Can Guinea Pigs Eat Lemons? (Read This First)

As herbivores animals, guinea pigs need the proper diet to maintain their health. So many guinea pig owners are in a dilemma about feeding their cavies lemons. Is it safe for guinea pigs to eat lemons?

Let’s dive into this article and find the truth.

Here’s If Guinea Pigs Can Eat Lemons

Guinea pigs can’t eat lemons. Lemon is a citrus fruit. It contains high acid content that can impact the health of guinea pigs. It also contains a high amount of calcium and sugar. Feeding your guinea pigs lemons leads to digestive issues, obesity, diabetes, urinary stones, and dental issue. Alternative citrus fruits you can feed your guinea pigs are oranges, mandarin, clementine, and satsumas. Feed these fruits in moderation.

can guinea pigs eat lemons?

Nutrition Facts About Lemon?

Lemons have a high amount of vitamin C and other minerals which are beneficial for your guinea pigs. But unfortunately, due to the high acid content in lemons, you must never feed your guinea pigs lemons;

Here is the list of the nutrients found in 100g of lemon according to the United States Department of Agriculture(USDA):

  • water- 89g
  • Calories -29kcal
  • Protein -1.1g
  • Fat – 0.3g
  • Carbohydrate – 9.32g
  • Fiber – 2.8g
  • sugar -2.8g
  • Calcium – 26mg
  • Magnesium -8mg
  • Phosphorus – 16mg
  • Potassium- 138mg
  • Vitamin C- 53mg

Risks Feeding Guinea Pigs Lemons?

Lemons have some benefits, especially with Vitamins C. But unfortunately, there are risks associated with feeding guinea pigs lemons.

Here are some of the risks we have outlined for you.

Mouth Sores/Dental Issue

The acid in lemons can cause irritation in the mouth of your guinea pigs. This leads to mouth sores. Mouth sores can bring a lot of discomfort for your guinea pigs.

Your guinea pigs will stop eating until the sores are healed. This can be a challenging time for your guinea pigs.

In addition, acids in lemons can wear off the enamel on the teeth of your cavies. This will expose the root of the teeth and if not checked will damage their teeth.

Digestive issue

Lemons are not poisonous but it is not safe to feed your guinea pig lemons. Lemons contain high amounts of citric acid and sugar.

Guinea pigs’ digestive system can handle a large amount of sugar. Too many lead to digestive issues such as diarrhea and vomiting.

Obesity and Diabetes

Lemons contain a high sugar content. As you can see from the list of nutritional values above, 100g of lemons contain about 2,8g of sugar.

This is quite a lot of natural sugars. This can lead to obesity. If this is not checked, it develops into diabetes.

So feeding your guinea pigs lemons can have severe consequences on their health.

Urinary Problems

Urinary issues are common among guinea pigs. This is a result of too much calcium in their diet.

Calcium is good for young guinea pigs. This help with maintaining and developing their bones. Pregnant mothers also need calcium during their pregnancy

Lemons are high in calcium. From the nutritional value list above 100g of lemon contains 26mg of calcium.

So feeding your guinea pigs lemons, especially older ones lead to kidney and bladder stones.

This can be painful and uncomfortable for your guinea pigs.

Can Guinea Pig Drink Lemon Juice?

Guinea pigs shouldn’t drink lemon juice. Lemon juice’s acidic content is just too high. Your guinea pigs may suffer stomach upset and burns due to the acidic content.

The best drink to give your guinea pig is fresh drinking water. Make sure you change the water every day.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Lemon Leaves?

Guinea pigs can eat lemon leaves but in moderation. Lemon leaves have a high Vitamin C content. This Vitamin helps fight off infections in guinea pigs. It is a very important vitamin in their daily diet.

Lemon leaves are not the typical diet for guinea pigs. So overfeeding lemon leaves could leave your guinea pigs with issues such as diarrhea.

Your guinea pig thrives well on their diet of hay, pellets, vegetable, and some fruit.

Can Guinea Pig Eat Lemon Seed?

Guinea pigs shouldn’t eat lemon seeds. Lemon seeds are a choking risk for guinea pigs. There is no nutritional value in lemon seeds.

So feeding guinea pigs lemon seeds does not benefit them in any way.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Lemon Peel?

Guinea pigs can eat the lemon peel but in small quantities. Lemon peel is full of fiber and Vitamin C. Fiber is good for the digestive health of your guinea pigs.

Vitamin C helps protect the immune system of your guinea pigs.

Lemon peels could carry residual pesticides. So make sure you wash the lemons properly before giving the peels to your guinea pigs.

Remember to give your guinea pigs just a small quantity as treat once a month.

What Other Citrus Fruits Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

There are other citrus fruits that you can give to your guinea pigs. These fruits are also high in acidity.

Lemon and lime have the highest acidity among all the citrus fruits

Here is a list of other citrus fruits you can give your guinea pigs:

  • oranges
  • mandarin
  • tangerines
  • Clementines
  • satsumas

Below is a table of citrus fruits and their acid level.

Citrus FruitAcid level(PH)
Lemon2.00 – 2.60
Lime2.00 – 2.80
Orange3.30 – 4.00
Grapefruit3.00 – 3.75
Tangerine3.00 – 3.50
Clementine3.00 -3.75
Pomelo2.90 – 3.50
Blood orange3.00 -3.75
Kumquat2.80 – 3.40
Mandarin3.00 – 3.50
Satsumas3.00 – 3.50

Alternative Fruits To Lemons Guinea Pigs Can Eat

There are equally good fruits that contain a high amount of vitamin C. They are less acidic than lemons.

Below is a list of alternative fruits to lemons :

  • Strawberries
  • Kiwi
  • Pineapple
  • Papaya
  • Cantaloupe
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Mango
  • Honeydew melon

Final Thoughts

Can guinea pigs eat lemons? No, guinea pigs shouldn’t eat lemons. Lemons contain a high amount of acid.

The acidity levels in lemons range from 2.00 to 2.500. This makes it one of the most acidic citrus fruit. It also has a high amount of calcium and sugar.

If you feed guinea pigs lemons, it leads to digestive, urinary dental, and mouth sore issues.



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