Broccoli is considered a wonder vegetable. It is high in vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, iron, manganese, and potassium. It is low in calories and its carb contents are mainly just sugar and fiber. It also has more protein than other vegetables.
Its plant compounds are antioxidants that could lower blood pressure, lutein and beta carotene for eye health, other compounds that could fight allergies, inflammation, certain types of cancer, and the list goes on. It is an overall, pretty impressive plant.
It is indeed one healthy veggie for the human diet. But how about our furry guinea pigs? Is it healthy for them too? Or is it hazardous altogether? If you have a pet guinea pig, check out what broccoli can and can’t do for our furry little friends.
Can guinea pigs eat broccoli?
According to the American Animal Hospital Association, the recommended diet is guinea pig pellets with 16% crude protein. In addition to that, is a healthy serving of hay and suggested vegetables and fruits. Guinea pigs are herbivore animals. In the wild, they spend most of their day eating plants as part of their diet.
Some certain fruits and veggies are not good for guinea pigs but broccoli is not one of them. Broccoli can be given to guinea pigs raw and fresh. Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable. It is in the family of cabbage, kale, cauliflower, and turnips.
Guinea pigs love their broccoli. They can eat the whole thing like florets, leaves, stalks, and everything in between.
Expert Tip: Guinea pigs love to chew and this leafy tree-like veggie has the right amount of chewiness our cavies adore.
Is broccoli good for guinea pigs?
Vitamin C is a very important nutrient in a guinea pig’s diet. It facilitates the breakdown of cholesterol, amino acids, and carbohydrates. Our guinea pigs are very prone to vitamin C deficiency. Some signs of lack of vitamin C include lethargy, difficulty to move, and loss of appetite.
Cavies need at least 10mg of vitamin C per day. And unlike other small animals, guinea pigs cannot produce their own vitamin C, thus they get their daily supply from the food they eat. Among all green and leafy vegetables, broccoli is the best source of vitamins for our furry little friends.
It is high in Vitamin C which is just what guinea pigs need to stay healthy. Aside from Vitamin C, broccoli comes packed with all the goodies like iron and calcium. It is also a great source of fiber and is high in other vitamins like vitamin A and B5, talk about an all-in-one vegetable.
Are there hazards to giving broccoli to guinea pigs?
Broccoli is good for guinea pigs but they cannot supply all the nutrients they need. Fruits and veggies should only comprise 10% of your cavy’s daily food. The rest would still be guinea pig pellets which are holistic and complete.
As a cruciferous plant, our guinea pigs could be prone to gas and bloating with too much broccoli in their diet. That is why broccoli has to be given in moderation. Other risks include:
- Bladder and kidney stones
Broccoli has oxalates that facilitate the formation of calcium stones. Symptoms are weight loss, inflamed genitals, lethargy, and blood in the urine.
- Digestion problems
Symptoms are loose stools, coarse fur. Your guinea pig will get sluggish. Too much broccoli will disrupt their digestive system.
Can guinea pigs eat broccoli raw?
Foods that we give our guinea should always be uncooked, unseasoned, raw, and fresh. We cook our food mostly so that it can be more digestible and safer for us to eat. It’s the other way around for our furry friends.
Guinea pigs need their fruits and veggies raw and extra chewy so they can have healthy teeth. Cooking broccoli will also lose a lot of minerals that our piggies need. Before you give raw broccoli to your guinea pigs, make sure that they are thoroughly washed first. Take out all the bad areas too.
This is to ensure that what we are giving them is free of chemicals and impurities. Broccolis have a very short shelf life, oftentimes we put them in the freezer so they can last longer. If the broccoli you are going to give your pet is frozen, make sure to thaw them thoroughly and in-room temperature before feeding.
Expert Tip: Remember to only feed broccoli that you bought fresh and you have frozen yourself. Never feed your guinea pigs any frozen food that you bought from the market.
How much broccoli can I give my guinea pig?
Broccoli is a very nutritious addition to your guinea pig’s healthy diet, yummy and chewy too. However, because of the risks that come with overfeeding broccoli, it is not advisable to be an everyday treat.
Feed your guinea pigs broccoli two to three times a week only. Alternate it with a variety of other fruits and vegetables. It is essential to introduce different types of fresh food to your cavies in their early stages. They could be very picky when they grow up.
Leafy greens that are great for our furry friends are parsley, cilantro, kale, and romaine lettuce. Veggies that are high in vitamin C like broccoli are red and green pepper. Give your guinea pig one cup of these fresh vegetables every day. If you are feeding them broccoli, limit it to half a cup per day, or half of a floret and the stalk underneath.
The outer stalk is rough and rubbery. Your guinea pig will enjoy it most if you peel the stalk first before feeding.
Broccoli is a tasty veggie packed with lots of vitamins that are great for both humans and guinea pigs. As amazing as it is, broccoli has to be taken in moderation, and that applies to both humans and guinea pigs, too. In general, too much of anything is bad for health.
Do you have a pet guinea pig at home? If so, I hope you find this article helpful in keeping them happy and healthy. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below and we’d be very glad to be of help!
To quickly answer our main question. Yes, guinea pigs can eat broccoli, but in moderation. Broccoli is only a 10% healthy addition, and should not replace our pet’s staple food.