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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cabbage? What You Need to Know!
If you are wondering if your guinea pig can eat cabbage, you’ve come to the right place. The short and simple answer is yes, they can! And they love it! Cabbage contains several vital vitamins and minerals that are great for your guinea, and it contains the roughage they need for healthy digestion. Fresh greens in general are a great addition to your guinea’s diet but should be given in moderation, as when given in excess, it can lead to bloating.
Read on to find out more about the nutritional benefits of cabbage and when and how much to give your guinea.
What Is the Natural Diet of Guineas?
Guineas in the wild live mostly on grass, leaves, flowers, and occasional fruits and vegetables. Timothy hay is the most common food and should make up a large percentage of a guinea’s regular diet. It contains all the fiber they need for optimal digestion, and it keeps their perpetually growing teeth short. Guineas, like humans, do not make vitamin C, so they need to get it from outside sources, and cabbage is a great option.
Different Cabbage Varieties
There are several common varieties of cabbage, all of which are safe for your guinea and have different nutritional content. These include:
While these common varieties are all perfectly safe for guineas, we recommend standard green and purple cabbage because these varieties are easily available, more palatable, and richer in essential nutrients.
Health Benefits of Cabbage
Cabbage is an inexpensive and simple addition to your guinea’s diet. In moderation, cabbage can have great health benefits for your guinea, including:
Cabbage is also packed with other nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, protein, and vitamin B6.
Health Concerns of Cabbage
When consumed in moderation, cabbage is a safe and nutritious addition to your guinea’s regular diet. That said, there are small concerns to be aware of.
The risks associated with giving cabbage to your guineas are primarily from overfeeding, so be sure to give in moderation.
How Much Cabbage Is Okay?
Guineas love cabbage, and if given the chance, they will eat more than their fair share. As with most things, eating too much of even healthy foods can quickly cause problems. So, how much cabbage is okay for your guinea and how much is too much?
While fresh greens like cabbage are great for your guinea, we recommend giving them around a cup of fresh leaves two or three times a week. Any more than this can quickly result in painful digestion issues. Fresh, raw leaves are best, and whole or chopped are both fine, depending on your guinea’s preference. They will likely prefer the whole leaves and will love munching away on the crisp fresh leaves.
The leaves should be washed thoroughly to remove any dirt or pesticides and if possible, should be grown organically. Additionally, only give them the leaves and remove the stem.
Cabbage is a great occasional addition to your guinea’s diet. While it is by no means a replacement for their daily diet and should be given sparingly, it does contain beneficial vitamins and nutrients that will aid in your guinea’s overall health. These include vitamin C for immune support, antioxidants for inflammation reduction, and calcium and vitamin K for healthy teeth and bones. Best of all, cabbage is low in calories, cholesterol, and fat, so it makes a great healthy treat without the risk of your guinea getting overweight.
In conclusion, yes, your guineas can safely eat cabbage, albeit in moderation. It is a safe and nutritious snack that your guineas will love.
Featured Image Credit: Pikist
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.