Watching a guinea pig eat can be a marvelous passtime. They can make the most adorable faces as they munch away on their fruits and veggies.
In order to thrive, guineas need a colorful diet. However, since there are some items they shouldn’t be eating, you can have a hard time figuring out what to give your piggie. Today we’ll be looking at tomatoes and how healthy they are (or perhaps aren’t?) for your pet guinea pig.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Tomatoes?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat tomatoes, but only the ripe fruits. They should not eat tomato leaves or stems, as they contain tomatine, a poisonous compound, nor should you give them unripe tomato fruit.
As long as the tomato is ripe, you don’t have to worry about the type of tomato you are giving your guinea pig. They can eat all kinds, including cherry, plum and yellow tomatoes.
You don’t have to peel or remove the seeds from tomatoes before giving them to your guinea pig. Both are high in nutrients and they won’t pose a choking hazard to your pet. If you are giving your piggie a slice of tomato with particularly large seeds, you can remove them just to be completely safe.
You also have to thoroughly wash them, to remove any pesticides that could be harmful to your guinea.
You can serve one baby or cherry tomato a day, not more than two or three times a week. If you are giving your guinea pig a slice from a larger tomato, aim for roughly this size.
Since tomatoes are rich in all kinds of vitamins, fibers and minerals, they will help your pet guinea pig live a long and healthy life.
Can Baby Guinea Pigs Eat Tomatoes?
Baby guinea pigs shouldn’t be eating tomatoes. Stick to Alfalfa hay until they turn 3-4 weeks old, when you can slowly start to introduce various vegetables, tomatoes included.
When you first give a young guinea pig a new food, make sure to monitor their behavior and keep an eye out for any unpleasant side effects. While there is no harm in tomatoes, some guinea pigs might have more sensitive digestive systems and the acidity may just not sit well with them.
If your pet vomits or has diarrhea or shows any signs of discomfort, refrain from giving them the food you believe is the culprit for a month or so. Then give it another try, to check if it was just an isolated incident. If they have another bad reaction, simply omit giving them tomatoes: there are plenty of other veggies you can offer. Guinea pigs can eat carrots, so you can try them.
What Types of Tomatoes Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
Guinea pigs can eat all kinds of tomatoes, as long as they are ripe. Cherry, plum and grape tomatoes are the types most owners give their piggie pets.
Aim for tomatoes that are small in size. You can of course also offer your pet a small slice of a much larger tomato, they won’t particularly mind. Cherry tomatoes are just the simplest solution.
Make sure the tomato is ripe but not too soft, and that you have thoroughly washed it.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Grape or Plum Tomatoes?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat both grape and plum tomatoes, as long as they are ripe and thoroughly washed.
You should only give your guinea pig a small amount of tomatoes at a time: no larger than the size of an average cherry tomato. If you are giving your pet a plum tomato, make sure you only give them a slice, and not the entire fruit.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cherry Tomatoes?
Cherry tomatoes are the best kind of tomato you can give your guinea pig. They are sweet and small, and rich in vitamins and minerals.
Cherry tomatoes tend to be less acidic than other kinds, and their size also makes it very easy for a guinea pig to munch on them. Give your pet no more than one at a time, two times a week.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Baby Tomatoes?
Yes, baby tomatoes are a great choice for guinea pigs, as they are often sweeter than some larger varieties. They are also the perfect serving size.
Your guinea pig will love having baby tomatoes. Just make sure you are not giving them more than one at a time.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Tomato Seeds?
Guinea pigs can eat tomato seeds, especially if you are giving them a small tomato, like a cherry or a baby tomato. If you are giving them a bit of a larger tomato, you may want to remove the seeds, just to be on the safe side.
Small tomato seeds are perfectly safe for your guinea pig. They are also full of nutrients, so you definitely don’t need to de-seed a cherry tomato. If you want to share a piece of a large tomato variety with your pet, remove the seeds to prevent choking.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Green Tomatoes?
Green tomatoes are more acidic than the red varieties, so are not the best choice for your guinea pig. Only give them ripe tomatoes, to prevent an upset stomach.
There are green tomato varieties that are completely ripe in green. However, they are still likely to be less sweet than their red cousins, so try to avoid giving them to your piggie.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Yellow Tomatoes?
Guinea pigs can safely eat yellow tomatoes, as they are just as healthy as the red ones. They can also be sweeter, so your pet may even enjoy them more.
Yellow baby tomatoes can be an excellent choice for your guinea pig. They are small, sweet, have tiny seeds and are very easy to eat.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Tomato Leaves?
No, guinea pigs should never eat tomato leaves, as they are actually poisonous. Remove all the stalk and leaves if you are buying tomatoes on the vine before you give them to your pet.
Tomato leaves contain a compound called tomatine, a glycoalkaloid poison similar to solanine, commonly found in the nightshade species. You may have heard of it, as it happens to be one of the most poisonous plants on the planet.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Tomato Stalks?
Guinea pigs should never eat tomato stalks (or any green part of the tomato plant), as they are in fact toxic.
The same compound that is found in tomato leaves resides in the stalk as well, so always make sure you have removed all the green parts (even that tiny green bit of stalk that each individual fruit is attached to) before you give a tomato to your guinea pig.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Tomato Skin?
Yes, guinea pigs can safely eat tomato skin. It is full of fiber, vitamins and minerals, and will be very good for your piggie. Make sure to thoroughly wash the tomato first though.
The skins of veggies and fruits are often the most nutrient-dense part. Since the skin of a tomato is also rather thin, it will pose no danger to your guinea pig. The only issue that can arise is the pesticide that may have been used to treat the veggie and protect it from pests.
Aim to buy organically grown tomatoes if you can. If you don’t know the origin of the tomatoes you buy, but even if they are in fact organic, wash them before serving them, either to humans or guinea pigs.
Can Guinea Pigs Have Canned Tomatoes?
Guinea pigs should not have canned tomatoes, nor any other type of processed food. Canned tomatoes come with additives that are bad for a guinea’s digestive system.
Only give your pet fresh fruits and veggies. Anything that comes from a can or a jar should be off limits for them, as some sort of preservative or flavorant has been added to it, which can be very harmful to your guinea.
Can Guinea Pigs Have Tomato Juice?
Guinea pigs can’t have tomato juice. They should only be drinking clean, fresh water.
Juices contain less fiber than fresh fruits and veggies do, and they also come with added sugar, if you buy them at the store. Even if you were to make your own tomato juice, it still wouldn’t be the best choice, as you will have removed a lot of the nutrients your guinea needs.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Tomato Sauce?
You could give your guinea pig a mashed raw tomato and call it tomato sauce. Never give them processed or home-made tomato sauce that has been cooked or that contains any salt or spices.
Ideally, you want to give your guinea pig a whole raw fresh cherry tomato. You can mash it up for them, but it won’t be as enjoyable a meal.
Don’t give them any type of tomato sauce, as cooked items aren’t good for guineas, since they are not nearly as nutritious as raw food. Plus, guineas can’t cook, so they will have no idea what it is you are offering them. They are used to and need a raw diet.
How Often Can I Give Tomatoes to My Guinea Pig?
You can give your guinea pig one small cherry tomato (or another type of tomato cut into a slice of that size) two or three times a week.
It’s best to keep your guinea pig’s diet varied, and to give them every fruit and veggie a couple of times a week. That way you will ensure that they are getting a well balanced diet.
Plus, eating too much tomato can give your guinea pig bladder stones. The oxalate acid from the tomatoes will bind to calcium and cause stones to form which can be very painful. To avoid them, give your pet foods that are high in this acid in moderation.
How Much Tomato Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
Guinea pigs should eat no more than a small cherry tomato at a time, two or three times a week. If you are giving them a larger variety of tomato, cut it into roughly this size.
Overdosing on tomatoes can lead to health problems in guinea pigs, as they can develop painful bladder stones if they eat too much oxalate acid. Limit their tomato consumption to a couple of cherry tomatoes a week (three days apart), and they will be fine.
Can You Feed Tomatoes to Guinea Pigs Every Day?
Guinea pigs shouldn’t eat tomatoes every day. While they are certainly a very healthy fruit, they can still lead to issues when eaten in excess.
Your aim is to offer your guinea pig a balanced, varied diet. Don’t give them any fruits or veggies more than two or three times a week, in small quantities. That way they will both get all the nutrients they need and enjoy eating a different meal every time.
What Are the Benefits of Tomatoes for Guinea Pigs?
Tomatoes are rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, lycopene and calcium. They will boost your guinea pig’s immune system, improve their bone health, prevent cell damage and keep them hydrated.
Tomatoes can be considered a superfood, both for humans and guinea pigs. Here’s why:
Rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C plays an important role in heart health, immune system function and iron uptake. Without it, guinea pigs can develop scurvy, suffer from a compromised immunity, and develop anemia from a lack of iron.
Vitamin C is also a great antioxidant, and will prevent and slow down cell damage.
High in Potassium
Potassium helps keep a guinea pig’s nervous system and heart healthy. It also helps feed cells with nutrients and remove waste from them. It is essential in managing blood pressure and blood sugar levels as well.
Rich in Lycopene
Lycopene is an antioxidant that prevents cell damage. When paired with vitamin C, it becomes a powerful cancer-prevention compound.
Rich in Calcium
Calcium promotes bone health and a healthy nervous system. It also plays a role in hormonal interactions.
High in Vitamin K
Vitamin K plays an important role in blood clotting. It helps wounds heal faster and is also important for skeletal health.
Full of Folate
Folic acid is a compound vital for the production of red blood cells. It is especially important during pregnancy, as it helps baby guinea pigs develop in the womb. Make sure your pregnant guinea pig gets a regular dose of tomatoes.
What Are the Possible Side Effects of Giving Guinea Pigs Tomatoes
Tomatoes are not toxic to guinea pigs, although there are some risks associated with eating too many of them too often, or eating tomatoes that have been treated with pesticides.
If your guinea pig is allergic to tomatoes, they can have a reaction to them. They may develop a rash, cough and sneeze or start to swell in the throat and face.
Tomatoes are also high in oxalate acid, which can both cause scabs in the mouth and lead to bladder stones, as it binds to calcium.
If the tomatoes you are giving you guinea have been treated with a pesticide, they can also have a reaction to these toxic compounds. Organic tomatoes on the other hand can contain parasites.
As long as you purchase fresh, ripe tomatoes, wash them before serving and don’t give your guinea more than a cherry tomato-sized portion twice a week, they should be just fine.
If you notice any kind of adverse reaction, including vomiting or diarrhea, stop giving your pet tomatoes for a while. They may be too acidic for them.
Wrapping It Up
Tomatoes are very healthy for guinea pigs, and are also a great way to hydrate your little pets. As long as you offer them in moderation, your guinea pig will enjoy all of their benefits.