Guinea pigs need a varied and balanced diet to meet their nutritional needs. Their main diet consists of hay and either dried guinea pig food or guinea pig pellets. However, they also need a selection of fruits and vegetables to give them a range of vitamins and minerals they need to maintain good general health. One vegetable that you may think about feeding to your guinea pig is raw broccoli. So, can guinea pigs eat broccoli or is it harmful to them?
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Broccoli?
A guinea pig can eat broccoli, but only in moderation. Broccoli contains both calcium and oxalates. When a guinea pig eats foods that contain both these substances, it increases their chances of developing kidney stones, bladder stones, and urinary tract problems. Therefore, you should avoid feeding your guinea pig broccoli too often.
What Are the Nutritional Values of Broccoli and How Do They Contribute to a Guinea Pig’s Diet?
There are some benefits to a guinea pig eating broccoli in moderation and this is because of the nutrients this vegetable contains. The nutritional values of 100 g of raw broccoli are:
- Energy- 34 kcal
- Protein- 2.82 g
- Carbohydrates- 6.64 g (1.7 g sugars)
- Fat- 0.37 g
- Vitamins- A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, C, E, and K
- Minerals- Calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc
Broccoli gives your guinea pig an excellent range of vitamins and minerals that it needs to maintain good health. It is an especially good source of vitamins C and K.
How Much and How Often Can You Feed Broccoli to Your Guinea Pig?
Broccoli is safe for your guinea pig to eat and contributes vital vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins C and K, to your guinea pig’s diet. However, as it contains both calcium and oxalates, you should only feed broccoli to your guinea pig occasionally to prevent them from developing kidney stones, bladder stones, or other urinary tract problems. One floret or one chunk of the stalk once every week is enough to give your guinea pig the nutritional benefits of broccoli without making them ill. As with all fruits and vegetables you introduce to your guinea pig’s diet, you should stop feeding your guinea pig broccoli if you believe this food is making them ill.
The Bottom Line
Broccoli is safe for your guinea pig to eat in moderation and has nutritional benefits for your guinea pig. For example, this vegetable is an excellent source of vitamins C and K. However, it contains oxalates and calcium that, when eaten together, can cause a range of health problems, including urinary tract problems, kidney stones, and bladder stones. Therefore, you should only give your guinea pig broccoli once a week.