Radishes are part of the mustard group and are crunchy, healthy but are they suitable for your guinea pig?
The one radish most popular and grown the world over is the one with red skin and white flesh. Is their spicy, peppery taste appealing to your guinea pig?
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Radishes
Yes, but as with all vegetables, they must be given to your guinea pig in moderation. The minerals that are in radishes are absorbed from the soil. Although they are nutritious, they are mostly made of water. Although, we have read from multiple sources that you should not give your guinea pig too many radishes at once or too often in a month.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cooked Radishes?
No, guinea pigs should not be given cooked radishes, even if the radishes were only boiled. Guinea pigs don’t have the type of digestive system that can digest and absorb cooked food. They are strict raw herbivores, so all of their food must be raw. Their food can also be grounded up, mashed, and pureed, but never cooked. And when you cook vegetables, much of their nutritional content is cooked away, so they will be eating the same amount of food with fewer vitamins and minerals.
Some of the nutrients found in radishes that are good for your guinea pig include:
- Vitamin C,
- B5, and B6
- Some iron
- Some calcium
Radishes are steeped in vitamin C, which is vital for your guinea pig since they cannot naturally produce it. Because they cannot naturally produce it in their body, guinea pigs are prone to developing scurvy. So, it is important that they receive enough vitamin C in their diet. There are some dietary fiber and sugar, and they are very low in fat. Vitamin C is one of the important parts of the content of a radish.
Per 100 grams of radish, there are:
- Cholesterol—0 mg
- Sodium—39 mg
- Potassium—233 mg
The fiber content in radishes is very high as it helps with their intestinal issues and digestions.
They are also low in sugar. When looking at what vegetables are good for your guinea pig, some say look at the sugar to fiber ratio. With radishes, there is almost as much fiber as there is sugar.
What this means is that the sugar in radishes will act differently in a guinea pig’s body. The fiber in a radish will inhibit the sugar from being released too fast. If the sugar is released too fast, the energy level will skyrocket, and then they will experience a sugar crash, which will drain them of their energy and make your guinea pig lethargic. But the fiber will prevent a sugar crash from happening.
How to Feed Radishes to Your Guinea Pig
As with all vegetables, make sure that you wash the radishes in a mixture of vinegar and water completely before you give them to your guinea pig. You should let them soak in this mixture for twenty minutes before rinsing them in freshwater.
It would be good if you could feed them organic because they would not have any chemicals or pesticides on them. Make sure that the radishes are crisp and fresh. Give them slices and not pieces when feeding them radishes. Measuring out a serving of radishes the correct way and do not eyeball it. Because of their high oxalate content, you need to make sure that you don’t overfeed your guinea pigs’ radishes, or they could develop several conditions.
How Much Can They Eat
Because of the oxalic acid, they should not be given radishes more than two times a month.
They should only be given a couple of slices at a time. It is much healthier for you to feed your guinea pig the radish leaves. You can provide the radish leaves or tops a few times a week.
For one guinea pig, it recommended you give them three radish tops.
Why Radishes Are Not Good For Your Guinea Pig
Radishes are not suitable for your guinea pig because they are high in oxalic acid, which cannot be broken down by guinea pig’s simple mechanisms. It can lead to kidney failure, blood in the urine, and in severe cases, death. With radishes, the oxalate acid and high calcium levels combine and can form bladder stones.
The crystals that the high oxalates form are hard to get rid of, so it is possible that your guinea pig could die if they eat too many radishes. If your guinea pigs are having a hard time urinating, and they are pushing their butts up against a wall in an effort to empty their bladder, that could be because of a buildup of oxalate stones in their bladder. This will be very dangerous for their health, and you will have to take them to the veterinarian.
- Most guinea pigs do not like the actual radish, but much prefer to have the green, tender leaves. The actual radish has a strong, bitter taste that they just do not like.
- When feeding your guinea pig radishes the first time, watch to see if they have any stomach issues or diarrhea with them. Watch to see if they prefer the tops, the radish, or both.
- However, you should not feed your guinea pigs too many servings of radishes, because they have high oxalate content.
- Oxalates can cause kidney and bladder stone in humans and animals if their body doesn’t know how to properly digest them.
- Radishes are a robust source of vitamin C, which is important for their immune system.
- If guinea pigs do not receive enough vitamin C from their diet, they can develop scurvy.
- Veterinarians recommend that your guinea pig have a cup of mixed fresh vegetables each day.
- You should not feed any part of the radish to a baby guinea pig, only the mature guinea pigs.
- One way to see which part your guinea pig, you can put a whole radish, with the leaves, in their feed dish and see what they eat.