Can Guinea Pigs Eat Brussel Sprouts?
Brussel sprouts are a type of cabbage and in fact they resemble mini cabbages. Guinea pigs can eat cabbage in moderation so it makes sense that they would be able to eat brussel sprouts too. The advantage to adding brussel sprouts to your guinea pig’s salad bowl is the high amount of, you guessed it, vitamin C.
Are Brussel Sprouts Bad for Guinea Pigs?
When deciding whether or not your guinea pigs can eat brussel sprouts it’s important to note that they do have a high level of oxalic acid, sugar, calcium, fats, and phosphorous in them. Letting your guinea pig eat brussel sprouts won’t harm them unless you make them a part of their daily diet.
How Much Brussel Sprouts Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
So, letting your guinea pigs eat brussel sprouts occasionally, no more than once per week, won’t hurt them and will provide a great boost of the all important vitamin C. If you do let your guinea pig eat brussel sprouts, observe your piggies carefully for any signs of distress or any noticeable change in their bowel movements or urine. If you notice anything abnormal in the behavior of your guinea pigs after feeding brussel sprouts, remove the sprouts from their diet and seek the advice of your veterinarian.
Why is Vitamin C So Important for Guinea Pigs?
Although you may have been told that vitamin C is a critical supplement for your guinea pigs diet, the reason may not be as clear. Guinea pigs, like their owners, are not able to produce vitamin C on their own. If your guinea pig doesn’t get enough vitamin C in their diet through the food you provide, they can get scurvy, a disease caused by a lack of vitamin C.
You can watch for symptoms of scurvy in your guinea pig such as gum bleeding, loss of appetite, nasal discharge, joint stiffness, unexplained weight loss, lethargy, or poor tooth development. If you notice any combination of these symptoms in your guinea pig, increase the amount of foods high in vitamin C until you can consult your veterinarian for additional treatment instructions.
Foods high in vitamin C include dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, parsley and vegetables such as broccoli, bell peppers, and zucchini. Fruits such as oranges, strawberries, kiwi, and mango are also high in vitamin C. Be aware of sugar content in fruits and feed citrus fruits in small amounts once or twice a week to avoid making your guinea pig’s mouth sore.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cooked Brussel Sprouts?
Cooked vegetables are not recommended for guinea pigs because the cooking process destroys many of the nutrients in the vegetables. This is also true for cooked brussel sprouts. When you cook brussel sprouts before feeding them to your guinea pigs, a good portion of the vitamin C is lost. Since the vitamin C boost was the only benefit of brussel sprouts for your guinea pig, cooking them defeats the purpose.