Providing a wide variety of fruits and vegetables keeps our guinea pigs healthy, happy, and cute.
One of those vegetables can be beet greens. No, we are not talking about the beetroot. They are an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals that guinea pigs can’t make in their own bodies.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Beet Greens?
Yes, guinea pigs are able to consume beet greens. Because the leafy green part of the beetroot is edible, that means the beetroot is edible as well. It is effortless to serve beet greens to a guinea pig. Just place it in their bowl or hand feed it to them as a snack.
Warning About Beetroot Greens
However, you should know that even though guinea pigs can eat beetroot greens, you should not serve this food to them all the time. There are a lot of oxalates in the leaves of the beetroot, which can cause kidney and bladder stones. In fact, there are so many oxalates that it is recommended to only feed beetroot leaves to guinea pigs once a month at most.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cooked Beet Greens?
No, guinea pigs cannot eat cooked beet greens. In fact, they cannot eat anything cooked, no matter what kind of vegetables or fruit it is. They are strict raw herbivores, and cooked food could cause them diarrhea or nausea. Plus, many vitamins and minerals actually lose their efficacy when they have been cooked. So, you’ll be feeding your guinea pig food that is less nutritious.
The Proper Diet of a Guinea Pig
When you are picking out foods to feed your guinea pig, a healthy diet, there are a few things you should know. First, hay is the most fundamental part of their diet. Second, 80% of their food comes from hay, and the other 20% should be vegetables, fruits, and pellets. Although you can mix and match the different fruits and vegetables that they can eat, never try to decrease the amount of hay they eat and increase the amount of veggies and fruits or pellets. If you do, it could cause your guinea pig to gain weight or intestinal distress.
As we said before, hay is an essential part of their diet. Since guinea pigs need to eat a lot of hey, their owners will just put an entire brick of hay into the cage with them. When you are shopping for hay, make sure to buy a high-quality brand that does not use a lot of pesticides. Hay that has too many pesticides can severely damage a guinea pig’s stomach and digestive system
2. Fruits and Vegetables
Vegetables are the second most important food in their diet. Vegetables should be served just once to a guinea pig every day, like a lunchtime meal. The average serving size for most vegetables is about one cup, but many vegetables deviate from this size. It is best to look up the appropriate amount of each veggie, so you don’t overfeed your guinea pig. Beetroot leaves are a vegetable, and their serving size is only 1 or 2 leaves.
Fruit, on the other hand, should not be served every day. Because the majority of fruits have high sugar content, they should only be considered snacks. Fruit should be given only one to two times a week at most.
The final component of guinea pig food, pellets supply them with their essential amino acids and fats that they need in their diet. Because of their high-fat content, you can only give guinea pigs 1 to 2 tablespoons of pellets every day. You can provide the pellets with their vegetables.
Nutrition of a Beetroot Greens
Calcium is needed in a guinea pig’s diet for the formation and maintenance of their bones and teeth. Beetroot leaves have a lot of calcium within them, so this is a perfect food to supply it. However, beetroot leaves are almost too high in both calcium and oxalate. Both of these substances combine in the body of a guinea pig to form bladder and kidney stones. Therefore, the rule has been made to only serve beetroot leaves once a month to a guinea pig
2. Vitamin C
Beetroot greens are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is crucial to the health of a guinea pig. Because of guinea pig cannot make vitamin C with its own body, it needs to receive it in its diet. If it does not get enough vitamin C from the food that eats, it will develop scurvy.
3. Vitamin A
As you know, vitamin A is vital for eye health. Since guinea pigs have both day vision and night vision, their eye health is critical. Beetroot leaves are jam-packed with vitamin A, So this vegetable is perfect for maintaining the integrity of their eyes.
If you want your guinea pigs and live a long life, and live a life that is health problem-free, then you need to make sure it gets beetroot leaves. Beetroot leaves have a lot of antioxidants that keep a guinea pig’s body from breaking down too soon from damage from the environment.
5. Vitamin K
Vitamin K is important for the formation of blood cells and the ability to clot blood. It also helps calcium form strong bones.
What Other Foods Are High in Calcium and Oxalate?
Several other foods are high in oxalate that you must know about. Many of these foods are vegetables, so they do qualify to be in a guinea pig diet. You don’t have to avoid giving your guinea pigs these foods, just make sure they are not given to your guinea pig very often.
- Beetroot leaves and beets
- Sweet potatoes
- Swiss chard
- Guinea pigs can eat beetroot leaves
- They cannot eat cooked beetroot leaves.
- But they can’t have too much of it, as it will cause a buildup of calcium and oxalate in their body and cause kidney and bladder stones.
- A serving of beetroot is one to two stalks.
- Beetroot leaves are high in calcium, vitamin A and K, and antioxidants.