To all guinea pig owners around the world – have you ever considered feeding your pet squash? Today we are here to find out the answer!
Acorn squash, better known as pepper squash, has a high nutritional value. But what we are interested in is who can consume all this? Can guinea pigs eat acorn squash?
You would be surprised to learn that your pet can actually consume this, but in certain amounts, of course. In order to be better informed about feeding your guinea pig acorn squash, the extent to which it can be done, and many more interesting facts, stay with us until the end!
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Acorn Squash? A Tasty Treat For Your Guinea Pig
This winter squash brings you good news. Your guinea pig can eat this treat several times a week. According to some expert opinion, guinea pigs are allowed to consume 1 teaspoon of acorn squash 3-4 times a week.
Of course, only raw and fresh acorn squash is considered to be safe for feeding. Serving this in the right way is very important. Let me demonstrate that to you.
First, during the purchase, make sure that the acorn squash does not have any surface damage – any visible black spots, scratches, or bruises. Many sellers know how to sell you rotten and bad acorn squash. Therefore, you should open all 4 eyes!
Next, once you get home, it’s time to clean this food. When cleaning, it is very important that you do not do it in a bad temper. It is recommended to rinse the acorn squash through a couple of cold jets of water.
Even if you leave it in a bucket of water for a few minutes, it’s okay.
TIP: This can help you check if your acorn squash is rotten, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
Next, it’s time to cut and serve the acorn squash. After you have cleaned the acorn squash, this tasty treat should be served carefully. Keep in mind that a guinea pig can’t take too many bites, so the smaller the pieces, the better!
After chopping, put it all in your guinea pig’s food bowl and take it straight to their cage.
Note: Avoid serving acorn squash with added butter or other spread food.
This may be yummy to you, but it’s by no means good for your guinea pig. Also, when it comes to the frequency of serving – don’t go over 4 times a week.
Acorn squash will only bring health benefits to your guinea pig if you serve it in the right amounts – anything that is excessive will only cause side effects that you will regret.
Related Read: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Spaghetti Squash?
Benefits From Consuming
As we said, acorn squash brings benefits only if you serve it to your guinea pig in the allowed quantities. It’s time to list the good sides of consuming.
The first and most apparent benefit is definitely the one that helps the immune system strengthen your guinea pig, especially during the winter. The composition of acorn squash, which we will show on this occasion, contributes to this.
There are also the vitamins that complete the picture.
Maintaining an immune system may be first on the list when it comes to your guinea pig’s health, but these nutritional facts can be connected with other benefits as well.
The amounts of vitamin C in acorn squash are responsible for the development of the body – more precisely blood cells, vessels, tissue, and even teeth. Intake of this vitamin is mandatory, but excessive amounts can cause an imbalance.
Vitamin A, which is also found in this treat, is good for improving your pet’s vision. As they get older, guinea pigs lose their sight, so eating this treat can help with that.
Moreover, the combination of vitamins A and C is responsible for the healthy look of your guinea pig coat. The effects that these two vitamins have when consumed helps keep the hair and skin of your guinea pig healthy, thick, and without falling out.
If you decide to serve this to your guinea pig a couple of times a week, you can count on it not to have a digestion problem. Amounts of fiber in acorn squash contribute to a regular and healthy digestive system.
As you already know, guinea pigs are tiny animals that move a lot. Therefore, they are prone to many injuries and need vitamins that will strengthen their bones.
Acorn squash, which contains magnesium and calcium, helps maintain bone density.
Acorn squash also contains anti-inflammatory properties. This is very useful in case the guinea pig eats something toxic. As an instant remedy, you can serve him a couple of pieces of acorn squash.
The last benefit concerns heart disease. As you know, some of the pads you give your pet are too strong and can lead to a heart attack.
If you stick to an acceptable amount of acorn squash in your guinea pig’s diet, the risk of heart attack will be significantly reduced.
As you could see from the given examples, this is more than a good treat for your guinea pig!
Storing Acorn Squash
The way that you store the acorn squash plays a huge role in its shelf life. Most people don’t pay attention to how they put this food away, so it spoils quickly.
Acorn squash is best kept in your kitchen pantry. There, if you keep it in a dry place away from moisture and in closed containers, it can last for a month.
On the other hand, acorn squash that is already cut should be stored in the refrigerator. It can last much shorter there, 5-6 days at most. Anything beyond that can lead to health problems with your guinea pig.
Here are some tips you should know when storing acorn squash.
- Use wrapping paper – As for storing acorn squash that you bought at the store or at the market, one of the useful tips is to use plastic or zip-lock bags. After chopping it up and putting it in the fridge like this, you can extend its shelf life by a few days.
- Peel it before packing in zip-bags – This applies to acorns that have already been cut. If you want to store them in the fridge, be sure to cut and peel them. The skin of acorn squash is easily perishable and can affect its condition.
- Freezing also helps – Some people choose to freeze acorn squash. This is possible and can extend its shelf life, however, you should know one thing. Once you unfreeze it, everything should be eaten.
After freezing the acorn squash, you should not return it to the freezer, nor give such an icy treat to your guinea pig. Leave it at room temperature to cool off.
Now that you are familiar with some major tips for storing, how will you recognize the moment when acorn squash starts to spoil?
The first sign that your acorn squash is broken is evident black spots on its surface. These are mostly signs of rotting, and you should throw them away right away.
The second sign is not black spots but dents. This is the result of poor transport during which your acorn squash is damaged.
You will only come across the third sign when you cut the acorn squash in half. Inside you will see gray seeds, which is an instant sign that it is rotten acorn squash. Pesticides may also be present here.
There is one catch that can help you. We have already given a hint as we talked about the benefits.
Namely, while washing your acorn squash, leave it to see if it will float in the water. If it floats, then it’s okay. If your acorn squash sinks, it’s a sign that something is wrong.
Guinea Pig Diet: Top Choices For Treats
80% of a guinea pig’s diet consists of pellets, hay, and grass. However, it won’t hurt to add some fruit from time to time.
Of course, this is also an integral part of the diet, but in smaller quantities. Also, it would be best if you were careful about which fruits you serve to your guinea pig. Here are some of the acceptable choices:
Here is another important fact that concerns the whole diet.
For a balanced diet, experts recommend that you feed your guinea pig at about the same time each day and stick to an established schedule. In case you decide to change something or introduce some new treats that your guinea pig has not tried so far, do it gradually.
If it’s acorn squash or some of the fruits from the table above – first give a small piece to see how your guinea pig reacts to that food.