Imagine savoring these mouthwatering, juicy grapes you just purchased, fresh from the market. Could anything in this world taste any better?
Your guinea pig thinks so too.
In the midst of plucking a luscious morsel, it slips from your hand right into your guinea pig’s enclosure, who immediately makes a meal of it. Oh no.
You know dogs aren’t supposed to have the toxic fruit, but what about guineas? Maybe your piglet already ate it, so what can you do?
Are Grapes Safe for Guinea Pigs?
There is no need to worry at all because yes, a moderate amount of grapes for guinea pigs are completely safe.
In fact, Guinea pigs love grapes because they taste so sweet.
Grapes are even pretty nutritious, offering antioxidants, vitamin C (like in carrots), beta-carotene, and other micronutrients.
- Vitamin C
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin
- Vitamin K and B6
Grapes are a wonderful little treat for guinea pigs on that special, once a week occasion. Too many grapes, frozen grapes, grapes that are too sweet, or grapes with seeds in them aren’t safe for the little ones.
In that way, grapes are similar to cantaloupes, pumpkins, applesauce, persimmons, pineapple, or other types of fruits that are high in vitamin C but should not be offered often and in large quantities.
How Many Grapes Should I Feed My Guinea Pig?
While grapes are nutritious for your little piglets to eat, too much of anything can be bad. Grapes are also sweet, and too much sugar isn’t good for your furry fellow.
The occasional grape or two is a fine treat in moderation, but they should only be offered as an occasional treat. The example given at the beginning of this article would be just fine.
Too many grapes for guinea pigs can lead to digestive problems. One or two grapes per week, again as a treat, is a wonderful idea.
- 1-2 grapes per week
- Cut grapes into sections
- Provide seedless or remove seeds
- Peel skin of grape before serving
This way, enjoying grapes won’t be any issue for your cavy.
Many pet owners are still concerned over the different kinds of grapes or the skin which is why I’ve covered each and every type or part of that tasty fruit.
Can Guinea Pigs Have Black Seedless Grapes?
Many sources say Black (red) grapes are pretty high in sugar content, while others claim they have less sugar than green grapes.
Now that you know grapes are sweet in general and should only be given on rare once a week occasions, it’s best to avoid the sweeter grapes.
Let’s compare the two.
One cup of green grapes contains about 15 grams of sugar. You never want to give your piglet a full cup of grapes, or even more than one or at the most two at a time, but consider the comparisons.
One cup of red grapes contains about 23 grams of sugar. Many green grapes are actually labeled as some type of red grape, or *insert fancy name* Red Grapes, so this can seem tricky.
When it comes to grapes, it isn’t as simple as red, green, or white. There are countless different types and brands.
That is also for an entire cup, which no guinea pig should ever eat. What about a single grape? Sugar is represented by carbohydrates.
USDA- One ‘American type’ grape: about 0.39 grams of sugar
USDA- One ‘European type’ grape: about 1.31 grams of sugar
USDA- 100 grams of Red seedless grapes: 17.39 grams of sugar
USDA- 100 grams Green seedless grapes: 17.39 grams of sugar
They seem to be the exact same. What happened?
If you aren’t sure, why experiment with red grapes for guinea pigs?
Carbohydrates vs. sugars?
This might seem confusing at first since many nutritional labels list both carbohydrates and sugars. They are basically the same thing, or carbohydrates are made up of sugars, starches, and fibers.
Think of glucose or fructose (the sugar in fruit), two simple ‘single chain’ carbohydrates. These are broken down by the body very quickly for a rapid burst of energy.
Complex carbohydrates have a more complicated chemical structure and take longer to digest, composed of longer sugar chains.
Humans use sugars as a primary means of energy production. We can’t digest fiber.
Guinea pigs don’t produce energy in the same way. Unlike us, “it is most likely that the guinea pig can convert fiber to useful energy” according to the National Academies Press.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Grapes with Skin?
Guinea pigs eating grapes are faced with a very small choking hazard if you leave the skin attached, so peeling them is your best course of action. Thanks to their sharp little teeth, these risks are pretty uncommon.
Is the tiny amount of extra fiber offered by grape skins worth the potential hazards? You’re only offering these grapes once in a great while so that extra fiber shouldn’t much matter.
In short, yes guinea pigs can eat grapes with skin but they can pose a choking hazard.
Cutting your guinea pig’s grapes in half or sections makes them even easier to eat, while further diminishing any choking risks.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat White Grapes?
There is less than a gram of sugar in each white grape. Ten white grapes are labeled as having 9.05 grams of carbohydrates.
They aren’t any sweeter than red or green grapes, so guinea pigs can have white grapes.
In fact, white grapes are really green when it comes to their coloring, another example of a misleading name. Evolutionarily, they are derived from a mixing with the red grape.
Can Guinea Pigs Have Frozen Grapes?
Though they may be a fantastically tasty treat for our human friends, frozen grapes are not recommended for guinea pigs.
Frozen grapes, or any frozen foods, are too cold for our little piglet friends.
We talked about a small choking risk presented by grape skins earlier. Small portions of anything frozen presents a pretty big choking hazard if your guinea even bothers to eat it at all.
They may simply not be able to eat frozen grapes at all. The resulting answer is: don’t feed your guinea frozen grapes.
Can Guinea Pigs Have Cotton Candy Grapes?
As some of us already had the pleasure of experiencing first hand, cotton candy grapes are a sweeter ‘designer’ grape made by hybridizing two other species of grapes. To us humans, few other things could surpass the already fantastic taste of normal grapes.
Cotton candy grapes taste a lot like those spectacular cones of spun sugar infused with air we cherished at carnivals as children. These small bits of fruit bring us that happy, content circus feeling every time.
Could the case be different for our cherished pets?
Any guinea pig will absolutely love the surprisingly sweet taste cotton candy grapes offer, and they only contain about 12% more sugar than normal grapes. That being said, they still do contain more sugar than regular grapes.
Can Grapes Kill Guinea Pigs?
If you aren’t careful or vigilant, grapes can kill guinea pigs in certain situations. Remember, these portions might seem minuscule in human terms, but they need to be multiplied by about 100 to be the equivalent of something our size.
Guinea pigs are quite a bit smaller than us (1.5-2.5 lbs). That is about 1/100th of a normal human adult.
Grapes with seeds in them can kill guinea pigs. The little piglets can easily choke on the seeds themselves.
The skin of a grape can kill guinea pigs, though the risk is very small. Again, this can present a choking hazard if you aren’t vigilant, cut it into sections, or peel the grape.
Too much sugar?
Finally, feeding too many grapes can kill guinea pigs if you aren’t careful. These are too high in sugar for them to have more than one or two on select occasions, and overdoing it can cause digestion or other problems.
Too much sugar can impact the balance of your little one’s gut flora, promoting the overgrowth of bad bacteria. In addition to several other problems, you could deal with guinea pig weight gain.
National Research Council (US) Subcommittee on Laboratory Animal Nutrition. Nutrient Requirements of Laboratory Animals: Fourth Revised Edition, 1995. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1995.