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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Spinach? (And Other Leafy Greens?)

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Tim Rhodes

Are you asking the question, “Can guinea pigs eat spinach?”

There are numerous superfoods that will keep your guinea pigs happy and healthy.

Are there any foods that could be potentially harmful to guinea pigs?

Or any foods guinea pigs should only consume in small amounts?

It’s important to check because there are a few important things to note here and some potential hidden dangers for the uninformed owner of guinea pigs.

Read on to find out how to take the best care of your guinea pigs and to find an answer to the question, “Can guinea pigs eat spinach?”

Find out different types of guinea pig foods that you can give to your guinea pig one or two times a day to make sure you treat your guinea pig right.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Spinach?

Yes, guinea pigs can eat spinach.

Spinach is high in vitamin A, vitamin C, iron and other healthy nutrients that are healthy for your guinea pig.

However, guinea pigs should eat other leafy greens so that they have a balanced diet.

In fact, guinea pigs love this leafy green vegetable and will consume as much of it as you give them.

Although guinea pigs can eat spinach you should always be cautious with it.

You can allow your guinea pig to eat spinach but in a small size bowl and a few leaves at a time.

However, while fresh spinach is a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber which is great for guinea pigs, these leaves also contain oxalic acid and you need to be careful how much of this they eat to avoid getting kidney stones or bladder stones.

Just keep it to a small amount per day or once or twice a week that your guinea pigs can eat spinach.

Just remember that guinea pigs shouldn’t eat too much spinach or in large quantities per day.

Guinea pigs can consume both baby spinach, cooked spinach and normal spinach in order to provide a means to vitamin C and other nutrients.

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What About Other Leafy Greens For Guinea Pigs?

Guinea pigs can eat other leafy greens, and it’s highly recommended they do so due to their vitamin C content and other healthy nutrients.

In fact, when it comes to green food, guinea pigs can go a bit overboard with it.

There are tons of options here where your guinea pigs can get lots of essential nutrients.

Guinea pigs eat a variety of leafy green but letting your guinea pigs consume spinach is a vital part of a guinea pig’s diet as the magnesium in the leaves helps them to break down the calcium in hay and food pellets.

This way they’re getting the most out of their food and preventing other illnesses.

Ale, arugula, mixed leaves, radicchio, swiss chard, and dandelion leaves are all great options.

There’s no amount too much for guinea pigs as long as your pet is hungry.

Just avoid iceberg lettuce due to the high nitrate levels but you can let your guinea pigs consume spinach.

Like all animals, a balanced diet is important for guinea pigs and there are foods that should only be consumed in small amounts.

As we know by now guinea pigs eat other green vegetables.

You can feed them often but in small amounts once or twice a week.

Green vegetables are fundamental, but they can’t provide 100% of the vitamins and minerals needed for the guinea pigs to stay happy and healthy.

Once again, the importance of vitamin C cannot be stressed enough.

Vitamin C is both present in baby spinach, cooked spinach and normal spinach and helps prevent scurvy and other health issues in guinea pigs.

So what else should guinea pigs be eating?

What About Other Fruits and Vegetables For Guinea Pigs?

Guinea pigs can eat fruits and other vegetables as well.

This is especially recommended if they all provide a means to obtain vitamin C in the diet of guinea pigs.

Just like humans, our little furry guinea pigs need a variety of fruits and vegetables to stay in tip-top shape.

Carrots, capsicums, tomatoes, broccoli, zucchini, celery are all great vegetable choices to keep your guinea pigs healthy, whilst satisfying their seemingly endless appetites.

When it comes to fruit, there are lots of options that your guinea pig will love that are also high in vitamins.

In particular, vitamin C is important because like humans guinea pigs cannot produce their own so they need to consume it in their diet.

Some delicious options as a part of guinea pigs’ food are kiwi fruit, apples, bananas, oranges, melons, and berries (strawberries, blueberries).

It is worth noting, however, that the high sugar content in fruit means the volume should be monitored and restricted to 3-4 portions per week to avoid becoming overweight.

Is Hay And Grass Healthy For Guinea Pigs?

Hay and grass make amazing food for guinea pigs.

Let’s begin with grass since it is abundantly available and might seem like a great choice to help satisfy the appetite of guinea pigs.

While grass can be an excellent addition to your guinea pig’s diet and you should let your guinea pigs eat it as often as possible.

However, make sure to feed them in small portions.

You just need to be careful that it is free from chemicals and pesticides, and also steer clear of the popular dog “wee spots”.

If you are confident the grass is free from nasties, then it is fine to let your guinea pigs have some, but the nutrient content is low so this shouldn’t make up a large portion of the overall diet.

Hay on the other hand is an essential component of your guinea pig’s diet, it contains lots of fiber to maintain healthy digestion and the tough texture also helps keep those constantly growing teeth in check.

In fact, some people say that hay should contribute up to 70% of the guinea pig diet!

While food pellets will provide much of the hay that the guinea pig needs, it is important that they also have some fresh hay.

The key thing here is that you make sure that hay for guinea pigs is fresh, clean, dry, and free from mold.

Now, when it comes to choosing the hay there are a lot of options, however, Timothy hay and Alfalfa hay are 2 of the most popular choices and both will cover your guinea pig’s needs.

There are a few key differences to note, however.

Alfalfa hay is higher in protein and calcium, but also higher in fat so while this can still be a fine choice, you need to keep a close eye on your guinea pig’s weight.

Also, many of the pellet food options use Alfalfa hay as a base, so for this reason, a lot of guinea pigs owners opt for Timothy hay instead.

And unlike spinach, you’re at less of a risk for your guinea pig to develop kidney stones or bladder stones with hay and grass.

What About Food Pellets or Supplements For Guinea Pigs?

Food pellets are actually a really vital part of your guinea pig’s diet to ensure that the guinea pig gets all the vitamins, minerals, and trace elements they need.

The good news is, that there are a lot of options available to choose from so this won’t be hard to get your hands on.

But with so many options on the market, it can be really hard to know what’s really best for your pet.

The best advice here is to stick to reputable brands that are known for quality products.

While it might be tempting, unfortunately, the cheapest is not always best.

It is also a good idea to check the product ingredients list as you would for any other food product you are giving your family.

void products with added color, preservatives, or other artificial nasties.

Also avoid those that are high in sugar or fat because with such huge appetites, guinea pigs are prone to becoming overweight and this can lead to a multitude of health issues if you’re not careful.

Also, try to avoid products that have low nutrient fillers such as corn – you’re just not getting bang for your buck if the pellets are full of these.

Instead look for pellets that have plenty of vitamin C, protein, and fiber.

Once again, check especially for vitamin C since guinea pigs can’t make this on their own.

This is really important if you want to avoid problems like scurvy that’s caused by a lack of vitamin C in guinea pigs.

Products advertising lower calcium is also a bonus as this is difficult for guinea pigs to process and too much can lead to kidney stones or bladder stones due to a high amount of oxalic acid.

The final key thing to look for is “uniform pellets” that also contain vitamin C.

This means that each pellet has a mix of ingredients and nutrients listed so there is no opportunity for your furry friend to selectively eat and miss out on any essentials.

Hidden Dangers You Should Look Out For When Feeding Guinea Pigs

Not all vegetables were created equal and indeed some are truly toxic for guinea pigs.

Potatoes, rhubarb, onions, avocados and tomato leaves (the actual tomatoes are fine) are all toxic to the guinea pig and should be avoided.

In addition iceberg lettuce, chili peppers, and legumes such as chickpeas should also be avoided for guinea pigs.

Spinach is fine but as mentioned should let your guinea pigs eat spinach but make sure you keep it at once or twice per week.

You can allow your guinea pig to eat spinach but in a small size bowl and a few leaves at a time and that way it will never be too much.

Finally, while they may taste delicious to us, chocolate, dairy, and any products with caffeine are a definite no-no to keep your guinea pig healthy.

Also, foods high in oxalic acid may contribute to bladder stones or kidney stones in guinea pigs. This can be the case with too much spinach. Therefore, be sure to research what your guinea pig can eat beforehand.

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Last update on 2021-07-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Is Spinach Poisonous To Guinea Pigs?

Make sure you don’t feed your guinea pig too much spinach leaves (or cooked or baby spinach leaves), as we said spinach should be present in the guinea pig’s diet but make sure you feed them in small quantities.

The spinach contains a lot of vitamins and minerals, but guinea pigs cannot handle large quantities of it and that’s why you should also feed your guinea pig with other cooked green veggies in moderation.

Of course, you should also ensure that household poisons and medicine cabinets and secure and out of reach to avoid accidental poisoning of your curious, furry guinea pig friend.

It is also wise to check your garden for any plants that may be toxic for your guinea pig and make sure they are kept out of reach.

Don’t let your pet run around the garden unsupervised.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully we’ve answered the question, “Can guinea pigs eat spinach?”

Yes, guinea pigs can eat regular spinach, cooked spinach or baby spinach, and it’s especially healthy since it’s high in vitamin C.

I personally find that my guinea pig prefers baby spinach due to the smaller leaves.

Again, it’s better that guinea pigs don’t eat too much spinach since it’s equally important to give them other leafy greens for a more balanced diet.

Other leafy greens also include lots of vitamin C, so you won’t have to worry about a deficiency in guinea pigs.

If your guinea pig is prone to calcium oxalates stones then spinach should be avoided.

This is because vitamin C rich foods can contribute to urinary oxalate levels even cooked spinach.

No owner wants their guinea pig to suffer from bladder stones and that’s why you should avoid serving your guinea pig with spinach daily.

Like humans, guinea pigs need lots of green vegetables and a variety of fruit and vegetables, although keep an eye on the amount of sugar they’re consuming so more vegetables than fruit.

Guinea pigs need plenty of “crunchy” foods to keep their constantly growing teeth under control and finally, they need a good supply of clean, quality hay and food pellets to ensure all their nutritional needs are covered.

All that washed down with a good supply of clean, fresh water and your guinea pig will be happily causing mischief with your family for many years to come.

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