In this blog post, we’re going to talk in-depth, about whether it’s safe for guinea pigs to consume .
We’re going to assume that the majority of you haven’t randomly stumbled across this guide, but you instead have a and are looking for nutritional guidance on which foods to feed your furry friend. If so, keep reading, you’ll want to make sure that these adorable little animals that bring you a lot of happiness are well taken care of, and live long and healthy lives.
These pets are perfect for families, especially those who have small children because they are easy to care for and are more cuddly than a hamster and or fish.
Anyway, let’s talk more about the topic, and give you some of the details behind , and whether it’s a good idea to feed it to your cavies.
Can my eat ?
The short answer to this question is, yes! is a safe for guinea pigs to eat.
is derived from the varieties of the z plant (Cucurbita pepo), which is date back as far as 10,000 years ago. It is a summer plant, very similar to the likes of strawberry, lime, and blueberry plants. Cucurbita pepo is also closely related to , which comes from a slightly different type of plant., also known as courgettes, or
Contrary to popular belief, z is actually a and not a . This is what it’s botanically classified as.
However, why is this the ideal choice?
Why is to eat? suitable for a
A is quite a complicated topic.
This is because your furry friend needs a good varied to help maintain and levels, but also to prevent imbalanced levels of certain bacteria and fungi.
What is the best for Guinea pigs?
As we can see from VCA Hospitals’ advice:
The preferred basic . C should be given each day to help maintain and boost your guinea pigs immune system. Hay should be offered throughout the day. Hay and should be supplemented with a variety of fresh, well-washed, leafy greens or colored vegetables (especially those high in C, such as bell pepper, tomato, and asparagus). for guinea pigs is unlimited amounts of Timothy or other low- hay, supplemented with smaller amounts of commercial, high-fiber, Timothy-hay based
Other good choices for vegetables include green and red leaf , , broccoli, cauliflower, endive, kale, carrot tops, beet greens, cilantro, carrot, and . Iceberg or head has little and is mostly water, so it should not be offered.
Thus, ) is recommended as a good source of C, which is highly important for your cavies’ overall health. (
However, as is described above, Guinea pigs have delicate digestive systems, meaning that bacterial imbalances can occur due to a one-sided . Therefore, be sure not to overfeed your on , as it can cause diarrhea and even more serious issues.
Instead, be sure to give your constant access to . This is because it’s crunchy to eat, which helps wear down their herbivore teeth, which grow continuously throughout their lives… So they need to chew on tough vegetation to wear them down. Additionally, because their digestive systems is so complex, it requires high levels of fibre to keep it working optimally. Therefore, hay is the perfect source!
Feed your on , including organic z , so there are no pesticides or unwanted chemicals. And always wash the and that you buy, to help remove excess soil and dirt.
Some guinea pigs love eating peeled z, where others much prefer to eat the skin. But we advise only feeding the skin if it’s organic.
Nevertheless, in . is the perfect choice of to add to your
Let’s further explore the nutritional aspects and health benefits of z.
Health Benefits of
1. High in C
C, which is vital when it comes to the overall health of your . is a rich source of
Similarly to humans, guinea pigs are not able to produce their own C, and therefore require it from the they consume.
Without enough c in their diets, guinea pigs can become very ill with scurvy [Azeah]. For those that may be unaware of what this is, it’s simply a C deficiency.
It also helps with digestion, with having good levels of fiber.
2. High in
is packed full of such as A, superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSHpx) and glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase) which are useful for preventing disease by eliminating free radicals in your ‘s body. Additionally, these also fight inflammation and oxidative stress, which is a primary cause of premature aging.
3. Helps to Improve Digestion
It helps to improve digestion with its good fiber content and essential electrolytes/nutrients.
4. Low in , Sulfer, and Salt
Three of the elements we want to try and minimize in our pet’s doesn’t contain much of these, so you can rest assured when giving your .. Luckily
It’s also low in oxalic acid, which is the most common cause of bladder stones, so that’s another worry which can be relieved.
5. Great for Heart Health
is a high source of potassium, which is beneficial for the heart.
6. Ideal for weight loss
Guinea pigs can often experience trouble with their weight, and this is perfect as it’s high in water content but low in calories and carbs. So your guinea will be able to lose excess weight by eating this .
7. Helpful to maintain good eye health
provides a high dose of phytonutrients, which include C, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, lutein and manganese. All of which help to protect your ‘s overall eye health.
8. Maintain Strong Bones
is rich in phosphorus which helps in the development and to maintain strong bones.
It also affects how the body uses carbohydrates and fats, and is necessary for helping product proteins, which are used for recovery and healing. Therefore, it’s a wonderful for young guinea pigs or ones that are potentially unwell or in the process of healing.
How Much C Should a need?
The average should get around 10 – 30 mg of C on a daily basis.
Pregnant guinea pigs will require more than this.
However, an unhealthy will ultimately require anywhere from 100 – 200 mg, to provide a boost to its immune system.
Also, if you suspect that your is becoming ill, it may be useful to provide more C, but we suggest seeking medical assistance from a veterinarian for this.
is packed full of vitamins, minerals, and omega 3 & omega 6 fatty acids.
courgettes are made up of 90% water, so it’s extremely hydrating for your pet guinea. And because of this, it’s ultra-low in carbs and calories, which make it perfect for helping your pet to lose excess weight.
According to Nutritiondata, 1 medium-sized , which weighs approximately 196g, has the following nutritional information:
A – 248IU
Vitamic C – 21.1 mg
D – 0.0 mg
E – 0.1 mg
K – 5.3 mcg
Thiamin – 0.1 mg
Riboflavin – 0.2 mg
Niacin – 0.6 mg
B12 – 0.0 mg
Pantothenic Acid – 0.2 mg
Choline – 11.8 mg
Betaine – 0.0 mg
– 18.6 mg
Iron – 0.4 mg
Magnesium – 21.1 mg
Phosphorus – 47.1 mg
Potassium – 325 mg
Sodium – 12.4 mg
Zinc – 0.4 mg
Copper – 0.1 mg
Manganese – 0.2 mg
Selenium – 0.2 mcg
Fluoride – 0.0 mg
Fats & Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids – 58.3 mg
Omega-6 fatty acids – 34.7 mg
How Much ? should I give to my
We know that the average guinea should get between 10 – 30 mg of c per day, and the typical medium-sized, has 21.1 mg of C.
However, we recommend feeding less than 1/4 of a cup of , limited to 2-3 times per week.
The reason for this is, we want to make sure that our guinea has a balanced , , parsley, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, peppers, , broccoli, , and carrot., which includes other vital foods and leafy greens like
How should I prepare ? for my
Firstly, we always recommend buying organic , why?
Because a lot of the non-organic ones have pesticides and a protective wax layer, put on them during the storage and transportation process, to help preserve their freshness.
Now, if you can’t get hold of organic, don’t worry! You’ll just need to wash the skin thoroughly with warm/hot water before serving it to your .
Secondly, we recommend leaving the skin/peel on, as this is where the majority of the ‘s phytonutrients and are stored.
Finally, you’ll want to cut the . into small slices, and you can even cut these up into semi-circles for when you serve them to your
Can I serve my ?
It’s highly important that you do not serve your , this is because their digestive system can only digest raw foods.
Feeding cooked ‘ hearts, so don’t do it. would only jeopardize the health of your furry friend, which would break most
Stick with raw and fresh veggies!
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve addressed some of the most common FAQs that we see on a daily basis.
Can guinea pigs eat ?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat yellow ), just as they can eat green ones. (
Yellow is often a little sweeter and softer, which your guinea may or not favor. The reason being is that they often prefer the crunchier types.
Is safe for guinea pigs?
Absolutely, yellow is very healthy due to it’s high C and A content. Alongside this, it has key minerals such as phosphorus and potassium which are vital for a ‘s overall health.
However, this should only be given to your in moderation. Around 1/4 of a cup serving size, not more than 2 times per week.
Can guinea pigs eat ?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat (green ), just as they can eat yellow ones.
Green is often more crunchy and more bitter than yellow ones, and guinea pigs will often prefer this.
leaves, flowers, and stems?
Yes, guinea pigs can be fed and stems. Additionally, they can also eat the flowers, since they are full of great nutrients like beta carotene, and more vitamins and .
However, only provide a small amount of this 1/4 cup, as you’ll want to provide a balanced .
Yes, it’s safe for guinea pigs to eat the skin of a . The peel actually contains the majority of the ‘s nutrients and . We recommend getting organic , to make sure that the skin hasn’t been waxed. If in doubt, be sure to wash the fruity thoroughly before serving to your furry friend.