Are you having a tough time planning a diet for your guinea pigs?
Well, guinea pigs can be picky when it comes to their food.
And you never really know for sure whether your guinea pig will eat something or not until you give it to them.
Pellets, hay, freshwaterare their basic needs. But fruits and vegetables make for great treats.
Tomatoes, for instance, can be great treats for your guinea pigs.
Tomatoes are juicy and delicious. And your guinea pigs will enjoy them just as much as you do.
However, unripe tomatoes are poisonous for them. They contain solanine and tomatine, which are toxic and extremely harmful.
The same thing applies in the case of tomato leaves and the plant itself.
Ripe tomatoes contain some amount of tomatine. But the amount is negligible and poses no risk to your guinea pig’s health.
Tomatoes, just like any other fruit, has sugar in it. And sugar can be concerning.
Why is sugar not recommended for guinea pigs?
Guinea pigs cannot digest excess sugar.
Excess sugar can give your guinea pigs diarrhea and indigestion.
This is why you need to moderate the amount you’re giving them.
A couple of slices, once or twice a week, wouldn’t do any harm.
How can your guinea pigs benefit from tomatoes then?
One cup of tomato contains 32% vitamin C.
Guinea pigs cannot make their vitamin C.
This is why it is essential to include it in their diet. Tomatoes fulfill that requirement.
Minerals, such as copper, manganese, zinc, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and iron are present in tomatoes.
More benefits include the presence of Vitamins K, A, E, B12, B6, folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, etc. in tomatoes, and the list goes on and on.
Tomatoes can help with improving your guinea pig’s immune system. It also helps to heal the body faster in case of an injury.
The minerals and vitamins in tomatoes come together to fight cancerous growth in the body.
They also help reduce the risk of neurological diseases and fight obesity.
The list of disadvantages of tomatoes isn’t that long
The green part of the tomato plant is poisonous for your little pals.
The stalk and leaves are toxic as well. Pesticides on the tomato skin pose a severe health hazard.
This can be dealt with, with a thorough wash and some apple cider vinegar.
Rinse the tomatoes with water to remove radicals, and rinse with the vinegar afterward.
How to prepare tomatoes for guinea pigs?
Tomatoes are easy to prepare.
Select only the ripe and red tomatoes to give to your guinea pigs.
As mentioned earlier, wash them with water and apple cider vinegar.
Cut them into small slices, remove all the seeds, and they are ready to serve. The green parts of the fruit should be eradicated.
If you’re planning on introducing variations into your guinea pig’s diet, tomatoes can be a great option.
But just like any fruit or vegetable, tomatoes can only be fed as treats.
So, a few slices, once a week, should be enough to make them happy little munchkins.