional treat, and they’re certainly better than any of the dried candy sticks available for purchase at pet stores.
We wouldn’t recommend grapes to be a staple food item though. If they’re fed too often, guinea pigs are likely to become obese or suffer from health problems.
Do guinea pigs like grapes?
Yes, it is very likely that your guinea pigs will enjoy grapes. They’re juicy and high in sugar with a lovely taste, which means that guinea pigs would go to great heights for just a single grape.
Based on our data, grapes are also the most sought for food item for guinea pigs, which makes sense because they’re widely available and most people like them too.
Leaves, stem, skin, flesh, and seeds – are they safe to eat?
We haven’t found any data pointing towards whether the leaves, stem and seeds are perfectly safe for guinea pigs to eat, so we recommend that you remove those parts and only feed the grape itself.
If the grapes have seeds, we advice that you cut them in halves and remove them. Because of inadequate knowledge and data on this, we prefer to stay safe rather than sorry.
Are cooked grapes safe for guinea pigs?
Grapes as well as other fruits and vegetables should never be cooked before being served to guinea pigs. They can only eat raw produce, so we advice against feeding them grapes that have been cooked.
Are frozen grapes safe for guinea pigs?
As you may already know, freezing the foods may cause a loss of nutrition as well as an altered texture, and we simply don’t know exactly what that means for a guinea pig.
Some claim that guinea pigs could get severely sick from eating frozen produce, while others claim it’s perfectly safe.
As long as there aren’t any proper scientific studies to back up either of these claims, we won’t risk it and neither should you. It simply isn’t worth it.
Are dried grapes safe for guinea pigs?
When grapes are dried they turn into raisins, which most of us are familiar with and like for their sweetness. However, guinea pigs should never be served raisins as they’re basically stripped for any of their nutrients besides high amounts of fructose.
Dried grapes make for a very unhealthy snack item, that you should never feed your guinea pigs.
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