Can Guinea Pigs Eat Blackberries? [Serving Size, Risks & More]

In this article, our aim is to discuss whether it’s safe to feed blackberries to your guinea pig.

Unless you’ve accidentally stumbled across this page, we’re going to assume that you actually own a pet guinea pig (or several) that you’re looking for nutritional advice for.

We fully understand that you want to make sure that these adorable, loveable animals that will bring so much joy to our lives are properly cared for, and live long and happy lives.

A guinea pig makes for a wonderful pet, especially for families with young children since they are cuddly and easy to handle. However, since guinea pigs are social animals, it is highly recommended that you get two of them, so that they always have company.

These furry creatures are nothing short of adorable!


With that said, let’s examine the topic in more detail and determine whether cavies can consume blackberries or not.

Can my Guinea Pig Eat Blackberries?

The short answer is, yes it’s safe for guinea pigs to eat blackberries.

However, it’s recommended that adult guinea pigs only eat small portions of blackberries (1-2 pieces) up to 2 times per week.

The reason for this is because blackberries have a high sugar content, which if consumed in excess, can result in causing gut issues.

We see a lot of cavy owners will feed blackberries to their pet as a treat, and this is one that is given in moderation.


Additionally, if you decide that you want to try feeding blackberries to your cavy, and it’s the first time in doing so, then it’s highly recommended that you keep an eye on them for 24 hours.

This is so that you can spot any signs of potential discomfort, including bloating or diarrhea, which means that you might avoid giving the fruit to your guinea pig next time, or at least lower the portion size.

It’s also advisable to keep in mind your guinea pig‘s current health when feeding them treats like blackberries.

Therefore, if you’re aware of them struggling to digest certain foods with high sugar content, you can most likely predict the outcome of feeding them these types of berries.

If you do see any worrying symptoms, speak to a veterinarian ASAP.

Now, let’s talk about some reasons why blackberries are beneficial to include as a treat for your guinea pig.

Why are Blackberries Suitable For A Guinea Pig to Eat?

First of all, the dietary needs of guinea pigs’ are quite complex. Why?

In order for cavies to thrive, they need a varied diet that is full of vitamins and nutrients.

Additionally, Guinea pigs have a high risk of developing digestive problems if their diet is unbalanced.

In certain cases, gut problems include imbalances and dysbiosis, which are the result of bacterial and fungal overgrowths that can lead to chronic disease if they are not addressed.

balanced diet for guinea pig/cavy

What is the best diet for Guinea pigs?

As we can see from VCA Hospitals’ advice:

The preferred basic diet for guinea pigs is unlimited amounts of Timothy or other low-calcium hay, supplemented with smaller amounts of commercial, high-fiber, Timothy-hay based guinea pig pellets. Vitamin C should be given each day to help maintain and boost your guinea pigs immune system. Hay should be offered throughout the day. Hay and pellets should be supplemented with a variety of fresh, well-washed, leafy greens or colored vegetables (especially those high in vitamin C, such as bell pepper, tomato, and asparagus).

Other good choices for vegetables include green and red leaf lettuce, Romaine lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, endive, kale, carrot tops, beet greens, cilantro, carrot, and squash. Iceberg or head lettuce has little nutritional value and is mostly water, so it should not be offered.

As you can see from the quoted paragraphs of text from VCA Hospitals, blackberries are not mentioned as a regular food to include in your cavy’s diet. Instead, they clearly show that fresh vegetables should be the priority.

The primary reason for this is due to its high sugar content. High sugar foods put a strain on your cavy’s GI tract, in the short term causing issues like bloating and diarrhea, but in the long term this can lead to more chronic issues, which affect the microbiota, like gut dysbiosis, which can display as symptoms like fatigue. Studies are now showing that imbalanced microbiota can lower the immune system, which negatively affects the body’s overall health.

However, blackberries do have a low number of oxalates which is positive, with only 4 mg of oxalates per cup.

Let’s discuss some of the key nutrients and minerals that blackberries have, which are beneficial for your guinea pig:

Blackberries have a high number of vitamin C, with over 30.2 mg per cup of raw blackberries. Vitamin C is crucial for guinea pigs to prevent conditions like scurvy, as well as prevent other diseases from occurring.

They’re also a great source of vitamin K, which plays a crucial role in the development of bones and in blood clotting. This is why vitamin K is especially important for young/baby guinea pigs.

It also contains key nutrients like fiber (insoluble and soluble fiber), manganese, vitamin E and calcium.

Finally, blackberries have antioxidants such as anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.

It’s recommended that you can feed your guinea pig a small portion of blackberries up to twice per week.

However, if your guinea pig has previous/current medical conditions, please speak to a veterinarian to discuss how you should optimally construct their diet.

Let’s further explore the nutritional aspects and health benefits of blackberries.

wild blackberries

Health Benefits of Blackberries

Blackberries are beneficial to guinea pigs in several ways, including:

Extremely nutritious

As we’ve briefly talked about above, blackberries are incredibly nutritious, particularly for guinea pigs, as they hold some of the most vital nutrtients and minerals that they need.

This includes vitamin A, C, E, B and anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants that give blackberries their deep purple color.

Healthy for the heart

A study from 2003 showed that the antioxidants (anthocyanins) in blackberries were effective in helping protect the heart from heart disease. The limitation here is that this study was shown in human patients, not guinea pigs.

Anti-inflammatory, Antibacterial, and Antiviral properties

According to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Periodontal Research, blackberries possess antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties, which make them an effective natural treatment for tooth infections.

Numerous studies have suggested that blackberries may offer protection against inflammatory conditions due to their anti-inflammatory properties, one such study showed that blackberries reduced inflammation of gastric conditions, such as ulcers, by up to 88%.

blackberries with leaves

Nutrients in Blackberries

Due to their high vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant content, blackberries are considered a highly nutritious food.

Let’s look closer and examine its specific nutrients and their quantities.

According to Nutritiondata, 1 cup of raw blackberries which weighs approximately 144g, has the following nutritional qualities:


Vitamin A – 308.0 IU

Vitamic C – 3.2 mg

Vitamin D – 0.0 mg

Vitamin E – 1.7 mg

Vitamin K – 28.5 mcg

Thiamin – 0.0 mg

Riboflavin – 0.0 mg

Niacin – 0.9 mg

Vitamin B6 – 0.0 mg

Folate – 36.0 mcg

Vitamin B12 – 0.0 mcg

Pantothenic Acid – 0.4 mg

Choline – 12.2 mg

Betaine – 0.4 mg


Calcium – 41.8 mg

Iron – 0.9 mg

Magnesium – 2882 mg

Phosphorus – 31.7 mg

Potassium – 233.0 mg

Sodium – 1.4 mg

Zinc – 0.8 mg

Copper – 0.2 mg

Manganese – 0.9 mg

Selenium – 0.6 mcg

Fluoride – 0.0 mcg

Fats & Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids – 135 mg

Omega-6 fatty acids – 268 mg


blackberries being served

How Many Blackberries Should I Give To My Guinea Pig?

It’s recommended to only give your guinea pig a small portion of blackberries (maybe 1 or 2 pieces) up to twice per week.

We’ve read that some owners will feed their cavy more than this, but we suggest starting off with 1, and then monitor your guinea pig over the next 24 hours, to see if they show signs of bloating or diarrhea.

Some guineas are more susceptible to gut issues, therefore use discretion here. You know your own guinea pig better than anyone else.

It’s crucial that your guinea pig has a balanced diet, which should primarily include fresh hay, pellets, leafy greens such as parsley, spinach, lettuce (romaine & iceberg lettuce), broccoli, zucchini, kale, and more fresh veggies that are nutrient-dense.

Except as rare treats, guinea pigs should not be regularly fed foods that are high in sugar content. These foods include citrus fruit, strawberries, and other sweet berries.

Ultimately, we want to make sure that our small pet has a long and healthy life.

How Should I Prepare Blackberries For My Guinea Pig?

As with any fresh fruit or vegetable, it’s recommended to wash your blackberry with hot water to rinse off any loose dirt.

Additionally, if you cannot find organic blackberries, then we recommend washing them with hot water for a longer period of time. This will help to wash off any preservatives or pesticides which may be on the outside.

As mentioned, you should only give your cavy 1 or two pieces of blackberry per serving, and it’s suggested that these servings can be given once or twice per week.

blackberries with blueberries and other fruits

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

As a guinea pig owner, we understand that you’ll most likely have a lot of questions.

Therefore, we’ve addressed some of the most common FAQs that we see on a daily basis, in regards to feeding blackberries to your cavy. These are as follows:

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Blackberries Every Day?

No, it’s not recommended to feed your cavy sweet potato every day. Instead, 1 tiny portion (1 or two pieces) once or twice per week.

You should instead feed your guinea pig on a balanced diet of fresh food, primarily of hay (timothy hay/alfalfa hay are good options) and fresh, leafy green vegetables.

How should blackberries be given to guinea pigs?

As mentioned further above, you’ll want to wash the blackberries before serving them, especially if they’re not organic.

You can then make sure that your guinea pig can easily eat it, and by simply cutting it into small pieces.

Can guinea pigs eat wild blackberries?

Yes, guinea pigs can consume wild blackberries. These are if not better than farmed blackberries, as they don’t have any chemicals or preservatives.

However, they should be fed to your guinea pig in moderation.

Can guinea pigs eat cooked blackberries?

No, unlike humans, guinea pig‘s digestive systems are not capable of digesting cooked foods.

Therefore, it’s best to stick to feeding them raw blackberries (as a treat) and a veggie diet.

Can guinea pigs eat frozen blackberries?

No, it’s not recommended to feed your guinea pig frozen blackberries. However, they can eat blackberries that have been thawed out and brought to room temperature.

Can guinea pigs eat blackberry leaves?

Yes, blackberry leaves are safe for your guinea pig to eat.

However, it’s best to choose the newer leaves which are less tough to eat.

blackberries with raspberries

What Are The Alternatives To Blackberries For Guinea Pigs?

Since not all guinea pigs will enjoy the taste of blackberries, we understand that you’ll want some alternatives.

Here are some options of other fresh fruit for you to choose from, which are still high in essential nutrients and minerals. However, these should only be given as rare treats:

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Apple






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