Guinea pigs can eat cucumber peels. The peels are actually the most nutritious part of a cucumber because they are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. As with most fruits and vegetables, cucumber peels should only be given in small portions and as part of a well-balanced diet.
What You'll Learn
Guinea pigs love to eat their vegetables, and cucumbers are a refreshing summer treat to help your piggie cool off in the hot weather. Because cucumbers are mostly water, they can help keep your guinea pig hydrated and refreshed.
But can you feed your guinea pig the skin of cucumbers? Yes! Here are some important things to keep in mind when preparing cucumber peels for your guinea pig.
Are Cucumber Peels Healthy For Guinea Pigs?
All parts of cucumber are safe food to give your piggie. They can eat the peels, flesh, seeds, and even leaves. But cucumbers do not contain all the nutrients guinea pigs need to thrive. Although cucumbers are mostly made up of water and very low in nutrients, the peels and skins of fruits and vegetables are actually the most nutrient-dense part. Your piggie might even like the peels of cucumbers the best!
Cucumber peels are low in calories, fat, sugar, and carbs. All great for a guinea pig diet! This can help regulate blood sugar and prevent a guinea pig from becoming overweight or developing diabetes.
Vitamins and Minerals
Cucumber peels contain many vitamins and minerals that are great for guinea pigs. Vitamin A helps keep your guinea pig’s eyesight healthy. Cucumber peels contain about 1% vitamin A.
Vitamin C is an important component of a guinea pig’s diet to prevent scurvy. Since they cannot make this vitamin themselves, guinea pigs need to eat about 90 mg of vitamin C daily. 100g of cucumber with the peel contains about 3g of vitamin C.
B vitamins help your guinea pig’s heart and brain function. Peels are also rich in potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. These minerals are important for a healthy metabolism.
While the flesh of cucumbers contains little fiber, the skins of cucumbers are also the most fibrous part. Fiber is essential in a guinea pig’s diet for their digestive and dental health.
If your guinea pig is dehydrated and you are trying to find ways to hydrate them, cucumbers with peels are a great option. Guinea pigs love them because they are a crunchy, tasty treat and are 97% water.
How to Prepare Cucumbers Peels to Feed to Your Guinea Pig
Cucumbers with peels should always be washed before giving them to your guinea pig. This eliminates any food-borne bacteria, pesticides, or chemicals that cause illness. It’s also helpful to cut the cucumber into bite-sized pieces to make it easier for your guinea pig to eat.
How to Safely Wash Cucumber Peels
Wash peels in cool water and dry them before serving to your guinea pig. Do not use soap. If you want to be extra thorough, you can use a scrubbing brush and a mixture of one part vinegar to two parts water.
Organic vs. Non-Organic Cucumber Peels
If possible, feed your guinea pig organic cucumbers. But organic produce can be expensive and inaccessible. So, if feeding your guinea pig non-organic cucumbers, wash the skins thoroughly.
Even organic cucumber peels could be contaminated with dangerous chemicals, so all produce should be washed to be safe.
Any plant that may have been treated with pesticides should be avoided. Guinea pigs are very sensitive to small amounts of chemicals, which can damage their livers and kidneys.
Note: Do NOT feed your guinea pigs waxed cucumber peels
Some grocery stores sell cucumbers with a waxy substance on the peels. This wax helps prevent cucumbers from losing their moisture and becoming soggy in the transportation and storage process. This wax is safe for humans to eat, but can be very dangerous for your guinea pig.
Waxed cucumber peels contain pesticides, which could make your guinea pig very sick. Make sure to only feed your guinea pig pesticide-free cucumber peels. If your cucumber peels are waxed, it’s best to remove the skin before feeding it to your guinea pig.
How Often Can I Feed My Guinea Pig Cucumber Peels?
Cucumbers and cucumber peels should not make up a big part of your guinea pigs’ diet. As a general rule, feed your guinea pig a few small slices at a time, about the size of a matchbox. Only feed guinea pigs cucumber peels two to three times a week to avoid health issues. Too many cucumber peels can cause bloating, diarrhea, and stomach pain in a guinea pig.
Cucumber peels contain a class of compounds called cucurbitacins. This gives cucumbers and other summer squash vegetables a bitter taste. Cucurbitacins are perfectly safe in small quantities but can cause diarrhea and even be toxic in large quantities. Remember to feed your guinea pig cucumber peels in small portions.
What to Serve Cucumber Peels With
Your guinea pig’s diet should consist of about 80% hay, 10-15% fresh vegetables and fruits, and 5-10% treats and pellets.
You could serve cucumber peels as part of a guinea pig salad along with romaine lettuce, kale, spinach, carrots, or bell peppers. Or, you can serve cucumber peels alone as an occasional treat.
Keeping a guinea pig’s diet varied in different fruits and veggies can help ensure they receive all the vitamins and nutrients they need to thrive.
Too much of any certain produce can cause health problems. Also, switching up their diet can prevent your piggie from being bored and support a healthy appetite.
Clean Up After Your Guinea Pig
Remember to remove any uneaten cucumber peels and other produce from the guinea pig cage after a couple of hours. Fresh food can rot and mold very quickly. You don’t want your guinea pig consuming any food that has gone bad. This could make them sick!
Cucumber Peels are a Great Treat
Cucumber peels are a perfectly safe treat for your guinea pig on a warm summer day. Be sure to follow these tips to keep your guinea pig happy, healthy, and thriving!
Recommended For You