Dragon Fruit which is also known as pitaya has numerous benefits for humans as it helps to fight with chronic disease, boosts the immune system, helps fight type 2 diabetes, and protects against several diseases. But what about our guinea pig? Can guinea pigs eat dragon fruit?
It was something unique and challenging so, I decided to do some research on the same, and here is what I have learned.
Guinea pigs can eat dragon fruit as a treat. It also gives many nutritional benefits to our guinea pig as it provides a good amount of antioxidants that are essential for our guinea pig. You must not serve dragon fruit more than 1-2 times a week as it contains a good amount of sugar and sodium.
So, now that you know you can feed dragon fruit to your guinea pigs, you must be wondering whether it has some benefits or hazards for our guinea pigs as well. Don’t worry we have everything covered for you in this article.
However, before moving further, let’s learn about all the nutritional benefits of dragon fruit.
Nutrition in dragon fruit
|NUTRIENTS||AMOUNT (per 100g)|
|Vitamin C (mg)||6.4|
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid, which plays a massive role in many body functions, including the formation of collagen, and the maintenance of bones and teeth. It is found in fruits and vegetables and especially in citrus fruits.
- According to studies consuming Vitamin C can increase your blood antioxidant level by 30%.
- In addition to this, Vitamin C also has many other benefits like it helps lower the risk of chronic disease, lower the risk of heart disease, and boost the immune system.
- Magnesium: Dragonfruit holds a good amount of magnesium, which provides several benefits to guinea pig body as it helps to fight with depression.
- It helps to regulate blood pressure, protect our body from type 2 diabetes, and help to aid migraines and also protects our body from several other diseases.
- Dietary Fiber: Dragon fruit also contains a decent amount of fiber, which gives many benefits to our body.
- It helps to regulate cholesterol levels; it also protects our body from intestine cancer and provides relief against constipation.
- Calcium: Dragon fruit also contains a good amount of calcium. We can say that calcium works as a fuel for the proper functioning of our body.
- Calcium is a mineral that is very much important for life. Around 99% of the mineral in our body is in the bones and teeth, which very much reflects its role in our body.
Are guinea pigs able to eat dragon fruit?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat dragon fruit as it is a vibrant source of Vitamins and antioxidants and also provides numerous benefits to our guinea pigs.
Here are some benefits of feeding dragon fruit to your guinea pigs:
- Rich in Vitamin C: Vitamin is most important for guinea pigs as it helps to prevent scurvy and illness. Guinea pigs cannot develop Vitamin C on their own. So serving dragon can supplement the Vitamin C requirement in our guinea pigs.
- According to studies, an adult guinea pig should intake 25mg of Vitamin C daily, and a pregnant guinea pig should intake 30-40mg of Vitamin C daily.
- Antioxidants: Dragon fruit holds a good amount of antioxidants that protect our guinea pigs from several heat diseases, protect body cells against free radicals, and also prevent many other types of health conditions.
- Hydration: Dragon fruit has a high water content, which gives several benefits to our guinea pigs as it helps to stay hydrated and protect against several other diseases. Water is an essential requirement of our guinea pigs as it helps them to stay healthy and active.
- According to studies, guinea pigs require 80-100mls of water per day. Dragon fruit can supplement the water requirement of our guinea pig.
Is dragon fruit bad for our guinea pigs?
Dragon fruit is good for guinea pigs as it provides many nutritional benefits to our guinea pigs. But as it is a fruit that contains sugar and sodium, it cannot be served daily.
Serving in an excessive quantity can be a terrible idea. Let us discuss some hazards of serving excessive dragon fruit to your guinea pig.
- Diabetes: Dragon fruit also contains a good amount of fructose(sugar) which, if taken in excessive quantities, can harm our guinea pigs. Our guinea pigs have a susceptible and fragile digestive system that can not handle sugar well. Intaking high fructose can even lead to diabetes and other severe health issues to our guinea pigs.
- Obesity: Obesity is a common problem in guinea pigs that can happen by feeding them too many calories. Sugar is one of the major culprits behind obesity problems in guinea pigs. Guinea pigs should be served with a low sugar diet.
- Urinary Issues: Dragon fruit also holds a decent amount of calcium, which, if taken in an excessive quantity, can result in too many urinary complications to our guinea pigs like urinary stones, pain, or infections in the urinary tract.
- With growing age, the requirement of calcium decreases in our guinea pigs. Calcium is required initially for the formation of bones.
Serving an excessive amount of dragon fruit can also lead to an intestinal problem in our guinea pig.
How often can guinea pigs eat dragon fruit?
Our guinea pigs can eat dragon fruit 1-2 times a week as a treat in a moderate quantity as moderation is a key to a healthy life.
Also, make sure you space out the serving and not serve them dragon fruit back to back.
For example, If you serve cherry on Wednesday, then the next meal of cherry should not go before Saturday.
It would be ideal if you keep a gap similar to this and make your own feeding schedule.
Dragon Fruit must not be included in their regular diet as it contains a good amount of sugar. Their regular diet must consist of fresh hay and veggies.
It is recommended to serve dragon fruit just as a treat and follow it with veggies like lettuce, bell peppers, cucumber, zucchini, carrots, etc. to create a healthy and balanced diet for your guinea pigs.
How much dragon fruit can we serve to our guinea pigs?
You can serve a small slice of dragon fruit to your guinea pigs. Do not exceed the suggested quantity while serving.
As it contains a decent amount of fructose, it cannot be served daily. Too much sugar can lead to diarrhea and obesity in guinea pigs.
Always remember that fruits like dragon fruits are not the major part of your guinea pig’s diet.
The staple part of your guinea pig’s diet is Hay and Vegetables, and you should keep it that way.
Can guinea pigs eat dragon fruit skin?
Guinea pig can’t eat dragon fruit skin as it is too hard and can not be chewed by our guinea pig.
The skin may also contain harmful chemicals that are bad for our guinea pig’s health.
Can guinea pigs eat dragon fruit seeds?
Yes, Guinea pig can eat dragon fruit seeds as they are tiny and soft.
It also contains a decent amount of protein, which provides numerous benefits to our guinea pigs.
Can guinea pigs eat dragon fruit leaves?
No, guinea pigs should not be served with leaves of dragon fruits.
As there is no concrete evidence, if it is safe or not for our guinea pigs, it is better to stay on the safe side and avoid feeding those to our guinea pigs.
How to prepare dragon fruit for your guinea pigs?
Preparing dragon fruit for your guinea pigs can be simple and straightforward. Here are some simple steps you should follow to prepare dragon fruit for your guinea pig.
- The first step is to select a ripe dragon fruit for your guinea pig. You can identify between ripe and unripe dragon fruit as the exterior skin color of ripe dragon fruit is red or yellow while as unripe dragon fruit is green in color.
- After selecting a dragon fruit, the second step is to wash it properly to ensure that there is no dirt on the surface.
- The third step is to cut the dragon fruit and take the flesh out of it as a guinea pig cannot eat it with its skin as it is too hard. You can serve a small scoop of fruit and not more than that as it contains a decent amount of sugar, which, if served in an excessive, can cause harm to your guinea pig.
- Now you can either hand feed the dragon fruit or throw it in with other veggies.
- Lastly, you need to remove any uneaten fruits or vegetables from the cage to avoid fly and rats infestation in the cage.
Conclusion: Guinea pigs and Dragon fruit
- Dragon fruit is a very delicious fruit that originated in Central America, South America, and Asia. It has numerous benefits for humans as well as guinea pigs as it helps to fight with chronic disease, helps to boost the immune system, and also protects against several diseases.
- You can serve dragon fruit to your guinea pig 1-2 times a week in a moderate quantity and not more than that as it contains a good amount of fructose and calcium.
- Overfeeding of dragon fruit can lead to significant health issues to your guinea pig-like diabetes, stomach cramps, and many other health diseases.
- You cannot serve the skin of dragon fruit to your guinea pig as it is too hard and not edible while you can serve the seeds of the fruit as it is tiny and soft.
- Dragon fruit cannot be served in guinea pig regular diet. It can only be served as a treat to our guinea pig. Their regular diet must consist of fresh hay and veggies.
Sources: Health Benefits of dragon fruit, dragon fruit for Weight Loss, Heart Health & Good Sleep, Diet Composition and Mineral Balance in Guinea Pigs, Dietary Vitamin C, and Vitamin E on Guinea Pig Immune Responses to Mitogens, Vitamin C requirements of the guinea-pig, Is Your Guinea Pig’s Diet Providing the Right Nutrients? Care of Guinea Pigs.
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