Can Guinea Pigs Eat Green Beans?

Guinea pigs are social animals and even if they share a cage with another guinea pig they can still become bored.  

When you give them a treat, it will help stop the boredom and keep them occupied.  A guinea pig loves tasty treats, like green beans.

Can a Guinea Pig Eat Green Beans?

Yes, guinea pigs can have green beans.  They love the crunchy texture but it must be done in moderation as with all treats you give them.  Having a green bean treat gives then a variety to their everyday pellets and hay.

Nutritional Value

The main health benefits that green beans offer are they are rich in vitamins K, B1, and B2.  They are also rich in minerals, including magnesium, fiber, copper, and manganese.  They also have beta-carotene and vitamin C, both of which a guinea pig needs.  In 100 grams, there is 12.1 mg of vitamin C.

They also help their body by fighting against the harmful effects that are associated with free radicals.  The vitamins and minerals help to support their cardiovascular heart and help to enhance the blood fat levels.  They also have only 6mg of sodium in 100 grams of green beans so that is also good for your heart.  Too much sodium can cause your guinea pig to retain water and have an increase in their blood pressure. 

Green beans can help to protect their bodies from possible oxidative damage.  They also contain a low level of omega-3 fatty acids, which helps maintain and support their cardiovascular health.  The vitamin A in green beans will help protect your guinea pig from age-related decline in their vision.  All of these help to improve the overall health of your guinea pig along with strengthening their immunity system.

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How to Feed Green Beans to Your Guinea Pig

If you have never given your guinea pig green beans as a treat before, you should only give them a few tiny pieces to see their reaction.  Increase the portions if you see them eating the green beans.  Only increase the pieces if you do not see any signs of diarrhea or any other digestive discomforts.  

For their green bean treats, you can either use fresh or frozen green beans.  For fresh green beans, you want to make sure that they are a vibrant green and don’t have any bruises or spots on them.  If you are not going to use all the fresh green beans, you can keep them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.  Do not wash them before you store them.  Unwashed in the refrigerator, you can use them for seven days.

With frozen green beans, it can be ones that you buy frozen or ones that you have frozen yourself.  They still have all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals for three to six months as long as they are kept frozen.  Only take out the small amount you need.  Make sure that before you feed the frozen ones to your guinea pig that you thaw them out.  Your guinea pig can get diarrhea if the food is too cold.  

Make sure that you wash the fresh ones well before you serve them to your guinea pig to get rid of all the fertilizer and other chemicals that may be on them.  Do not serve them cooked green beans ever.  Because green beans are high in oxalic acid, you should not give them more than one or two green beans at a time.  You can cut them in half or leave them whole.

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How Much Can They Have

They can have a green bean treat one to three times a week.

Why Are Green Beans Bad For Your Guinea Pig

Even with all their nutritional benefits, there are also some side effects.  If they have never had green beans before, since their digestive system is very sensitive, it could easily be upset when they first try green beans.  If it does not suit the guinea pig’s taste they might have indigestion and behavior a bit weird.  If you want to try them on it again, wait a week and try them again.  If the guinea pig has the same reaction as before, then you might consider not trying it on them again.

You need to watch out for the level of calcium in the green beans, the most dangerous mineral for guinea pigs.  Per 100 grams, green beans have 37 mg of calcium.  It becomes dangerous when it comes in contact with oxalates, which attract calcium.  Together they form small crystals, which cause bladder stones.

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Oxalates are found in many plant foods and they are hard for a guinea pig to eliminate.  That is why you want to limit how much calcium a guinea pig gets so bladder stones are not formed.  With green beans, there is a small chance of bladder stones forming as long as you feed them green beans in moderation.

There is also a type of protein in green beans called lectins, which bind with carbohydrates during digestion which can cause bloating or constipation.  There is fiber in the green beans that can help some.  Green beans also inhibit magnesium absorption due to the combination of calcium and phosphorus.  This can result in magnesium deficiency.

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Conclusion

  • In 100 grams, there are 3.3 grams of sugar and 3.4 grams of fiber, which means there is more fiber.  It a good ratio between the two.  The fiber helps with digestion and allows sugar to be released slowly into their bloodstream.
  • Never serve cooked green beans or any cooked foods to your guinea pig as they cannot digest this type of food properly.
  • Do not use just plain water to wash green beans.  Use four parts water to one part white vinegar and let the green beans soak for 20 minutes to get rid of all the fertilizers and chemicals from them.  Before you feed them to your guinea pig, you need to rinse them in fresh water.
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