Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apples?

Published Jul. 17, 2023
Guinea pig next to apple

A healthy guinea pig diet consists of hay, grasses, and leafy green vegetables. Other foods such as fruits can be offered to your piggie in moderation, with some offering more nutrients and benefits than others. Apples are one such food!

Key Takeaways

  • Apples are good for guinea pigs.
  • Apples are high in vitamin C, a critical vitamin for guinea pigs.
  • Veterinarians recommend removing apple seeds prior to feeding due to choking hazard.
  • A serving of one ½-inch cube twice per week is a reasonable amount.

Are Apples Good for Guinea Pigs?

Not only are apples safe for you to feed your guinea pig, they are also nutritious. Apples are high in vitamin C, fiber, B-vitamins, and flavonoids, all of which are good for guinea pigs.

However, the reason many people like apples is their sweetness, which is a key sign that apples also contain quite a lot of sugar, which isn’t so good for your favorite cavy. So while an occasional small piece of apple is a healthy treat for your guinea pig, it isn’t something that should be given in large amounts or daily. The staple of your guinea pig’s diet should remain a timothy hay, green leafy vegetables, and very small (1–2 tablespoons) amounts of timothy-based guinea pig pellets.

Can Guinea Pigs Be Allergic to Apples?

It would be very uncommon—although not impossible—for a guinea pig to develop an allergy to apples. Much more common is an intolerance of apples, meaning that your cavy isn’t able to digest the apple properly, resulting in an upset stomach, bloating, and diarrhea.

If this happens, immediately stop feeding apple (and other fruits and veggies) and increase the amount of timothy hay that you are feeding. This will often resolve the problem quickly. However, if the diarrhea lasts more than 24 hours or your pig isn’t feeling well, notify your veterinarian immediately. Diarrhea in guinea pigs can be life-threatening.

If your cavy doesn’t tolerate apple on the first feeding, you might find that feeding a smaller amount works better going forward.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apple With Skin?

Absolutely! The skin is where most of the fruit’s fiber and potassium is located, and these are some of the apple’s big nutritional benefits. But if you find that your piggie doesn’t like the apple, it may be due to the skin. Some pigs prefer to have their apples peeled, although this does remove much of the fiber and some of the nutritional benefits of the apple.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Apple Seeds?

Seeds can cause a choking hazard, so most veterinarians recommend removing apple seeds prior to feeding. Apple seeds also contain small amounts of the chemical cyanide, which is unhealthy in large amounts. That said, the occasional seed that has been well chewed is unlikely to cause any problems.

Can Cavies Eat Cooked Apples?

Cooked apples are certainly safe for guinea pigs to eat, as long as nothing has been added to the apples during the cooking process such as sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, or other ingredients. Many piggies will enjoy a small piece of baked or stewed apple!

However, remember that many nutrients are cooked out of our food, so cooked apples will be less nutritious. So although they’re safe, cooked apples are probably best avoided, at least on a regular basis.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Wild Apples?

Your piggy can eat almost any variety of apple, but be aware that they are taste sensitive and are often not fans of tart apples—which many wild apples are. Tart apples are also much more acidic, which can result in mouth sores if your pig overindulges. If you have a sweet wild apple tree that has not been treated with any pesticides, you can certainly share these apples with your furred friend.

Another bonus of wild apples are the branches; guinea pigs love to chew on the wood of apple trees! Cut a good-sized branch to put in the cage and watch your cavy go to town stripping the bark and chewing the wood—it’s good exercise, mental stimulation, and great for the teeth! Even the leaves can be left on the branch, for an additional delicious snack.

How Much Apple Can a Guinea Pig Eat?

Apples should only be fed occasionally because of their sugar content. A serving of ½-inch cube twice per week is a reasonable amount, assuming it does not cause your pet diarrhea.

Piggies do benefit from a variety of fruits and vegetables, which should average about ½-cup per day, but work up to this amount slowly if your pig isn’t used to fresh fruit and veggies. Remove any uneaten fruit after 24 hours and replace it with fresh food. And remember: The bulk of a guinea pig’s diet should be timothy hay and grasses.

How To Safely Feed Apples to Your Guinea Pig

People love to eat their apples in all kinds of ways—in muffins, cakes, stews, fresh, frozen, canned, sauced—but not all of these are safe for your piggie.

In general, fresh and diced apples are best for your friend. Guinea pigs should never be offered baked goods such as muffins and cakes (even if they contain fruits!), as the other ingredients are not good for your pig.

Cooked apples lose some of their nutritional value and, although safe for guinea pigs, aren’t quite as good as feeding fresh. Some pigs—especially those that are sick—will enjoy a small amount of homemade applesauce. The importance of a homemade sauce is that you can control the ingredients; it’s very important that this contains ONLY sauced apples, with no sugar, spices, or other additives.

Dried apples—as well as any other dried fruits—are a choking hazard for piggies. Plus, the drying process concentrates the sugars in the apples, turning them more into a candy than a healthy fruit. Dried apple pieces should be avoided, even ones commercially made for guinea pigs.

Other commercial forms of apples such as canned, pie filling, and frozen, generally have ingredients added and are best avoided. Any apples fed to your pig are best plain, fresh, and washed. If you have concerns that the apples may have been treated with pesticides, removing the peels will help reduce some of this exposure (but peeling also removes some of the nutrients).

A favorite way to share apples with your pig is to make an “apple salad” made up of greens such as spinach or kale topped with carrots, celery, watermelon, and apple pieces. You can both enjoy this delicious and nutritious treat—just remember to not let your piggy overindulge!

What Other Foods Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

Guinea pigs are herbivores in the wild, meaning they eat only vegetable matter. They live in South American forests and have lots of exposure to grasses and high fiber foods. The guinea pig digestive system is not designed to handle heavy loads of sugar or carbs, or even pelleted guinea pig foods. For this reason, a diet of primarily hay and grasses is recommended for pigs.

However, to round out their nutritional profile, a limited amount of pelleted food and vegetables are recommended. If these are new to your pig, start slowly and work over several weeks up to about ½-cup per day of fruits and vegetables. Leaf vegetables such as kale, leaf lettuce, and romaine lettuce can be fed in larger quantities. Some other good choices include:

  • Blueberries

  • Green pepper

  • Pumpkin

  • Tomato

  • Squash

  • Broccoli

  • Cauliflower

  • Endive

  • Carrot tops

  • Beet Greens

  • Kiwi

  • Pear

  • Mango

  • Strawberries

  • Asparagus

  • Melon

  • Cilantro

  • Zucchini

  • Oranges

  • Green and red leaf lettuce

  • Romaine

  • Kale

Featured Image:


Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP


Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP


Sandra Mitchell is a 1995 graduate of the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine. Since graduation, she has worked in many fields...

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