Can guinea pigs eat cucumber? Yes! Though not particularly nutritious, cucumber is perfectly safe to feed to your cavy in moderation, and it’s a great way to keep your furry friend hydrated in the summer.
Cucumber is mostly water–about 95%. And with the exception of a healthy dose of Vitamin K, it doesn’t provide a lot of nutrients. The good news for piggies, given their propensity for obesity and diabetes, is that cucumber also doesn’t contain very many calories. And as long as you don’t overfeed it, you won’t need to worry about any digestive issues.
The takeaway: cucumber is a great veggie to offer 3 to 4 times a week.
For those that are interested, we’ll take a closer look at why and how guinea pigs can eat cucumber and consider the pros and cons.
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Find out more on what foods are good for guinea pigs
Is Cucumber Good For Guinea Pigs?
100% guinea pig approved!
Guinea pigs rely on a varied, healthy diet to supply the vitamins and minerals they need. And in addition to unlimited Timothy hay and fortified pellets, they need a full cup of vegetables every day to ensure that they get the nutrition required to keep them in top shape.
Leafy greens like arugula, chard, and parsley, as well as tubers like sweet potato and carrot, help to round out a guinea pig’s diet. Cucumber can be a great addition to these staples–and most guinea pigs adore it!–but it doesn’t pack the nutritional punch cavies need to top-up their vitamins and minerals.
Cucumbers contain trace amounts of Vitamins C and A and magnesium and potassium, but they’re mostly water. Nonetheless, with almost no sugar, carbs, or calories, this veggie makes a great snack since piggies love the taste and texture.
And in the hot summer months, that extra water can help keep your cavy hydrated, which is always a good thing.
Is Cucumber Bad For Guinea Pigs?
Too much of a good thing can be a problem.
From the perspective of nutrition, cucumber doesn’t have much to offer. It’s best to think of it as an “empty” snack, something that your cavy will love but which isn’t an important part of its diet.
The only real risk with cucumber is that its very high water content–roughly 95%–can cause diarrhea if your little buddy eats too much. That’s not good, and though it may not sound like an issue, diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration.
You may have read about the trace amounts of calcium in cucumber, but we really don’t think that’s something to worry about. We’re talking about really, really small quantities, without oxalates to bind to, so bladder and kidney stones aren’t likely to originate from cucumber in your cavy’s diet.
Diarrhea and other tummy troubles are really the only problems we’re aware of.
The bottom line: don’t overfeed cucumber.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cucumber Skin or Peel?
The cucumber skin or peel is perfectly safe for guinea pigs, and for many little munchers, it’s their favorite part!
Remember to save the peels for your furry friends!
There’s no reason that you can’t save the peels you trim from the cucumbers in your salad and offer them as a treat several times a week. In fact, many pet parents find their guinea pigs squeaking in delight when they see the dark green peels headed for their cage.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cucumber Seeds?
Cucumber seeds are perfectly safe for guinea pigs, though many cavies prefer the skin.
How Much Cucumber Should a Guinea Pig Eat?
2 to 3 normal slices of cucumber, 3 to 4 times a week is plenty.
If you feed your cavy the peel instead, offer roughly that same volume 3 to 4 times a week.
How Should You Prepare Cucumber For Your Guinea Pigs?
If you buy your cucumbers from the produce aisle in your grocery store, chances are, they’ve been sprayed with pesticides. You should know that there is some scientific discussion about pesticide contamination of cucumber flesh, meaning that some chemicals used to control pests actually penetrate the peel and are absorbed by the flesh within.
What does this mean for you?
It’s probably best to grow your own or buy organic.
Even after washing, cucumber peel can retain pesticide residue. And while the amounts probably won’t bother you, even trace amounts might be enough to make a tiny cavy sick, especially since the peel is often their favorite bit.
If you do buy organic–or have access to home-grown–a simple rinse in clean water is probably enough.
For regular store produce, we recommend a thorough soak in a vinegar and water solution. As Laura Fisher from Real Simple explains, it’s really easy. “Fill a large bowl with four parts water to one part white vinegar. Place the [cucumbers] in the bowl so that they are completely submerged with the vinegar wash, and soak for 20 minutes. Rinse the fruit thoroughly under cool water and pat dry with cloth or paper towels.”
Cucumber can be a fantastic addition to your guinea pig’s diet, provided that you keep the following in mind:
- Cucumber isn’t particularly nutritious, but it does have a high water content.
- That can help keep your guinea pig hydrated in the summertime, but too much can cause diarrhea.
- Guinea pigs can eat the peel, flesh, and seeds.
- Cucumber can be contaminated with pesticides, and the peel is particularly troublesome.
- We recommend home-grown or organic cucumbers, or a thorough soak in a vinegar/water solution.
- A good serving size is 2 to 3 normal slices, 3 to 4 times a week.
If you stick to these guidelines, your guinea pig is going to love cucumber time!