As we have learned before, thick fibrous vegetables are very good for your guinea pig’s health.
One of the more popular vegetables to feed a guinea pig is broccoli. It’s packed with amazing vitamins and minerals, along with a lot of fiber. But be careful not to give too much broccoli to your guinea pig.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Broccoli?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat broccoli. This is a common vegetable to give your guinea pig that they will enjoy chewing on, primarily because of all the fiber that the stalks have. The fiber can help them clean their teeth and can also help their teeth stay sharp.
Before you serve broccoli to your guinea pig for its daily vegetable, make sure to always wash the pesticides off of the broccoli. Pesticides easily poison guinea pigs, and they could end up damaging their digestive tract if they ingest too much. Even if the package says pre-washed, you still have to wash the broccoli.
What Happens If Guinea Pigs Overeat Broccoli?
Eating broccoli can have two different effects, depending on the age of the guinea pig you are feeding the broccoli too. If a guinea pig is young and still growing, there won’t be many adverse side effects to eating a lot of broccoli. Broccoli is chock-full calcium and can help a growing guinea pig form their bones correctly and help them develop sharp teeth and nails.
However, if a guinea pig that is an adult overeats broccoli, they could develop oxalate stones from the high amounts of calcium that they are digesting. Oxalate stones can become kidney and or bladder stones that happen to adults because adult guinea pigs do not require as much calcium in their systems. So it goes unused inside the body. If there is enough calcium in the guinea pig’s body, they can form oxalate stones. Since guinea pig pup needs a lot of calcium, there is no buildup of calcium in their bodies because it is being used to create their skeletal structure and teeth.
The Proper Diet of a Guinea Pig
Three essential components make up the proper diet of a guinea pig. Those components are hey, fruits and vegetables, and pellets.
80% of a guinea pig’s diet is composed of hay. That may seem like a large percentage to give to hay, but guinea pigs were designed to eat a herbivore diet, and that kind of diet has a lot of fiber. When a guinea pig eats their hay, they will need a lot of it. Many owners keep a brick of hay in the cage with their guinea pigs so they can munch on it all day long. They will need to eat hay all day every day. If you do when you do purchase your hay, make sure it is a high-quality brand that does not use a lot of pesticides.
Place their hay next to their water bottle containers so they can easily reach both when it is time for them to eat and drink.
2. Fruits and Vegetables
The next 15% of a guinea pig’s diet goes to fruits and vegetables. It is within the vegetables that the guinea pigs can get both their fiber and high amounts of vitamins and minerals. Make sure to have a lot of different types of vegetables to give your guinea pig throughout the week. They will need to be served one serving of vegetables every day. The serving size greatly depends on the plant being given, but most leafy greens and low-calorie vegetables like cucumber or squash can be served in 1 cup servings. But if you are serving them a vegetable that is higher in sugar, corn, or sweet potato, you should only serve them about 2 to 3 tablespoons. This is about the same amount for all fruits
Although fruits have many vitamins and minerals, they also have high amounts of sugar. You should, at most, give your guinea pig two servings of fruits per week. Do not give them too many servings of fruits because the extra calories from the fruits can cause them to gain weight, and the extra sugar can cause them to develop type 2 diabetes. The serving size for most to all fruits is about two to three tablespoons.
The last 5% of a guinea pig’s diet is the pellets. Pellets have the right types of fats and amino acids within them so that the guinea pig can maintain a healthy body with a robust immune system. You must give pellets to your guinea pig every day, but you should only give them one to two tablespoons.
Nutrition of Broccoli
Calcium is a significant mineral in broccoli. Without calcium to maintain their bodies, guinea pigs would have weakened bones and joints and weakened teeth.
2. Vitamin C
Broccoli is a significant source of vitamin C, which is an essential vitamin to all guinea pigs. Guinea pigs cannot make their vitamin C in their bodies. Because they cannot, they need to get it from their diet, or else they will become vitamin C deficient very quickly and develop scurvy.
What Other Vegetables Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
There are quite a few vegetables that guinea pigs can eat for their daily serving. We have created a quick list for you, so when you’re walking down the vegetable aisle, you can reach for these guinea pig-friendly veggies.
- Romaine lettuce
- And endive
- Broccoli is a very fibrous vegetable that is good for guinea pigs to eat
- Broccoli has a lot of calcium in them, so they should not overeat if the guinea pigs is an adult.
- Young guinea pigs do need to eat a lot of calcium, though.
- Always wash off the pesticides from the broccoli before serving it to the guinea pig.
- You can give your guinea pig a cup of broccoli, but don’t feed them broccoli too often.
- Overeating broccoli can cause a buildup of oxalate stones, which can become kidney or bladder stones.
- Broccoli is also an abundant source of vitamin C and calcium.