Can guinea pigs eat sprouts?
We already know that they have wide range of health benefits for humans.
So, it makes sense to wonder if those benefits translate to our cavies.
Let’s take a look at these veggies and learn whether they’re on the list of safe guinea pig food.
CAN GUINEA PIGS EAT SPROUTS?
Yes. Brussels sprouts are safe for guinea pigs, and they’re a good source of Vitamin C and other nutrients.
However, you should feed them in moderation since Brussels sprouts contain a high amount of oxalates.
Feeding your piggies too much sprouts could lead to gas and bloating.
Please keep reading to find out more about Brussels sprouts and other alternative vegetables to feed your pet.
6 Nutritional Benefits of Brussels sprouts
Below are some nutritional benefits of Brussels sprouts for guinea pigs.
Brussels sprouts contain a high amount of antioxidants.
According to Oxbow Animal Health, both humans and pets can experience oxidative stress due to an increased number of free-roaming radicals/molecules.
There are many reasons why an animal’s body can have a higher number of free radicals, including stress, digestive problems, or contaminated food.
#2 Vitamins and Minerals
Brussels sprouts are good sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin C (85 g per 100 g), which helps prevent scurvy in piggies, Vitamin K, potassium, and magnesium.
These vitamins also help in bone development.
#3 Calcium and phosphorous
The ratio of calcium to phosphorous in Brussels sprouts is approximately 0.61:1, which shows that the amount of calcium is lower than that of phosphorous.
According to this study, the ideal guinea pig’s diet should have more calcium than phosphorous.
So, if you feed your piggies foods with lower calcium levels like sprouts or carrots, you should balance it out with foods with higher amounts of calcium, such as kale, celery, or cilantro.
Brussels sprouts also contain a lot of fiber which helps in digestion and overall gut health for your guinea pigs.
Sprouts are at least 86% water. This makes them a good vegetable option to keep your piggies hydrated, especially when traveling.
#6 Low sugar and calorie levels
Brussels sprouts contain lower levels of sugar compared to other vegetables.
They’ll help your pet maintain the ideal insulin levels and the ideal weight, which is good for their health.
What Happens if My Guinea Pig Eats Too Many Sprouts?
Yes. You can feed your guinea pigs Brussels sprouts from time to time. But if you overfeed them, you risk exposing your guinea pig to various health issues.
This is because it’s very difficult for them to digest these types of vegetables. Below is a list of the effects too many Brussels sprouts can have on guinea pigs.
As mentioned earlier, Brussels sprouts, and all other vegetables in the cruciferous family, contain too much oxalic acid.
An excess of oxalates could lead to too much gas, bloating, or even diarrhea. In a worst-case scenario, they could damage the digestive tract.
Excess phosphorous consumption
This study confirmed that if you feed your guinea pigs with too much phosphorous, it could lead to calcium phosphate deposits within their body.
This could then lead to weight gain, stiff joints, and an increased mortality rate.
Adjusting the calcium and phosphate intake by mixing up the foods reduced the calcium phosphate deposits tremendously.
How Much Brussels sprouts Should You Feed Your Guinea Pigs – Exactly?
When I say in moderation, I mean one tiny sprout or a small piece of the larger Brussels sprouts in every serving.
Avoid feeding Brussels sprouts to baby guinea pigs since their digestive systems may not be fully developed to handle this vegetable.
If your cavy has never eaten sprouts before, start with small pieces, and observe her for some time. If you notice some discomfort or bloating, contact your vet as soon as possible.
So, how often should you feed your guinea pigs sprouts?
Brussel sprout are safe to give once or twice a week. I like to err on the side of caution with “occasional” veggies and just go with once a week.
Sprouts also make excellent treats for holidays such as Christmas-just to occasionally spice their meals and not as their staple food.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Bean Sprouts?
Yes, they can. When talking about sprouts, most people are often referring to Brussels sprouts.
However, you can also germinate seeds and feed the sprouts to your piggies. Some of the seeds whose sprouts are safe for your guinea pigs include;
- Mixed beans
- Green Peas
- Broccoli – Check our complete guide “Can Guinea Pigs Eat Broccoli Stalks?”
Sprouts are packed with nutrients, including Vitamin C, minerals, and help improve urinary health.
According to this guinea pig owner, sprouts did wonders for her pets.
They became more active, energetic, and the sprouts improved the pets’ overall digestive tract health.
What Types of Foods Should a Guinea Pig Eat?
To make sure your pet gets all the nutrients she needs, you need to combine different types of foods. Below are the main ones.
This is the ultimate guinea pig food, which should comprise at least 70% to 80% of your pet’s diet.
Hay contains the required balance of nutrients. They can feed on as much as they can without worrying about weight gain or other health issues.
Timothy Hay and Orchard Hay are the best choices. But if you come across Bermuda hay or oat hay, you can purchase it to provide your cavy a variety to choose from.
Fresh vegetables –
Including vegetables in your cavy’s diet daily will ensure she stays hydrated, gets enough Vitamin C, and maintain good dental health.
Some vegetables to consider include
- Bell pepper
- Swiss chard
- Spinach – Check our complete guide “Can Guineas Eat Spinach?”
Pellets are a vital part of your cavy’s diet. However, make sure you’re actually buying guinea pig pellets and NOT rabbit food (it doesn’t have the same nutrients).
Also, check the expiration date and only buy as much as you’ll actually use before the food expires.
Fruits such as pineapples, kiwifruit, or berries are good sources of Vitamin C and other nutrients.
But due to the high sugar content, feed them in small amounts and occasionally.
CAN GUINEA PIGS EAT SPROUTS FAQs
Will My Guinea Pigs Love the Brussels sprouts?
Some guinea pigs may love them. Some may not. You just have to try and observe her reaction. If she doesn’t like them, take them away and feed her what she’s used to.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Brussels sprouts Leaves?
You can feed your cavy all parts of the Brussels sprouts, including the tops, leaves, and the stalk. Make sure you wash them thoroughly and only feed them when they’re fresh.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Frozen Brussels sprouts?
If you’ve stored some sprouts in your refrigerator, you can feed them to your pet. However, make sure they’re warmed up/thawed before feeding them. Cold foods are not suitable for your cavy’s health.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cooked Brussels sprouts?
You shouldn’t feed your pet cooked sprouts or any other cooked foods. Cooked veggies have lower nutritional value and are more challenging to digest for guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs can eat Brussels sprouts, but only in small amounts due to the high amounts of oxalic acid.
It’s best to feed them to your pet when they’re fresh and avoid cooking them.
It would be best to balance the guinea pig’s diet by offering lots of hay, different types of vegetables, and fruits and pellets as alternative treats.