Strawberries, both wild and garden varieties, are a safe fruit to give your guinea pigs. But, as with all fruit, strawberries do contain a fair amount of sugar, around 5%. So although it is okay to feed strawberries to a guinea pig, you should be careful how much and how often they are allowed to have them.
Let’s take a look at how much of the strawberry and the strawberry plant a guinea pig can eat, how often this fruit should be included in their diet, and how good they really are for your guinea pigs.
Unlike the top of a tomato, which is toxic to guinea pigs, the strawberry top is edible, and your guinea pigs can safely eat these. The green leafy top of a strawberry may even be better for your small pets than the strawberry itself, as it won’t have the high sugar content and is packed with antioxidants.
When feeding a strawberry to your piggy, leave the top on and see if they like it. Most guinea pigs do enjoy the strawberry greens.
If you are preparing strawberries for yourself or your family, don’t waste the tops of your strawberries, but add them to your guinea pig’s daily fresh food portion.
By strawberry leaves, we mean the leaves that grow on the actual plant rather than the greens at the top of the strawberry. In fact guinea pigs can eat the strawberry leaves too.
You’ll find some of the ready made forage mixes for guinea pigs, such as the Vita-Licious Essentials from Small Pet Select, contain dried strawberry leaves mixed in with other dried forage.
As with the strawberry tops and leaves, the green strawberry stems are also safe for your guinea pigs to eat.
Strawberry seeds are found on the surface of the strawberry, slightly embedded into the fruit. They are tiny and perfectly safe for guinea pigs to eat.
Although we don’t recommend buying a packet of strawberry seeds to feed to your guinea pig, the seeds within a fresh strawberry are a highly nutritious part of the fruit which your guinea pigs can enjoy.
In our poll, we asked guinea pig owners if their guinea pigs liked strawberries. 69% said yes and 31% said no. So most guinea pigs, about two thirds, like strawberries, but a third don’t. Even if your guinea pigs don’t like the strawberry itself, they may like the tops of the fruit, so it’s worth offering them the leafy part to see what they think.
Like all fruit, we only recommend giving strawberries to your guinea pigs a couple of times a week. Although strawberry is lower in sugar than many other fruits, it still has high levels of sugar compared to most vegetables.
Too much fruit can cause diarrhoea in a guinea pig, so never fill a bowl with strawberries for your small pets. A small piece – a very small mouthful sized piece for a human, is enough for your guinea pig.
Guinea pigs can eat a whole strawberry if it is a very small baby fruit. Strawberries come in many sizes, and some can be quite large. A quarter of a large strawberry is often plenty depending on how big it is.
Baby guinea pigs can eat strawberries but, just a very small bite sized amount for them is enough. It’s best for them to get their nutrition from good fresh, green leafy veggies.
Strawberries are good for guinea pigs in moderation. They are one of the better fruits to give a guinea pig as they are much lower in sugar than most other fruits.
With vitamin C being one of the most important nutrients for guinea pigs, we should look at how much of this vitamin is in a strawberry. A surprising fact is that strawberries have about six times as much vitamin C as blueberries and about 18 times more vitamin C than grapes!
Guinea pigs should only eat fresh strawberries or dried strawberries that are 100% natural with no sugars or artificial additives. Frozen or tinned strawberries are not a suitable food for guinea pigs.
Below is the nutritional value per 100g of strawberries