Can guinea pigs eat cabbage? Information facts and more
While most of the guinea pig’s diet should be hay or pelleted food, it is good to feed it vegetables from time to time. But can guinea pigs eat cabbage? Yes, guinea pigs love this leafy vegetable, an excellent source of nutrients for their health. Unfortunately, cabbage also contains high levels of calcium that can cause bloating and other problems. So, it is advisable to serve it in moderation.
Read on to find out about the health benefits, nutrition facts, risks involved, preparation, serving amount and frequency of feeding cabbage to guinea pigs.
Health benefits of cabbage for guinea pig
- Prevent scurvy
Scurvy is a disease caused by the lack of vitamin C. Some of the early symptoms of scurvy include weakness, sore limbs, etc. Cabbage contains high levels of vitamin C that will meet your guinea pet’s needs.
- Anti-aging effects
Besides vitamin C, cabbage also contains vitamins A and D. These vitamins prevents cells damage and have anti-aging effects enabling your guinea pig to live longer. In addition, the vitamins have healing properties that can heal insect bites, rashes, and wounds.
- Boosts the immune system
The vitamin C found in cabbage has numerous functions in your guinea pig’s body. It strengthens the white blood cells creating a more robust immune defense. This will help your guinea pig to fight infections and diseases successfully. Additionally, vitamin C helps in the absorption of iron, which helps in blood formation. Lack of iron can cause problems such as anemia.
- Reduce inflammation
Inflammation can occur naturally due to injury or disease and typically ends after a short while. In some cases, it can get chronic and cause problems to your guinea pig. Cabbage is packed with antioxidants that help in reducing or preventing swelling.
- Prevents the growth of cancerous cells
Malignant cells can cause chronic inflammation inside your guinea pig’s body. Cabbage is packed with antioxidants such as vitamin A and C that prevents the growth of cancerous cells.
- Aids in digestion
Guinea pigs have a susceptible digestive tract that is easily affected by the food they eat. Cabbage contains dietary fiber that makes the digestion process easier for your guinea pig. In addition, dietary fiber promotes bowel movement and reduces constipation.
- Helps in maintaining ideal weight
Cabbage has fewer calories making it a good diet food for your guinea pig. Besides, dietary fiber promotes fullness and satiety, reducing the urge to eat more food.
Nutrition information of cabbage per 100g
- Protein- 1.28g
- Fat- 0.1g
- Dietary fiber- 2.5g
- Sugars- 3.2g
- Energy- 25kcal
- Carbohydrates- 5.8g
- Vitamin K- 76ug
- Vitamin C- 36.6mg
- Vitamin B9-43ug
- Vitamin B6- 0.124mg
- Vitamin B5- 0.212mg
- Niacin (B3)- 0.234mg
- Riboflavin (B2)- 0.040mg
- Zinc- 0.18mg
- Sodium- 18mg
- Phosphorus- 26mg
- Potassium- 170mg
- Manganese- 0.16mg
- Magnesium- 12mg
- Iron- 0.47mg
Possible risks of feeding cabbage to guinea pig
It is important to know what to feed you guinea pig, and that is why we must look at both the benefits and risks of cabbage. While cabbage contains a high amount of nutrients, feeding it in excess can cause side effects. The following are some of the most common problems your guinea pig can get from consuming too much cabbage.
Feeding you guinea pig too much cabbage can cause flatulence because of the high levels of raffinose. This is a short-chain carbohydrate, and guinea pigs do not have the enzymes to digest it. It is passed to the colon where it is fermented into gasses, which can cause bloating.
- Congealed blood
The vitamin K found in cabbage aid in the process of clotting. So, if your guinea pig is injured, it will be able to clot the blood to prevent excessive bleeding. However, too much of it can cause your guinea pig’s blood to start congealing. Therefore, you should only serve the recommended amount.
- Digestive problems
Cabbage has a high sulfur content that can hinder the passage of gasses. So, feeding too much cabbage to your guinea pig can lead to bloating.
Amount and frequency of feeding cabbage to guinea pigs
There are some fresh vegetables that you can serve in large quantities and every day. However, when it comes to cabbage, you should strictly observe the recommended amount and frequency.
- Serving amount
It would be best if you do not give your guinea pig the whole cabbage to eat. Instead, you should only feed it one or two leaves per serving.
It is recommended to feed cabbage to your guinea pig a maximum of three times a week. Serving it every day may cause problems to your guinea pig.
How to prepare cabbage for guinea pigs
- Step 1: Select a good quality cabbage
First, you need to choose the right cabbage for your cavy. It should be fresh and not wilting. If possible, organic cabbage is the best choice.
- Step 2: Wash it properly.
Cabbages are sprayed with pesticides, which can leave traces of chemicals on the outer leave. This can be fatal for your guinea pig and you should wash it thoroughly to remove the chemicals and dirt.
- Step 3: Serve it
Take 1 to 2 leaves from the cabbage and feed your guinea pig. You can either cut the leaves into small pieces or feed it as it is.
More about cabbage for guinea pigs
- Is red cabbage suitable for the guinea pigs?
Yes, red cabbage is safe for guinea pigs. In fact, it contains high levels of vitamin C, which is essential to your guinea pig. However, you should serve it in moderation.
- Is cooked cabbage good for guinea pigs?
No, it is not advisable to feed cooked cabbage to your guinea pig. Any type of cooked food is not suitable for your guinea pig and can cause stomach issues.
Can guinea pigs eat cabbage conclusion
Guinea pigs can eat almost all types of cabbages from white, red, savoy, and napa. They are a good source of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to your guinea pig. However, too much of it can cause severe problems such as bloating, kidney stones, and diarrhea.