Can Guinea Pigs Eat Tomatoes?
Read this before giving your guinea pig a tomato 🍅
Tomatoes are a healthy food for humans to enjoy, but can guinea pigs eat tomatoes?
While there are tons of fruits and vegetables that are safe for guinea pigs to eat, tomatoes tend to sit right in the middle of being OK for your BFF while also posing an issue if you feed her too many (or the wrong parts).
Are tomatoes healthy for guinea pigs?
Tomatoes boast tons of health benefits, like being a source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium and folate, which help build a strong immune system.
They’re also packed with fiber, which can help with your guinea pig’s digestion.
While tomatoes are typically considered safe for your guinea pig to have, you should still only give them to her in moderation since too many tomatoes can give her tummy ache (and even diarrhea).
What about tomato leaves and stems?
The only safe part of a tomato for your guinea pig is the flesh (don’t worry, this includes the seeds) — but only if the tomato’s ripe.
While tomatoes can be a healthy treat for guinea pigs, do not feed them the leaves, stems or other “non-fruit” parts of the tomato plant. “These contain high levels of tomatine, which can be toxic if eaten in large enough quantities,” Dr. Coates told The Dodo.
Tomatine is technically toxic to humans, too, in large quantities, but since we’re so big, eating a piece of leaf or stem won’t hurt us, whereas it can cause harm to your guinea pig (even resulting in death in certain cases).
It’s also important to note that tomatoes should be fully ripe before sharing them with your guinea pig, as the green parts of an unripened tomato also contain tomatine.
Can guinea pigs eat tomatoes every day?
An adult guinea pig can munch on a cherry tomato and be perfectly fine.
This means if you have a larger tomato, like a plum tomato or a beefsteak tomato, you can slice out a chunk that’s similar to the size of a cherry tomato (about 1 inch) and give it to your guinea pig.
“Guinea pigs should get the bulk of their nutrition from grass or grass hay, followed by dark leafy greens,” Dr. Coates said. “All fruits, including tomatoes, shouldn’t make up more than 10 percent of a guinea pig’s diet.”
While tomatoes are OK to share occasionally, it shouldn’t be a part of your guinea pig’s daily diet, so just give one to her as a treat from time to time.