Guinea pigs are lovely and fluffy creatures most people love? They are small fur balls that you want to hold and caress. However, you have to be extra careful about the foods fed to them. Not all the fruits and vegetables are suitable for cavies. How about broccoli? Can guinea pigs eat broccoli?
We know that for us, broccoli is a part of the category of vegetables which are highly recommended by nutritionists. They are great for our health, but can they be fed to our furry family members as well? Let’s find out!
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Broccoli?
What better way to serve your salmon than with a bit of freshly-cooked broccoli, right? It sounds yummy, but can you extend the area of broccoli serving and feed it to your guinea pig? Is it safe for these tiny little creatures to eat it or will they suffer some internal damage?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat broccoli as long as it is given occasionally and in moderation. Once or twice a week would be enough. If you have never fed broccoli to your pet, make sure that you make the introduction properly. This means that you should give your cavy only a little bit of broccoli and see how he reacts to it. Some guinea pigs love broccoli while others don’t really care for it. It depends on the individual guinea pig. Try a small piece and see if your pet likes it or not.
Broccoli leaves can also be fed to cavies.
Note: broccoli may cause bloating so don’t feed it in excess amounts.
Benefits of Broccoli
Now that you know that guinea pigs can eat broccoli, let’s discuss the benefits it is able to bring to your pet’s health. Vitamin A and vitamin C are essential for your little friend and broccoli can easily provide these for him. The heads and the stems of the broccoli contain more vitamin C than any other part of the broccoli’s body, which is great since guinea pigs cannot synthesize this vitamin on their own. These parts are also a great source of fiber.
Here is the detailed list of nutrients that contain in 1 cup of broccoli:
- Vitamin K 245 %
- Vitamin C 135 %
- Chromium 53 %
- Folate 42 %
- Fiber 21 %
- Panothenic acid 19 %
- Vitamin B6 18 %
- Magnanese 15 %
- Phosphorus 15 %
- Vitamin E 15 %
- Vitamin B2 15 %
- Choline 15 %
- Potassium 13 %
- Vitamin A 13 %
- Copper 11 %
- Omega-3 fats 8 %
- Vitamin B1 8 %
- Magnesium 8 %
- Calcium 6 %
- Protein 7 %
- Iron 6 %
- Zinc 6 %
- Selenium 5 %
- Vitamin B3 5 %
Broccoli can be a part of your pets diet if given occasionally in small quantities. The amount of vitamin C they take in will offer strength to their immune system and prevent them from becoming scurvy. 1 cup of raw, chopped broccoli contains 135 % of vitamin C.
Broccoli has also anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, detoxification, and digestive support benefits. Additionally, broccoli helps with cancer prevention and cardiovascular support.
How Should I Feed Broccoli to My Pet?
As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to feed the broccoli in moderation. Otherwise, there might be some side-effects affecting your pet’s digestive system. Excessive broccoli intake may lead to gas, bloating and diarrhea.
Using small amounts is the safest for your cavy. Guinea pigs can also eat broccoli leaves. However, these should be fed sparingly as well since they contain high amount os vitamin A. The same goes for broccoli stems and broccoli heads. You can feed your cavy a few broccoli leaves one day and the stems and heads the other day.
A suggested serving size for broccoli is half a floret with the stalk. Some cavy owners recommend peeling the stems/stalks before feeding it to your pet. And always, moderation is the key.
Make sure the broccoli is fresh and thoroughly washed in case it was grown and treated with pesticides or other chemicals.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cooked Broccoli?
No, cooked broccoli is not recommended for guinea pigs. Guinea pigs cannot digest cooked food so always feed them fresh and raw treats.
On the overall, as you were able to see, guinea pigs can eat broccoli. There is absolutely no problem in doing that, as long as the quantities are small and the feeding process is taking place twice a week, the most. If you are giving them broccoli in the right amounts, this food could become an essential part of their diet and a reliable source of vitamins and nutrients. Pay a lot of attention to the reaction your guinea pigs get when you are introducing them to this new food. It is important to see if they are able to digest it well enough.
Make sure not to give your guinea pigs wilted or spoiled broccoli. It’s best not to feed your furry buddies any fruits or vegetables in poor enough shape that you wouldn’t eat them yourself and remove any uneaten foods promptly, within one day. Anything your cavy doesn’t eat right away, take out of the cage and throw away. Moreover, many foods contain pesticides so make sure you wash all the fresh foods before feeding it to your pet.
Additionally, don’t forget to introduce new foods gradually and in small quantities to prevent any digestive discomfort or diarrhea. If you see any unusual behavior or loose stool, it’s best to stop feeding him this food. Also, it’s recommended to consult with your veterinarian if you plan on introducing any new foods to your cavy’s diet.