So, can guinea pigs eat butternut squash? Yes, in moderation. It’s healthy for them, and most enjoy it as it is quite sweet. The amount of benefits your pet can get from butternut squash is a long one, but don’t worry! I listed it in this article.
As with any pet, we always make sure that they are healthy and happy. One way to make that happen is knowing what and how to feed them. It’s no easy task, especially if we want to ensure that we’re providing them properly and with the food they need and enjoy.
I can relate to this because I am a guinea pig owner too! I always make sure that Ginger is eating the right kinds of foods, mostly hay, vegetables, and fruits.
Nevertheless, you’d want to learn more about butternut squash so keep on reading!
Butternut Squash – What Are They?
Starting, we first need to understand what it is that we’re feeding them. Butternut squash is a seasonal fruit. It’s more prominent in Australia and New Zealand; natives call this fruit gamma or butternut pumpkin.
Butternut squash, contrary to popular belief, is a fruit rather than a vegetable. It is mostly available during the winter season, as you might see it served on Thanksgiving tables.
Its looks and taste give a sweet and nutty taste, and it gets sweeter the riper it gets. The flesh is a bright orange(why orange to Guinea pig) tone, much like a pumpkin(why Pumpkin to Guinea pig). It also has an abundant amount of seeds inside. It’s somewhat elongated with a ballooned-up bottom.
Benefits Of Feeding Butternut Squash To Guinea Pigs
Can guinea pigs eat butternut squash? It’s incredibly healthy, as it has all kinds of vitamins and minerals that your guinea pig needs for a supplement.
Loaded with vitamins and minerals
Starting with Vitamin C, it is essential for your pet because it helps your guinea pigs metabolize better and fight off possible infections. It also has Vitamins E and K for additional immunity, healthier skin and fur, and strong bones. Things your pet needs to live out a happy and healthy life.
It’s also packed with Manganese, Vitamin A, Magnesium, and Iron that all work together to ensure that your guinea pig is healthy. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that works to make sure that your pet is clean on the inside. Magnesium and Iron are good for developing muscles and healthy blood.
Provides proteins and carbohydrates
Butternut squash also has Natural Protein and Carbohydrates necessary for growth and gives your guinea pig the necessary energy for the day. Being cute and adorable all day is hard work, and proper nourishment is vital. (please read here why Guinea pigs are so cute)
Risks To Look Out For
Abundant in Calcium
It is important to note, however, that it contains a lot of Calcium. And it’s something you should regulate with your Guinea Pig. That is why Zucchini is preferable for your Guinea Pigs because they are low in Calcium.
Nevertheless, if prepped correctly and served in proper amounts, the butternut squash can prove to be beneficial for your pet.
How Do I Feed It To My Guinea Pig?
It is important to scoop out the seeds first using a spoon because its seeds are a choking hazard. The best way to serve them is by cutting them into proportionate cubes.
Leaving the skin on is fine, but make sure that you clean it well. You have to make sure that you’ve washed off possible insecticides that may have been used on them.
As mentioned above, it needs to be served in moderation; here’s what your pet can get in 100 grams of a butternut squash:
- 1 gram of protein for slow energy release
- 6 grams of carbohydrates for fast release energy
- 33mg phosphorus
- 10% Vitamin E
- 1% Vitamin K
- 9% of both Iron and Magnesium
- 354% Vitamin A
- 1% Manganese
- 48 mg of Calcium
- 2 grams of fiber
All of these minerals and vitamins has its benefits and risks for your pet. Read on as we analyze it to ensure that you’re feeding your Guinea Pig all the nutrients they need.
Do Guinea Pigs Love Butternut Squash?
Much like children, feeding them healthy snacks isn’t the easiest task. For guinea pigs, although herbivores, preference still varies. Some like, while some don’t. If you want to feed it to your pet, we suggest that you serve it in small amounts.
It’s healthy for them, but whether they enjoy it or not is not for certain. So you might want to opt to try it out on guinea pigs before you invest in a whole bunch. Gauging whether it’s palatable for them or not is necessary to make sure that they enjoy it.
I also struggled with my pet’s diet before. Ginger is quite picky with its food, but I didn’t force it to like it. Regardless, Ginger is now eating healthy, which makes me happy!
So what are the pros and cons of feeding butternut squash to your pets?
- It’s packed with vitamins and minerals that would be of great benefit to your Guinea Pigs
- The riper the fruit is, the sweeter it is
- Most guinea pigs like it, but not all, so it’s necessary to gauge your pet’s preference first
- The skin can be fed along with the actual fruit, but make sure to wash it
- Butternut squash does not contain any cholesterol, so that it won’t cause any cardiovascular issues in the long run
- Butternut Squash has high Calcium in it, so you need to feed it in moderation
- The seeds are a choking hazard, so make sure you scoop them all out first
- Butternut Squash also has oxalic acid, which, if eaten too much, can cause damage to their sensitive stomachs
- Consuming too much may cause diarrhea because it’s a fruit with a high water count
Things to consider
Now that you’re aware of the benefits and risks of feeding your guinea pigs butternut squash, here are the things that you need to know.
- Feed moderately. 2-3 times a week would be enough. Consuming too much of it would be hazardous for your pet’s health
- The skin of butternut squash can be eaten as well but make sure that it’s cleaned well
- Be sure to scoop out all the seeds as it is a choking hazard
- Butternut squash has lots of benefits that will do well for the health of your pet
- Please do not feed them the leaves or stems of the fruit
Guinea pigs are precious beings, and along with their innate cuteness comes a list of responsibilities.
Can guinea pigs eat butternut squash? To answer the question, yes, butternut squash can be fed to guinea pigs in healthy moderation. I want to ensure that you’re feeding them right, so it’s only expected that proper research is done before you feed them anything new.
Overall, butternut squash contains healthy minerals and vitamins, so you can go ahead and give them a try. Make sure that your cavies like them though, a taste test should be appropriate. Since my ginger loves it, I hope your pet will enjoy eating butternut squash too! Good luck.