Berries are one of the most nutrient-rich fruits on the planet. They contain some of the highest concentrations of cancer-fighting antioxidants, in addition to Vitamin C and an assortment of other vitamins and minerals.
Berries are one of the healthiest foods for humans, and guinea pigs can also benefit from the countless nutrients found in berries. However, it’s important to keep in mind that guinea pigs have evolved over time to consume fibrous forage and grasses.
As such, guinea pigs are not built to digest large quantities of natural sugar often found in fruit. Therefore, it’s crucial to limit berries and other types of fruit to small amounts once or twice a week. Choose one type of fruit or berry per week to reduce excessive sugar in your piggy’s diet.
There are so many different types of berries to choose from, but not all are safe for guinea pigs! It’s important not to go out and pick berries off an unknown tree or bush from outside, as not all berries are safe for consumption. Be sure to research and properly identify any berry before offering it to your furry potatoes. To get you started on this topic, I have a list of 10 of the most popular berries that are safe to feed your guinea pigs.
*Important Note: The quantity of berries shown in the photos is for visual purposes only and not indicative of the correct amount to feed your guinea pig in one serving.
1. Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberries?
Strawberries are one of the most popular berries for humans and guinea pigs alike. These sweet red berries are high in Vitamin C and many other beneficial antioxidants. They do contain some natural sugar, so it’s best to limit your piggies to a single berry once a week as a treat.
However, they are lower in sugar than many other fruits, making them one of the best fruits to offer your guinea pig. Most guinea pigs love strawberries, and you can also feed the leafy tops!
If you grow your own strawberries, you can also offer your furry potato some of the strawberry plant leaves. Many piggies love the leaves and tops even more than the fruit itself. The leaves are much lower in sugar than the sweet berries and can be fed more frequently, up to a few times a week.
2. Can Guinea Pigs Eat Blueberries?
Blueberries are rich in various vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C. They are also one of the most popular favorite foods for guinea pigs. I have 13 piggies and they all excitedly devour any blueberries I offer them.
Additionally, blueberries are one of the highest antioxidant foods on the planet. Antioxidants protect the body by neutralizing harmful free radicals that attack and damage cells. Excessive free radicals in the body can lead to oxidative stress, which puts the body at an increased risk of accelerated aging, cancer, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses. Antioxidants in the diet significantly reduce these risks.
Another little-known fact about blueberries is that they can be beneficial for urinary tract infections. Blueberries are closely related to cranberries. Like their close cousin, they contain substances that can help prevent bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall.
Feeding blueberries can not be used in place of proper vet treatment to cure an active infection, but it may be effective for prevention, especially for guinea pigs that are prone to recurring UTIs.
Blueberries are quite high in sugar and can be a little acidic. This can cause stomach upset or diarrhea in some guinea pigs, so be sure to limit your piggy to 1-2 blueberries once or twice a week as a treat.
3. Can Guinea Pigs Eat Raspberries?
Raspberries are antioxidant-rich and contain some Vitamin C, fiber, and countless other nutrients.
Raspberries have also been shown to produce an anti-inflammatory effect in the body. This can be especially beneficial for older guinea pigs suffering from chronic conditions such as arthritis. Raspberries are believed to be effective against arthritis by limiting COX-2, an enzyme that triggers inflammation and pain.
Raspberries contain a similar amount of sugar to strawberries, so they are a bit lower than many other commonly fed fruits. They are relatively high in oxalic acid, known as an anti-nutrient. However, the amount is minimal in comparison to the small number of raspberries your guinea pig would be eating.
Generally, you can offer your guinea pig 1-2 whole raspberries once or twice a week. If you have raspberry plants, guinea pigs also love the leaves. However, be sure to avoid giving any stems as they are quite prickly!
4. Can Guinea Pigs Eat Golden Raspberries?
Golden raspberries have a similar nutrient makeup to regular red raspberries. Golden or yellow raspberries can be safely fed to guinea pigs once or twice a week. Like regular raspberries, it’s best to limit these sweet berries to small amounts as a treat.
5. Can Guinea Pigs Eat Blackberries?
Similar to raspberries, blackberries make a great treat for guinea pigs in moderation. They are a good source of nutrients including Vitamin C and other antioxidants. However, since they are high in sugar, it’s best to limit your guinea pig to 1-2 blackberries once or twice a week.
6. Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cranberries?
Cranberries contain a healthy variety of vitamins and minerals including fiber, manganese, Vitamin C, and other antioxidants that can benefit your furry potato’s health.
Cranberries also contain phytonutrients called proanthocyanidins which can prevent certain bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder and urinary tract. This cannot cure active bladder infections, but it can help prevent them in many cases. This makes cranberries especially beneficial if your guinea pig is prone to recurring UTIs.
You can feed 1-2 cranberries a week if your guinea pig likes them. However, these berries can be a little tart, so you may find that many guinea pigs are not huge fans. In addition, cranberries can be a bit harder to find fresh than other types of berries.
7. Can Guinea Pigs Eat Currants?
Guinea pigs can eat black, red, and white currants. These berries provide a great source of nutrients for guinea pigs, notably Vitamin C.
Black currants are highest in Vitamin C, containing a respectable 181mg per 100 grams of berries. Red and white currants come in a bit lower, at 41mg of Vitamin C per 100 grams. Currants also provide a great boost of protein, iron, magnesium, potassium, and various other nutrients.
Currants have a bit of a tart flavor, so not all guinea pigs will love the taste of these berries. However, many piggies prefer bitter or sour foods over sweet ones, so these preferences vary wildly from one guinea pig to another. Due to their tart taste, currants tend to be less popular than sweeter berries and harder to find in grocery stores.
However, if you’re able to track down some raw currants and your guinea pigs like them, these berries make a good occasional treat. It’s best to feed currants in small amounts once a week due to their sugar levels.
In addition to the berries, guinea pigs can also eat leaves from the currant plants in moderation. Guinea pigs typically prefer the younger leaves which are more nutrient-rich and less bitter-tasting.
8. Can Guinea Pigs Eat Gooseberries?
Gooseberries are closely related to currants and also provide a rich source of Vitamin C for guinea pigs and humans alike. In addition to Vitamin C, they also contain fiber, potassium, antioxidants, and more.
Gooseberries look a bit like large grapes with veins. They are typically green, but they can come in red varieties as well, which are also safe for guinea pigs to eat.
Gooseberries can be a little bitter, so some guinea pigs may not love the taste. They can also be difficult to find in regular grocery stores. However, they can sometimes be found at farmer’s markets or specialty stores.
These berries contain some sugar and can be a bit acidic, so it’s best to offer them to your guinea pig no more than once a week in small quantities.
Avoid feeding gooseberry leaves, as they contain toxins that are not safe for piggies.
9. Can Guinea Pigs Eat Mulberries?
Mulberries are safe for guinea pigs to eat in moderation. They are high in sugar, so it’s best to feed only a couple of berries once a week or so.
Mulberries are a great source of Vitamin C, plant protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, and more.
Guinea pigs can also eat mulberry leaves a couple of times a week, as long as the tree is not sprayed or treated with any pesticides or other chemicals.
Mulberry sticks and branches are also safe and make great chew toys for guinea pigs.
10. Can Guinea Pigs Eat Goji Berries?
Goji berries, also known as wolfberries, are a very nutrient-rich fruit for humans and provide a great source of Vitamins A, C, and other nutrients. Guinea pigs can eat raw goji berries in moderation, once a week or so in small amounts. However, they can be bitter, so not all guinea pigs will like the flavor.
Goji berries are typically sold as dried berries and can be more difficult to find in their raw, fresh form. However, it’s best to avoid feeding your guinea pig dried goji berries. Dried berries are higher in sugar and the hard, dry berries can also pose a choking risk to your guinea pig.
Also, avoid feeding goji berry leaves and stems as they can contain toxins that are unsafe for guinea pigs.
Berries are one of the healthiest and most antioxidant-rich fruits you can feed your guinea pig. Additionally, many berries make a sweet and delicious treat that piggies love. However, since fruit is generally high in sugar, it’s best to limit your little potato to small amounts.
All types of fruit should only make up a small percentage of your guinea pig’s regular diet, supplemented with plenty of low-sugar and low-calcium veggies.
When offering berries to your guinea pig, it’s best to offer fresh fruit over dried or frozen berries to ensure your guinea pig is getting the full nutritional benefit of the fruit.
For some ideas on what to feed on a regular basis, check out our article 10 Foods You Can Feed Your Guinea Pig Daily. You can also find a complete list of foods for piggies here: The Guinea Pig Food Chart.