Apples are one of the most sugary fruits, so it’s important to only feed it in moderation to your guinea pigs. Let’s take a look at what types of apple can be given to guinea pigs, how much and how often they should be allowed to have it, and whether it is safe for your guinea pigs to eat all parts of this popular fruit.
Here are the questions we answer in this article on whether guinea pigs can eat apples:
Guinea pigs can eat both green and red apples, but there are many varieties of apple, with different tastes, textures and colours that they may like.
Generally, green apples tend to be more sour whereas red apples are more often sweeter.
Some apples, including Braeburn, Red Delicious, Pink Lady, Golden Delicious, and especially Granny Smith are quite tart, whereas others, like Fuji, Gala and Honeycrisp offer a much sweeter taste.
Because flavours and textures vary so much, you might find that your guinea pigs have a preference for some types of apple and dislike certain other varieties.
Cooking apples, such as Bramleys, are much more sour than eating apples so we don’t recommend giving the flesh, skin or core to your guinea pigs due to the high acidity.
The skin of an apple, also known as the peel, contains lots of fibre and nutrients, so it is most beneficial to give a piece of apple to your guinea pigs with the skin on, but do wash it first.
Try to buy organic and unwaxed apples if you can get hold of them, and if they’re not too expensive. If you can’t buy organic, they will still be fine to give to your guinea pig with the skin on, but make sure they are washed really well before feeding to your guinea pig.
Apple cores contain a lot of fibre, and, although we don’t usually like to munch on the hard fibrous core, your guinea pig has teeth that are used to chomping through rough hay, so they will have no problem getting their teeth into this part of the apple.
Eating foods that are fibrous helps a guinea pig wear down his constantly growing teeth and keeps them healthy. In fact, if you eat an apple, give them the core or part of the core when you are finished rather than throwing it away.
Although guinea pigs can have apple cores, you should not feed too many of them. We recommend giving apple core to your guinea pigs only once or twice a week at the very most.
People tend to think that guinea pigs can’t eat the apple seeds, also known as pips.
One reason may be because they think a guinea pig will choke on the seeds, but there is no need to worry about this as apple seeds do not pose a choking hazard and neither are they likely to get stuck in your guinea pig’s teeth.
The reason why people think apple seeds are dangerous for guinea pigs, is due to the fact that the seed contains a naturally occurring chemical compound, called amygdalin, which turns to cyanide when crushed or chewed and digested.
An apple seed contains a very minute amount of this chemical and is highly unlikely to cause any health issues, particularly as a guinea pig may only eat one or two at a time, and very occasionally.
If you feed the core of an apple that contains seeds, you needn’t worry about removing them as there won’t be enough to cause any harm. But definitely don’t dish out apple seeds as a treat or pick them out of apples on a regular basis to give to your guinea pigs as this will expose them to higher levels of the toxin which could be dangerous.
So, in short, the odd apple seed your guinea pig eats when given the core, won’t harm your guinea pigs, but if you are at all concerned about any adverse effects, you can easily remove any seeds from the core before feeding it to them.
Don’t worry or panic if you miss one or two pips. If your guinea pigs eats the odd apple seed, it will not cause any harm.
Apples contain a good amount of nutrition but they also contain high levels of sugar. It’s important not to feed too many sugary foods to your guinea pigs as these can have a negative effect on their health.
Vitamin C is an important nutrient for guinea pigs but apples are much lower in this vitamin than many other vegetables. Parsley, kale, mint and even Romaine lettuce have considerably more vitamin C than apples.
So although apples are safe and ok for guinea pigs to eat, they are not one of the best foods for them.
Guinea pigs should NEVER be given a whole apple, or even half an apple, but just a small piece that would be about the amount you might have as a small mouthful. It should never be the main part of their daily fruit and vegetable portion but a small treat on the side.
Some people may recommend feeding your guinea pigs more than this, but large quantities of apple could cause a stomach upset and diarrhoea, so be extremely careful with portion sizes.
Apple is not an essential part of a guinea pig’s diet, and they would be perfectly healthy without it at all.
As with all fruit, apples should be seen as an occasional treat for guinea pigs. Only give them apple once or twice a week, and definitely NOT everyday. Variety in fresh food is very important and leafy veggies or safe foraged weeds should form the main part of their daily fruit and vegetable portion.
Some guinea pigs love apples and others don’t like them at all. Like humans, guinea pigs can be fussy about their food and have certain likes and dislikes.
We asked guinea pig owners, in a poll, if their guinea pigs liked apples. 80% said “Yes” and 20% said “No”, so most guinea pigs do like apples but a few don’t like them.
Baby guinea pigs can eat apple but they also need lots of good nourishment to grow. You should always major on healthy green leafy vegetables rather than including too many sugary fruits in their diet. However, if you do want to give a baby guinea pig some apple, just give them a tiny piece, very occasionally.
Although humans like cooked apple products, guinea pigs should not eat cooked products. Non-domesticated guinea pigs would forage in the wild for grasses, leaves and roots, where cooked food would not be available. Always feed raw vegetables and fruit and stay away from anything that has been cooked.
Applesauce is basically cooked apples with added sugar, and this sweet cooked food should never be given to guinea pigs. Even without the addition of sugar, applesauce is not a suitable food for guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs can eat dried apple but we recommend buying the dried apple that is made especially for guinea pigs like the Small Pet Select Apple Slices which is 100% apple with nothing added. They also have some lovely apple treats which only contain natural ingredients in their Healthy Snackers range here…
Guinea pigs can eat the leaves of an apple tree. In fact, these are more nutritious than the apple itself and apple leaves don’t have the sugar that the fruit contains.
Guinea pigs do like to chew apple sticks but you’re better to break the twigs or small branches off the apple tree yourself rather than buying apple sticks commercially as they’ll be really fresh and will be more nutritious for your guinea pigs.
We like to break off a small branch with the leaves and our guinea pigs so they get the leaves and the wood. They tend to chew off the outer bark and leave the inner part of the wood. But this is good for their teeth and they enjoy nibbling on these tasty apple twigs.
Just make sure the apple tree hasn’t been sprayed with any pesticides or chemicals before giving any of the twigs or sticks to your guinea pig.
It is sometimes thought that too much apple can cause a guinea pig’s mouth to become sore. However, a sore mouth is often caused by a build-up of food in the front teeth, and is more common in older guinea pigs, rather than as a result of eating apple.
However, If your guinea pig already has mouth sores or suffers frequently with this problem, the acidity of an apple may aggravate the soreness. So we advise you don’t give this fruit or any other fruits until the soreness has completely gone or eliminate it from their diet altogether.
Below is the nutritional value per 100g of apple