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Home > Guinea Pigs > Can Guinea Pigs Eat Bok Choy? Vet-Approved Nutritional Facts & Feeding Guide

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Bok Choy? Vet-Approved Nutritional Facts & Feeding Guide

Guinea Pigs Eat Bok Choy

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Dr. Luqman Javed Photo

Written by

Dr. Luqman Javed

Veterinarian, DVM

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Feeding your guinea pig the right foods is important for their health and well-being. Many guinea pig owners may assume that a standard pellet diet with hay is the only safe food that a guinea pig can eat. However, there are many different veggies and leafy greens that your guinea pig can benefit from. One of these safe leafy greens the guinea pigs can eat in moderation is the Chinese cabbage bok choy (also known as pak choi).

This article will discuss the safety of feeding bok choy to Guinea Pigs and how it can be included in a healthy Guinea Pig’s diet.


What Is Bok Choy?

Bok choy is a type of cruciferous vegetable with a thick bulbous base that tapers out to dark leaves. It is described as having a slightly bitter yet mineral taste before being cooked and seasoned. This vegetable seems to resemble napa cabbage or lettuce, both of which are safe for guinea pigs. However, they each have different nutritional contents which can make one more beneficial for guinea pigs than the other.

Bok choy
Image By: yuchinutrition, Pixabay

Guinea Pig Diet

A guinea pig’s diet is best described as:
  • The bulk of their diet should comprise high quality pellets made specifically for them and an unlimited amount of good quality hay, such as timothy, orchard, grass, and oat hay. Combined, these two elements should constitute about 80-90% of their diet!
  • In addition to these two items, guinea pigs also require a daily serving of fresh leafy vegetables (about a cup) that are high in vitamin C. This is important because guinea pigs cannot make their own vitamin C. Vegetables that you offer your guinea pig should be thoroughly washed, and served raw. Uneaten vegetables should be discarded at the end of each day. Variety in the vegetables you offer your guinea pig is key; rather than offering them just 1 vegetable a day, you should mix about 4-5 (or more) for their vegetable serving of the day. Rotate these vegetables with 4-5 different vegetables the next day, if possible. Such mixes are ideal for their health, as different vegetables have different nutritional profiles.
  • Last but not least, guinea pigs should have access to fresh clean drinking water at all times.
  • When it comes to treats, guinea pigs can be offered some grains and fruit on occasion as a treat (these should only be offered once or twice a week, and should only constitute a small portion of their intake for the day (approximately 5-10% at most).

Bok Choy Nutritional Information

Bok choy is considered safe for guinea pigs to eat in moderation1.

Key nutritional information for raw bok choy per 100 grams (3.5 oz.)
  • Water: 93.5 grams (g)
  • Carbohydrates: 2.18 g
  • Fat: 0.2 g
  • Protein: 1.5 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Calcium: 105 milligrams (mg)
  • Phosphorus: 37 mg
  • Potassium: 252 mg
  • Magnesium: 19 mg
  • Vitamin C: 45 mg

Though some other vegetables offer more vitamin C than bok choy (kale, parsley, red bell peppers), bok choy contains other micronutrients in the form of minerals and vitamins which make them a healthy and safe addition to your guinea pig’s diet.

Image By: laker, Pexels

Risks of Feeding Bok Choy

As with all vegetables, moderation is key when it comes to your guinea pig’s health. The risk associated with overfeeding guinea pigs is a nutritional imbalance which often presents itself with one or more of the following signs:

  • Diarrhea or constipation (guinea pigs can suffer from both when offered in inappropriate amount of vegetables)
  • Bloat
  • Lethargy
  • A loss of appetite
  • Poor growth and development
  • Potential issues with urinary or bladder stones

It is therefore very important to properly portion bok choy (and other vegetables) when feeding your guinea pig. If you’re in doubt about your guinea pig’s diet, you should schedule a consultation with your veterinarian to ensure that your guinea pig is properly fed.

Bok choy is high in calcium and therefore, should only be considered an occasional treat for your guinea pig as excess calcium might be linked to the formation of bladder stones in guinea pigs.

Guinea pig eating fresh vegetables and leafy greens
Image Credit: Lost_in_the_Midwest, Shutterstock

Feeding Bok Choy to Guinea Pigs

When offering your guinea pig bok choy, you should follow these steps:

  • Opt for fresh bok choy. You should not offer your pet canned or cooked bok choy.
  • Thoroughly wash your bok choy before preparing it for your guinea pig.
  • Chop the bok choy up into small pieces (about an inch in size is best) and mix with the other vegetables you offer your guinea pig for the day.

It is important to note that you should exercise extreme caution if you want to offer your guinea pig bok choy from your salad (or any other food that you prepare with bok choy in it) – the seasonings and other ingredients in your food may not be safe for your guinea pig. It’s therefore best to prepare your guinea pig’s food separately.

two guinea pigs eating
Image By: Peakpx

How Much Bok Choy Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

Adult guinea pigs can eat one to three bok choy leaves once a week or every other week. Bok choy should be added to your guinea pig’s daily salad and mixed with other nutritious leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables. After your guinea pig has finished eating, any leftover bok choy and food should be removed.


In Conclusion

Bok choy is a safe cruciferous vegetable that can be fed to guinea pigs in moderation. It’s recommended to only feed bok choy with your guinea pig’s daily leafy greens, hay, and pellets.

You can safely feed bok choy to guinea pigs if it has been washed and prepared without seasonings and if it contains no harmful herbicides or pesticides.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: tab62, Shutterstock

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