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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Sugar Snap Peas? What You Need to Know!
Knowing what to feed your guinea pig can be surprisingly complicated. There are foods that you’d think would be safe but aren’t (potatoes), while other foods seem like they’d be awful but are apparently safe (like mushrooms).
You’d be forgiven, then, for not knowing whether it’s okay to give your sugar snap peas to your guinea pig.
It turns out that sugar snap peas are actually safe for guinea pigs in moderation. Below, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about feeding your pet these delicious treats.
Are Sugar Snap Peas Safe for Guinea Pigs?
There is nothing toxic or inherently unsafe about feeding sugar snap peas to your guinea pig. However, it’s best to limit them to an occasional treat rather than making them a daily staple.
Most guinea pigs love them, so they’re a great way to reward your little buddy for doing a good job of being cute. They’ll gobble down as many as you offer them, so it’s up to you to limit their intake.
Only offer them two or three per sitting. Wash them thoroughly, and cut them up into bite-sized (for guinea pigs) pieces beforehand.
You may need to “string” them before serving them. That means removing the membranous string that runs the length of the pod.
Can Sugar Snap Peas Be Dangerous for Guinea Pigs?
Eating one or two every now and then is perfectly safe for guinea pigs. However, giving your furry little friend too many can be hazardous to their health.
As you might expect from the name, sugar snap peas are high in sugar. Eating them too frequently is a great way to cause your pet to become obese, and obesity is linked to a host of health problems.
They’re also filled with oxalic acid and calcium, which can cause kidney stones and other urinary tract issues. There’s a good amount of phosphorus in them as well, which can affect their growth.
What Are the Benefits of Feeding My Guinea Pig Sugar Snap Peas?
These veggies are filled with a variety of important vitamins and nutrients, but the biggest health advantage they offer may be how much they help hydrate your guinea pig.
Sugar snap peas are mostly water, so eating them will go a long way to keeping your pet’s thirst at bay. Getting enough water is a great way to stay healthy in general, so if your pet needs to drink more, consider offering them a couple of sugar snap peas.
They’re packed with vitamin C, which prevents scurvy. Scurvy is a big problem for guinea pigs (and pirates) because unlike many other animals, guinea pigs aren’t able to manufacture their own vitamin C.
You’ll find a decent amount of fiber in sugar snap peas as well. Fiber is important for promoting a healthy digestive tract; this keeps your guinea pig regular and protects against a variety of gastrointestinal issues.
However, none of these health benefits justify giving your guinea pig more than one or two sugar snap peas a week. The potential downside of overeating these veggies vastly outweighs the upside.
Do I Need to Cook Sugar Snap Peas Before Serving Them to My Guinea Pig?
You can give them to your guinea pig raw, as there’s no need to cook them. Just don’t salt or season them in any way. It’s unhealthy for your pet, and besides, there’s no need to dress up their flavor, as these animals love them just the way they are.
It doesn’t matter if you buy them fresh or frozen either. If you buy them frozen, though, be sure to let them thaw before you give them to your pet, as frozen sugar snap peas can cause digestive issues.
Avoid canned sugar snap peas, though. Canned vegetables are often high in sodium, and too much salt can be devastating for your guinea pig’s health. There may be other additives in the can that you don’t want your guinea pig eating either.
Regardless of how you buy them, you should wash them thoroughly before giving them to your little buddy. You want to remove any lingering traces of pesticides or other chemicals; while there’s probably not enough on them to affect you, any residual chemicals could be damaging to your pet.
So, What’s the Verdict? Are Sugar Snap Peas Safe for Guinea Pigs?
As long as you don’t give your pet too many, feeding them a few sugar snap peas should be perfectly safe. They’ll be much appreciated too, as many guinea pigs go wild for these veggies.
However, you shouldn’t overlook the potential risks involved with giving your guinea pig too many sugar snap peas. These risks include obesity, urinary tract issues, and stunted growth.
If you limit their intake to twice a week or less, your guinea pig should do fine eating these veggies.
Featured Image Credit: thebittenword.com, Flickr
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.