Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberries

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

In this blog post, we’re going to talk in-depth about whether it’s safe for your guinea pigs to consume strawberries.

We’re going to assume that the majority of you haven’t randomly stumbled across this guide, but you instead have a pet guinea pig and are looking for nutritional guidance on which foods to feed your furry friend. If so, keep reading, you’ll want to make sure that these adorable little animals that bring you a lot of happiness are well taken care of, and live long and healthy lives.

Such a small pet is perfect for families, especially those who have small children. This is because they are easy to care for, and are more cuddly than other common choices of pet, like a hamster, fish, or reptile.

Anyway, let’s talk more about the topic, and give you some of the details behind strawberries, and whether it’s a good idea to feed it to your cavies.

Can my Guinea Pig Eat Strawberries?

The short answer to this question is, yes! Strawberries are a safe food for guinea pigs to eat, but only in small amounts.

Strawberries are derived from the strawberry plant.

Now there are actually three different varieties of this plant, which include June-bearing, ever-bearing and day-neutral bearing. Each of these varieties bears fruit at different times of the year, and for different durations.

There are several types of strawberry plant, including Albion, Northeaster, Tillamook, Earliglow, Quinalt, and more.

However, why is this food the ideal treat for your cavy?

Why are Strawberries Suitable For A Guinea Pig to Eat?

A guinea pig‘s diet is quite a complicated topic.

This is because, your furry friend needs a good varied diet to help maintain nutrient and vitamin levels. Not only this but a balanced diet also helps to prevent imbalanced levels of certain bacteria and fungi.

Guinea Pig Eating Hay

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.

balanced diet for guinea pig/cavy

Thus, strawberry is recommended as a fantastic source of vitamin C, with over 56 mg of vitamin C per 1/2 cup of fresh strawberries [Azeah].

Vitamin C is highly important for your cavies’ overall health, as it helps to support the immune system.

However, as is described above, Guinea pigs have delicate digestive systems, meaning that bacterial imbalances can occur due to a one-sided diet.

And since strawberries have extremely high sugar content, it’s crucial that you do not overfeed your cavy on them, as it can cause diarrhea and even more serious issues.

Therefore, it’s recommended to only feed your guinea pig a strawberry or two on rare occasions, as treats.

Instead, be sure to give your guinea pig constant access to timothy hay. This is because it’s crunchy to eat and subsequently it helps wear down their herbivore teeth, which grow continuously throughout their lives. Therefore, it’s important that your cavy chews on tough vegetation to wear them down. Additionally, because their digestive systems is so complex, it requires high levels of fibre to keep it working optimally. Therefore, hay is the perfect food source!

Remember to feed your Guinea pig on fresh fruit and veggies, including the odd wild strawberry as a treat. Try buying organic so there are no pesticides or unwanted chemicals. And always wash the fresh vegetables and fruit that you buy, to help remove excess soil and dirt.

Some guinea pigs love strawberry tops including the strawberry leaf, where others much prefer to only eat the main part. Either way, both the strawberry and the leaf is fine for your cavy to enjoy.

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

bowl of strawberries

Health Benefits of Strawberries

High in Vitamin C

Strawberries are a rich source of vitamin C. A medium-sized strawberry has approximately 7 mg of vitamin C, where a large strawberry has around 10 mg.

Similarly to humans, guinea pigs cannot create their own source of vitamin C, so they mostly get it from their diet.

Disease Prevention

Strawberries have a range of active compounds which both show protective effects from chronic diseases for humans and animals.

This is due to their level of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Antioxidants destroy free radicals in the body, and help assist the immune system.

Great for the Heart, Brain, and Eyes

Strawberries are packed with lots of vitamins, manganese, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants (These are specifically referred to as polyphenols) including anthocyanins, ellagic acid, quercetin, and kaempferol. Additionally, strawberries are sodium, fat, and cholesterol-free, and are a low-calorie food, meaning that you won’t have to worry about your guinea pig putting on weight whilst enjoying one of these rare treats.

Weight Loss

As we mentioned above briefly, strawberries have no fat, and are ultra low in calories. This means that they are ideal to feed a potentially overweight cavy as a rare treat.

Help to Develop and Maintain Good Bone Health

Strawberries are very good for a human or animal’s overall bone health. This is due to the combination of antioxidants, manganese, vitamins C and K, alongside potassium.

Osteoarthritis Prevention & Relief

Due to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, studies have shown that there is evidence to suggest that strawberries can help to prevent arthritis from occurring in humans. Although further research needs to be done on this for it to be concluded, we think that providing your guinea pig with a strawberry or two as a rare treat, can only be positive for

How Much Vitamin C Should A Guinea Pig Get?

The average guinea pig should get around 10 – 30 mg of vitamin C on a daily basis.

Pregnant guinea pigs will require more than this.

However, an unhealthy guinea pig will ultimately require anywhere from 100 – 200 mg, to provide a boost to its immune system.

Also, if you suspect that your guinea pig is becoming ill, it may be useful to provide more vitamin C, but we suggest seeking medical assistance from a veterinarian for this.

whole strawberries being sliced

Nutrients in Strawberries

Strawberries are packed full of vitamins and antioxidants, this includes vitamin C, K, potassium, manganese, and folate.

According to Nutritiondata, 1 whole, large strawberry, which weighs approximately 18g, has the following nutritional information:


Vitamin A – 2.2 IU

Vitamic C – 10.6 mg

Vitamin D – 0.0 mg

Vitamin E – 0.1 mg

Vitamin K – 0.4 mcg

Thiamin – 0.0 mg

Riboflavin – 0.0 mg

Niacin – 0.1 mg

Folate – 4.3 mcg

Vitamin B12 – 0.0 mcg

Pantothenic Acid – 0.0 mg

Choline – 1.0 mg

Betaine – 0.0 mg


Calcium – 2.9 mg

Iron – 0.1 mg

Magnesium – 2.3 mg

Phosphorus – 4.3 mg

Potassium – 27.5 mg

Sodium – 0.2 mg

Zinc – 0.0 mg

Copper – 0.0 mg

Manganese – 0.1 mg

Selenium – 0.1 mg

Fluoride – 0.8 mcg

Fats & Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids – 11.7 mg

Omega-6 fatty acids – 16.2 mg


How Many Strawberries Should I Give To My Guinea Pig?

It’s highly recommended to only feed your guinea pig a strawberry or two on rare occasions, as treats.

The reason for this is because strawberries have high sugar content, and therefore, feeding your cavy too many strawberries can have severe negative effects on your guinea pig‘s digestion and overall health.

This is also true for citrus fruit, which has high sugar content.

How Should I Prepare Strawberries For My Guinea Pig?

As we’ve tried to emphasize within this article, strawberries should only be given to your guinea pig on a rare occasion, as a treat.

With that being said, one strawberry is really enough for one guinea pig.

For practicality and ease of eating, we recommend slicing the strawberry in small portions.

You can feed your cavy the whole strawberry, including the top and leaves, as these will only help with their overall digestion.

Young Cavy Eating

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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

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

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberries As A Healthy Treat?

Guinea Pigs can enjoy the odd strawberry as a rare treat. And this is healthy because strawberries are naturally high in vitamin C, K, and several antioxidants. However, due to their high sugar content, they should not be fed to your guinea pig on a regular basis.

Instead, focus on feeding your guinea pig a diet that mainly consists of leafy green vegetables.

How Many Strawberries Can Guinea Pigs Eat A Day?

You should not feed your guinea pig strawberries on a daily basis. Instead, it’s recommended by experts to only feed these on a rare occasion.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberries Tops?

Absolutely, the top of the strawberry which includes the leaves are ideal for your cavy to eat, as their herbivore digestive system is more suited to digesting leafy greens.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberry Stems And Leaves?

Yes they can, guinea pigs often enjoy the leaves and stems. They are perfectly safe for consumption.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberry Seeds?

Your guinea pig should have no issues with being able to eat and digest strawberry seeds. And since eating strawberries is a rare treat for your cavy, you can simply leave the seeds in the fruit.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cold Or Frozen Strawberries?

We don’t suggest feeding cold fruit, including strawberries, to your guinea pig, as they have delicate digestive systems. Cold and frozen fruit can subsequently cause your cavy to experience digestive issues, including stomach pain, diarrhea, and more.

Can Guinea Pig Eat Wild Strawberries

Yes, they certainly can.

Can Guinea Pig Eat Dried Strawberries

We wouldn’t suggest feeding your guinea pig dried strawberries, or any dried fruit for that matter. Why? Because we haven’t seen enough research to suggest that their digestive systems are capable of handling it.

Does That High Sugar Content Make Strawberries Bad For Guinea Pigs?

Yes, too much sugar can have a negative impact on your guinea pigs digestive health and even their overall health.

Since their digestive systems are delicate, it doesn’t take much sugary food to cause symptoms of gut dysbiosis, such as persistent diarrhea and other issues like fatigue.

Therefore, you’ll want to restrict how many sugary foods, including strawberries and citrus fruits, that you’re feeding to your guinea pig. Instead, replace these with plenty of leafy greens, including kale, lettuce, cilantro, etc.






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