Dr. Leonie McKinlay, DVM
February 22, 2022
Guinea pigs are tiny little creatures that make great pets. These furry animals are pure herbivores eating grasses with whatever leafy greens and fruit they can forage.
To keep our piggy friends healthy, we need to mimic their natural diet as best as possible. They need to eat mainly hay with a regular helping of leafy greens. Fruit is best left as an occasional treat. But guinea pigs are known for their delicate tummies, and not all greens or fruit is good for them.
- Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cucumbers?
- Health Benefits: Is Cucumber Good for Guinea Pigs?
- Health Risks: Is Cucumber Bad for Guinea Pigs?
- Feeding Guidelines: Cucumbers for Guinea Pigs
- Nutrition Facts
- Bottom line: Can Guinea Pigs Have Cucumbers?
- Vet’s Comment
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cucumbers?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat cucumber, including the flesh, skin, and seeds. Cucumber can be a healthy and hydrating low-calorie treat for your guinea pig. However, see our vet-checked recommendations on how often to feed cucumber, as overfeeding may cause digestive issues such as diarrhea and bloating, and cucumber also contains some calcium.
Cucumber is a safe vegetablefor guinea pigs to eat. There is nothing toxic in it. The skin, flesh, and seeds are all edible, and most guinea pigs love the taste. Some guinea pigs can be a bit picky and will leave the seeds out, though.
Cucumber can be a great low-calorie treat for your guinea pig.
– Dr. Leonie McKinlay, DVM
Just as with any fruit or vegetable, cucumber needs to be fed in the right amount. Guinea pigs can be greedy and will eat almost anything you give. It is up to you to regulate what and how much they consume to keep them healthy.
Eating hay has many important benefits for your guinea pig and supports their overall health. However, you need to choose the right type of hay to ensure your piggy gets all the right nutrients. Learn more on Why do guinea pigs need hay?
Health Benefits: Is Cucumber Good for Guinea Pigs?
Cucumber is not a particularly nutrient-rich food, but it does contain some useful elements. The fact that it’s non-toxic makes it an easy addition to your pet’s serving of greens.
With their low sugar and fat content, they can be safely added to your pet’s diet more frequently.
1. Low-calorie, Low-Carb
Guinea pigs are prone to putting on weight. Their digestive systems were also not designed to handle much fat, starch, or sugar. These two facts combined mean that guinea pigs shouldn’t be allowed to eat foods rich in carbs and fat.
Cucumber is a very low-calorie food, containing almost no fat and starch. In this respect, it is an ideal veggie for your guinea pig. Eating it more frequently won’t raise the risk of developing sugar- and fat-related problems like diabetes and obesity.
2. Good Hydration
The reason cucumbers are so low in calories is their high water content. At 95%, they are mainly water. It makes them a good source of hydration for your guinea pig, although your pet needs to have clean drinking water available 24 hours a day. Cucumber has a sweet, refreshing taste, and many guinea pigs enjoy nibbling on it, especially on a hot summer day.
3. Some Vitamin C
Vitamin C is of special importance to guinea pigs. They cannot manufacture this vitamin in their bodies, so their only way of obtaining it is as a part of their diet. Vitamin C is essential to their bodies and plays a vital role in boosting the immune system.
A lack of vitamin C can lead to a disease known as scurvy, requiring attention from your vet.Cucumbers, while not nutrient-dense, do contain some vitamin C.With their low sugar and fat content, they can be safely added to your pet’s diet more frequently. It makes them a good, regular source of vitamin C for your pet.
4. Good Amount of Copper
Copper is an essential mineral, without which the body cannot survive. It is a part of all body tissues and has a host of functions. It contributes to energy production and helps the body absorb iron and form collagen. It is also needed to maintain the immune system and make red blood cells.
Cucumber contains a fair amount of copper, making it an excellent addition to your guinea pig’s diet. Again, cucumber can be fed more frequently than many other veggies and fruits. It makes it a constant source of copper that you can rely on.
Also Read: Do Guinea Pigs Need A Bed? A Vet Explains
Health Risks: Is Cucumber Bad for Guinea Pigs?
Cucumber is not at all toxic to guinea pigs. The skin, flesh, and seeds are all safe for your pet to eat and shouldn’t cause any problems. But there are a few things to consider when adding it to your guinea pig’s diet.
1. Cucumber Does Contain Some Calcium
Calcium is a nutrient that is essential to guinea pigs but can be a massive problem in excess. They do need it to form healthy bones and teeth. But unlike most other animals, guinea pigs cannot regulate their calcium intake. They absorb most of the calcium they consume.
Excess calcium in the body combines with oxalates and build up to form kidney and bladder stones. It is a very painful condition for guinea pigs, and deadly if left untreated. Cucumber isn’t high on calcium, but it does contain some.
You have to be careful when combining cucumber with other veggies that may also contain calcium. Always check that you’re not giving too much.
2. Overfeeding Can Cause Digestive Issues
Cucumber is mostly water. While this can be a good thing in terms of keeping your pet hydrated, don’t overdo it. Guinea pigs are known to have delicate, sensitive tummies. It is easy to upset the balance of bacteria in their gut systems.
Excess water from cucumber may give your pet diarrhea and bloating. Cucumber is generally safe and an excellent addition to your guinea pig’s diet, but it’s important to keep the quantity within limits to avoid tummy trouble.
3. Risk of Pesticides
While cucumbers are safe in and of themselves, it’s worth considering how they were grown. Most cucumbers available in supermarkets come from commercial farms. It means they are subjected to several pesticide applications before reaching your table. Traces of these chemicals can easily remain on the cucumber.
It’s always a good idea to wash cucumber under clean, running water before feeding your pet. It’s a shame to remove the skin as it has more nutrients than the flesh, but the skin is also where pesticide residue will be. So if you’re feeding regular, commercially grown cucumber, perhaps peeling the skin off is the better choice.
If you want to be sure you and your guinea pig aren’t eating anything you shouldn’t be, go organic. It’s more expensive, true, but it’s the healthiest option. With an organic cucumber, you can safely feed the whole thing to your pet after a basic wash.
Feeding Guidelines: Cucumbers for Guinea Pigs
Cucumber is generally a safe food for your guinea pig. You don’t have to limit it as much as you would fruit or something very high in calcium. But there are still some guidelines to follow to help keep your guinea pig healthy.
A slice or two fed a few times a week is a good addition to your pet’s diet.
Mix With Other Veggies
Guinea pigs love the taste and will eat as much cucumber as you give them. But cucumber is not very nutrient-rich. Any time you choose to give your pet some cucumber, mix it in with other veggies. Cut a thin slice or two. The skins and seeds are safe, too, so you don’t have to remove them.
Not A Daily Food
Cucumber is generally safe for guinea pigs, but it shouldn’t be their staple food. It’s a good idea to skip a day or two without. You can add the cucumber to your pet’s food 3-4 times a week. Remember to double-check that you’re not giving too much calcium when combining with other veggies.
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Cucumber is not nutrient-dense food. Then again, neither is it calorie-rich. It does taste very refreshing, though. And chances are your guinea pig feels the same.
Low-calorie, Mostly Water
At 95%, cucumber is basically glorified water.It contains only 0.6 grams protein and 0.2 grams fat for every 100 grams, which is negligible. The carbs also come in at a low 2.2 grams out of 100 grams. Of these, sugar is 1.4 grams.
The dietary fiber is insignificant, with only 0.7 grams. But there is hardly any sugar, so it doesn’t really pose a problem.
All this makes for only ten calories per 100 grams. From this point of view, cucumber is an excellent food for guinea pigs. They are prone to diabetes and obesity and don’t do well on sugary, fatty foods.
A Smattering of Vitamins and Minerals
Cucumbers are not especially high on any one particular nutrient. But they do contain a whole set of them in smaller amounts. Besides vitamin C,cucumbers contain vitamin K and A. Several of the vitamins from the B complex, including B6, are also present. [1.]
When it comes to minerals, copper has the highest amount. Magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc also make an appearance. And there are 14mg of calcium for every 100 grams of cucumber. We’ve mentioned this earlier but take care here.
Bottom line: Can Guinea Pigs Have Cucumbers?
Cucumbers are a tasty, healthy veggie for guinea pigs of all ages. They are safe to feed, and there is no part that is toxic. Skins, flesh, and seeds are all okay. Just be sure to wash the cucumber thoroughly before feeding your pet. If you’re not comfortable with the skin, peel it off or buy organic.
A slice or two fed a few times a week is a good addition to your pet’s diet. The best way to do it is to mix it up with another 2-3 veggies. It will help prevent your guinea pig from getting too much fluid in one go and developing digestive issues.
Can guinea pigs eat cucumber peels?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat cucumber peels. The skin of a cucumber is totally safe and in no way toxic to a guinea pig. However, cucumbers may be sprayed with pesticides, so it is important to either wash the cucumber thoroughly or peel off the skin before feeding it to your cavy.
Can guinea pigs eat cucumber seeds?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat cucumber seeds. The whole vegetable is safe for piggies, including the skin and seeds. However, you need to follow feeding guidelines as the cucumber’s center part with the seeds also contains the most water, and watery foods may cause diarrhea in guinea pigs. Cucumber also contains calcium, which may cause bladder sludge when overfed.
Although cucumber is a great hydrating treat for guinea pigs, you might want to cut out the center if foods that are high in water cause digestive issues for your pet. Not because the seeds aren’t edible, but to offer less water with the piece of cucumber you serve up.
Read Next: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Rabbit Food? Vet Explains
Cucumber can be a great low-calorie treat for your guinea pig, but remember that the majority of the veggies you feed should be ones that are rich in vitamin C.
Since guinea pigs cannot produce their own vitamin C, it is critical that you provide it in their diet. While veggies and guinea pig pellets contain some vitamin C, it is important to provide your pet with a vitamin C supplement daily.
It is best to give this as a chewable tablet. Avoid vitamin C water supplements as it is hard to make sure that your pet ingests enough vitamin C, and they may also dislike the taste. This could lead to them drinking less water and becoming dehydrated.
– Dr. Leonie McKinlay, DVM
NOTE: Advice provided within this article by FeedingMyPet.com is not a substitute for veterinary advice. Please discuss your pet’s specific dietary needs (based on his breed, weight, age, and health status) with a veterinarian.
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Is cucumber bad for guinea pigs? ›
Cucumber: Guinea Pigs can eat both the flesh, seeds (not too much) and the skin. Green beans:These contain vitamin C, and can be fed in a raw state. However, be cautious as they also contain calcium and phosphorus.Can guinea pigs eat cucumber everyday? ›
Cucumbers are low in sugar which is good but they are also high in water and quite low in vitamin C and fibre so although it is fine to feed a few times a week to your guinea pigs, don't give them large quantities. A half inch chunk is plenty as part of their daily veggie portion.What food is harmful to guinea pigs? ›
Make sure you do not feed your guinea pigs the following foods (this is not an exhaustive list): cereals; grains; nuts; seeds; dried beans, corn, and peas; buttercups; garden shrubs (such as hemlock or privet); lilies of any kind; sweet peas; nightshade; oak; avocado; onion grass; onions; potato tops; mushrooms; ...What vegetables guinea pigs Cannot eat? ›
Vegetables to avoid include: iceberg lettuce, potatoes, cabbage, and broccoli. Guinea pigs should eat a few types of vegetables regularly and new veggies should be introduced into the diet gradually to avoid diarrhea, bloat, and an upset tummy.Are tomatoes bad for guinea pigs? ›
Tomatoes are safe for guinea pigs to eat. Tomatoes have many beneficial dietary benefits including: Great source of fibre - necessary for correct digestive health. High in Vitamin C - A necessary vitamin in their diet.What happens if a guinea pig eats too much cucumber? ›
Ever heard of the saying 'too much of anything is bad'? Unfortunately, that applies to cucumbers for guinea pigs. Consuming too much of it can upset a piggy's stomach and lead to diarrhea, which can cause dehydration!What are the healthiest vegetables for guinea pigs? ›
Leafy greens like romaine lettuce, red and green leaf lettuces, kale, cilantro and parsley should comprise the bulk of your pig's fresh produce. It's best to provide variety by feeding different greens each day.Can guinea pigs have bananas? ›
Dr Moyes says: “Guinea pigs don't naturally eat fruit or root vegetables, but you can give them in small amounts as treats.” This could be small pieces of carrot or celery, a cherry tomato, a little bit of banana or an apple quarter.Can guinea pigs eat cheese? ›
Dairy products – dairy products such as milk, cheese, yoghurt etc are derived from animals and should not be fed to your Guinea Pig.Can guinea pigs eat pickles? ›
You should not give pickles to your Guinea pigs, because that will increase their solidium content. And this is not good for the Guinea pigs because they can only proceed with fresh grass and veggies. If you try to feed your Guinea pig with pickles, it can lead to digestive problems which can be fatal for the pet.
What is guinea pigs most favorite food? ›
The preferred basic diet for guinea pigs is unlimited amounts of Timothy or other low-calcium hay, supplemented with smaller amounts of a commercial, high-fiber, Timothy-hay based guinea pig pellets. Vitamin C (see below) should be given each day. Hay should be offered free-choice throughout the day.Can guinea pigs have peanut butter? ›
Aside from this, peanut butter also contains a lot of sodium, sugar and too many calories. Peanut butter also has a dangerous mechanical effect, it is a choking hazard for them! They have a small esophagus and can get stuck. Some of the symptoms of peanut butter toxicity are constipation and an upset stomach.What smells are toxic to guinea pigs? ›
Unlike larger pets, guinea pigs have smaller and more sensitive respiratory systems. That's why it's not advisable to use scented candles, especially those with essential oils. Candles made with other materials can also release toxic elements such as benzene acetone.What fruit can guinea pigs eat daily? ›
|Fruit Name||Vitamin C||When|
At the most basic level, guinea pigs are herbivores. That means that they just eat fruits and veggies—no dairy, eggs, meat, or insects for these little guys. Fresh hay and fresh leafy vegetables should make up the bulk of your guinea pig's diet.Can guinea pigs survive without veggies? ›
Guinea pigs' need fresh greens and vegetables every day to help them get enough vitamin C (they can't produce it themselves). Our vets' advise one teacup of greens and veg, per guinea pig, per day, which can be split into morning and evening feeds.Can guinea pigs have grapes? ›
Guinea Pigs Can Eat Grapes as an Occasional Treat
Grapes are also rich in antioxidants, which balance free radicals, and resveratrol, a plant compound that has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Thanks to a high level of fructose (sugar), grapes are also very sweet and a favorite treat for most guinea pigs.
Overall, it is OK to feed your guinea pigs corn!
However, just remember that it should be regarded as a once-in-a-while treat! The starch can be harmful to your guinea pig, and it's important that we keep them safe and healthy.
How should you go about feeding your guinea pig celery? The first thing you should know is that all parts, from the celery roots and stalks to its leaves, all are safe for piggy consumption. However, you should limit the consumption of celery to only a few times per week, and treat it as a snack.Can guinea pigs eat cucumbers and bell peppers? ›
What vegetables can guinea pigs eat daily? Guinea pigs can eat foods such as Romaine lettuce, sweet bell peppers, kale, cucumber and coriander every day and some other green leafy vegetables too.
Why can't guinea pigs have carrots everyday? ›
Carrots have a high sugar content, which isn't good for your guinea pig because they increase the risk of obesity and diabetes. The sugar can also be a cause of tooth decay, which can be hard to treat.What are the signs of vitamin C deficiency in guinea pigs? ›
Symptoms. A pig suffering from vitamin C deficiency may appear weak and lethargic, have difficulty moving, lose weight and stop eating, display a rough coat, or have diarrhea. Some pigs might have internal bleeding. You may also notice a small exterior wound bleeding excessively or not healing correctly.What veg can guinea pigs have everyday? ›
Vegetables. Your guinea pigs should have fresh, washed leafy greens or weeds each day, such as kale or broccoli, which are excellent sources of Vitamin C. Guinea pigs don't naturally eat fruit or root vegetables, but you can give them in small amounts as treats, such as small pieces of carrot or an apple quarter.What should guinea pigs drink? ›
Fresh, clean water with nothing added is the best drink for guinea pigs. But why can't guinea pigs have other drinks? It's unhealthy for guinea pigs to ingest high sugar, high salt, or high fat drinks. That eliminates soda, juice, dairy, sport drinks, and others.What fruit can guinea pigs not eat? ›
Fruit You Should NOT Feed Your Guinea Pig
Tomato stems and leaves – always remove greenery before feeding – also, never feed unripe tomatoes! Apple seeds – the seeds contain amygdalin, which produces cyanide when chewed – this is very poisonous to guinea pigs! Always remove apple seeds before feeding.
Guinea pigs should have unlimited access to hay, which often means refilling a good-sized dish 3 to 5 times daily.Is broccoli good for guinea pigs? ›
Broccoli a Nutritious Treat
Short answer is, yes - guinea pigs can eat broccoli. Broccoli is a vegetable that is high in vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, Fiber, and other essential nutrients. Due to guinea pigs being unable to synthesize their own vitamin C, broccoli helps to fill that void.
Overall, it is OK to feed your guinea pigs watermelon!
Just make sure that you're only feeding it to them once in a while—this can prevent any health issues associated with consuming watermelon too much! It's the best way to keep them happy and healthy.
Yes, but only in moderation. Guinea pigs can safely eat one or two blueberries once a week, unless they are prone to digestive upset or oral sores. Although blueberries can be a sweet treat for guinea pigs, take special precaution when serving to guinea pigs and always wash properly.Can guinea pigs eat pineapple? ›
The short and sweet answer is yes! Guinea pigs can eat pineapple, but in moderation. There are several different health benefits that this fruit can offer to your piggy, but there are a few drawbacks that you need to be aware of before you decide to include it into their diet.
Can guinea pigs eat bacon? ›
Guinea pig digestive systems are not set up to digest anything but plants. They don't have the GI tract equipment to digest any meat at all, and it can make them quite seriously ill. 2.Are Cheerios safe for guinea pigs? ›
Guinea Pigs should not be fed dairy products such as milk, cheese, yoghurt, or other animal products. Cheetos, on the other hand, are not good for guinea pigs and can cause long-term health problems if consumed in large amounts.What things do guinea pigs hate? ›
Generally many guinea pigs dislike being touched anywhere that isn't their head, shoulders, or their upper back. Everywhere else is a no-go zone, especially when it comes to their butt. In order to try to keep your piggies comfortable, keep your petting in the areas that they're OK with.Can guinea pigs eat raw cucumber? ›
Guinea pigs can eat cucumbers, but do they like it? They do! However, just like with zucchini, some guinea pigs may not like the skin, or they may not like the seeds, etc. The best way to figure this out is to feed them pieces that contain all aspects of the cucumber and see what they leave behind.What veggies are best for guinea pigs? ›
Leafy greens like romaine lettuce, red and green leaf lettuces, kale, cilantro and parsley should comprise the bulk of your pig's fresh produce. It's best to provide variety by feeding different greens each day.Can cucumber cause bloat in guinea pigs? ›
As mentioned above, cucumbers have a very high water content. Because of this, excessive consumption of cucumbers can cause diarrhea and vomiting in guinea pigs. Eating too much can make your little friend feel bloated, which can cause digestive problems and stomach upset.Are carrots bad for guinea pigs? ›
It is safe to feed your guinea pig carrots along with the green leafy tops. Feed in moderation due to the high levels of Vitamin A and sugar content.