Watermelon can be a delicious, sweet treat, especially during the summer.
But while you love watermelon and want to share it with your pet, is it really safe to share it with your guinea pig?
If so, what about the seeds and rind? How much can you feed them, and how often? How should you prepare it?
We’ll answer all of these questions and more in our article below.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Watermelon?
Yes, watermelon is safe for guinea pigs to eat in moderation. While the sugar in watermelon is natural, there’s still too much for a guinea pig, so we recommend only giving it to your pet every now and then.
Nutritional Information For Watermelon
Watermelon has plenty of nutritional value. It contains the following.
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin C
It also has quite a few anti-inflammatory properties and contains anti-bodies.
So, the vitamins and minerals in watermelon are good for your pet, but only in moderation.
What Are The Benefits Of Giving A Guinea Pig Watermelon?
As previously stated, watermelon contains quite a few nutrients that are healthy for your cavy.
We’ll discuss a few of the benefits to your pet below.
Contains Vitamin C
Guinea pigs need quite a bit of Vitamin C in their diets as well, and watermelon supplies some of that.
There are a variety of health issues that your pet can end up with from a lack of Vitamin C, including a loss of hunger, digestive problems, loss in hair coat health, joint problems, and more.
Helps With Hydration
We all already know that watermelon is full of water and that water will help a guinea pig stay hydrated. However, it’s essential to note that watermelon is not a substitute for fresh water for your pet.
You should always have fresh water available for your cavy; however, watermelon can be an added source for extra hydration.
The Vitamin A in watermelon actually comes in the form of beta-carotene. This is a good thing because guinea pigs need beta-carotene to be healthy.
We’ll list some of the reasons why guinea pigs needs Vitamin A below.
- Bone health
- Support of their immune system
- Reduces the risk of some cancers
These are just a few of the benefits of giving your furry little friend watermelon on occasion.
There are also a few risks involved, so we’ll go into them in our next section.
What Are the Risks Of Giving Watermelon To Your Guinea Pig?
Although watermelon has benefits, there are also some risks involved with feeding it. Here are a few of them.
While watermelon seeds aren’t harmful to guinea pigs, it is possible for the seeds to become lodged in the throat of the tiny creatures.
Accordingly, it is better to remove the seeds before feeding watermelon to your cavy.
As previously stated, the sugar in watermelon is a lot for a guinea pig’s system to handle.
While the natural sugars in watermelon isn’t too much for us humans, it presents a whole set of problems for guinea pigs, who aren’t used to it.
We’ll list a few of the possible results of too much sugar below:
- Digestive problems
- Other health issues
Watermelon has quite a good deal of fiber, which offsets some of the sugar in it. However, it’s still best to only feed your cavy this fruit sparingly.
How Often Can You Feed Watermelon To Your Guinea Pig?
First, it’s best to keep the serving size of watermelon small by only giving your pet one to two one-inch chunks of watermelon at a time.
Our recommendation is to only feed any guinea pig watermelon chunks once a week, to avoid the problems that could develop due to its sugar content.
How To Prepare Watermelon For A Guinea Pig
Below are a few tips you should keep in mind with how to safely prepare watermelon for your pet:
This step actually applies to any human foods you feed a guinea pig. You never know what chemicals may be lingering on the watermelon and the rind, so wash it first.
You’ll want to make sure you remove the seeds from the watermelon to avoid them becoming a danger to your guinea pig.
If the seeds are hidden in the watermelon pieces, your guinea could easily swallow one and start choking before you realize what’s happening.
While cutting the watermelon into dicey chunks isn’t mandatory, in our opinion, it serves two purposes.
First, it allows you to check for and get all of the seeds, and second, it helps you control the portion you’re giving your cavy.
Once you’ve completed the prep above, feel free to give your pet watermelon once a week as a special treat.
Can Guinea Pigs Consume The Watermelon Rind?
Yes, Guinea Pigs can eat watermelon rind. While humans don’t usually like it, guinea pigs will eat it.
We recommend only giving a small portion of the rind at a time by cutting it into small chunks.
The watermelon rind is good to feed your cavy because it doesn’t have a high sugar content like the flesh of the watermelon.
It’s also a good idea to talk to your vet about whether to give your guinea pig the watermelon at all. If you feel that your pet has an allergic reaction to the fruit, stop giving it to him and consult your vet.
Guinea pigs can eat both the flesh as well as the rind of watermelon. However, it doesn’t need to be a part of your pet’s regular diet.
Feeding your cavy watermelon once a week is sufficient as a treat while reducing the risks associated with feeding you pet this fruit.